Do you have a social media presence for your business? Do you devote quality time each week to your social media efforts? If you answered no to either of these questions, it’s time to amp up your social media strategy for 2017!
Now more than ever, social media is far too valuable to ignore. Just look at the stats from Social Media Examiner’s 2016 Social Media Marketing Industry Report. In surveying 5,000 marketers, they found that with as little as six hours per week, the vast majority (92 percent) indicated their social media efforts increased exposure for their businesses, and 79 percent saw increased traffic.
Convinced yet? Let’s look at how you can jump-start your social media marketing this year…
First, look at your social media efforts and determine where you can improve. If you don’t have a social media plan, now is the time to create one. I wrote my book,
Socially Awkward? Learn to Manage Your Social Media Presence with Confidence, for just this purpose. It walks you through the 10 steps to building or enhancing your social media presence, from choosing a platform to developing effective and engaging social posts.
Beyond that, you can assess your social media plan by clarifying your audience’s needs. Social Media Examiner recommends using “tools like Survey Monkey or Google Docs to quickly and inexpensively survey your customers” and find out where they’re spending time online. Armed with this information, you can tailor your plan and content to what your audience wants to see.
Social Media Examiner also advises sticking to one of the three overarching goals: Awareness, sales, or loyalty. Which of these three do you want from your audience? Whatever you decide, it will “affect every content and posting decision you make.” For instance, if you determine that you want to increase sales, you can use this as a litmus test for your content. If the content doesn’t have the potential to increase sales, replace it with something that does.
Educate & Entertain
Successful social media strategies are all about building relationships. And to do that, you need to consistently provide content that either educates or entertains your audience.
Successful social media strategies are all about building relationships.
What’s more, make sure you are humanizing your brand. Don’t try to be a faceless corporation; in fact, you should do just the opposite – be yourself! The more you share with your customers, the more they will want to share with you – and the more they will literally share your content on their own social media profiles.
Ask any social media expert and they’ll tell you that social media marketing should not be a one-person operation – and we’ve already determined the potential benefits far outweigh the investment. Business News Daily recommends hiring a social media strategist, noting, “Consider it a small but necessary business investment. Once you gain a larger following, your profits could be enough to pay your social media strategists and much more.”
As you’re outsourcing your social media efforts, take the opportunity to make sure you’re being as consistent as possible. Stick to a dependable posting schedule (i.e., post at the same time every day or week, or posts certain types of content only on specific days). Include easily recognizable graphics with your logo or watermark so people know the posts are coming from you, even as they are quickly scrolling through their social news feeds.
If you’re investing the time and money into improving your social media presence, you need a way to monitor your performance. Remember the three goals we talked about earlier? Depending on the one you choose, your metrics will change.
I really like Sprout Social as a analytic monitoring tool. You should be evaluating your data weekly and adjusting as necessary.
Which of these goals best fits your social media efforts for this year? What steps will you take to get there?