Social Media Strategy: 5 Takeaways to Get it Right
It’s exciting to have a business or nonprofit and move to the step of actively promoting your group. And, as you know, when whether you hire for your marketing services or do it yourself, it’s essential to develop a social media strategy. While it may be tempting to “just post” on social media, a social strategy gives your organization focus. For instance, with a plan, you have a clear understanding of your target audience, and what success means. As an example, you could ask yourself if you want more likes on your Facebook page or visits to your website for success.
Further, when you develop a social strategy, you also have the chance to understand—with metrics—if you achieve your goals. Meaning, your posts and engagements have to drive some expected results. So, for example, it could be that you want to get more leads or, in the case of a nonprofit, more donors. Therefore, the comments, likes, and shares with a social media strategy drive you to ensure you achieve it. And by getting more specific about the plan and metrics for your marketing, program, operations, or fundraising teams, the better the execution.
1. What social media strategy makes sense?
No business or global nonprofit is the same, and so every social strategy is different. For example, who is your target audience? Are you looking at a worldwide market, or do you want local patrons and supporters? Also, in your social strategy, as was mentioned above, are you seeking people to like and engage with your social networking pages and accounts? Or, perhaps, you want to lead people from your social sites to your website and convert people into leads?
So the first step is developing your social media goals and creating the plan to achieve them. As you see with industry leader, Sprout Social, after you develop a social media strategy, you then move to the development of the 30-day social media plan. Ultimately, the goal and plans for your social strategy have to make sense for your business or nonprofit. And, again, no two groups are the same. So, what that means is that what may work well for one may not work well for another.
2. Getting a firm idea about your target audience
Our team loves social media, and it’s something that we like to have a lot of fun with one of our brands. However, we also have a supply chain brand, and we have to be frank with you, that brand is a lot more serious. For our marketing services, we engage people on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. However, for our partner brands, we understand that the audience is not in those places. So, we take a different marketing approach and social media strategy when working with others.
Remember, understanding your target audience is vital for your sales or fundraising. And, knowing where your target audience is on social, is also crucial for your social strategy. Back to our example, if we had our supply chain brand on Facebook, we wouldn’t get any engagement. However, Facebook is where we can have quirky fun for our marketing group. Also, we know that women outnumber men on Pinterest, and LinkedIn is great for industry-specific content. A great idea that you should try is developing an audience persona. By doing so, you create a much clearer idea and picture of your audience.
3. What and when are you sharing is always a great question
What to share is something that you have to consider carefully. Our social media strategy involves a deliberate choice to show our comic and nerdy side for our marketing brand. However, for your business or global nonprofit, you might prefer more straightforward content to share. Whatever you do, our best recommendation for you on what to share is to post content that is of value. Also, in the content that you share, it’s essential to be authentic as a brand. So, if humor isn’t your thing, don’t do it. It won’t come across well.
The other top thing to factor is when to post. Candidly, we have found that it’s a bit of science and art. However, there is research out there on the best times to post on social media. As explained by Buffer, the best approach is to understand the behaviors of your audience. As an example, if your business is sports-related, most fans get on social right before, during, and just after a sports event. Travelers tend to be on social media on weekends. So, a social media strategy has to incorporate these realities, and each audience is different. Nevertheless, know your audience!
4. Keep an eye on the social strategy of your competitors
Just as you would when you develop a business plan, you need to do it for a social media strategy. In other words, you have to know what your competitors do on social. By keeping an eye on the social media accounts of your competitors, you have a first-hand look at how well—or not—they do. If you wonder how to do a competitive analysis on social media, you’re in luck. Hootsuite has an excellent template that you can use for a social media competitive analysis.
One of the critical reasons why understanding your competitors is essential, aside from knowing what they post, is because it allows you to spot opportunities. For example, you might find that Facebook is saturated with your competitors. But, perhaps your business is related to photography, Instagram, and even Pinterest might be excellent opportunities for you to focus your social strategy. Taking the time to get a handle on competitors gives you a chance to see a road you might not have considered.
5. Metrics to assess your success and areas for improvement
Finally, metrics and data give you the insights that you need to ensure the success of your social media strategy. Also, when you look and evaluate information, you have a chance to see what works and what needs improvements. And, it then offers you an opportunity to make tweaks and adjustments. For social media, one of the critical items that you want to understand on any social networking site is the reach of your post. You might know that organic reach continues to fall. Frankly, that will continue as tech companies push marketers to pay. Therefore paying to boost or sponsor excellent content from your site is an excellent approach to expand your reach to your target audience.
Still, there are other things that you should consider as well. For example, you want to know your engagement, which is the number of interactions with what you post. And, what’s necessary for good social media strategy performance is to have a solid ratio by dividing the social interactions by the number of people who saw your post. It is essential, for instance, so you understand if people care about the content and responding to it so you can make course corrections if necessary. Also, you want to know the number of clicks for your company brand (sales funnel) and content (engagement). Fortunately, many excellent social media management tools exist as well as native analytics to help you understand this information in detail.
In sum, by taking the time to get a detailed and unique social media strategy plan, engagement and sales will increase for your business or nonprofit.