Successful marketing is all about making connections. Whether through partnerships with influencers or an active and interesting blog, you need people to engage with your brand.
But what’s the best way to grab - and keep - your audience’s attention?
Why develop a social media strategy?
According to a 2022 report from Datareportal.com, there are 4.7 billion active social media users. That’s 59% of the world population, an audience no business person can afford to ignore.
However, simply having a presence on social media isn’t going to be enough. Sending out random Tweets and Instagram posts is like yelling in a busy crowd - your messaging will just get lost.
A social media content strategy will ensure your brand gets seen by the right people. It’ll help you understand what they’re looking for, when they’re looking, and create content that gets viewed and shared again and again.
Building a solid foundation
An effective strategy requires preparation. You’ll need to put some thought into what your strategy will look like. Start off by asking yourself the following questions.
What are your goals?
It’s likely that your ultimate goal is to increase revenue. However, as part of developing a social media strategy, you’ll want some more specific goals that you can monitor.
If you’re a new business or looking to expand to new territories, you should aim to boost awareness. Few people buy from a company they’re unfamiliar with. If this is your aim, consider setting the goal of increasing traffic to your website.
Perhaps you’ve got a new product launch coming up and you want to ensure a lot of people see it, consider focusing on getting people to sign up to your newsletter. That way, when your new product comes out, everyone who has signed up will instantly be made aware.
Goals can be about social media itself, too. The connections you make between your business and your customers are vital. But don’t underestimate the power of connections between customers. Social media is a space for people to talk amongst themselves about your brand. You can build a community around your brand. So, why not set goals like ‘hit 50k followers on Instagram or ‘get 1000 people to tweet using your hashtag’?
These are just a few possible goals you may have. Choose two or three specific goals that suit your brand and products. More than that makes it difficult to execute and monitor success. Once you have these in place you can start to think about employing creative automation technologies.
Who are you targeting?
Your content must speak to your audience. Therefore, you need to know who that audience is! This will guide your decisions around what kind of content you create and where you publish it.
Here are some things to think about.
- What age range are you targeting?
- Which platforms do your audience frequent?
- Where is your audience in the real world?
- What are their interests?
- What is their job and income?
- What other demographic information will inform your content strategy?
You can use the answers to these questions to create imaginary buyer personas. These can be utilized to craft content with unique appeal to your potential customers.
To create useful buyer personas, you need data. Ask customers to complete surveys about themselves and their feelings about your business, or look at who engages most with your competitors.
Which social media platforms should you use?
Once you know your goals and your target audience, you’ll be closer to being able to choose the right social media platforms. You’ll also want to consider the relative strengths of each platform and how they gel with your brand.
Let’s explore some of the platforms available and their advantages.
This platform has a wide reach with around 3 billion monthly users. Facebook users span all ages and older generations are adopting it at a growing pace. It caters to B2C and B2B users, and is highly targetable, meaning you can get your content in front of the right eyes.
Tweets can be composed and sent quickly and easily. Twitter encourages direct conversations with your customers; an excellent way to get feedback. It can also tell you what topics are trending in a certain territory, meaning you can see what’s important to your target audience. Incorporate it into your content, where appropriate.
Instagram provides users with a canvas on which to publish eye-catching imagery. It provides excellent tools that allow precise targeting, and can be a great source of user-generated content for campaigns too. Moreover, it allows for retargeting of warm leads to increase the chance of a sale.
This one is well known as the social media platform for professionals. LinkedIn gives the best opportunities for B2B businesses to succeed as it allows you to find the decision makers at businesses. Remember to match the tone of the platform - consider using a simplified monogram logo, and focusing on relevant content.
Being a video platform, YouTube presents unique marketing opportunities. You can publish demonstration videos that allow viewers to see your product in action, or collaborate with popular influencers to engage their existing audience. Content published here can easily be shared on other platforms too.
What content are you going to publish?
Use the insights gleaned in previous sections to craft content that appeals to your target audience. It should be appropriate to the platform of choice and encourage sharing. A blog about social media security would be great on LinkedIn but wouldn’t be the best use of Instagram.
Security is of paramount importance when managing a social media profile as it safeguards personal information and prevents unauthorized access. Utilizing strong, unique passwords and regularly updating them can significantly mitigate the risk of hacking attempts, which often seek to exploit weak or reused passwords to gain unauthorized control over accounts, potentially compromising sensitive data and impacting the user's reputation.
Social media content needs to be punchy. Many platforms, such as Twitter, limit the size of posts and so must be eye-catching; consider using professional design services to achieve this. Once you’ve got the viewer’s attention you can direct them to your website. There, more in-depth product information and marketing can finalize a sale.
While all content is an opportunity to get more customers, that doesn’t mean all your content should focus on sales. While you can use your social media content to alert your audience to new lines and promotions with high-quality images on platforms such as Instagram or Pinterest, you can also create engaging, interesting content. This will allow you to build a consistent, appealing brand image.
Video content is a particularly effective tool for this. YouTube is excellent for hosting longer form content such as instructional videos. TikTok, on the other hand, is best for short and fun content for an audience that skews younger.
Remember: you’re trying to create connections between your business and the audience. Moreover, social media is about users connecting with each other. Your job is to create content that travels along those connections.
Interactive content will help you to create fans who will evangelize your business to their social media friends. Fun quizzes, games, or competitions are a great way to engage your audience. On Facebook, this kind of content is very shareable. If you produce something fun, people will want their contacts to experience it.
How well is your social media strategy working?
Once you’ve launched your social media content strategy you’ll want to know if it’s working. That’s why you need to set up a way to analyze your success.
Most social media platforms provide tools for monitoring metrics. For example, if you’ve shared a post quoting software reviews on LinkedIn, you’ll be able to see how many people see, like, or share that content. Meanwhile, Google Analytics can tell you which platforms are providing your website with visitors.
But what metrics should you monitor? Here are some examples.
- Number of followers: Total number of users following your channels at any one time.
- Audience growth rate: How the volume of followers is changing.
- Amplification score: How much your content is shared.
- Engagement score: How much the audience interacts with your content.
- Leads: The number of potential customers gained through social media.
Use indicators that align with the goals you’ve set out. For instance, if you’re looking to boost brand awareness, you probably want to keep a close eye on the amplification and engagement scores.
Social media matters
A social media content strategy is essential to compete in today’s business world. If you need to convince stakeholders at your company, see this PandaDoc commercial proposal example. You can use it as a template for your own proposal.
Due care and attention are required to make a success of a social media content strategy. What you put in will dictate what you get out of it.
About the author
Yauhen Zaremba is a guest author on Heepsy. Yauhen is the Director of Demand Generation at PandaDoc, an all-in-one document management tool for almost all types of documents including this template for roofing contract. He’s been a marketer for 10+ years, and for the last five years, he’s been entirely focused on the electronic signature, proposal, and document management markets. Yauhen has experience speaking at niche conferences where he enjoys sharing his expertise with other curious marketers. And in his spare time, he is an avid fisherman and takes nearly 20 fishing trips every year.