How prolific are you when it comes to knowing the best route to take for social media? Sadly, many people flounder or completely miss the mark because they’ve not begun at the beginning. Their lack of social media strategy hands over the advantage to competitors.
During a 2021 survey, over 78% of responding social media users aged 16 to 34 from the US, stated social media had directed them to make a purchase at least once.
Wouldn’t you like to know how to be better at social media so you can attract every person who wants to buy what you sell?
Everyone is an individual, every company has specific attributes that make it different. The trick is to identify those stand outs and leverage them with a strategy.
What you’re about to read will insights on how to flourish on social media and, if you’re lacking something, what you can do about it.
What is social media strategy?
Social media strategy is a detailed blueprint that defines how an individual or company will use social media to achieve its business goals, including the supporting platforms and tools it will use to achieve this.
At a basic level, it’s a statement of intent, outlining the goals and measurable objectives for using social media, and the target outcomes you want to achieve. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it must be complete.
A social media strategy, like a strategy for anything else, comes much before you start participating.
A company with a strategy has a framework through which to plan, prioritize, execute, measure and optimize. This leads to better results because each action has direction, even if the direction needs to evolve and change as the company learns from real data.
If you invest in a social presence without a clear strategy, you won’t know whether or not your campaigns are successful.
The social media landscape is constantly evolving.
There’s always something new to learn on social media for novices and veterans alike. Naturally, you may have some pressing social media questions that you’re embarrassed to ask because they seem like common knowledge. But no question is too simple because it can be challenging to catch up.
I was inspired to write this post because I receive questions like these from good people, many of whom are struggling to find answers:
- “Do I have to be on every social network?”
- “Which social media platform should I use to promote my business?”
- “What type of things do I say on social media?
- “How often should I post?”
- “How do I get more followers?”
- “My boss asked me to take over the social media and I don’t know where to start.”
- “Should I pay for social advertising?”
- “I’m in a boring industry. Do I still need social media?”
- “I’m in a highly regulated industry. How can I keep us safe but still participate?”
- “Do I need social media management tools?”
- “Should I outsource my social media?”
It’s easy to get lost these days and I want to help you.
The social media landscape is no longer a field of wildflowers and pastoral countryside sparsely populated.
Social media is a dense, crowded, noisy, smoggy urban jungle.
I’ve been going through some of my older blog posts and refreshing them for today’s social media landscape. What I’ve realized is that even more today, social media is a tough go for many companies.
I’m seeing the same challenges and mistakes I was 5 years ago, but because social media has matured, these mistakes are costing even more.
5 years later, the core issues haven’t changed and that’s because only a small percentage of companies invest their resources in a social media strategy.
A well-formulated social media strategy will stop you from leaving your digital reputation up to chance.
Your marketing message and subsequent campaigns will have focus and measured outcomes. No more guessing. Just clear, specific strategies that help your business grow.
Three things I know for sure that cause damage to your digital reputation:
1. The things you don’t know about social media can kill you.
2. Handing off social media to sketchy third parties whose agenda doesn’t put you first can kill you.
3. Appointing an untrained novice to “do social media” can kill you.
Social media is a living document for social proof—which is increasingly a make-or-break factor for buying decisions. More than half (51%) of consumers read reviews on forums or social media to evaluate a product or service before purchasing. All it takes is one or two dissatisfied reviewers to drive away a potential customer.
Even the most dazzling, high-budget television ad can’t deliver what social media offers for free: authenticity. Consumers take to channels like Twitter and review sites like Yelp to praise, champion and criticize different products and businesses. Buyers are more likely to trust this unfiltered peer feedback from people who have already tried a product or engaged with a brand.
Social media has matured and become more complex.
As social has matured, three things have happened:
- Social media is densely populated.
- The tactics have shifted due to saturation in the platforms and updated algorithms.
- Facebook ads management requires advanced skills that many once-proficient marketers just don’t have.
What this scenario represents is a clear need to devote resources to your social media strategy.
Most consumers are using social media. It’s where they go to talk about their experiences before, during and after the sale. Future customers listen. They trust those remarks far more than they trust your advertising. Today, your brand is no longer what you tell consumers it is. It’s what consumers tell each other it is.
How to start building your social media strategy.
Just this week a gal reached out to me who’s managing four Facebook pages for her company while still taking care of her “normal” job responsibilities. She said, “I just can’t dedicate the time it takes to do all the research and post everyday.”
This is a very real concern for her and I suspect for many others. Examining resources and determining goals are key to alleviating concerns. Managing time gets easier and that makes you more productive. With a proper social media strategy, you soon realize there is actually enough time to do what it takes.
Here’s a quick snapshot of what it takes to succeed on social media today. How many of these social media strategy components do you have in place?
- Brand identity: a distinct, written description of the unique value you bring to the table
- Marketing design, integration and automation plan to seamlessly convey your value.
- Investment strategy. An outline of the resources you currently have – financial, human resources, creative, training – including what isn’t serving you and what additional resources you may need to achieve your goals.
- Content strategy: what you’re going to post and WHY.
- Promotion strategy: how you’re going to attract and connect with buyers.
- Engagement strategy: policies and procedures on how you’ll respond to comments and reviews and build community.
- Conversion strategy: how you’ll turn your fans into customers.
- Analytics strategy: how you’ll track, measure and report results in order to establish ROI – Return on Investment.
Social media is a marketing platform and should be seen as a way to build stronger relationships, customer loyalty and your digital reputation. It’s part of your overall marketing and advertising plan and should be considered as such when budget planning.
Do you need help with your social media strategy? Maybe you’re looking to recruit a social media manager but don’t know precisely how to hire the best candidate? Get in touch with me HERE and I’ll get back to you within 24 hours.