5 Tips for Improving Your Social Media Strategy
It’s 2017 and it’s almost unheard of for a business not to have at least some sort of presence on social media, and for good reason. The percentage of consumers who follow brands socially range from 85% of those aged 45-54 to 95% of 18-34 year olds. Those statistics are pretty powerful in and of themselves.
It’s important to point out, however, that simply setting up accounts and posting occasional updates isn’t enough to actually turn these followings into qualified leads that will hopefully convert into paying customers.
If your social media marketing plan isn’t getting the results you were hoping for, here are five things that might help to turn things around.
Set realistic, measurable goals.
You can’t succeed at social media if you don’t know what it is you’re trying to accomplish. As with any other marketing strategy SMM requires that you identify precisely what you want to achieve and by when. For instance, if your ultimate goal is to drive more traffic to your website or get more calls, you need to know this in advance so that you can develop the right strategy that will actually help you reach those goals.
Remember to be as specific as possible, but also be realistic in your goal setting. For example, you may determine that you’d like to increase web traffic by a certain percentage by this time next year or boost incoming calls by a specific number within the next 6 months. These types of measurable goals will allow you to determine whether you’re on the right track or if modifications need to be made.
Know your audience.
Not only is it important that you understand exactly what you’re working toward, but you must also know who it is you’re trying to reach. Otherwise you could easily be wasting time and money in areas that simply aren’t going to get you the results you’re after. First, identify who your ideal customer is, whether it’s a female between the ages of 18-30 or male aged 45-55, etc.
Once you’ve captured a picture of who you’re trying to target, you can then develop your social media strategy so that it will be more effective in actually reaching that target audience. For instance, 90% of Instagram users are under the age of 35, while Pinterest users are predominantly female. Knowing these things can help ensure you’re applying your efforts toward the right platforms and not wasting time and money elsewhere.
Set your budget.
Based on your specific goals, what kind of budget will you need to achieve a positive outcome? While social media is primarily free, there are certain paid features that can help move things along faster and with better results. For instance, Facebook provides the ability to “boost” posts to specific demographics that you can customize. This dramatically improves the chances of your content being seen by more people, which means greater engagement and more qualified leads. Most of the other social platforms offer similar paid advertising options that you may want to consider.
You should also keep in mind the ancillary costs associated with social media marketing, such as paying someone to handle these tasks or even the value of your own time if you decide to handle things yourself. Realistically, you don’t have to invest a ton of money to get decent results from social media, but it’s important to recognize that there are, indeed, some expenses involved.
Share quality content.
The brands that truly win at social media are those that share content that is both engaging and valuable to their target audiences. Experts recommend that businesses follow the 80/20 rule of marketing. That is, only 20% of what you share should be about your brand. The other 80% should be content that your fans and followers find useful, educational, entertaining, etc. This should include a mixture of your own content as well as curated content from others. It should also incorporate a variety of material, such as written content, images and videos.
It’s also important that you share this valuable content on a consistent basis. Try to strike a balance that will allow you to regularly connect with your audience without bombarding them with too much information. Posting a few times a day of Facebook and Twitter and once a day on Instagram and Pinterest are a good place to start. Over time, you can also measure and modify this approach based on the results.
Track your performance.
Last but certainly not least, you’ll want to regularly monitor and analyze the performance of your social media marketing campaigns to ensure that they’re netting you the results you’re after and effectively pushing you toward the goals you’ve set.
Most of the popular social platforms feature built-in analytics that will allow you to measure important metrics like which types of content are most engaging and what days/times seemed to garner the best results. You can then use this information to hone your approach going forward.
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