3 Things you need to know before you create your social media strategy
As we head into 2016, many people are focusing on new years resolutions or intentions, thinking about their business goals, and crafting and finalizing their social media strategy for the year. If you’re finalizing your social media strategy, or have been considering doing one and aren’t sure where to start, this post is for you. So many times I see small businesses or bloggers post to social media without a strategy, and although they still get some likes, comments, and new followers, they’re missing out on a tremendous opportunity to create an engaged audience and targeted following. In order to create a successful social media strategy, you need to be clear on 3 things before you start to determine which path you’re going to take, and I’m going to share those three things with you.
Before we dive in, I’d like to talk to you about your social media strategy really quickly. Some people may not have heard of it before, some people think they may not need one, but like a house needs blue prints, and like a business needs a business plan and strategic planning, your business or blog should have a social media strategy in place in order to better understand how to leverage the different forms of social media out there, and understand when and where and what to post. If you’d like to find out more about this and how I can help you, my contact info is at the bottom of this post.
The First Thing You Need to Consider is Your Goals
Have you written out or really thought about your social media goals? People know that they need to be on social media, but very few know why. Understanding your goals is crucial because it will give you a better understanding of your blog or business, and guide you as to where you want it to go. Once you understand your goals, you can then figure out how social media is going to help you reach them. Your goals can be weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually. They can be revenue based, numbers based, the list goes on and on. Make sure to write all of your goals down, as people who write down their goals have a higher probability of either achieving them, or even exceeding them. Click the link below to see a full list of potential goals you around which you can focus your social media strategy.
The Second Thing You Need to Consider is Your Audience
Not just your target audience, you need to think of your ideal audience. Having analytics (like Google Analytics) set up on your blog or business website is really important because it can give you tremendous insight as to the behaviors of your audience. You can determine age and gender, location of where your audience is visiting you from, whether they’re viewing your website from their desktop or from their mobile phones, how long they spend on your website, etc. From your Facebook page, you should also be able to get information from your Insight tabs by clicking over to “People” to see what percentage of your fans are male or female, and where they live. You can also see a breakdown of their age, which will be important in determining what social media platforms they use. My best advice is to create a “persona” or ideal customer avatar, and write down all of the details about that ideal person’s personality and buying habits to give you an idea of who you’re talking to. The outline in the link below gives you a guideline of what sort of details to consider.
The Third Thing to Consider is What Platforms Your Audience is Using
Being a whiz on Google+ is great (actually it’s really impressive), but if your target audience isn’t there, then it’s going to be no good for you. You need to be sure you’re choosing platforms that are based on where your ideal audience is hanging out, which can include popular websites and forums. Once you know who your ideal audience is (and don’t just say everyone), make sure to get a better understanding of what social media channels they’re using. Sure, everyone and their mother (literally) is on Facebook, but what about Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, Snapchat, Periscope, Blab, etc? You’re going to have to hone in on the sites that your audience is using, otherwise all your hard work will go to waste, not to mention you’ll spread yourself too thin. One option is to go to the advertising pages on the big social media sites, a lot of times they have their audience demographic info and it can help you determine what sorts of people are on each site. I’ve gone ahead and given you a summary in the outline from the link below.
Once you have these three things nailed down, then you can start on the rest of your social media strategy, which includes other things like making sure your profile is optimized, competition analysis, determining what to post, determining when to post, and more. The important thing to note is that once you have your strategy set up, you’ll have to implement it and test it to make sure it works. If you find certain things aren’t working, then you can focus on those few things rather than having to reinvent the wheel.
Having a social media strategy is important because in the end you’ve done a complete analysis of your blog or business, and doing this activity alone will give you a ton of insight and will even teach you things you hadn’t thought of before. In 2017 more and more companies are going to focus on their social media marketing strategies to connect with customers and their audience, and even more people will cave in and adopt social media as a communication means for themselves. Make sure you’re not left behind, the opportunities are endless!
Last but not least, your visual marketing strategy will be incredibly important, especially as all social media platforms are placing more importance on visuals. Click here to claim your free Rockin iPhotos guide and start transforming your phone photography today.
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