Social media is a powerful tool for business. It can help you reach the public and grow your audience, build brand awareness and trust, and even boost sales. But if you’re like many people who use social media—and do so poorly—your efforts are likely being wasted on unengaged users. Instead of spending all of your time on social media trying to figure out what works best for your business, here’s what I suggest: Create a strategy first! Following these steps will help you create an effective plan to utilize social media in ways that will actually benefit your business.
Have a plan in place.
Before you dive headfirst into social media, it’s important to have a plan in place. This means knowing your audience, goals and resources; competitors; and the platforms where you want to be active.
Setting a timeline for each aspect of your strategy will help keep things on track as well as ensure that all of your efforts are aligned with one another.
Know who your audience is, then target them.
Knowing who your audience is and targeting them on the platforms they use is one of the most important things you can do for your social media marketing strategy. If you’re not sure where to start, think about your customers and who they are.
- Who are they? Where do they live? How old are they? What do they like to do in their free time (or at work)? What kind of hobbies do they have that might be relevant to what you offer as a business owner or service provider?
- Once you have this information, consider which platforms would be best suited for reaching out to them–and then get started!
Set up your profiles and pages on the platforms where your customers are, and also where you want to be.
You should be where your customers are.
This may seem like an obvious statement, but it’s important to remember that not all platforms are created equal. Some platforms are more popular in certain industries and regions than others, which means you’ll need to set up profiles on all of them if you want to reach a broad audience.
For example, LinkedIn is used primarily by businesspeople, while Instagram has become one of the most popular social media sites among younger consumers (especially millennials). If your business caters to older people or focuses on professional services rather than retail products or services–and therefore doesn’t have much of an audience among millennials–it might make sense for you not only ignore Instagram but also avoid setting up accounts there altogether until/unless its popularity grows even further among older demographics over time!
Use automation to post at the most optimal times and to make sure you’re not missing opportunities to engage with your audience.
Automation is a great way to save time and reach more people. It’s also effective in helping you be consistent, efficient, and effective.
Using automation can help you save time by letting your social media posts go out automatically at the optimal times for your audience–not only this but it will also ensure that you’re not missing any opportunities to engage with them!
Update your social media content regularly, but don’t overdo it.
A good balance is the key to successful social media content.
- Don’t publish too much. If you’re publishing too frequently, it’s easy for your audience to get bored and tune out.
- Don’t underdo it. If you’re not posting often enough, people may assume that your business has closed or gone out of business altogether (or worse yet: they might think that no one works at the company).
Respond promptly to comments, questions and complaints.
Be proactive in engaging with your community by asking them questions and providing value ahead of time so they’ll pay attention when you need their support.
You should respond to any negative comment or complaint by being positive and offering solutions instead of making excuses or arguing back. If someone has a problem with your product or service, don’t ignore it; address the issue head-on by offering an apology along with a solution that will make both parties happy (and maybe even earn some new customers!).
Be authentic, transparent and honest with customers.
Don’t hide behind corporate jargon; show them who you really are as a business owner or person behind the brand’s mission statement.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned from this whole experience, it’s that honesty is key when it comes to social media marketing. Whether it be a mistake or an error in judgement, being honest with customers about what happened will go a long way towards building trust and loyalty (and probably even winning over some new customers).
One example of this was when Dove posted an ad on Facebook that showed a black woman removing her T-shirt to reveal another white woman underneath–a move which many saw as racist given that most people associate darker skin with being dirty or unclean (even though science has shown us time and again that there are no differences between races). Dove later apologized for posting such an insensitive ad but said nothing else about how exactly they would prevent similar situations from happening again in future campaigns; instead they simply urged users not “to judge each other based on what we post online.”
Have a plan for emergencies
Emergencies happen – that’s a fact. You could be hit with an unexpected crisis at any time. And you can’t just avoid them. Especially when it comes to social media and crisis management – there are no guarantees. Therefore, it’s really important to have a crisis plan ready to deploy if needed (even if it’s just alerting somebody and getting a fresh pair of eyes to look at what’s going on, then trying to deal with the problem). When things go wrong, take responsibility for those mistakes quickly and apologize!
You can use social media strategically to help grow your business
Social media is a powerful tool for businesses. It’s a great way to connect with customers, build community and relationships with them, and create a brand that people can identify with.
Social media is not just about posting on social media channels; it’s also about using these platforms strategically in order to achieve your business goals. You need a plan on how you will use each platform or combination of platforms for your company in order for it to be successful!
So, here we are. The end of the road. Or, at least the end of our guide to creating a winning social media strategy for your business. We hope that you’ve found it helpful and informative throughout, but now it’s your turn to create the ultimate social marketing strategy and start promoting your business!