Your Brand’s Social Life: Developing a Strategy for Your Company
Developing a social media strategy for your business can be tough, especially with hundreds of options on the web today. That’s why we’re here to walk you through a social media planning phase, from setting goals and choosing which networks to focus on, to keeping in step with your competitors and getting to know your customers.
Identifying measurable goals should be the first step of developing your social media strategy. Whether you want to increase traffic to your website, sales or number of followers, record your starting point and track progress. Simply creating a Facebook page without any sort of goal will make it very difficult to choose what type of information you should begin sharing with your fans.
Choose the right social media outlets for your business.
We all seem to know and love a select handful of social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. But, your personal favorites shouldn’t influence your company’s decision of which networks to concentrate on.
Ecommerce websites with a primary focus on visual content, for example, are ideal for Pinterest. Driving traffic back to their sites and increasing sales are of great importance to these companies. However, if you don’t sell items online, Pinterest may not be the best place to utilize your time.
If frequently alerting customers with news or updates is an important aspect of your business, Twitter is a perfect platform for you. With its popular limitation of 140 characters or less, tweets are ideal for blasting information out quickly.
LinkedIn is a great option for B2B companies thriving on word of mouth referrals. Connect with past and potential clients, share information on your products or services and post industry-related information to establish yourself as a credible source in your field.
Keep an eye on competitors.
Look at what your competitors and/or most popular brands in your field are doing. What social media outlets are they using? How many fans/followers do they have? How often are they posting, and what kind of content are they sharing? Take notes so that you can compare them with what realistically works best for your company. Testing practices from established brands in your industry is a great way to gauge your own strategies.
Know your customers.
Identify specific personas for your customers so that you can tailor content to reach each type effectively. Personas are fictional representations of your everyday customers based on real data. You can start creating personas by looking at your company’s sales history. Who are your most common customers? What types of products do they buy? It’s okay to have several personas, as this is most likely. Give personas names, like Bob or Sally, and consistently refer to these personas by name throughout your marketing efforts. Knowing the persona of your customer will help shape the content you post, share and promote. It will also help you decide which social networks you should invest time in.
Create a plan.
Decide which social media networks to focus on. Which one is most important to your business? Which one could potentially bring in the most value? Identify primary and secondary social networks to focus on. Develop a calendar for blog posts, promotions and email marketing campaigns. Create checklists to help you stay on track: two tweets per weekday, 10 Facebook posts per week, five blog posts per month, monitor and interact once a day, etc.
Planning for 3-6 months in advance is a good rule of thumb. Note any important dates to incorporate into your calendar, such as holidays, industry conferences and tradeshows. Creating content around specific events (leading up to, or recapping) will go a long way in developing your editorial calendar.
Know when to outsource.
If maintaining an effective social media presence is important to your business and you simply don’t have the time or manpower to manage it successfully, seek out the help of a third-party provider. Here at Sage Island, we offer a variety of fully customizable packages for a wide range of social media networks. We can do as little or as much as your budget allows. Contact us today for more information.