Every social media site has its own specific challenges, but it's important to have a cohesive strategic approach to all of your social media activity to ensure you are maximising results.
A social media strategy can help you:
- develop a clear brand identity across social media sites;
- keep messaging regular and consistent;
- save time and effort;
- analyse your performance on social media sites;
- find your audience, build followers and make connections with influencers;
- minimise the risk of damage to your reputation.
You should start by identifying the audience you want to reach and the social media apps that can help you. Then you need to think about what you want to post, where and how often.
The amount of time you spend on each site will differ; the most important thing is to establish regular habits and make sure you are not letting time spent on social media drift. Social media activity needs to be planned, targeted and analysed just like any other marketing activity.
You can maximise results by creating a strong identity on social media that reflects your brand values and supports your business vision. This starts with the social media profiles that represent you and your business.
Make sure all of your team are speaking with one voice on social media to avoid rogue messages damaging your reputation. Create a social media policy for your business to ensure everyone knows what's expected of them.
It's well worth using social media tools, such as Hootsuite, to schedule posts in advance and coordinate them across multiple social media sites. This will support your efforts to create powerful and consistent messages and it will also ensure you are being efficient with your time.
Manage your reputation
Protecting your reputation and managing customer service online is a vital part of your social media strategy. It's not just about sending the right messages yourself; you'll also need to monitor posts and mentions that could bring your business into disrepute.
Make sure any online complaints are dealt with in a timely and effective way - it's best to respond publicly at first and then, if you can, take the communication offline in order to provide a satisfactory resolution.
Set objectives and measure results
You won't get tangible results from social media straight away but over time, your efforts will be rewarded with new contacts, higher brand exposure, leads and even sales.
In order to get there, it's good practice to set small achievable goals - such as attracting a certain number of followers - to help you stay on track.
Every social media site has its own analytics tools that can help you monitor progress. By responding to trends, taking advantage of opportunities and tweaking your strategy accordingly, you can improve your results.
Social media content produced in partnership with Luan Wise.