Your Facebook account is up and running, you’ve created the perfect hashtag for your brand and you’ve designed a slick set of Instagram stories but, as a business, do you know why you’re even posting on all these different channels? Do you know if your brand should even be thinking about TikTok? And do you know what success would look like?
If the answer isn’t crystal clear then you need a social media strategy.
A straightforward social media strategy can ensure that everyone is involved working towards the same goal. If you’re going to invest time and money into creating social media content, then you need to make sure you understand why you’re posting and how to measure the return.
No business should start spending money on marketing activity without being sure that the activity will take them closer to their business goals. The same rule applies to social media.
You can start creating your social media strategy by asking a few simple questions:
- What are your business goals?
- Who are you talking to?
- Where is your audience?
- What action do you want them to take?
- What resources do you have?
- How do you measure success?
Defining your goals
Let’s pretend we have a client who owns a coffee shop called Jumpin’ Beans and they want to start posting on social media. They know that their overall business goal is to drive more people into their shop and increase sales of their daily specials. Jumpin’ Beans has a friendly and welcoming atmosphere and provide a home away from home for locals. They offer freshly roasted coffee and a lunch menu with daily specials.
Figuring out your customers
They only have limited resources available to them so the first thing they’re going to do is collect some data to figure out where their customers are. They already have a number of loyal customers so they’re going to create a simple survey to ask which social channels they use. They could look online to see whether they’re already being mentioned on social media channels. In addition to this, they can look to their competitors for information - what channels they are using and where they are seeing engagement.
Once Jumpin’ Beans know where their customers are, they begin working out what they should post. They could start posting aesthetically pleasing latte art to their feed and drive up likes but this doesn’t guarantee people will start walking through the door. However, they could start posting Facebook Stories of their daily specials. These would drive urgency to visit the shop as soon as possible to avoid missing out on the food. They could also use quotes and user-generated content (UGC) from their existing customers to drive intrigue.
Next, Jumpin’ Beans need to take a look at the resources they have available to drive results. Facebook would allow them to take advantage of built-in review features, location tools and low-cost advertising options. Facebook also has a huge amount of targeting options that allow you to build a picture of your ideal customer. Campaign objectives can be layered with targeting options for other popular lunch places that users are likely to frequent. If users have disposable income to spend at Starbucks or Tim Hortons then Jumpin’ Beans should be looking to bring those local people to their front door.
Jumpin’ Beans have now got a plan and they’ve started creating content, but how do they know if it’s working? People like to get excited about new followers and a high number of likes, but those figures are only exciting if you’re hitting your targets. Jumpin’ Beans could be generating hundreds of likes but if that doesn’t translate into people walking through their door then they need to question if their resources are better spent elsewhere. They need to identify the metrics that demonstrate their goals.
- Check-ins - are more users checking in when visiting?
- Get directions clicks - are more users finding directions to the coffee shop to visit?
- Tags - are more users tagging you in content on their visit?
All of this information translates into a pretty clear plan:
Understand your business
We’ve managed to create a pretty straightforward example and display it in a few nice neat boxes. However, it’s important to understand the challenges that could be unique to your brand or industry. For example:
- You may have a lengthy buying journey with multiple decision-makers.
- Your product could be a high-value purchase with a long nurturing process.
- You could have a subscription model that requires a strong focus on retention.
All of these factors can be built into your social media strategy to ensure you have a plan to reach your goals.
Further to this, it’s important to understand that any strategy is never truly finished. Even in the case of Jumpin’ Beans, they need to make sure they are consistently reviewing their goals, their audience, and the results they are seeing. It’s essential that any business is constantly adapting and your social media strategy should be no different.
Lastly, you need to be ready for social platforms to adapt and change. New features are always being released and new trends are appearing on a daily basis, while every update may not resonate with your audience specifically you need to be ready to spot the opportunities.
Work smarter, not harder
I hope this explained a little about how a social media strategy can help you and your business succeed on social media. It comes down to the golden rule of working smarter, not harder. Taking the time to understand your audience, and the content that will resonate with them, is an essential step to success on social media.
We’ve got experience with helping brands break down their complex customer relationships into a straightforward social media strategy, that can be implemented almost immediately. Our expert user researchers can use interviews and other methodologies to gain a deep insight into how your customers think. We can help you identify who your customers are and what they need to ensure you’re in the right place at the right time.
If you’d like to discuss how we can help you discover your audience or develop a bespoke social media strategy then get in touch.