In 2016 social media are going to be the main advertising channel for businesses trying to build themselves a strong follower base.
Nowadays there is no question, whether you should be on social media or not - now it's extremely important to find a way to surpass your competitors and widen your presence to all the platforms that matter - namely, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and Foursquare for local businesses.
Harsh competition you are going to face at each of these platforms means you are in need of a strategy that will allow you to stand out and learn to attract and engage people who could potentially become your customers.
This article will introduce you to the seven steps needed for a strong strategy of building a social media presence.
Take a look at them:
1. Assessing your current achievements
Every commander who's marching his troops to battle needs to know his army's strong and weak spots - otherwise he won't be able to build a winning strategy.
In our case, you are the commander who needs to do the assessment of his resources before the battle with competitors for the potential customers' attention.
Here are the questions you will need to answer:
- Which networks you already use?
- Are your profiles on these platforms done right (i.e. optimized, provided with decent descriptions and photos, updated regularly)?
- Which ones work best for you and why?
2. Define the customers you need
To truly succeed with your advertising campaign you need to clearly define your ideal customers, which means filling the following characteristics:
- Where do they live?
- How old are they?
- Where do they work?
- What are their interests?
- How much do they earn?
- Are they men or women?
The more you narrow the search down, the more effective will your campaign prove to be.
3. Define the idea you want to deliver
Every marketer and every brand need to deliver a statement with their campaign. What are the problems that you offer to solve? How can you make this world a better place? Why should people choose you, and not your fierce competitor John Black and his Darkness, Ltd.?
You need to define a trait that makes you unique. That is exactly the trait that is going to help you beat your competitors.
Use the data acquired in the process of defining your ideal customers to formulate the brand's idea that will appeal to them.
4. Create high-quality content
Content is what your potential followers are here for. If the contest is good, engaging and interesting, they will be interested in your company enough to scroll through the products you offer and make a purchase.
That is why you need only unique, high-quality content of the following types:
- Blog posts;
- Expert opinions;
The more engaging is your content - the more followers, leads and traffic, and, ultimately, more money you get.
5. Use online tools
You need to regularly update all of your profiles in social networks, yet time is money and you already have a lot on your plate.
That is the reason why you need to seek help of social media management tools - there are plenty of those online, some of them even are free.
With social media management tools, you can schedule your posts in advance (which is especially useful for Twitter which doesn't offer the option inside the platforms). That option is also the best way to go on that vacation you've dreamt about but never found time due to all that mess with social media.
6. Track your performance
Remember the commander and the army metaphor? Now we'll need to return to that one more time. You've built a strategy and started implementing it; however, your job is not quite done yet.
What you need is to assess your progress and find out which social platforms are bringing you the results and which ones are stagnating; which posts get engagement and which ones don't.
After you get the patterns behind your targeted audience's behavior, you'll quickly be able to double the results you are already getting.
Pay attention to the following points:
- Time spent on the page;
- Conversion rate;
7. Do the optimization
No one is without fault - and you undoubtedly will make an error once in a while. The right strategy here is abstain from panic and do the homework: track your results, find the faulty line that led to you making a mistake and optimize or modify your strategy in order to fix it.
Social media are growing fast - in other words, constantly changing. This means you should constantly change, too.
The only thing that makes the progress possible is movement. Movement is what you need to surpass your competitors.
Through movement you become better than you were yesterday.
Constantly modify your strategy, develop, experiment, find new ways of attracting and engaging your audience - and you'll be unstoppable!