By Megan Ribbens, EVVUS contributor
Just being on social media isn’t enough.
The time it takes to create content, engage with fans and followers is an investment, so wouldn’t it makes sense to have a plan for how to create a social media strategy?
Social media is a fun way to connect with your audience, but it also can be one of your most powerful marketing tools. Brands can reach millions of people with one post and create personal connections with their customers around the world.
That’s why it’s so important to incorporate a social media strategy into your marketing plan. With a strategic and effective social media strategy, you can turn each post, comment or retweet into vital parts of your overall business plan - and boost your bottom line.
Here are five steps you can take to create a successful social media strategy for your brand:
Set some goals: Do you need to drive more traffic to your brand’s website? Is your business trying to reach a certain demographic? Are you introducing a new product line? Whatever the reason, social media can help you achieve your business objectives and should be part of your overall marketing strategy. By creating a set of goals, you’ll have something to measure your success later on.
Evaluate your social media accounts: Take the time to audit your accounts. It’s important to know who your audience is, and if you’re connecting with them. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter - or all four - decide to focus on the social networks that matter and make sense for your brand, and perfect those accounts through branded visuals, text and tone. Also take note of how your brand’s accounts compare to those of your competitors.
Create a content calendar: This will greatly help organize your messages and put you in front of potentially trending topics instead of chasing them the day-of. Use the calendar to mark holidays and events that relate to your business and plan content around them. You also can strategically plan the types of posts you share (links, photos, quotes and reshares), as well as allocate how much of your sharing will drive traffic to your website, sell your product or engage with customers and industry-related accounts.
Schedule, track and evaluate: Now that your calendar is set up, find a social media tool that works for you - such as Hootsuite or Buffer - and use it to schedule posts and monitor engagement. Automation can help you keep a consistent frequency and post at optimal times, while also giving you time to watch and respond to your audience. Many social platforms also have analytics that help you evaluate the best times to post, track reach and click-through rates. It’s also a good idea to invest in a tool like Google Analytics [5 Things Beginners Can Learn from Google Analytics] (more info here from one of our previous posts) to track visits to your website from social media.
Get your team involved: Social media can be a fun way to make your whole office part of the conversation while also working to achieve your goals. Whether your teammates are featured in a social media campaign or sharing their own posts, it’s important to extend your social media efforts into other departments. For instance, how can social media help sales meet their goals? Can social media help the HR department with recruitment by showcasing the company culture to your brand’s growing audience?
Social media is ever changing, so you should always be on the lookout for the newest platform and the next best way to engage your audience. Having a strategy and achievable goals can lead your brand to social media success.