Do you have a social media strategy?
Do you know why you tweet, share on Facebook, and write blog posts?
If you don’t, you’re not in the minority.
Hubspot found that: ‘83% of marketers indicate that social media is important for their business.’
But ‘53% of social media marketers don’t measure their success.’
Smart Insights reports the same findings. Marketers use social media, they know that it’s important, but they don’t know how successful their campaigns are.
Consider this graph:
If you’re in the 50% who doesn’t have a clearly defined strategy, it’s time to ask yourself some questions.
“If you are unsure whether you have a Social Media strategy (it can happen!) then ask yourself the following before you click send:
Why am I doing this?
- Are my current or future customers here?
- Does my post help others?
There are other questions you could choose but, if you answer ‘don’t know’ to any of the above, you need a strategy.”
42 Reasons Why You Need a Social Media Strategy
There are plenty of businesses that do remarkably well on social media channels. Patrick Walsh recently shared this piece of information in the Guardian:
“In the past six months, 53% of my company’s revenue has come from our social media marketing efforts.”
That’s an impressive statistic, and it’s not an impossible one to aim for. Walsh’s strategy isn’t complicated:
“We conduct paid advertising on search engines and run ad-retargeting. Additionally, we use content marketing methods and email strategies. Social media can be a lucrative way to generate income.”
Let’s consider why creating a social media strategy is so important.
1. Provide You With Direction
Writing, sharing, curating – what’s the point if you don’t know why? A good social media strategy plan has clearly defined goals, and well monitored metrics for success. But it also provides your business with a sense of purpose, a roadmap that drives you towards your ideal destination.
2. You’ll Understand Your Audience’s Needs Better
Without a plan “customer demand for online services may be underestimated.” (Dave Chaffey, Smart Insights) A good social media strategy will help you know and target the right audience with the right services.
3. Social Provides Opportunities for Conversation
If you measure what works and what doesn’t, and talk with your audience too, you’ll notice an increased social media ROI. Social channels let you reach out to the end user and talk directly to them.
4. You’re Not Integrated
Lacking a social strategy can fracture a work place. Without clearly defined goals, your employees won’t know what to share or say.
5. You Can Try New Strategies
If you know what you’re doing with your social media marketing approach, you can tweak and adapt in order to make it work better. Without a strategy in place it’s hard to know for sure what works and what doesn’t.
On Forbes, Neil Patel said: “Social media changes. But are you changing with it? For example, when Facebook squashed organic reach, did you pivot? If not, you might try to be a bit more adaptive.”
6. Optimise Your Approach
Smart Insights says that a well defined strategy will aid your business in optimising “search marketing, site user experience, email and social media marketing.”
7. Data and Analytics
As Walsh in The Guardian says: “A huge mistake is not to be on top of your data and your analytics. A lack of insight can mean valuable businesses resources are being squandered.”
8. Figure Out Your Audiences’ Language
If you’re Tweeting into the void with no strategy in place then you’ll never truly understand your audience. It has a specific voice and you need to use it when sharing your content.
9. Lose the Guess Work
Target your efforts, and be sure that the work you do isn’t wasted. It’s important to understand how your content functions. Social media marketing is time intensive so don’t squander your investment.
10. More Traffic
Every website needs traffic in order to thrive. Well placed social updates will generate higher click through rates, and lead to increased conversions.
11. Better, More Engaged Visitors
There are plenty of ways to buy followers on social platforms – don’t. A better approach is to scale your social audience realistically. It’s not about the quantity of followers, traffic, or clicks, it’s about the quality.
12. Repeat Visitors (Build Relationships)
A well considered social strategy allows you to target the right audience. This leads to repeat visitors, it builds relationships, and it aids a business in developing its reputation.
13. Increased Customer Satisfaction (Better Retention)
You should notice a decrease in your bounce rate if you’re conducting social media campaigns effectively. It means that you’re reaching the right people, with the right information, and they’re happy with the content you’re providing.
14. Better Customer Service
Monitoring your social impact also means keeping on top of complaints and queries. Mistakes happen, but it’s how you deal with them that defines your brand in the eyes of your audience.
15. Use the Right Social Networks
What works on Twitter, doesn’t always work on Instagram. You need to know who your audience is, and then share your content on the relevant social platform. Again, this aids social conversions, and builds relationships too.
16. Understand Audience Demographics
This follows on from the comment above. Social media is an effective way to reach your audience. But you need to know who your ideal customers are. Otherwise it’s a wasted effort – there are so many people using social networks these days.
17. Understand Audience Psychographics
As Neil Patel says: “Psychographics tell you the why: To truly understand how to create content and products that your target audience actually wants, you’ll need to understand more about your audience’s outlook on life.”
18. Build a Library of the Right Type of Content
Content marketing isn’t really about advertising your services. It’s about adding value to your audience. Buffer is a good example of this. They post 90% non promotional content, and 10% promotional content. Social media is where people congregate – don’t swamp them with advertorial copy.
19. Build a Relevant Audience
It takes time, but slowly you’ll find that your audience becomes more engaged. A small group of loyal followers is worth far more than 1,000 uninterested readers. Build a strategy that targets people who will benefit from your business, and in return add value to it.
