Do You Have a Social Media Strategy for Your Business?
Social media has fundamentally changed the way we communicate in our everyday lives; it has also presented us with real and meaningful opportunities within our businesses… but only if it is used correctly with an effective social media strategy.
As a business owner, your time is valuable and should be spent on driving your business forward. You may not have the time or resources to spend a large portion of your day posting content and monitoring what is being said about your brand. The challenge for a lot of businesses is that they totally get the importance of digital marketing – but just can’t afford to hire a full-time specialist to manage their digital communications.
1. Schedule Your Posts
Many businesses are not aware that they can schedule their social media posts for whenever they like. Why not save time and schedule your social media content in the morning for later in the day when your target audience is online?
For the Irish market, it is important to understand that the majority of our target market surf social media channels from 4.30pm to 8.30pm.
Always Remember: If you schedule your social media posts ahead of time, keep an eye on current events. In the wake of a natural disaster or celebrity scandal, allowing previously scheduled content to be posted could cause a negative reaction online.
Here are some extremely useful suggestions for how best to schedule your posts:
Use a Scheduling Tool to Publish Content
Hootsuite is a fantastic tool for scheduling social media posts. The software is extremely easy to use and there is a free version to manage three social media channels or less. Simply visit Hootsuite.com, sign up for a free account and set up your social media channels to get started. The platform will allow you to post content to numerous social media channels at once or schedule for a another day or time. This is an essential tool for any effective social media strategy.
Create a Content Calendar
Using a content calendar will help you keep track of all your planned social media posts in one place. This works very well if you share social media responsibilities across your team. Simply identify what posts you are going to use at the start of every week and pick the best day and time to post this content.
2. Know Your Audience
Getting the most out of social media for your business isn’t just about how often you post. What you post and how your target audience engages with posts is extremely important.
It is essential to have a social media strategy and a specific audience to target, otherwise your posts will be too generic and won’t resonate with your target audience
Make sure to identify your target audience, and build up a social media presence that speaks their language. Do some research and identify where your target personas are online, then use this information to target the right posts to the right audience at the right time i.e. if your target audience for one of your services is female college students then Instagram is a good platform for scheduled targeted posts around lunch or evening times.
You should always think about the personality and demographic for your target audiences and make your content and images appeal to them.
Always Remember: If you advertise on social media platforms, you must clearly identify your target audience and test ads to make sure they are effective before spending all your advertising budget.
3. Use Impactful Imagery and Video
Social media users are exposed to lots of business posts every day. There is plenty of clutter on social media feeds so you need to make your posts stand out from the crowd. The best way to do this is to post eye catching visuals that immediately catch the eye of your target market.
Images work very well on social media posts. However, social media feeds are flooded with images so you need to make sure that your images are high quality and relevant to the audience.
Alternatively, your can convert a number of images into a motion video using third party software like Apple Movies or the free version of Ripl.com.
Videos perform brilliantly on social media channels and have a much greater response rate than static images.
Also, don’t be afraid to record videos using your mobile phone and posting them on social media. Video ideas that work very well include product demonstration videos or interviews with a member of staff about an upcoming event. There is also free software on RawShorts.com that allow businesses to create animated videos for their social media pages. These videos work very well for explaining what benefits a business offers to its target market.
Always Remember: Make sure that your image, motion graphics or videos reflects a positive image of your business. Even though social media allows communication to be more informal, always get input from your team before posting.
4. Know When to Boost Facebook Posts
Facebook has made it extremely difficult for business pages to reach all their fans when they post due to their algorithms. As a result of this algorithm, the average Facebook post is only visible to 2% or less of your Facebook audience.
This represents both an opportunity and a predicament for many businesses. The opportunity is that businesses can now promote their posts and target a large number of people that have liked their Facebook page. The predicament is that businesses need to make sure they are spending their advertising budget on promoting the right posts to the right audience.
A good tip for identifying the most effective posts to promote is to monitor how free posts are performing.
If a free post is getting a lot of engagement on Facebook then it is a safe bet to promote this post to a wider audience. The trick here is to choose the right budget and to target the right Facebook users based on their demographics and interests.
Boosted posts should have a call to action with a link to your website.
This will increase traffic to your website and could convert your target audience on Facebook into customers. The Facebook advertising platform also allows boosted posts to appear on Instragram. This will further increase the audience of your promoted content.
Always Remember: It is essential to analyse all your promoted Facebook posts to identify how they have performed based on reach, likes, shares and comments. It may be worth doing something similar again or changing your approach completely.
5. Monitor Social Media Performance
Now that you are using social media more effectively, it is important to set key performance indicators (KPI’s) for your social media efforts. You should monitor the performance of your social media channels and the content on these channels to see if KPI’s are being achieved. Common KPI’s that business use are given in the example below:
- Build up your Facebook page to 2,000 page likes by 31 December 2020
- Direct an average of 200 visitors from LinkedIn to website every month
- Increase mentions about business on Twitter and LinkedIn
- Reach an average of 500 people for every Instagram post
There is always room for improvement and social media should be constantly monitored for audience comments that could yield potential sales or result in a negative online reaction if not answered properly.
Weekly reports work really well for identifying social media page performances and discovering which types of posts work best with your target audience.
Always Remember: Social media marketing is a marathon and not a race. Be patient when setting social media KPI’s and be flexible in terms of changing your approach if something is not working. When developing a social media plan make sure it is a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely) plan.
Follow these five tips and you will set your business up for success on social media. A good digital strategy will help your business to achieve its overall goals. It is important to set up the right procedures and spend your time efficiently when working with social media.
We hope you found these tips useful and please feel free to contact us if you need help with your social media marketing strategy. We offer a range of social media marketing services for all business sizes using our results driven approach approach.
Contact our Digital Marketing Manager, Jonathan Flynn if you would like to get the most out of your social media presence!