The power of social media, with its ability to produce high brand exposure and ROI, has made it a dominant portion of many business’s marketing budgets and strategies.
If you’ve never done any social media marketing it can be overwhelming, and many people simply don’t know where to start.
To help you get started on your social media strategy, here are 9 vital components you can’t afford to neglect:
1. Clear, Realistic, Measurable Marketing Goals and Objectives
Posting content on every social media platform out there may seem economical, but it won’t give you the results you’re looking for.
In fact, without goals and objectives, you’ll never know the significance of the results, or whether your social media efforts helped your business or stayed stagnant.
The value of a social media strategy, has no value if it was implemented without a goal or objective – no matter how many platforms you’re posting to.
With goals and objectives, you can assess whether your social media plan and strategy is succeeding, stagnating, or going in the wrong direction. If you aren’t seeing the results you’re looking for, goals and objectives can help you to quickly make improvements and adjustments.
2. Regular Posting on the Platforms That Give You the Best ROI
It isn’t enough to post once a week. For the most engagement and highest chance of conversions, you need to be posting a few times a week, if not once a day. Some social media channels require more frequent posting than others, such as Twitter, as your post will quickly get buried in a user’s feed.
Most social networks allow you to post text, images, and video. Some networks, however, emphasize one kind of post to others (i.e. video on YouTube, images on Pinterest and Instagram and text on Twitter).
The kind of posts you should send out will be evident in your goals and objectives and your research of your target audience, competitors and social networks.
Companies with successful social media campaigns create an editorial calendar detailing the days and times to post on which social networks as well as the type of content they will publish. There are some social media networks that have scheduling tools that allow you to publish posts on the day and time you choose, so there isn’t really an excuse for a drop in your regular social posts.
3. Post High-Quality Content
You may have heard that content is king. (It’s been said once or twice in this industry.) Without attention-grabbing, useful, informative content, social media users will have no problem glossing over your content.
Besides interesting, useful content, your posts needs to facilitate engagement and interaction. The interaction is key in building relationships and report with consumers. It is the interesting surprises and bargains that encourage people to share your content on social media and click on the link to your site.
All the content online can overwhelm anyone. How do you get your content to stand out from the crowd? Make it interesting and engaging.
Some of the most popular and engaging types of social media content include:
- Jokes (but be careful with these)
According to a Forbes article, it was noted that interactive, useful content provides benefits for both the viewer and the company.
Writing such content requires time, energy and a lot of thought, and it needs to be posted at the right time on the right social network to get maximum attention and engagement.
4. Proper Allocation of Budget and Resources
Social media marketing can be relatively inexpensive, so you don’t have to fret about needing a big budget to see positive results.
While some money is required, you can have a successful campaign with a small budget.
Facebook ads, for example allow you to set your budget. You can go as low or as high as you want and you can schedule a campaign to last a day to a few months. You are only charged when someone clicks on your ad.
Facebook ads and boosted posts are much more successful than a regular post, so some money is required, but you may be surprised at its affordability.
5. Work Delegation
A social media marketing strategy has a lot of moving parts that can’t adequately be done by one or two people.
It can be easy to get carried away by all the available tools and resources out on the web. Many of these tools are geared to automating your social media campaign and strategy, making it easier for less people to do the work.
Automation isn’t always the best course of action.
Social media users are quick to recognize automatically generated posts. These kinds of posts come off as impersonal and salesy which causes them to go largely unnoticed and ignored.
This means that your posts require honest time and effort to create. However, all those tools are a great way to monitoring performance. This means that it requires more time and effort for one or two people.
This is where teamwork and getting many employees involved comes into play. The more people that are helping, the more manageable and effective the social media strategy will be.
6. In-depth Research
When coming up with a social media plan, it would be foolish to go over your goals and objectives without first seeing how your current social media efforts are going. A social media audit on your company will help you see what areas you’re doing well in and where you need to make changes to do better.
Another target to research is the competition and their social media strategies. Are they using different social media channels? What kind of content are they posting? How well are their social media efforts going?
By comparing where you stand in relation to your competitors, you can see where you’re doing well and areas in which you can target and improve over the course of this current social media strategy.
7. An Eye on Social Media Trends and Opportunities
There’s a lot out there on social media. How do you know if there is an opportunity to capitalize on? To maximize the effectiveness of your company’s social media strategy, comb through the social media atmosphere looking for the following:
- Brand mentions
- Industry trends
- News and info on the competitors
8. Quantifiable Results from Continuous Progress Tracking
If you do all the work planning and implementing a social media strategy, but don’t have any measurable results, there’s no way to determine how successful it was. You can’t measure the success of your social media campaign.
This goes back to the importance of starting off with defined goals and objectives. Without these, you can’t discern whether your efforts were successful or not.
Companies that successfully use social media understand the importance of tracking and measurement. If it looks like their social efforts aren’t working, it is easier for them to make necessary changes.
9. Combine Paid, Owned and Earned Marketing
It can be easy to compartmentalize the different aspects of your marketing. You have your paid, owned and earned marketing efforts and strategies. When these are put into silos, it is easy to put more time, energy and resources into one and ignore the others.
A strong social media strategy will combine all these marketing efforts. For example, you can have an engaging or informative blog post on your company website which would then be shared via a promoted tweet.
Having a solid plan is the first step in a successful social media strategy. You’ll need a goal, objectives, budget, measurable success markers, engaging content and an active presence on the appropriate social media platforms to find real success.