Social media is not only a means to find new followers, but also a platform to leverage loyal fans and to provide high levels of customer service. Yet many businesses still either 1) ignore social completely (fingers in ears and all that) or 2) have no strategy and simply use social media to broadcast un-engaging news.
In this post I wanted to share with you an overview of what you should be thinking about for your social media in 2016.
So what makes a good social media strategy?
What are you trying to achieve? Social media is not always just about finding more and more people to follow you. Be specific about your short and longer terms goals. Some example goals are as follows:
- Increase brand awareness
- Become an authority on a specific subject
- Provide quick and effective customer service – product information, answering queries and dealing with complaints
- Support your business suppliers
- Promote product launches and deadlines
- Add value to loyal customers
- Driving qualified traffic back to your website
- Boost your content marketing strategy
- Grow your database (email)
And I could go on… But by being specific, even if your goals change over time or you have a couple in mind, you can start to think about the next sections more strategically.
Audience & Platform
Now that you know what you are trying to achieve you should be able to identify who you are talking to. In turn this will allow you to work out how your target audience would be using social media and how you may connect with them. You might have several channels, for example, twitter might be great for building up rapport with your suppliers/network and Facebook might be better for your end users. If you are selling B2B then LinkedIn might provide the best opportunity since they possibly have a marketing team running their social media channels.
Deciding on what content to produce should now be a much easier exercise since you know who you are talking to (audience and platform) and why (your business goals). If you are trying to build a loyal community, focus on discussion and encourage your followers to get involved. If you are looking for reach then post content that has value, relevance and emotion to encourage shares. Just like any other other forms of marketing all original content must be on-brand, using the correct language, imagery and tone of voice.
If we go back to my original list of goals above I have just quickly jotted down some quick content suggestions next to a few of them to help get you started.
- Become an authority on a specific subject. Create articles or a series of articles, this is going to be more about evergreen content than viral.
- Promote product launches and deadlines. Consider targeted paid advertising or an engaging competition.
- Adding value to loyal customers. Set up a group on Facebook or LinkedIn and produce content of value to your customers.
It’s always good to draw up a customer service policy. This doesn’t need to be overly complicated but can simply be a document with high level details of what to do and say when a customer asks a tricky questions, posts “out of hours” or makes a complaint. This should be regularly reviewed.
How often you post on social media depends on your overall goals and the type of content that you are producing. In general, consistency and quality is more important than frequency. However social media isn’t open just between 9 and 6 and your audience (B2B and B2C) will be engaging on social media almost all waking hours. Whilst it is possible to schedule posts out of hours there are also advantages of being able to respond to posts/questions/shares/comments at all times. If your customers are engaging with you between the hours of 6-9 weekdays them you must find a way to manage your own activity accordingly.
Social media is easily accessible to all business and with a proper strategy and focus your content will be easier to produce and your results easier to measure. We’d love to help you with your social media in 2016 and can provide everything from strategy and training right up to content production and full social media management. Please contact us if you have any questions at all.