Did you know that social media marketing can be strategic? I’m not talking about which hashtags you put on an Instagram post. I’m talking about whether your business should be on Instagram at all.
A social media strategy transforms your business goals into a tangible plan of attack: everything from which platform to post on, what tactics you’re using on those platforms and what kind of content you’re posting.
Even further than this, we can assess how your customers perceive you with the choice of words used in your copy, and the kinds of images shared. What message are you conveying with these assets? Knowing who you’re talking to and what message you’d like them to receive about your business is critical. And designing content to help them get there isn’t by accident.
Many people starting out with social media marketing believe posting online is just about awareness: you post on the channel, and your audience will see you, and think of you. And while that can’t hurt, there’s a lot more we can consider to ensure a businesses’ overall marketing goals are met using social media.
What does this look like in practice? Well, here’s a case study on how rolling out a social media strategy impacted one business I worked with recently.
I started working with a membership organisation recently. They hadn’t been consistently been posting to social media, and they had little traction with the content they did post. They were posting mostly to Facebook, but with weeks between posting. The did have Instagram and LinkedIn accounts, and posted to these even less frequently.
This organisation several business challenges they were trying to address: raise awareness of their brand with their target audience but also to build trust because they wanted to increase their membership sales.
We’ve been working together for around three months, and we’ve made some big changes already.
In order to increase sales, we needed to start with the basics: ensure their audience is aware of the business, and trusts them.
After reviewing their primary audience, we switched our focus to spend more time on LinkedIn, which is where their audience is more likely to be. This helped us put the brand in front of customers. We leveraged LinkedIn advertising to pinpoint their target audience based on job title, raise awareness of their brand.
Additionally, we worked with staff to create recommendations for how they can share the brand content and invite their relevant industry contacts to the page.
We increased the posting frequency up to multiple times a week and shifted the content to be posted into the evening, when their audience was more likely to be active and online. We also revised the hashtags they were using to increase the reach of each post.
In order to build trust, we wanted to ensure the content looked as slick as possible. We designed a brand colour palette based off their logo, so the content had a professional and consistent look and feel. Designing social media content with a colour palette is a simple way to raise a business from average to amazing — and this, subconsciously, help customers trust them.
Furthermore, we wanted to create content to help audiences trust the organisation, so we regularly started posting content to entice them to convert: case studies, testimonials and interviews talking about the experience of being a member.
To break it down:
- From a strategic perspective, we changed the channels they were on to better reach their audience
- We selected tactics to reach their audience (LinkedIn advertising, staff engagement and hashtag selection)
- To increase brand exposure, we increased the content frequency from monthly to several times a week and posted when their audience is online.
- To meet their goals of building trust, we created professionally designed content to help them punch above their weight, and created content to show social proof, like testimonials.
From here, the business has a solid foundation: their audience is aware of them, sees them as reputable and the next phase is to work on conversion, running ads to warm audiences to purchase.
While it’s still early days yet, we’ve built a solid foundation to help their audience become aware of them, and start to trust them. We’re seeing impressions increase, so we know the audience is seeing much more content from the business, and they are showing a lot more interest, because website traffic has increased from social media.
In fact, the organic impressions from LinkedIn increased by 218%, and clicks through to their website increased 800% in a month-on-month comparison.
The decision to change the social networks we posted on, increase the frequency, update the branding, create content to help built trust — all contributed to these results.
A social media strategy isn’t just about posting inspirational quotes for your audience, but it’s about looking at the entire experience: where are your audience online? What are your business objectives, and how can your social media content help people get a little closer to taking that action you want? All these elements combine to create a strong approach to meet your business goals.
If designing a social media strategy to approach your business goals is something you’d like a hand with, please get in touch. I’d love to work with you!
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About Rachel Beaney
Rachel Beaney is an Australian freelance social media specialist with over a decade in digital media. She’s worked with global names like Microsoft, Samsung, News Corp and General Assembly, in addition to not-for-profits and government bodies. She loves helping clients solve their business needs with creative and data-driven solutions. Get in touch today to jump on a free consultation call to find out how Rachel can help you.