Many marketers, even the professional ones, and, might I say, especially professional ones since with the experience comes arrogance, tend not to take social media marketing very seriously, thinking it to be merely the secondary means to their advertising strategy.
There could be no mistake graver.
In the age of booming social media, you cannot succeed without building a stable Internet presence, and achieving this goal is no easy task.
Unfortunately, it's far from enough to tweet couple of times a day, be active on Facebook and post pretty photos on Instagram.
To turn your company into a well-known brand, you are going to need more than that. A complex and comprehensive social media strategy is a definite must for a company aiming to widen its Internet presence and gain new followers and customers.
Building strategy is a complex which demands lots of time and effort, but there are few things you can do right now to increase your results by numbers.
Here are six steps you can start doing today:
1. Analyze what people say about you
The easiest way to do it is Twitter mentions, but you shouldn't stop at that. Do a thorough monitoring of what people are saying about your brand in social media, take note and modify your strategy based on the data required.
Also make sure you always respond to the negative comments and shove willingness to take part in solving the issue.
This strategy will help you in developing a positive image and gain trust of your core audience and also potential followers and clients.
You can also introduce branded hashtags and encourage people to use them so the task will be a bit easier for you.
2. Define what you want
That is a crucial question. Without giving a proper answer to it, you cannot even start building a strategy, let alone successfully implementing it.
Stop for a second and think about these questions:
- Where do you want to see your brand in a year?
- What about five years?
- What do you want to achieve with the current campaign (new followers, sales increase, conversions etc)?
- If you want new followers, how many?
- If you want a sales increase, to what extent?
After you answer these questions, you can ask yourself one more question, no less important: what steps can you take right now to get there? What's preventing you from achieving your goal? Then work out the measures that can clear your path from these debris.
3. Study your competitors
Competition is a tool for growth, because it motivates you to develop, to modify your strategy and make your products better, but there is one thing that is vitally important for you in order to best your competitors: first you need to get to know them.
You need to be able to predict every step they take, every marketing move they can think of, and you'll leave your competition far behind.
That will make you truly invincible.
But let us start small.
For starters, make a list of the accounts of the companies you consider the best in your niche and which you perceive as a potential threat to your domination. After you are done, start monitoring their actions thoroughly. This way, you'll be able to see what strategy they follow and if it's working properly, study their strong points and weaknesses.
Use the knowledge you've received to make your own strategy stronger.
4. Create a posting schedule
On Facebook, you can plan the posts ahead of time. For Instagram and Twitter, you are going to need to use some outsorced tool like Hootsuite. Do not be afraid - there's plenty of free yet highly effective tools for doing the schedule.
By strategizing and planning, you'll save yourself lots of time and be finally free from the annoying question "What should my next post be?"
Create a calendar so you never get lost in your posts and are able to free your weekends and holidays from posting and yet keep your page updated.
5. Do the audit
That is a creepy term, true. However, do not understate the importance of social media audit for a company that is trying to build a strong social media presence.
With the help of social media audit, you'll be able to tell whether you are already close to the goals you've stated, what are you doing right and where did your strategy go in the wrong direction.
You should do it on the regular basis to keep it effective, too.
It is not enough to do simply a Twitter or Facebook audit:
- Make a list of platforms you are active on;
- Do the necessary updates;
- Check the engagement and other analytical data;
- Evaluate the efficiency of your strategy and make the necessary changes.
6. Communicate with your audience
Social media is all about communication, and that's exactly what you should do. Be always active in your Facebook groups and Twitter chats, respond to the Feedback and let your fans and potential customers hear your brand's voice.
Let them know you are here for them and that you care - and your following and sales will skyrocket!