As an individual, you may not be too keen on social media. It’s definitely a Marmite thing – you tend to either be baffled by the very idea and steer completely away from it, or love the concept and become a bit obsessed.
Social media can be a cost effective way of marketing to your target audience. If you have a large number of followers, your social platforms can act as a gateway to your main site, increasing your traffic. Social can also demonstrate how active you are as a company, and give consumers a better understanding of your brand and culture.
Most businesses use social media in some form, as they understand how useful it can be. But how do you create an effective social strategy?
If you’re just starting out when it comes to social media, or if you think you haven’t utilised your accounts to their full potential, there are a few questions you can ask yourself before you create your strategy:
You should also think about doing some research before creating a social media strategy, if you haven’t done so already. You’ll probably know who your target audience is, so look into what sort of content they are engaging with on social media.
Check out what your competitors are doing, and see if it’s working for them. And it’s often a good idea to consider what appeals to you on social media – is there something about a particular brand that makes you want to engage with it? Research can reveal a lot about the direction in which to take your social strategy, so be as thorough as possible!
Which Social Media Platforms Should I Use?
Another key thing to think about is which platforms to use. You probably don’t need a presence on every social media platform out there, but you do need to consider which ones your potential customers are using, and which platforms would work well with your content.
If you use a lot of imagery, for instance, Instagram is an obvious choice, and Pinterest is also a good option. Twitter is great if your brand is a bit more quirky, and you have a lot of pithy comments to make, while LinkedIn is an essential platform for any business looking to network.
What Content Should I Include?
When it comes to content, the two most important things to keep in mind are consistency and engagement. With the former, you need to be consistent in both your overall brand and in how often you post content. While it can be good to experiment, especially when it comes to newer mediums such as videos, carousels and reels, don’t let innovation distract you from your message.
In terms of engagement, you shouldn’t be posting content just for the sake of it – really consider what message you’re trying to convey, and whether it will be meaningful to your audience. The content needs to pique their interest, and hopefully be something they want to share with others.
People also relate to other people. Social media can be a good way to humanise your company, showing the personalities behind the business. This method won’t work for every organisation of course, but for most businesses, it’s a good idea to engage more closely with your audience.
Helpful Tools for Your Social Strategy
You may not have a huge budget for your social media campaigns, and most of this will probably be spent on running sponsored or paid content. Without boosting your reach through paid content, your campaign probably won’t perform well, so you’ll need to factor this into your social strategy.
But there are a number of cheap or free tools you can use when it comes to actually creating your content, and scheduling it to be sent. We’ve listed a few of the most popular tools below.
There are a number of sites that allow you to use free images and graphics to create designs for your social channels. Some are even introducing animations and gifs you can use. Two great examples of this are Canva and Adobe Spark – you can set up a free account with both of these sites, with the option to pay for a subscription in order to access more features and tools.
In terms of creating video content, InShot allows you to both create and edit videos, as well as images. If you’re trying to knit lots of video clips together, Splice is a great tool for this, which was created by the makers of the GoPro.
One of the best ways to get more organised with your social media strategy is to schedule posts in advance. Buffer and Hootsuite both allow you to do this, and will also provide reporting when it comes to click through rates and engagement.
It’s important to keep up to date with social media trends and platform releases. This doesn’t have to be a time consuming process – there are a number of blogs that do the research for you, such as Later and Hootsuite. Did you know, for instance, that 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound? Perhaps consider using captions for your content!
Social media can help you build up a large number of followers, introduce you to new audiences, and drive traffic to your site. If used strategically, it can be a powerful tool. The main things to keep in mind are that you need to set yourself clear goals and expectations, and that you shouldn’t try to solely use your platforms to sell products.
Social sites are about engagement and building relationships, so it’s better to post small amounts of great quality content than multiple posts which don’t resonate with your audience. As the old cliché goes, quality over quantity.
As technology evolves, digital mediums are eclipsing print media, so if you’re not yet utilising social platforms to their full potential, now is the time to start! And if you’d like to find out more about creating a social media strategy, simply get in touch with The Pineapple Agency team – we’d love to hear from you.