Social Media for Business
If you’re reading this article, you probably use social media with various personal profiles across platforms. But what about business profiles? Where posts for your personal social profiles may be in the moment and spontaneous, it’s essential to develop a social media plan for your business to achieve reach and engagement with your employees, customers and stakeholders.
What is a social media strategy?
A social media strategy is a detailed plan or blueprint of all the details that are posted on a brand’s social media platforms (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc.) A social media strategy can detail information such as what type of content is posted, the schedule of posts or stories and what goals a business is trying to achieve with its social media existence. Examples of goals could be increased engagement with customers, increased exposure or even a larger follower base.
Why is it important to have a social media strategy?
According to Statista, social media will have 4.41 billion users worldwide by 2025. This is roughly about half the world’s population. It’s essential for businesses and brands to use their owned social media platforms to build their brands, market themselves and connect to current and potential customers who use social media for information, purchase consideration, news and entertainment.
A business strategy containing a go-to-market plan or marketing strategy should include a social media strategy as social channels connect directly to the consumers. Social media is relatively easy-to-use and social most popular platforms have built-in tools for businesses to help them with data and insights, which is crucial for businesses to understand who views and consumes their content. Paid social – the term used for paid advertising on social media, enables businesses to target and reach wider audiences, much in the same way as traditional advertising.
What are the advantages of having a social media strategy?
Much like a sound business strategy, a brand needs clear and concise social media goals to be defined to achieve results.
Unlike traditional marketing, social media can offer a personalized experience for your audience. By first understanding who they are and the content they value, a brand can leverage this information to target and serve niche customer segments, reducing waste.
Customers can quickly form direct relationships with businesses with direct messaging and comments on social media platforms. Social media should form a central pillar for customer service enquiries, allowing a personal channel for connections that could end up helping the entire brand experience.
Community management is a process of serving these enquiries as users interact with your business.
5 steps to create a winning social media strategy:
Below we outline 5 key things to consider to create a social media strategy for business:
1. Align to your business strategy
As a business seeking growth, you should align your social media strategy with your business strategy. What goals are you trying to achieve, and how will you achieve them?
Consider setting SMART goals.
SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. Clear and concise objectives, so they can easily be understandable by your team or agency.
Form a detailed plan of why you are using social media, your aims and the metrics you will use to measure your progress.
2. Audience, audience, audience
Like with a business strategy, it’s crucial to understand who you are targeting, their pain points and desires and the value your business provides to this niche audience.
Understanding your audience is the first step to understanding how to reach and engage with them on social media. Creating audience personas is a useful way to focus on your audience, their behaviours, needs and the channels best suited to reach them. A persona can include your ideal audience’s demographic information, location, needs, company, and other relevant details.
3. Know your competition
Every market is fiercely competitive. Similar businesses in your field are already using social media to target customers and capture market share and a loyal audience.
But do you know who your competitors are, and more importantly, who is killing it on social?
When you look at your competition’s social media from a competitive point of view, you can begin to understand the goals they are trying to achieve. Some platforms allow businesses to track competitors performance. Ask questions such as: what kind of content do they post? How frequently? Which media do they use? What type of followers do they have?
Understanding your competitors allows you to capitalize on their weaknesses.
4. Engaging Content is Crucial
A content strategy is crucial to producing content that resonates with your chosen target audience. Some platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, are suited to visual content such as static graphics and live video. Other platforms, such as LinkedIn, offer the opportunity to share content focussed on personal or career development or business values that align with users desires for growth.
Understanding why users consume media within a specific platform will allow you to tailor your content to suit. Make bold, engaging and differentiated content that stands out from your competitors so that it is meaningful and memorable.
5. Use data to track your progress
As we mentioned above, many social media platforms already have tools for businesses to see how users consume their content and the reach of their content. Use data analytics to your advantage to revisit and inform your social media schedule. For example, if you notice that your product posts resonate with your audience more than posts about a recent event, increase this engaging content in your following schedule.
Use keywords that strike a chord with your audience and research industry and trending hashtags to amplify your reach
Need help to create a social media strategy for your brand? Click here to get a proposal today.