P.S: This article first appeared on LinkedIn
It’s no news that Social Media has come to stay as an integral part of marketing and public relations and if you as a corporate organization or a professional has not fully embraced it, then you might as well be thinking of getting out of business in the future. The truth is that Social Media is saturated and a whole lot of people ( brand and individual alike) have jumped on the social media trend without critically thinking to why they need to have a presence online and what they need to achieve. This eventually leads to trial and error or even inconsistency because there is usually nothing to look forward to.
Analyse Your Previous Performance
Like every other facet of life, Social Media Marketing also requires strategy and to win online, it is very important to build a clear strategy ahead of time, so that there is even enough time to develop an actionable plan according to the strategy. The idea is that a strategy should be developed even before signing up for any social media platform but since the ideal is usually not the case, here are a few things that you can do with your existing social media platforms before developing a strategy for the next face of your online marketing journey.
It is very important that you do an in-depth analysis of all your social media platforms before even developing a strategy. To conduct a quick analysis on your own, check your metrics to know which of these online platforms get you the desired engagement and attention. You also need to find out which of type of content your audience respond to the most and what type of the day are they likely to engage more with your online contents. The interesting thing is that most of these platforms have an analytics feature attached to them so you can easily access all of the information you need. But if you need exclusive information about each of your online platform then you might have to engage the help of third-party platforms like Hootsuite, Hub spot or even Crowdfire. These platforms are known to give exclusive details about various social media platforms.
Set Clear & Realistic Goals
More than 50% of social media users usually don’t have a goal in mind and this isn’t really their fault because when most of these platforms were created, their initial goal was to help people connect and interact regardless of their location. But now social media has gone beyond a platform for keeping tab with friends and has not become a viable medium for brand and customers to engage thereby creating a sustainable relationship between the duo. As a brand or individual passionate about using social media as a tool to either market or build a relationship, it is important that a clear cut goal be generated so as to ensure that consistency is attained and contents are with a purpose and a direction. Here are a few goals to consider for your social media;
- General Brand awareness
- Lead generation
- Website Traffic
- Customer Service
- Customer Conversion
As with every goal, make sure that your social media marketing goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-based.
Set Up A System To track These Goals
Like I said in my previous point, it is not enough to set high and mighty goals because your Social Media Strategist is insisting that there should be a goal attached to your online presence. It is important that you set goals that are simple to achieve and most importantly easy to measure and within a specific time. The truth is, once your goal is not easy to measure or within a time frame, it is nothing but a wish or goal. It’s important that replace phrases like “I’d like to have more followers” to “I’d like to have an increase of 50 followers by the 30th of July. With this statement, It is easy for you to track if you had the exact amount of followers or not and to create plans that will help you achieve this specific goal. So if your goal is either to gain brand awareness or to increase website traffic, it is important that you add numbers to it instead of just leaving it at vague statements.
Choose Your Primary Social Media Platform
Personally, I advise people not to spread themselves too thin on social media and what I mean by this is simply that you really don’t have to be on all the social media platforms to be seen and noticed. It is better to have an impact on one and then grow gradually than to have several platforms with little or no return on Investment. In choosing your primary social media platform for your corporate or personal brand, you have to consider the following;
- Your goals
- Your Offering ( Service or Product)
- Your target audience
These three things but be critically considered before you can settle in for particular platform because the product that you offer and the domicile platform of your audience will ultimately affect the result of your social media marketing strategy. For Instance, If your product is fashion related and you intend to target millennial women then it’s certain that your primary platform might be Instagram because that platform is known for high visual contents and most millennial spend a lot of time there. So also if your offering appeals to professionals and career oriented individual, it might be a waste of time thinking that Instagram is a place to be because everyone is on Instagram. As much as they might also be on Instagram, LinkedIn would be a better and much more efficient platform to capture their attention.
Please note that this submission is not saying that you should totally abandon other social media platforms once you recognize the primary platform that your ideal audience is, it is only saying that you should put more efforts in a platform that delivers optimum results.
In conclusion, there are few things about each social media platform that might help you make an informed decision;
- Facebook: Great for website traffic generation but doesn’t have good organic reach. If you desire to reach a wider audience then you must be prepared to spend on sponsored targeted adverts.
- LinkedIn: Has a professional outlook and can be used to position a brand both corporate and personal as a thought leader.
- Twitter: This platform is great for interaction and engagement with the audience. However, you must be smart with words, be ready to reply quickly to conversations and be gifted with witty conversational skills.
- Instagram: This platform thrives on high-quality visual contents (Photos and especially videos). It’s a good place to sell a physical product when content marketing strategy has a good mix of video and high-quality photos. Also, a good place for corporate brands to carry their audience along when it comes to internal news of the brand1.e behind the scene videos and photos of staff and employers.
With these few points of mine, I sincerely hope I have been able to convince you beyond reasonable doubts on the need to deliberating build your social media presence with a solid strategy.