By now, you’re probably well aware of the benefits of using social media for your business. However, have you ever taken the time to think about why you are using social media?
Have you clearly defined the goals and objectives you aim to achieve with your business’ social media presence? Or are you simply using it because you feel as though you “have” to?
Having a social media strategy in place is key to finding success on social media. A strategy helps you answer the “whys” and “hows” of your business’ social media presence. First, decide why you are there. Second, find your audience. Finally, determine which types of content attract the most engagement for your particular industry.
A social media presence without establishing any overarching goals can be a costly expentiture of time and resources, as is having a social media presence without a marketing strategy in place. With this in mind, let’s delve into 5 elements of an effective social media strategy no business can afford to ignore.
1) A Goal (If Not Multiple)
If you’re using social media for your business simply because you perceive it to be the industry standard, you might as well not be on social media at all. Creating baseless posts without an audience or objective in mind will serve your business little to no benefit, and your followers will be more likely to lose interest and unfollow your account.
Before you launch your business’ social media profiles, be sure to have a goal in mind if not multiple. There are a number of goals you can set for your business’ social media presence, depending on whether you are hoping to drive traffic to your website, sell products, entertain your audience and so on. Keep these goals in mind when you are crafting your graphics and captions to ensure that every post you share is driven by intention. Pay attention to your social media analytics to make sure you are accomplishing these goals, and adjust your social media strategy accordingly as you discover which types of content work well with your specific audience.
2) A Social Media Budget
Social media provides your business with an opportunity to form valuable personal connections with your audience in a way that is nearly impossible through other digital marketing channels. For this reason, it may be beneficial to allocate a substantial amount of your digital marketing budget to your social media efforts.
According to Web Strategies Inc., your social media budget should be broken down by this rough approximation:
-40% – Ad Spend
-30% – Visuals
-10% – Copywriting
-10% – Strategy
-5% – Project Management
-5% – Tracking Results
Of course, there are a number of variables that could shift this budget breakdown depending on the needs of your business. For example, social media videos are costly to produce, but have a traditionally higher engagement rate than static graphics. Additionally, businesses with an international presence may want to increase their ad spend to run multiple ads simultaneously in different countries.
Starting your first social media campaign can seem like a financial hit initially, but tracking your results to determine what works and what doesn’t will provide the insight needed to cut costs and improve your ROI moving forward.
3) A Sense of Community
Social media is – as the name suggests – inherently social by design. For this reason, it is pivotal that your business’ social media presence fosters a sense of community. Social media provides your followers with the ability to form a genuine human connection with your brand, and even with other fans of your brand. Build this community-like presence by opening up a dialogue in your social media posts. This can be accomplished through a variety of types of content, such as:
- Polling your followers on topics relevant to your business
- Holding an open Q&A forum
- Opening a debate on hot topics related to your industry
- Live streaming from your office or an event
Of course, starting a conversation on social media serves your business little benefit if the conversation is one-sided. Take the time to interact with your followers as well, including liking their posts, answering their questions and replying to their comments regularly.
4) Chatbot Technology
Conversing with your followers is a crucial part of social media success, even outside normal business hours. However, hiring staff to handle social media interactions overnight and on weekends would quickly become a costly and ineffective expenditure.
That’s where chatbots come in.
Chatbots play the role of your business’ all-in-one customer service agent, sales team and brand ambassador. This is especially beneficial on social media messenger, where users have come to expect nearly instantaneous responses to their queries. Equip your chatbot with friendly, human-like copy that reflects the voice of your business. Anticipate simple tasks your chatbot should be able to handle such as answering questions and placing orders, and make sure more complicated questions are redirected to a human member of your team who can contact that user separately.
5) Unique Content
With nearly 250 million social media users in the United States alone, it should come as no surprise that businesses today need to put a significant amount of effort into making their posts stand out in a cluttered feed. Text posts may be the simplest type of social media post, but they can easily be overlooked when a social media user is taking a quick scroll through their various apps.
Instead, vary your social media posts with different types of unique content to engage with and entertain your audience. Create visually appealing elements like photos and videos to help your posts stand out amongst a cluttered timeline. Establish your business as an authority in your industry by educating your followers with infographics and how-to guides. Boost your engagement using interactive elements such as polls and quizzes. Utilizing unique content on your social media profiles will help to hold your audience’s attention, and their increased shareability factor will attract new followers to your business’ account.
Is It Time to Revamp Your Social Media Strategy?
In this socially-driven digital world we’re living in, having a creative social media strategy in place is more important than ever. Due to the complexity of modern-day business social media accounts, creating and implementing your strategy incorrectly could potentially be even more damaging than not having a social media presence at all. If you have any concerns about lacking the time, creativity or know-how needed to effectively manage your business’ social media presence, consider placing it in the hands of an experienced digital marketing team.
Ready to revamp your business’ social media strategy but aren’t sure where to begin? Chat with a member of our team for a full overview on how integrating these elements in your social media profiles can improve your business’ lead generation, web traffic and overall public opinion.