A surprising number of businesses still view social media as “fluff” and tangential to their overall marketing strategy, but this is a huge mistake. Having a detailed, goal-oriented social media strategy is just as important as crafting a rock solid business plan—if you “wing it,” potential customers will notice.
Attracting and engaging social media followers is the first step toward converting them into customers, and the first step in mapping out a clear, effective social media strategy is determining the answers to these questions:
- What are you promoting?
Do you have a product launch to promote? A holiday special to announce? An informative piece of content to share? Promoting your business in general is too vague of a goal, which is why specifics count in each social media campaign you launch.
- What makes your brand different?
Potential customers want to know what makes your product, services and team unique and how direct competitors compare. They also want to know why your clients choose you, and the answers to these questions will guide your social media strategy, regardless of the specific promotion.
- What are your goals?
Aside from “more business,” you need to know whether your social media strategy aims for branding (awareness, recognition), direct response (traffic, leads, registrations, sign-ups), community engagement (audience growth), or some or all of the above. It’s also a good idea to have in mind how you plan to measure success with your social media presence, both qualitatively and quantitatively.
- Which social networks do you plan to use?
Different social media platforms attract different audiences, so once you know whom you’re targeting, the next step is determining which kind of media they’re consuming. To help you figure that out, take a look at the Pew Research Center’s Demographics of Social Media Users, which profiles the users of five major social media platforms: Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
- Have you identified influencers?
Trust is a rare commodity on the internet, which is why review sites are so popular—potential customers want to know what average people like them think about a company or product. One way to gain trust is to partner with influencers, people who are considered leaders or trendsetters in their respective niches. Influencers already have consumer trust on their side, and identifying and working with them can enable that trust to spread to your business as well.
- Is your social media strategy flexible?
Having a calendar in place to plan social media posts is a great idea, but you can’t rely on evergreen content alone. Breaking industry news and sudden company developments must be addressed as well, so make sure your social media strategy can accommodate the unexpected.
- Should you use social media to provide customer service?
Several years ago, the answer to this question would have been a resounding “No way!” but social media is fast becoming the most common way for current and potential customers to interact with businesses. You can use Facebook and Twitter to instantly and publicly respond to customer questions and complaints—and how you handle the latter is crucial to maintaining a positive reputation.
Ready to start planning your social media strategy?
Social media branding is so much more than posting a few cute photos or witty product pitches—it’s an integral part of your overall marketing strategy, so it might be in your best interest to seek professional assistance. AGW Groupspecializes in creating communities around your brand for unmatched loyalty and sustainable growth. Contact us today to learn how we can help.