5 Rules Of Developing An Effective Social Media Strategy For Your Business

In today’s post we have outlined a few things to consider when starting a social media campaign. We hope that this post will help you to consider some important areas you may have overlooked, which will actually help you spend your time productively, increasing your bottom line.

Enjoy!

When you are looking to start using social media to promote your brand, time should be spent on creating a social media strategy rather than just posting here and there, at random.

A strategy will allow you to spend your time effectively, and help you to engage with a maximum audience within your allocated ‘social media’ time.

“When you are creating a social media plan, make sure you align it with your overall marketing strategy.” Suggests Evan at Hootsuite.

Decide what do you want to achieve

You should determine your goals and aims before you start. What are you looking to achieve through social media? This will help you to analyse, down the line, how successful your strategy is working and whether you should change it.

  • Are you aiming to build traffic to your site?
  • Do you want to gain sales? Or just build brand awareness?
  • Maybe you want to connect with your customers?
  • Or perhaps you want to get people to your blog…

Once you know your aims you can alter your strategy to maximise your success, meaning your time is spent more effectively. It may also happen, that your audience is more responsive through different forms of social media; again, if this is the case, transform your strategy to reflect this.

Spend your time wisely

It may be that not all social media platforms are important for you. Figuring out which platforms your customers use is a good idea and depends very much on your niche.

Spend your time on the proven areas which work, you only want to spend your time on those areas where it is worthwhile and beneficial to your business. If you don’t know which forms of social media are likely to be successful, do your research and then trial it. And once you figure out what works you can adapt accordingly.

Focus your time in the places where your customers actually hang out!

Whatever your aims are, make sure to determine how the strategy will benefit your bottom line. If it doesn’t benefit your bottom line then your strategy needs to be altered. The best way to do this is to determine, from the outset, some business goals and targets.

For instance, if your social media goal is to get more traffic to your blog, do you have a plan for how that will impact your business’ success?

Use the rule of thirds for content creation

Sam over at Hootsuite suggests using the rule of thirds for your social content creation, which essentially means the following:

  • 33% of your content should promote your business, convert readers and generate profit
  • 33% of your content should share ideas and stories from leaders in your industry, or like-minded businesses
  • 33% of your content should be personal interaction and personal brand-building

Most businesses focus too much on self-promotion and not enough on sharing. Unfortunately today’s customers are savvy and will actively avoid businesses who are selfish or don’t have an approachable personality.

Sharing ideas, or stories, from industry leaders and similar businesses shows that you understand your market and your audience, and ultimately, you are putting the buyer’s needs first.

Individual interaction, especially for many online businesses will show your users that you’re more than just a computer! You’re actually a real person at a screen, responding to each interaction, personally; and many of these interactions won’t be seen as a sales pitch – a huge bonus!

Some businesses may be deterred by the idea of interacting with people so often, for the reasons of getting trolled so we do encourage careful decision-making when you are interacting at this point – it may be worth doing a quick scan of the user’s profile first.

Avoid leaving social accounts inactive

Something to consider when deciphering a social media strategy is organisation of your activity – inactivity doesn’t deliver the right message to your audience…

If you haven’t got the time to keep all of your social media regularly updated, as mentioned above, it isn’t essential for you to have a presence on all outlets. Just sticking to those which work best for you will have a greater impact on your brand, and bottom line.

Having abandonned, inactive social media accounts is worse for your brand than not having any accounts at all!

A social media activity calendar is a useful tool. Having a plan will help to ensure that the activity ties in with your overall marketing plan, rather than rushing to put something together as you realise you haven’t been active in a while.

Track your activity and understand the results

We’ve discussed analysing how well your social media activity is doing and whether it is actually contributing to your previously determined goals. Depending on your objectives, there are a number of routes you can take to review the stats.

Analyse traffic produced by social media activity

Take the time to analyse the traffic coming to your site from social media (using Analytics ideally).

  • Has traffic increased since your social media strategy was put in place?
  • Have you achieved the targets you set out to achieve?

If your campaign is being successful, figure out why, what is working and what could you do better? If it’s not working, try to figure out why, and refine.

Track followers, interactions etc…

Another indicator of your success will of course be how many followers you have, how many likes etc… this is probably pretty self-explanatory but what you should do is compare your stats now to your stats when you started. Have you achieved the desired results?

It is also a good idea to track things like mentions, interactions etc… Gaining more followers is nice, but if you are not increasing your interactions, you may be building an inactive audience, and ultimately that is not going to help to grow your business.

Conclusion

If you are about to embark on a social media campaign, be sure to think about the overall strategy and what you want to achieve from the strategy. It is important to have a plan from the outset as it will help you save time and it will also help to benefit your bottom line – the main thing any business will be aiming to achieve from a marketing campaign.

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