According to the Social Media Today, 47% of social media marketers say that developing strategies that support business goals is their top challenge. Social media is the most popular content marketing channel for organisations, so how can we make the most of its potential?
We gathered insight from 21 experts on social media strategy and put it all together into a free guide for you to download. Want a little taste of what’s inside? Take a peek below.
Develop Your Strategy
If you’re only posting when you’ve got something to say, or worse, when you remember, you need to work on your social media strategy. To be successful on social media, you need to consistently show up with valuable content that works towards measurable goals. Sound complicated? It’s not! Let your social media strategy do the work for you.
“Get the foundations of a strategy in place, before even thinking about the role of social media in bringing that strategy to life.”
— Eddie May
Before your social media strategy, you need a strong business strategy. If you don’t know your overarching business goals, how on Earth can you create a social media strategy to support them?
Social media is not a standalone task, and should always be helping to move your organisation towards a common goal. By understanding what that goal is, you can tailor your social media strategy to push your organisation forward.
“Becoming more strategic is a process, a way of working, not a one-time piece of work.”
— Justin Clark
Like many things, done is better than perfect. Get something written down and recorded, so you have a foundation for your strategy — but don’t stop there. Building your strategy is not a box-ticking exercise; you’re creating a living, breathing roadmap that can adapt as the business and social channels evolve.
Your strategy should be ingrained into your way of working with social media to continually build on your foundations. Once you change your social media mindset, working strategically will come naturally, and your organisation’s channels will grow.
Set Objectives & Evaluate Regularly
Objectives help to keep your strategy focused, accountable and on track. Without evaluating your goals as you go, how will you know to change, optimise and improve your strategy?
“Ask yourself ‘why? Why are we using this network? Why is our content strategy working / not working? Why is social comms important to our business? Why don’t /do we have social listening in place?’ Ad infinitum.”
— Paul Sutton
If you’re not questioning, you’re not improving. Complacency and answering “we’ve always done it this way!” is no longer enough to stay competitive on social media. No one can afford to stay still on social media for too long!
You should always be optimising your strategy, and asking questions is a great start. Unlike other channels, there is room to get creative and try new things on social media, to connect with your audience in new and engaging ways.
“You then need to set objectives for each of your social channels, based on an agreed strategy. I’d recommend defining a specific purpose for each channel. What value will that channel deliver to your customers?”
— Kirstie Smith
Only focus on the channels that will bring you closer to your goals. If your audience isn’t on a social media platform you’re using, who are you trying to reach? And if they are, how are you making sure you’re reaching them?
Set objectives with your strategy in mind, to help you focus and be more intentional on social media. No one needs to be wasting time posting out irrelevant content on the wrong social channels any more!
Be Mindful of Your Audience
All too often, people get caught up churning out content without looking up and remembering that there are people on the other side of that content. Your audience needs to be at the heart of everything you do on social media; otherwise, what are you trying to do?
“Ensure you understand who your audience is, completing a specific persona for at least 3 of your perfect clients. Consider what channels your audiences are on and what their pain points are that you can solve with your product or service.”
— Tiffany St James
Part of building your social media strategy involves understanding your dream customer. Without detailed personas, any guess at what sort of content they want to see is just that: a guess.
With written personas, you can get to know where your audience is and dive deeper into what they struggle with. If you can provide value to help with their pain points, they’ll keep coming back for more, building meaningful relationships with you. In short: be where your audience is, and solve problems for them.
“When your social strategy aligns with the intent of your customers, you’ll have an invaluable social media marketing plan with a purpose.”
— Coral Luck
By knowing customer intent, you can understand what they’re looking for in your brand, and create content to make sure they find it on social media.
Creating content for a customer’s intention will leave them feeling understood and valued, and they will be more likely to engage with you. Your audience will also have you in mind when it comes to taking the next step in the buying journey — which will likely be the goal of most organisations!
Use Your Content to Connect
Without content, you have no social media presence. It’s essential to nail down your content strategy to connect and engage with your potential, existing and past customers.
“Be authentic with your content, always think what’s in it for your audience and align activity to your business objectives.”
— Demy-May Lawlor
Don’t waste time creating content just to put something out there. Every single post you publish should have a purpose, and be working towards your social media objectives.
No one likes polished, corporate press releases on social media. Keep your content authentic, valuable and engaging — everything you need to build lasting relationships with your audience.
“Don’t just sell sell sell. Post content that is going to benefit your readers by giving them information or easy-reading material without that sales pitch crammed into the end.”
— Matt Hayes
People go on social media to catch up with friends and family, not to listen to your sales pitch. While one of your goals may be to increase sales, social media isn’t the right place for outright selling.
Posting valuable content without asking for anything in return will bring you authentic engagement from your audience. Your content can still work towards your objectives without having a sales pitch at the end!
There’s no room for poor social media any more! To stand out, you need to speak directly to your audience with valuable information, while continually analysing to improve. If you do social media well, you’ll never stop learning. Armed with the knowledge from these experts, you can craft a winning social media strategy that brings you closer to your audience and achieving your goals.
Our free guide is packed with so much more valuable insight from more experts that we couldn’t even fit into this post! Can your social media strategy afford to miss out? Download your free copy here.