The competition for attention is fierce. No matter where you look – Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus — standing out isn’t easy.
But, did you know that 97% of consumers say they now turn to the Internet before making contact with a business? That makes differentiation more important than ever before. As a small business owner or entrepreneur, you know you need to maintain an established social media presence. It’s how and where you’re going to connect with potential customers, sell your product or a service. But, showing up on social media isn’t enough. You have to engage and entertain an already over stimulated society. And not just entertain but provide fresh, relevant and timely content. But all of that takes time, and as we know — time is money. That’s where a social media strategy comes in. Creating an integrated strategy will keep you focused and agile. It will also allow you to listen, respond and meet the needs of your social media fans and followers in real time.
So, where do you begin? Below are ten ideas from a recent presentation and one of my most popular posts. With close to 16,000 shares, “10 Steps to Creating a Winning Social Media Strategy” is sure to get your creative juices flowing. So let’s dive in!
10 Social Media Strategy Ideas
1. Know your Target Market
If I asked you who your target market is, would you know the answer? (Hint: It’s not everyone) To succeed, you need to know who you’re talking with. Get to know your audience. Understand their needs and the problems you solve. If you haven’t done your research before hopping on social media, then now is the time. Understand exactly how, when and why your target audience is using social media. Don’t assume you have the answers. Do your homework.
2. Craft Your Content
As you begin to identify your exact niche, you’ll find that creating specific content becomes much easier. And once your message is specific, you have the chance to do much more than communicate. Strive to create content that gets out of the head of your audience, and into their hearts.
3. Create a Cross- Platform Strategy
The most successful companies leveraging social media are expanding their influence to several platforms. To gain exposure and traction, create an integrated social media strategy. This is one that combines multiple social media platforms, leveraging each one in a specific way.
4. Keep Your Branding Consistent
When people land on your social networks, do they know it’s you? As you set up accounts on different social media networks, ensure that your logo, color scheme, fonts and graphics are consistent. Whether it’s a branded Facebook cover or your Twitter profile picture, your look, feel and message should be easy to identify.
5. Mix It Up
Are you posting the same content in the same way day in and day out? STOP! Don’t just stick with the same old “picture with a caption” format. Test questions, large images, links to articles, and videos. Just as you’re not one dimensional, neither is your audience. Get creative!
6. Engage Your Audience
Once you begin to capture the attention of your audience through your content, make sure they feel special. Respond, interact, and stay involved in the conversation. Your audience wants to get to know you. Let them!
7. Follow the 70-30 Rule
The 70-30 rule follows this strategy: maintain seventy percent engaging, interactive and entertaining content and thirty percent promotional. Is this a hard and fast rule? No. What it is an easy way to audit your current content. How often are you posting or tweeting self-promotional information? Maintain a high content value strategy and always keep your eye on your target market. Before you post, ask — is this relevant, timely, beneficial?
8. Check Your Analytics
Do you know what’s working on your social media channels and what’s not? Research should be the backbone of any social media strategy. If you haven’t looked into your analytics, now is the time. From Facebook insights to Google and Pinterest analytics, there is a wealth of data at your fingertips.
9. Keep Up With Industry Trends
Maintaining a finger on the pulse of trending topics and stories relevant to your target market should always be at the top of your to-do list. Share breaking news or a trending topic with context around the content. What does it mean to your fans and followers? How will it impact their purchase decision? Give your potential clients the details they need to make an educated decision while positioning your business as a credible and reliable resource.
10. Reassess, Revise and Rework
Social media is fluid. This means your strategy must remain agile and flexible. Take the information you cull from your analytics and adjust your strategy. That’s the beauty in social media. If you stay alert, there’s always an opportunity to adjust your sails.
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