If you have a business or personal profile you’d like to promote to a targeted audience, it’s important to set a clear strategy before putting in the hard yards. These days, display advertising (like billboards, bus shelter advertising, even an enthusiastic sandwich-board-wearer) is a less effective mode of communication, because you need to go where the noses are. And these days, noses are often found pointed at a mobile phone.
Consumers don’t want to be shouted at, or broadcasted to, anymore (did they ever?). They want you to weave a story; to engage them. And social media is the perfect platform to do this. Direct communication from business to consumer has never been easier than it is today. All you have to do is know your audience – and have the confidence that they want to know you (or your brand) too.
Follow our KISS (keep it simple … and social!) steps to make sure you slay your social media strategy.
Do your homework
Do you remember as a kid, having to get out butcher’s paper and drawing out a project brainstorm? This is also the perfect way to plan out and nail your social media strategy.
Start by looking at yourself and what you currently offer through your digital and social media. What is working for you? What isn’t? Then take a look at your competitors and give them the same treatment. If there is another brand that you admire on social, figure out what it is about them that makes them ‘sing’.
Create a content plan that encompasses all the messaging you’d like to get across to your audience, as well as what you think would be a value-add for them. Perhaps it’s broader content related to what you offer, think ‘how-tos’ and ‘hacks’ that will make it enticing for your audience to follow along. Go as far as creating a calendar for this content, to make sure you’re providing consistent updates that are relevant and timely for your followers.
Our advice is to stick to the ‘20% rule’. Basically, for every five posts, only one should be directly promotional of your brand. The other four should provide alternative value to your community, like education, information or a relatable human connection with your team members.
Identify your audience
Use data to help direct your strategy to the people who matter to you. It’s worth keeping in mind that you should be looking for an audience of potential consumers. It’s not just about getting up vanity metrics like likes and follows, we don’t want fans on social, we want buyers. It’s better to have a smaller, dedicated audience who believes and needs your business, than a large following who aren’t interested in your messaging.
To do this, get inside the head of your consumers. What problem do you solve for them? What are their demographics and behaviours? Once you know this you can figure out what tone of voice your brand should use to best get across to this audience, then tailor your content to suit.
The better you know your audience, the better you can give them what they want. And when you deliver messaging and content that resonates with your audience, it will grow organically and authentically.
Pick a platform
Smashing out an amazing social media strategy is about playing hard – not working hard. Now you know your audience it’s easy to figure out where they like to hang out. So head there and have fun with them.
Don’t try and be everywhere to everyone – the best advice when managing your social media presence is to pick one or two channels and dominate them. You won’t find your teen audience on Twitter. You won’t find males aged over 35 on TikTok. So go where your audience is and focus on that.
It’s essential to maintain your owned channels – be responsive, be proactive, be reactive. Just be there. So if you spread yourself too thin, across channels that perhaps aren’t even of value to your targeted audience, you’ll waste precious resources and time.
Create killer content
To gain followers – and keep them – it’s important to deliver content that’s valuable to them, consistently. That could look like:
- Information and education about a product, service or industry.
- Interactive content. Ask questions, polls, invite opinions.
- User-generated content. If someone shares something about your brand or profile, it’s a great idea to on-share with a public thanks or acknowledgement. This kind of social proof is a great asset to your brand.
Be creative! Have fun with your content. Not all of it has to be polished or have high production value. Audiences care most about honesty and the human element, so if you can give it a go and be open with your fans, go for it.
Measure and refine. Take stock of where your socials are weekly or monthly. What was your most popular content? What fell flat? Let your data guide and refine your strategy over time.
And above all – don’t forget to include rich media in your content. This means images, photo carousels, videos, or links to blogs and articles. The average social media user scrolls their way up to about a third of the Q1 building every day, so make sure your content can capture their attention!
marry @ me?
Social media got its name for a reason. This is not broadcast or advertising, this is a place for you to engage and encourage your audience directly. Be responsive to all communication via your channels. This means answer every DM as quickly as you can, respond to every comment (good and bad), and show your audience it’s a two-way street.
Be proactive with your channels. Is there a question that keeps coming up in your community? Create content that addresses it. Is there a current trend or something topical that relates to your brand? Harness it.
You are building a community with social media. As such, networking and collaborating with others is key. Are there like-minded brands or profiles you can align yourself with? Work as a team to better your promotions and deliver more for your communities.
This may seem obvious, but humans connect best with other humans. Be yourself, show yourself, and share openly with your community.
Reach new heights
Once you know, grow. There is no limit to where you can take your profile on social media. So if you feel like you’ve found your audience, and are doing an amazing job of creating content that resonates, it might be time to let new users discover you.
You can do this with a smart and targeted social media advertising strategy that can target new audiences for you. This can be done by targeting people via location, interests, occupation – even family situation. Once users have engaged with your channels you can retarget them in the future, letting them know of promotions or news about your brand.
Rinse and repeat
Social media is a 24/7 beast, so you should never sleep on your social strategy. Once you’ve completed the first six steps, go back to the start and do it all again. Whip the butcher’s paper back out and audit yourself, has your strategy been rolling out as planned? Where is there room for improvement or changes? Have you got new audiences or unexpected audiences that you may need to pinpoint and cater to? The best brands on social are constantly changing and adapting to meet the changing needs of their audiences.
If you need help slaying your social media channels, from the step one audit and strategy, through content creation and advertising, contact the Promedia team. We’ve been established on the Gold Coast since 1983 and would love to collaborate to communicate your message clearly and effectively. Send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our homepage for more info.