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3 Pillars of an Effective Social Media Strategy

social media marketing, social media strategy, social media, facebook, twitter, digital marketing, marketing plan, online marketing strategy, how to: social media marketing, effective social media strategies

Social media is the most powerful marketing tool you have. And if you use it the right way, you’ll see dramatic upswings in your business. The numbers show this. According to Social Media Examiner, 92% of marketers say social media has increased their exposure, and two-thirds have generated more leads. For 50% of the companies polled, social media led to improved sales.

And that 50% transcends category. Lawyers. Mechanics. Banks. Daycares. They all boosted their bottom lines through social media. And they all did it with a sound strategy.

Different plans. Same pillars.

While every business will approach their social media activity differently, at the core of their strategy are three considerations: audience, voice and goals.

We’d argue that without a firm grasp of all three, you run the risk of captaining a rudderless ship, floating through with no real idea of who you are, what you want or where you’re going. This will inevitably lead to one of two outcomes:

  1. You won’t see results and you’ll quit.

  2. You’ll find it too hard to come up with content and you’ll quit.

To avoid either from happening, we would advise you to put the legwork into all three pillars so you can get into that 50% of businesses that create sales through social media.

Pillar #1: Audience

Your audience is content hungry because every audience is. It’s why they’re on social media in the first place. Knowing who they are goes way beyond demographics. You should also know what they want and where they go to get it.

Start with an audience profile. Describe your follower and go as deep as you can until you can confidently articulate in one sentence why they should care about you.

Hot tip: If you watch your audience carefully and listen to what they’re saying, they’ll tell you what it is that they want to hear. This doesn’t mean you need to come up with recipe videos if you’re a lawyer, but by following and listening to your potential customers, you can talk to them in a way that interests them.

Pillar #2: Voice

Your voice should be an extension of your company personality. The feelings that people get from your channels should be the same feelings they get when they talk to you on the phone, visit you in person or hear you speak. The worst thing you can do on social media is try to be something you’re not it’s easy to spot a fake, and customers won’t appreciate it..

Imagine you’re an eCommerce company. The last thing you want to do is come across as boring – if you do, it’s likely no one will follow you or share your content. The best thing you can do, is put yourself in your customers’ shoes and have fun with your brand. Take photos of the products being used, videos of “reveals” or customer reviews.

If you’re a B2B company, it’s similar, but you (of course) need to keep professional. Keep in mind that at the end of the day, you ARE selling to people, so you need to be personable online. Create content that talks about not just the features but the benefits of the features. You can also create “use case” posts, “how-to” posts and fun customer reviews.

Hot tip:. If you’re struggling with what to say, look at what your competitors are putting out there and what your audiences are responding to, then repurpose those ideas in your own voice and compare your results to your competitors’.

Pillar #3: Goals

How will you know if you’re successful? It’s the million-dollar question with a million different answers. Exposure. Engagement. Sales. Advocates. Recommendations. Reputation. All are noble goals to work towards. But you have to pick a few and assign them real numbers:

“I’m going to increase my fan base by 25% by next year.”

“I’m going to increase traffic to my website by 35% in the next quarter.”

“I’m going to increase the number of resumes I receive by 50% this month.”

When what you want is articulated this clearly, the content starts to write itself.

Hot tip: Do a channel audit before you begin: number of followers, number of engagements per post and the kinds of engagement you’re getting. It doesn't have to be impressive ¾ it probably won’t be ¾ but you have to know where you are if you can adequately measure whether or not you’re moving in the right direction.

Bringing it together

It’s important that each of these pillars is addressed for each social media platform that you and your company want to use.

What we tend to recommend is to start by looking at your company as a whole; figure out your long and short-term goals, your audience and your voice. Once you know these pillars for your company, you’ll understand which social media platforms you should focus on. Remember: you don’t have to do everything at once.

You’ll also want to review these pillars and strategies over time. Social media can be beneficial to your company’s bottom line, but it also takes some time and efforts.

Most importantly, have fun with it!

If you’re thinking about starting social media outreach but you don’t know where (or how) to start, talk to a professional about your options. We can easily talk to you about a strategy for your goals.

#socialmedia #socialmediastrategy #marketingstrategy

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