It’s no longer an option to have a social media strategy for your business – if you want to succeed in building a tangible brand, you need to have one in place.
When building your strategy for social media, you should make sure you’ve included all the crucial components. They could be the difference between getting yourself noticed and falling by the wayside. Here are five components you could be missing:
1 – A Plan
Sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised. Having concrete goals in place for your social media strategy is necessary for success.
Too many brands either make their goals too vague and difficult to measure or so specific that they stop a wider audience from interacting with the brand.
Try setting goals to cover different engagement levels:
- Low engagement, e.g. increase the number of likes on X social account page by X%
- Medium engagement, e.g. have X number of people sharing posts on the first day of a campaign
- High engagement, e.g. have X people contacting a representative during a designated period
Once you’ve set your goals, think of strategies to accomplish them. Launching a Twitter account, for example, is not really an end goal, but part of a strategy to increase customer engagement.
You also need to consider why you’re setting up a social media strategy. Does your organisation’s online presence need to increase? Do you want a faster, easier way of engaging with your audience – and who might that audience be? Answer this first, and the rest will follow.
2 – Metrics
Once your goals have been set, get your metrics in place. You need to make sure you have the right tools – and that you know how to use them – before your campaign launches so you can easily and accurately measure potential impact.
Metrics play a key role in understanding if your strategies are working. The context for them is also key – it’s great to know the number of clicks a post received, but what does that actually mean? Understanding the context of metrics means you get a better idea of campaign effectiveness.
Sort your metrics into a framework of key performance indicators, to help yourself and others understand which ones are most important.
3 – Customisation
Posting the same message word-for-word across all your social media platforms might be an easy way for you to spread the word quickly, but it’s not as effective as it could be.
Know the platforms you use, and customise your messages accordingly.
LinkedIn posts should use a few short, informative sentences; Twitter posts should utilise trending or popular hashtags where possible. Have fun on Facebook with more diverse content like videos and infographics, and use images with quotes from blogs or other content on Instagram to drive up clicks.
Customising your posts for each platform also keeps cross-platform followers from growing bored with what they see.
4 – Engagement Guidelines
If one of your goals is to see a significant rise in engagement, you need to set guidelines for each of your social accounts or you’ll miss out on the opportunity to connect.
Allow a maximum period of time before responding to comments or questions – Facebook pages for businesses reward you with a special emblem if you respond to messages within 15 minutes, with a response rate of 90%. This may not be what you’re aiming for, but you need to set your own parameters.
Guidelines for engagement may change depending on time zones – consider where your audience is coming from, and what time they’re likely to see your posts.
It also pays to know how often you’re posting, so you neither flood nor deprive your audience’s feeds of your content.
5 – Followers’ content
Your overall strategy – or at least one of them – should be to create content that’s interesting, engaging, and shareable. Likes and comments on posts are a wonderful thing, but shares among your followers, and consequently their followers, will expand your reach.
That being said, if your followers are frequent sharers of your content, it can be nice to return the favour.
Sharing big news or successes from your clients is a good place to begin, as is sharing a post from an expert in your industry. If you’re mentioned in a post from a follower, share it – but ask permission first in a private message, just in case.
By sharing your followers’ content, you start to build a reciprocal relationship, meaning they’ll be more likely to do the same to you.