When used correctly, your social media strategy can be one of the most powerful tools in your digital kit.
At its best, social media offers a direct route to valuable communities and audiences who will truly take notice of your brand. At its worst, posting on social media can feel like trying to shout over a stream of constant noise with ever-updating dashboards and feeds.
Building a social media strategy that truly drives results is no mean feat. It isn't enough to simply post every so often on a couple of social media channels and hope that the right people happen to see it.
5 questions to ask yourself when building your social media strategy
1. Do you know your audience?
Who are the users you most want to target? Are there communities on social media discussing the products you want to promote on social? If so, what are their ages, genders, behaviours and interests? Effective audience profiling is vital to developing a social media strategy that really resonates with people. It's also important to identify any relevant influencers you can follow or engage with who have a large following amongst your target demographic.
2. Have you researched key trends and hashtags?
Review the social output of the users and influencers in the communities you're hoping to tap into. Which of their posts gain the most traction, in terms of shares and engagements? Can you incorporate these successful posts into your own posting strategy? It's also important to identify if there any hashtags trending in the relevant communities. Be sure to use these across your posts to help you reach the right audiences. If you're posting about a range of topics, such as distinct topics and services, compile a list of relevant hashtags for each topic.
3. What should your posting schedule look like?
Posting on social media is definitely a long-term digital marketing strategy and it works best when you post consistently and often. Best practise is therefore to work out a reliable posting schedule. This is particularly useful if you intend to post about a range of different products, services and topics. A strategic weekly posting rota, for example, will ensure that you give the right level of coverage to the things you most want to promote.
4. Do you have the right images?
Because so many of our social feeds are fast paced and heavily saturated, visually striking imagery can really help your posts stand out. It's useful to have a supply of high-resolution, quality imagery that will catch the eye of your intended audience. The most effective imagery will vary across social channels. For example, lifestyle imagery does very well on Instagram and Pinterest, whereas Twitter requires very bold imagery to stand out on incredibly crowded feeds. If you cannot create these images yourself, or purchase the right to stock imagery, there are plenty of public domain image databases you can use.
5. What will your posts link through to?
If you're using social media to boost brand recognition and get the word out about your products, you want to include relevant links in every post. On social channels, such as Instagram, where this isn't possible, you can tag products instead. Often, posts that get the most engagement link through to blog topics that pique a users' interest, rather than product pages so it's worth having a well-updated blog.
For more advice, get in touch with an experienced digital marketing agency who can help you deliver a social media strategy that gets results.