How-Tu Tuesday: Creating A Successful Social Media Strategy
Social media drives over 31% of all referral traffic online. This is a large portion of overall referrals and is on par with search referral traffic. If you pay attention to your SEO, then you should definitely be giving the same attention to your social strategy.
Check out the top 5 tips below which can be applied to any platform, for any industry:
1. Who is your audience? Where are they hanging out?
These are the two initial questions you need to ask yourself. Once you choose a network and have made sure it is a platform being used by your target audience, play around with it and get to know how it works. Establish the basics by becoming familiar with the following:
- Status updates
2. Understand How Businesses Use Social
“Spying” on other businesses in your industry can be the best way to see how it’s done. You don’t want copy their posts, but you can get a feel for the tone and types of messages that you should be communicating to your customer via social, by looking at what other in your industry are doing. Later on, when you are more advanced in your social activity, looking at competitors’ profiles will also highlight how well you are doing.
Most businesses use social networks to drive traffic to their website. In order to do that you should be creating as many types of interaction as possible where users can click a link. This will hold the consumer’s interest and provide them with another touchpoint for your business.
3. Content, Content, Content
Not all social media sites are based on content, but most are, and it is this content that is going to encourage engagement and interaction from the user, and most importantly, drive people back to your website, by clicking the link.
The type of content you share depends on your industry and what your target market is going to find most interesting and useful to them. Whether it be tutorials, blog posts or guides, your content should reflect your brand and relate to the services/products you offer.
Knowing the right content to post will also be helped by the number of likes, comments and shares you receive, highlighting which posts gain the most engagement and drive users to your website.
Once you have your content and a regular schedule set in place for posting, you need to stick to your plan and execute your strategy effectively. Irregular activity will not give you the results you want from social media and will not encourage users to follow you and interact.
There are a number of platforms that can be used to help you remain on track with your strategy. Scheduling and monitoring platforms such as Hootsuite, Tweetdeck and Hubspot (amongst many others) are extremely useful for publishing automated posts. This includes all messages which are planned for and go out regularly, including encouragement to sign up to newsletters, to read published content on your website and themed posts based on the day of the week or seasonal holidays.
However, there are some posts which should not be scheduled in this way and require more effort. This mainly refers to curated content shared across your platforms, as time should be spent sourcing the best content to share with your followers. Interaction is another element which cannot be automated and still remain authentic. Whenever commenting or engaging in any type of conversation, always do it yourself and in the present time.
5. Determine Success
Success means different things to different people. So in order for you to define what is a successful result from social media, you should firstly set your goals and expectations before you implement your strategy.
Data doesn’t lie and after a set amount of time, you should review your metrics. The type of metrics and success factors will differ depending on the platform. For example, if you were determining your success on Facebook, you may want to look at the following:
- Page likes – the more page likes, the bigger the audience you have and potentially a higher rate of people clicking through
- Status likes – highlights a growth in audience as friends of followers who like a post also see it
- Status shares – the more shares gained, the wider the reach
- Comments – indicates engagement and signifies how well-received and “socially sound” you are on the network