What Sets Successful Businesses Apart from Other Competitors?
Most likely you’ve already seen some brands online gain a lot of traffic and influence through social media. You’ve also most likely come across some social media platforms that may not be as successful or just flat out lack engaging content.
You may wonder what separates successful campaigns from others and what are they doing differently to continually attract an engaging audience. The truth is a strong social media strategy is the basis for all successful social media campaigns.
The three elements for an unbeatable online campaign are: Planning, Development and Execution. Today as a three part series I’m going to write first about the basic planning stage and the process of constructing a solid social media plan. To do this you need to understand that a great strategic plan requires knowing who your audience is, what social media platform(s) they consistently interact on, budget and attention to detail.
Businesses that ignore this miss out on huge marketing opportunities through various marketing channels. The key to marketing is a call to action from clients and consumers. However, if they are not well prepared before the execution stage, (Not putting time into social media research and developing compelling content), than you can expect their results to mirror their efforts.
Developing an Unbeatable Social Media Strategy
Social media offers many ways to promote, advertise and educate individuals on your business. If done right you will be able to provide shareable content for users and have authentic engagement with your social media audience. In turn you will create a strong network where people will actively back and endorse your product.
A. Who is your Social Audience?
Before you go about writing your strategy you need to know who your target market is and where they are. There’s no sense in marketing to a demographic of females 18 – 25 on Instagram if your product is more geared towards males 30 – 45 on Facebook. You can have the best plan on the planet but if you don’t know who your demographic is then your efforts will fall short. You need to know the typical profile of a person who’s interested in the brand. Sometimes even geographic and psychographic info can play a role in determining your market. I usually start with the following questions…
- Where does the client or consumer look for info?
- What are they’re goals?
- Which social networking sites do they use and are most popular?
- What are the time and peak hours at which your audience is interacting?
- What are the preferred industry publications or sites associated with the product or business? (This question is very important! I will discuss why later in the article)
- What are the issues that consumers or clients are faced with?
When starting off I find the easiest way to answer these questions is to pretend that you are the consumer or client yourself. This process obviously involves some research so go ahead and roll up your sleeves : ) I do promise though after doing this you will have gained more clarity and a clearer goal of where to focus your efforts.
B. Setting your Goals
After completing the first step you should have a better understanding on who your target market is. You should have an idea of what kind of goals you are going to set. Take the time to sit down and brainstorm some ideas of how you can make your social networks more interactive and engaging for your audience. Some of your ideas may include…
- Decide which media platforms to use and prioritize on platforms that showcase the majority of your market
- Boost brand awareness
- Develop or strengthen social engagement
- Increasing Facebook fans, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest followers and Youtube viewers
- Developing compelling content
- Sharing key messaging and strengthening presence
- Making connections with other businesses and professionals
- Creating or strengthen company blog
- Boost more traffic to website
- Generate and track leads on platforms
- Increase your email subscriber list
- Follow social media analytics and ROI (return on investment)
(Remember when I said above that it is important to know what sites and publications your audience goes to? Well if you know this and study the sites and publications you will know what kind of content that interests them. This makes coming up with new ideas and writing content a whole lot easier.)
C. Producing Attractive & Shareable Content
Once you’re finished the task of prioritizing your goals it’s time to write some refreshing content. Keep in mind while writing your content that you always want to give something of value to the client or consumer. The types of content you’ll be writing for should include:
- Create Facebook content & images for posts to increase fan engagement
- Create Twitter content to drive traffic to website
- Images for Instagram and Pinterest
- Create videos for Youtube
- Create content for blog posts
- Harness LinkedIn and Google+ to establish brand and promote product within professional community
- Create slideshows and infographics
D. Using Other Social Media strategies to Help Increase Your Reach
There are tons of different ways to increase your reach but you should definitely focus first on the list of goals you’ve made and prioritized. Focus on the ones that will give you the greatest ROI and social media presence online. When you have completed these goals we can look at what other businesses do to boost their social media reach.
Increasing Your Social Media Reach
If you’d like to increase your social media reach you can include these ideas within your strategy:
- Consider allocating a budget for social media advertising and social media tools i.e Facebook ads, Hootesuite
- Follow the followers of other similar industry leaders on Twitter
- Provide valuable content such as: e-book, white papers, slideshare presentation or webinar for liking, following or registering an email address
- Implementing a promotion or contest on Facebook or Twitter which requires registration with email address
- So you’ve done the hard part now it’s time to set up tracking all your social media platforms. You should know:
- The size of your social media audience on all social media platforms.
- Keep track of the leads generated from social media
- Keep track of Facebook shares
- Keep track retweets
- Keep track of website and blog traffic
- To increase brand awareness and presence implement an Instagram contests or promotion
E. Track, Measure and Enhance Your Social Media ROI
Listed above are the basic KPI’s that you should track and measure for your social media strategy. There are other metrics that you can look at which can help you improve your social media efforts. As you continue to develop your social media strategy it will become apparent as to which metrics you will want to pay more close attention too. As I said before, start with the goals that you’ve listed and soon you will soon begin to see your audience grow!