Social media is all around us, and for the most part, people generally agree that it is integrated into everyday, modern society. From a business perspective, however, having a clearly defined social media strategy is now considered by many, not to be a bonus, but rather to be a necessity instead.
If you think that using social media for business purposes, however, is as simple as creating a business page and then spamming said page with friend requests and advertisements, you’re in for a very rude awakening.
Developing and defining a social media strategy is far from easy, in fact, it can be a downright nightmare at times, and you can easily find yourself becoming overwhelmed if you aren’t careful. Even those with an extensive knowledge of social media, and indeed, of modern technology in general, can find themselves feeling overwhelmed and having to ask a seemingly endless stream of questions in the process.
If you’re in the midst of attempting to define a social media strategy, or if you anticipate that you’ll soon have to define one, here are a few simple questions you should ask ahead of time.
1. Who are our target audience
Obviously, when creating any social media marketing strategy, one of the first things you will need to establish, is who is your target audience.
Establishing your target audience will help make one heck of a difference when it comes to creating your social media strategy. For example, if your business sells outdoor gear such as tents and camping equipment, your target audience is obviously going to be people who enjoy spending time outdoors and engaging in outdoor activities, including camping.
Not only that, however, but you should also establish where the majority of them spend their time online. You can use analytics, personal research, and various other pieces of software to help get a better understanding of your target audience, but once you have, it will make one heck of a difference.
2. What are our goals and targets?
If you want to succeed, you will need goals and targets to aim for, so take the time to lay them out clearly and concisely.
Not only will your business goals overall need to be determined, but you will also need to determine your social media goals and objectives.
For example, are you looking to increase web traffic, enhance engagement, or to simply gain for friends and followers? Try using the S.M.A.R.T methods, which means you should set goals that are: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.
3. What are our customer’s pain points?
Next up, you should take the time to get an understanding of your customer’s potential pain points. It may sound dramatic, but by pain points, we mean that you should establish which problems the customer may be facing.
By identifying potential problems early, you are able to prevent them before they happen. The ultimate aim is to figure out how your product/service could help your customers with their problems.
For example, if you’re in the health and fitness industry, and your customer struggles with healthy eating, due to a lack of time, you could offer healthy ready-to-eat meals, thus solving their healthy eating/lack of time issues.
4. Which content will we want to publish on social media?
Again, the type of content you post will depend on your business as a whole, plus your target audience. You wouldn’t expect an online gaming company to start posting random content based upon, say, arts and crafts, so make sure the content you post is relevant.
Get into the head of your readers and think about things from their perspective.
Think about, not only how you want them to feel when reading the content, but also, what you want them to learn after finishing reading your content. Focus on whether blog posts, quick status updates, images, or videos will be the most productive and beneficial.
5. Who is responsible for each aspect of our strategy?
Obviously, you can’t create a social media strategy by yourself, or, you could, but it would take a great deal of time and commitment, and so you will need to assign different team members different roles.
For example, who will be responsible for video editing, and who will be responsible for written content or paid advertising perhaps?
By knowing who is accountable for each of these aspects, if your written content is letting you down, you know who is responsible and you can then address the issue as you see fit.
This not only holds people accountable, it also ensures that each person clearly knows their role and what they have to focus on. This is important as it prevents employees from becoming overwhelmed and not knowing where to begin.
6. How often should we be posting?
Another very important question to ask when developing any social media strategy is just how frequently you should be posting on social media.
Unfortunately, there is no clear answer, because each business is different and each strategy is different.
With that being said, however, how frequently you post will be determined by the content that you’re posting, as well as your target audience and what they tend to respond to the most.
Although not true for all businesses and strategies, use the following as a general guideline in relation to how frequently you post on social media:
Instagram – Once a day
Facebook – One – Three times per day
Twitter – Eight – Twenty four times per day
Pinterest – Four – Ten times per day
Google+ – Once a day
7. Will we benefit from social media ads?
Of course, one of the great things about social media is the fact that, in general at least, it is a free method of advertising that you take responsibility for yourself.
With that being said, however, if you want to expand your reach and take your content further than existing friends/followers/likes etc, paid social media advertising could be ideal.
Studies have shown that Ad recall from some forms of social media advertising is higher than more traditional forms e.g. Facebook’s Canvas Ads.
Not only that, you can measure the performance of digital and social advertising to determine a more accurate return on investment than traditional ads, and with newspaper readership declining year on year, where do you think your advertising budget should be spent?