How-Tu Tuesdays: Create Your 2015 Social Media Strategy
As 2014 draws to a close, now is the time to reflect on your social media success from the year and plan for 2015. What better way to do that than with a simple social media strategy, courtesy of Tuminds founder Rene Looper.
What is a social media strategy?
A social media strategy is a guide which allows businesses to plan and enhance their online presence. It should take into consideration relevant social media platforms, as well as the wider elements of digital marketing including websites, SEO, pay-per-click, email marketing, forums and blogs. It can be a simple one-pager or a 20 page document, but ultimately it should be a tool designed to help individuals and businesses utilise and manage social media more effectively.
Should it be a static or dynamic document?
The strategy document should include a start date and an evaluation date. A business should always set aside time to review its social media practice and identify what has been achieved using social media. If in six months’ a business hasn’t succeeded in its goals, it might need to alter its strategy.
Why is a social media strategy important?
Social media should be viewed as a business tool, however it will only be at its most effective when used in a strategic way. Posting sporadic, ad-hoc or purely promotional updates does not make the most of social media. It is crucial to fully engage in the social side of social media.
Social media is all about reputation and relationship building, as well as opening channels for two-way communication. This means frequent posting and planning for negative comments. Failing to handle social media strategically can backfire, as out-dated profiles or unanswered queries can leave customers or prospects with a bad impression when they seek you out online.
How do you develop a social media strategy and measure what you have achieved?
To create your social media strategy, follow our simple 4-step structure!
1 – Set your goals
It is vital that you identify what you want to achieve with social media, whether it’s improved customer service and engagement, increased sales and website hits, or enriched PR and brand communications. Setting specific goals gives you a benchmark for your progress and helps to inform your choice of platforms.
2 – Choose your platforms
Select only a few platforms – don’t go for them all, as you can risk diluting your approach by over-stretching your resources. Those you choose should be suited for your target audience, your type of business and the goals you want to achieve. Think about the customers you want to reach, how best to reach them, your brand’s tone of voice and how it will resonate with your target market.
Different platforms have different benefits – Facebook is great for sharing content with customers, Twitter is a brilliant for finding new leads, Pinterest is good for driving website traffic and LinkedIn is great for B2B interactions or finding new staff. Using your platforms, include ‘calls-to-action’ in your posts, based on what you are setting out to achieve, such as subscribe to our newsletter.
3 – Identify your manager(s)
Though it is a lot less expensive than traditional marketing techniques, social media isn’t free. Maintaining platforms is a commitment as they have to be kept up to date, therefore the biggest investment is time. You have to decide who is going to manage your social media platforms, and ensure that they collaborate with the rest of the team to source and generate original content.
4 – Choose your metrics
Measuring your progress enables you to establish if you are on track and whether you need to alter your strategy. There are many useful analytical tools available, including Google Analytics, Google Alerts, SproutSocial, Mention, Facebook Statistics and Hootsuite. Using social media for promotions? Try using a specific code to track the conversion rate of your campaign, e.g. Facebook10 for 10% off.
Our strategy for 2015 is to create more original content just like this, so we hope you have found it helpful! The Tuminds Team wishes you a very merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!