Why you need a better social media strategy
Social media provides your brand with the opportunity to meet your audiences where they are, as they engage with content they enjoy and create their social media footprint (more on that later).
In the UK alone, there are 57.6M active social media users – that’s 84.3% of the population – According to Hootsuite.
We’re a social media-mad nation and have grown to expect brands to fit into our feeds with relevant content – those that don’t are dubbed inauthentic or the dreaded ‘salesy’.
When done right, your social media strategy will cover all the platforms your audience uses – with each platform having its unique role within the sales funnel. In some cases, and thanks to the constantly evolving updates to social media, the entire sales funnel takes place on social media platforms, from discovery to purchase.
We can’t think of many brands that won’t have some form of social media strategy, how effective this strategy is, depends on three things:
Your social media goals.
Your social media goals could look like this:
- Grow audience and following.
- Increase brand awareness and communicate your brand personality.
- Generate leads and sales and give information about new products or promotions.
- You could want to achieve a combination of all three – whatever your goals are, laying them out keeps you accountable and is the first step to success.
An integral part of goal setting is knowing how to track progress – how else will you measure the success of your social media campaigns? Establish your most important metrics and KPIs – without these, you’re churning out content, with no idea of how many people saw it – and more importantly, how many people enjoyed it. Clicks, reach, engagement and hashtag performance are some of the vital social media metrics to track the effectiveness of your social media campaigns.
The insights behind the strategy.
Researching your target audience and how they use different platforms is vital to creating your strategy. Different parts of your audience are attracted to different platforms, so one overarching strategy won’t cut it with the social-centric audiences of today.
Now you know what platforms your audience are using, look at their social media footprint – how do they interact with your brand and your competitors? What are they saying about your brand?
Social listening is an underrated tool in marketing, and one that is easily accessible.
The content you create and curate.
Content will always be king.
Once you’ve defined your goals and gathered your data and insights – you can start painting a picture of the type of content that will resonate with your audience – and the platforms and features to publish it to.
A great way to make sure you’re always making content that’s working on your goals is to utilise each platform’s unique features and create content pillars with a repeatable framework or theme you can stick to.
Get all of that sorted, and prepare to meet a highly engaged audience.
The big four
Aside from being the biggest social media platform, the great thing about Facebook is that pretty much all forms of content work – copy, images, video, and the stories feature are all options.
This invaluable platform offers advanced advertising tools, tracking facilities, and massive scopes for organic opportunities, like engagement and community management.
Image sharing platform Instagram has seen many trends, from styled grids and trending hashtags to the most recent ‘photo dump’ trend. Understanding exactly how your audience uses a platform and its features is crucial to getting through to them.
Winning the title of the platform brits are spending the most amount of time on is TikTok. The platform known for its short videos allows users to share knowledge, create comedy sketches and jump on trending music and dance videos. The power of short-form videos has not gone unnoticed by other platforms either – Youtube launched ‘Shorts’, and Instagram gave IGTV a revamp with ‘Reels’ in 2020.
The video-sharing platform Youtube is often referred to as the second-largest search engine after Google – equipped with videos spanning everything from how to cut your own hair to regular updates on influencers’ lives, pimple-popping videos, you name it – Youtube has it – no surprise then that it’s the channel we spend the second most amount of time on.
Of course, depending on what your audience research taught you, Pinterest, Snapchat, or Twitter could prove to be more beneficial in your channel strategy – it’s all about finding your audience and understanding what they’re looking for.
So, what next?
Goals – Never underestimate the benefits of a social media audit – seeing how you’re currently performing is the first step to setting those goals and improving your stats. Learn your shortcomings and create a multi-channel strategy to make real change.
Insight – Find your audience. Listen to what they have to say. One of the greatest features of social media is that you can search your brand name and find out exactly what your audience is saying about you. If you’re getting negative feedback, focus on changing perceptions. If you’re getting good reviews but not enough engagement, work on building awareness.
Clear individual channel strategies – Different social media channels are like night and day – your audience might use Pinterest for inspiration on their next DIY project at home, meaning they’re actively seeking new ideas and products. Once you’ve done the digging on your audience, you can craft comprehensive content strategies built on understanding.
For help making sense of your multi-channel strategy, get in touch today.
Credit to: Hootsuite, Statista & Cybercrew