Social media strategy can be a tough hurdle for a lot of businesses to overcome. After all, as a lot of entrepreneurs or marketers believe that because they use social media in their personal lives, then a lot of those skills must translate over to their business, right? However, with all the complexities that social media has to offer, there are a lot of aspects that you might not have considered for your business, which is why we’ve run through a few of the most common mistakes in coming up with your social strategy. Check them out below:
Establishing A Brand Strategy
A significant part of being successful on social comes with establishing a brand strategy. If you’re not familiar, brand strategy is essentially the guiding principles of your brand, including what it stands for as well as why others might gravitate towards it. For example, the strategy for a company like Nike is to showcase an active lifestyle that’s at the forefront of design, which people gravitate towards either as aspiring athletes or as fans of design. While it might sound simple, your brand strategy can vary quite a bit depending on your industry, including who you’re competing against as well as why others will want to gravitate towards you.
In hashing out your strategy, a smart place to start is with looking at what your brand stands for. As noted by Smart Insights, this is a top priority for gaining followers, as approximately 86 percent of consumers prefer an honest or authentic brand. To achieve this, try to step outside and envision your brand as a living, breathing thing, asking yourself questions like what type of personality does it have? Where might you find it? What are some other brands your brand would be “friends” with? The more you get into this line of thinking, the more likely your company will start to be more approachable on social media.
Building A Strong Foundation
Another important aspect a lot of businesses fall short on is having a strong social foundation. Essentially, this means trying to get over 1,000 followers that are engaged with your brand. This can vary platform to platform, especially in what companies are willing to follow a brand; for example, as noted by Hootsuite, 80 percent of Instagram users follow at least one business. Now, while you might be wondering if you should be focused more on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, the answer to that can be a little bit convoluted.
Of course, you should have a presence on all the social networks relevant to your brand (including posting regularly/daily), the actual investment you should make into each platform is dependent upon both your industry and brand. For example, Instagram is a great platform for consumer goods while LinkedIn can be more effective for b2b organizations. As you’re likely already involved in the culture of your brand, you probably have a good idea as to what the most popular channels are for social, but it’s good to diversify your options. Remember to keep an open mind and watchful eyes on social, giving you the best opportunity to develop your audience over time.
As any successful social media manager will tell you, engagement is a top metric. If you’re not familiar with the term, engagement is how often people like, comment, or share your posts, which is a core element for your content to have reach. Furthermore, engagement is also one of the top cursors to examining the authenticity of an account, as accounts with thousands of “followers” but very few likes generally come off as suspicious or fake. Quite simply, engagement can’t be faked, and unless one of your posts go viral, this is a practice that’s going to be built with time.
One of the first steps you should take when examining engagement is what’s the norm per each platform; for example, brand engagement for Instagram is at the highest of any social network, clocking in at 4.21 percent. From there, take a look at your numbers as a benchmark, then ask yourself in what areas you could improve, for example, asking more questions or utilizing specific hashtags relevant to your industry. It might also be smart to enlist the service of an engagement agency like Social Gone Viral, which has real people who engage with your posts genuinely. Engagement should be something you enjoy taking part in, giving yourself a chance to learn more about your brand as well as your audience.
Keeping The Experience Consistent
Most of us have experienced the situation where we try a little bit on social, only to see our efforts not get us to where we wanted to go. While this can be a discouraging trend, it shouldn’t be one that means you hang up the towel completely. Not only will it leave gaps in your social feeds but it also creates an experience for your audience across the board that’s lackluster. As noted by Kettlefire Creative, with 90 percent of consumers expecting a consistent brand experience across every channel, keeping your social consistent isn’t just “a nice to have” but an expectation. And while we understand that it’s easier said than done to post every day, the goal isn’t necessarily consistent quantity but quality as well.
Depending on your skillset with social, create a schedule of what you could comfortably produce every couple of days. It’s also smart to have your campaigns based on primary content (I.E., interviews, animated gifs, photo series, etc.) and secondary content (I.E., Instagram story materials and reminder Tweets). Everything you should produce should be a part of a bigger campaign or steadily improving your offerings, giving your brand a voice that’s continuing along a dialogue. Social media should be the core of starting a conversation; embrace this as an opportunity to improve over time, using it as a means of documenting your story.
What are some areas of social you’ve been able to improve? Comment with your insights below!