One of the biggest mistakes I see businesses make when it comes to their social media is thinking that they don’t need a strategy.
Often, this is actually due to the fact that a lot of people aren’t aware that social media can be strategic. Choosing what to post on platforms, which tactics to use, what channels to post on at all should all be part of connecting everything you do on social to your wider business goal.
The ease of posting to social media channels means people often begin posting before they have a plan – and they never stop to create one. This means many businesses spend months – or years – posting without a clear purpose.
To me, that’s a bit like trying to walk to Perth without ever consulting a map.
Whatever your business size, a strategy is essential. Smaller business have fewer resources; so it’s even more important to have a strategy so that their time and energy isn’t wasted, while medium and large businesses don’t want to waste a cent of their marketing budgets.
I recently designed a social media strategy for a client who had been around nearly a decade before looking at getting a social media strategy. No, it’s never too late!
They had a small team that sold a single primary product, and they were struggling to gain traction through their social posts. They posted on Facebook about an angle of their product that they thought their target market would be interested in.
Once I worked with them to define their business objectives and their target market, we began to see that they were doing very few things on their social media to meet those business objectives.
Not only was the content they posted relevant to less than 10% of their audience, but their target market was mostly on a different social network.
After my recommendations, they shifted their efforts to Instagram, and changed the kinds of content they were posting to be about the topics that the 90% of their audience found important when looking to purchase their product.
They saw better results immediately.
A good social strategy is worth its weight in gold.
Here’s why it makes a difference.
Have an objective
It’s essential to have an objective. Posting content just to ‘get your name out there’ doesn’t result in meeting your business goals.
Knowing what you want from your social media channels is critical to help you design your content to get you there.
It’s very common that a business will have a specific business goal – but their social posts do not support that goal. With the client that I was working with, they said that their primary objective was to sell a specific product. But when I reviewed their accounts, I couldn’t find where to buy that product – anywhere. They were telling great stories about their product, but if someone actually wanted the product, it was almost impossible.
You need to have a plan so your social media content ties back to your primary business objective.
Know what to measure
It’s easy to get caught up in vanity metrics of ‘Likes’. But ‘Likes’ don’t keep the lights on in a business.
Having a clear objective means that you’re measuring the metrics that matter for your business – whether it’s traffic from your social content to your site, awareness of your new product with a specific audience, or sales.
You can see which social channels, or which specific posts, are more effective at working towards your goal, once you know what your goal is, you can measure it.
Knowing your audience
Knowing who you’re talking to is critical. Not only does it define the content you post, but it will define where you post online.
One of the reasons that knowing who you’re talking to is important on social media is that different demographics are on each social network.
If you’re wanting to target business owners, you’re going to struggle to find them on Snapchat, compared to if you post on LinkedIn.
If you identify your key audience, and what you want them to do, you can choose which social networks you spend your energy posting to.
What are your tactics
Once you know your objectives, your audience and the social channels they are on, you can then look at the tactics for those channels to help you meet your objectives.
- If you want more people in an industry to find out about your business, use relevant hashtags.
- If you want to build a deeper connection with your existing audience, Stories are great.
- If you want a specific number of sales, use ads.
Choose your day-to-day activities to support your primary business goal.
Your social media strategy should be closely aligned with your business and marketing goals. Your objectives and audience will be listed right there in the business plan, and the social channels and tactics you use will be the way you get to that audience.
Connecting all of these in a social media strategy is how you succeed with your social media.
Whether you’re a business that has been around for a decade, or you’re just starting up, it’s something to review with fresh eyes this year. If it’s something you’d like a hand with, please to get in touch. I’d love to work with you to design a social media strategy that meets your business goals!
Want to work with Rachel?Rachel Beaney is a writer and social media content specialist, helping businesses connect with their audiences.
She’s worked with local, national and global companies, in addition to not-for-profits and government bodies. She loves helping businesses tell their stories with creative and data-driven solutions.
She is based in Sydney, Australia.
Want to work together? Rachel would love to hear from you. Get in touch today.