When it comes to contemporary business strategy, social media is crucial; whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube, access to various social media platforms, and the exposure they can bring, is often the difference between success and failure. Indeed, Smartinsights.com recently revealed that almost half of all social media users cited such networks as an influence upon what they bought and which companies they interacted with, while mobile internet usage increased by more than 60% between 2012 and 2014. Now, two years later, that number is likely to be even higher.
Social media is an integral way for companies and their customers to communicate, and one of the very best ways to create and maintain a presence. Are you handling your access to social media in the appropriate fashion? Could your social media strategy do more to assist your quest to build that rapport?
Exploring crucial elements of your social media strategy
Social media strategy is a means of defining how social media can be used to further your business, a way for companies to identify their aims and areas of success for competitors, target their social media marketing, and keep track of progress, as well as monitoring what works and what doesn’t.
In short, no company thinking of entering the social media market should ever do so without a social media strategy, or without first considering how various networks work best – to do so would risk handing your competitors any success you’d been hoping for.
Research, and understanding your business’s aims
Perhaps the most crucial element of a social media strategy is the research and understanding that must take place right at the beginning of your journey; how do your competitors use social media to further a message or product? Who is your target audience, and how do those customers access social media in an effort to connect with retailers and businesses?
Being able to directly appeal to your target audience is vital for creating a rapport and to encourage them to click the “like” button, while being able to understand trends, even at this point, will stand you in good stead for the content you’re going to upload in the future. Now is also a great time to start to understand your business better, and to think carefully about its aims and objectives, and the goals you’d like to achieve via social media marketing; to make social media work for you, you must first identify what it is you’d like to achieve via social media.
Analyze the latest social media updates
During the creation of a social media strategy, it’s essential to analyze the evolution of such platforms to determine where your network could take you. Take VoIP, or Voiceover Internet Protocol, for example; created by telecommunications expert and entrepreneur Donald Burns and his team at magicJack, VoIP has quickly become a staple for businesses needing to keep in touch with customers and clients from all around the world. Indeed, according to Toolbox.com, some 79% of businesses were accessing VoIP services by 2014, proving how popular and convenient such a service is.
Now, social media networks are seeing its benefits, with Facebook and recently acquired platform WhatsApp leading the way with hosted calls to users; it doesn’t seem too much of a coincidence that the previously quoted figure of 79% happens to reflect the number of American adults choosing to access social media platforms. Burns and his team could see the potential of VoIP, and you should be able to see the benefits of social media and its constant evolutions too.
Creating the content that fits best
Social media success is not only dependent upon whom you speak to and the platforms you use to reach them, but also the message you’re relaying and the form they take.
In your strategy, you must discuss the kinds of social media marketing you’re going to undertake, whether that’s viral campaigns, text only posts, images, or video. How will you present information for digestion, and how are your followers likely to interact with such content?
It’s worth noting at this point that posts containing images tend to have a far larger engagement than those without, so whenever appropriate, do try to use photographs or graphics as well as text. It’s not all about content either; even the times of day that content is placed can work in your favor, or to your disadvantage.
Consumer research must always be followed up with analysis regarding when your target audience usually access social media.
Finally, use your social media content to humanize your brand, and remain focused on the messages you’re sending out across the network; there’s a lot at stake here.
When it comes to social media, following trends and remaining consistent are absolutely vital, and hopefully you’ve formulated a strategy that will help you excel at both of those things – and more besides.
You must remember to stay true to your brand, and to its persona, even though social media convention may be telling you that it’s okay to be somebody else; this will dictate everything from tone and content, to your continued success on social media platforms.
Above all, try to have fun; social media is a great way to network, even if there is a more serious reason for your need to update that Facebook status. Failing to come up with a social media strategy could hand business to your competitors, and lose valuable moments to interact with consumers – don’t let yourself lose out now.