In the previous article I discussed what social media is and what it isn’t. Now it’s time to actually dive into how to create a social media strategy that gets results.
Too many people incorrectly believe social media marketing is pointless because it’s not measurable. It can be pointless, but not for those reasons.
Social media is much better than traditional marketing because it is measurable. Think about it, could you ever really tell the ROI from the billboard you took or out or from the ad you put in the local paper? Social media marketing is also much cheaper than traditional advertising.
Sound good? It is. But there’s one problem.
Most people approach social media without a plan and this leads to poor results.
Here’s my 5 point strategy to avoid that.
1. Understand where Social Media is in the hierarchy of digital marketing
Social media should come after content marketing.
Before you even begin looking at Facebook ads and Twitter engagement, you need to have remarkable content on your website that keeps people coming back for more.
Whilst building your social media presence you need to have a robust email marketing system set up. I don’t care how big or small your company is, whether you’re a start-up or a B2B with a £10m turnover, you need to collect emails.
As amazing as social media is, you don’t own your Facebook page. If you were banned from Facebook tomorrow you’ve lost everything. If you have your list of email subscribers though, you own it.
2. Know what your customers want.
Most people “just get started” with social media and try to “figure it out.”
They get started on every social media channel, get overwhelmed, and give up.
That’s not how you start.
80% of content you push out on social media should be to educate, entertain, and inform your audience, the other 20% is for selling. But you need to find out what your customers want to read. But don’t just take my word for it, here’s what Sam Hurley, the #1 ranked Global Digital Marketing Influencer has to say:
Spraying out any old content on social media for the sake of it won’t achieve results. To really hone your efforts, it is critical to understand what your audiences (and potential customers) really want to see. Specifically – what will help them solve their problems.
You can simply do this by asking your sales team what questions customers ask. You can talk to customers yourselves. Or if you’re really stuck, you can do Amazon review mining.
List all of these customer questions on a simple excel sheet and go through it to spot common themes. Now you have something to work from.
Never go to a content writer (whether that’s in-house or your agency) and say “just write engaging stuff we can post on social media that will make our customers really happy.”
What does that even mean?
When you know what your customers are having issues with, you have a solid base to work from.
3. Pick one goal
When I speak with clients they tell me they have several goals across several different social media channels. It’s important you pick one goal and stick to it. But it’s important you pick the right goal.
Here’s an example of a bad goal: I want to create a really amazing audience on Facebook where we share what we’re passionate about and the audience really engages with our content.
This is not a goal that you can measure.
Instead aim for something like this: Increase referral traffic from our Facebook page to our website by 25% over the next 6 months.
I recommend picking one goal on one social media channel. Stick with that goal. Then go onto others.
This sounds simple, but it’s surprising how few companies approach it this way. Having a concrete goal keeps you accountable and let’s everyone in your team know what you’re working towards.
4. Share your content
We all know that content you share on social media needs to be regular, be visual and varied. How do you come up with this?
Before we get onto tools it’s worth remembering that social media is about building relationships and partnerships.
The best social media managers have a solid network of people in their niche who they interact with and whose content they share. You always want to be helping others grow their audiences too.
If you’re new, how do you do this?
Simple. Go onto Google and search “top 20 [my industry] influencers.” That could be “top 20 social media influencers” or “top 20 female health and fitness influencers.”
Whatever industry you’re in, there’s a list of influencers and you need to build relationships with them, share their material and when appropriate, get them to share yours.
The best social media tools
Use platforms like Hootsuite and Buffer to schedule your content for the month ahead.
Social media is a very visual platform and you need exceptional images. If you don’t have photoshop a good alternative is PicMonkey.
A note on copywriting. Do not get this done by the office intern or someone with sloppy spelling and grammar.
5. Test & refine.
This is the part in the process that few people do, but those that do, make solid gains.
If your goal is to drive more traffic from your Facebook page to your website, you need to know the current stats you want to improve.
Once you’ve got that number, the next thing is coming up with 5-10 ideas on how to achieve this one goal. Look at what the experts like Laura Roeder and Jon Loomer suggest. Some ideas for this goal could be:
- Have more call to actions on posts (links to free downloads)
- Create ads that are focused on “clicks to website”
- Run a contest
- Link a post to a landing page with exciting offers
- Try longer posts vs. shorter ones
Put these methods into action and find the one that works best for your goal.
The 80/20 principle is particularly true for marketing. You need to find the one marketing activity that’s achieving 80% of the desired result. Focus on that, discard everything else, then move onto your next goal.
There you have it, 5 points to get your social media strategy right. You may think that following this method is a lot of work, and it is. But it’s the best way I’ve found to get disproportionate results. If you’re using Social Media in your business please share your thoughts below. And if you found this article helpful, please share.