Social media plays a major role in how brands and businesses connect with consumers today. In fact, nearly 90 percent of marketers reported that social media marketing increased exposure of their business and 75 percent said it increased traffic, according to SmallBizTrends. If you don’t have a social media strategy, now is the time to create one or you could be missing out on additional revenue.
Here are seven steps to help you create a social media strategy that will build and retain your social media audience:
1. Know your brand persona.
The first step in creating a social media strategy is to determine your brand persona. If your brand was a person, what would her interests, motivators, personality or lifestyle be? It’s important to know who your brand is and what it stands for so your messaging always reflects the brand accordingly.
2. Know your target audience.
Once you’ve determined your brand persona, you must pinpoint your target audience. Who are the people that share the same interests or lifestyle as your brand and would benefit from knowing, buying from or working with your company? Use that information to brainstorm the demographics that make up your ideal customer/client – such as profession, location, age, gender, income, etc. – and you have your target audience. Your content and messaging must attract and engage this audience.
3. Create content for your audience, not your brand.
When you are creating content for your social media platforms, remember that the content is for your audience. Yes, your social presence is to increase your company’s exposure and, hopefully, bottom line, but your social media content isn’t for you. Whether the content motivates, teaches, inspires or brings out a laugh, your content should be of interest to your target audience and align with your brand persona.
4. Post consistently.
In order to build and retain your social media audience on any given platform, you must post consistently on that platform. Publishing content consistently ensures that the content is getting in front of your target audience. Efficient social media management takes time. If you don’t have the time or resources to dive fully into each social platform, narrow your focus to your strongest platform(s) and expand your social efforts from there.
5. Use relevant hashtags.
A great way to reach your audience and to gain new followers is to use relevant hashtags of your target audience. (But you must be mindful of the hashtag capabilities on each social platform.) Whether you only add a few hashtags on Facebook or you enter multiple hashtags into the comment section of your Instagram photo, be strategic with the hashtags you include.
6. Interact with your target audience.
You can have attractive social media content and the most consistent posting schedule, but if you don’t interact with your target audience, your social media strategy will have lackluster results. Follow accounts within your target audience, and comment on and “like” your audience’s content. (This includes your followers and non-followers.) It’s also important to be prompt and responsive when users engage with your content on social media. Interacting with your target audience not only gives you additional exposure, but shows you’re present and active. No one wants to follow a brand that feels like robot.
7. Use social analytics to improve your strategy.
A successful social media strategy takes constant analysis and fine-tuning, and the analytics built into social platforms can help determine where change is needed. Some platforms have analytics readily available, but others, such as Pinterest or Instagram, require you to switch to a business profile to access analytics. Analyze the metrics to see what time of day your content receives the most impressions and which content receives the most “likes” or results in the most profile or website visits. Consider what caused the success of the content and adjust your strategy as needed.
When executed well, social media can be a powerful tool for any business. It can help you connect with target consumers that you normally wouldn’t have access to, and it increases your brand awareness, even if you don’t get as many “likes” as you’d prefer.
WorkReady Suites offers social media management as a service. If you’d like to discuss your social media efforts and how we can help attract and retain your customers, contact us today!