20. Understand When To Share Content
Developing a sound social media strategy will allow you to share content at the best times. It requires research and careful monitoring to get right.
You have to get the frequency right too. Here’s a handy image from the Digital Dope:
21. Be Consistent (Tools Help)
We’re creatures of habit and it’s worth tapping into that with your social strategies. Share content consistently. The easiest way to do this? Use automation software like Buffer.
Buffer’s interface isn’t difficult to navigate. It’s clean, simple, but effective.
It provides analytics, scheduling options, and is easily integrated across your social accounts. I need to top up my queue (!), but the screenshot gives you a good idea of how the software works.
22. Share Old Posts (Increase Traffic)
A good strategy will help you to identify what people want. You can repost old blog posts to increase traffic, and planning out your approach will let you see what you haven’t shared in a while.
23. Discover Relevant Influencers in your Niche
It’s not just about building an audience, it’s also important to find influential social media users that will share your content. They generally have pre existing audiences, and they’re well positioned to promote your content.
Jeff Bullas is a great example in the content marketing niche. If he shares your content you’ll notice a distinct spike in traffic, engagement, and mentions.
24. Compete With Big Businesses
Big businesses are already doing this. They have well structured and considered marketing strategies in place. You need a plan to stand out and be heard in an increasingly professionalised advertising field.
25. It’s a Business Strategy
Jay Baer (Convince and Convert) says: “The goal is not to be good at social media. The goal is to be good at business because of social media.” Social media has to be seen as part of your marketing strategies – not apart from it.
26. Identify Business Goals
Social media strategies let businesses discover goals and untapped potential that they might have missed. You never know what niche, or trend you might be able to capitalise on unless you’re monitoring social channels.
27. Raise Your Online Profile
This one’s simple. Social has the ability to grow your business presence, but if you want your new found influence to reflect the best parts of your business, then you need to keep on top of social mentions, and shares.
28. Understand Your Marketing Strategy
Your marketing strategy becomes tangible on social platforms. You can immediately see what’s working, and what isn’t. And you can hear it straight from the end user themselves.
29. Determine Audience Personas
You likely have an idea, or perhaps even a well drawn up audience archetype, for who your audience is. But a social media strategy can help you further hone that definition. It’s an excellent way for your business to better understand its audience.
30. Understand Your Competition Better
Any good business strategy involves understanding who your competitors are. It lets you monitor what they’re doing and how that impacts on your business. A social media campaign should encompass competitor research, and it will let you better define your business and its unique aspects.
31. Know Which Channels Work Best
The more considered your social strategy is, the easier it becomes to share content within the most effective channels. You’ll learn what works best on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
32. Determine the Type of Content to Focus On
You’ll quickly see what content works best. Every business has different needs, as do their respective audiences, and you’ll be able to decide if blog posts, infographics, or video content is most suitable for your content marketing needs.
33. Better Allocate Resources
A social media strategy is time intensive, and by default, costly. Without an effective and adaptable plan in place you’ll quickly find yourself losing money with no clear ROI.
34. Understand Your Commercial Contexts
You’ll find that it becomes easier to determine who your competitors are, your audience’s reaction to your products, services, and content making marketing more effective in the process. Information is valuable, and social media marketing is no exception to that rule.
35. Better Understand Your Vision and the Affect it has on your Audience
It isn’t always easy to define your vision as a brand. It changes frequently, but through social media strategies you’ll be able to determine how your audience perceives you. This will clearly aid you in honing your business and its philosophy.
36. Monitor Competitors Activity
A well devised social plan lets you keep on top of what your competition is doing. This lets you tweak and adapt your own approach to suit the needs of changing business contexts.
37. Monitor Brand Mentions
It’s important to know who is discussing your brand and what they’re saying. There are plenty of digital tools to help you keep on top of what’s being said about you.
38. Quickly React to Negative Publicity
Part of the allure of social media is the fact that people and brands become easily reachable. This is something you can capitalise on, and you can quickly react to negative publicity, turning a potentially harmful situation to your advantage.
39. Control and Shape Relevant Conversations
This is a benefit of content marketing in general, but it’s also something that you can apply to social media marketing. What you say has an impact and you can be savvy about this.
40. Understand How to Market Your Services Better
The better you get at social marketing, the more skillfully you can market your services. You can monitor what works, what sells, and what doesn’t and tweak your approach accordingly.
41. Understand your Business Potential Better
This ties into a lot of the above comments. Social strategies let you define not only your audience, but also your business better. They let you identify unrealised potential, frequently thanks to the way your audience uses and interacts with your products and services.
42. Capitalise on Relevant Trends (Viral Content)
Social media moves at a frenetic pace. There’s always something new trending. If you’re on top of your marketing strategies you can react quickly and in the process perhaps even go viral.
Look at what Oreo managed when the lights went out at the Super Bowl:
Remember, there’s no magic formula. What works for another business isn’t likely to work for yours. Research, understand your audience, and give them what they want. It takes time and effort but you’ll get a considerable ROI eventually – just keep plugging away.
If you need help devising a social media strategy template then get in touch. Storkey Media’s integrated marketing services encompass everything your brand needs to shine on social channels.
We offer a free consultation. Don’t hesitate. Get in touch today.