Navigating the Forest of Social Media
Have you ever caught yourself scrolling through your social media account(s) mindlessly? More often than not, people catch themselves refreshing their feed and waiting for the next great unannounced post that will make them laugh, smile, share, engage, or essentially just admire it. Now, could that next “great unannounced post” be coming from you? How about we take it another step further… will that “next great unannounced” post be coming from your business profile?
Today we want to focus on how to grow social media accounts through a couple of different strategies, specifically for business social media accounts. (Granted, the same fundamentals can be used to grow your own personal account if desired.) More specifically, we will cover the most successful social media strategies and how to deploy them. We like to call them the 10 step social media guide:
1. Social Media Evaluation and Goal Setting:
This step is extremely important. Just like everything in business, you need to have a game-plan and some sort of way to measure the success of your projects. When you are wrapping ideas around in your head, consider listing out more than a few KPI’s (key performance indicators) to help you measure your campaigns success and collect valuable data moving forward.
2. Customer Avatar (Understand Your Target Audience):
Understanding your target audience is imperative. Make sure you know who your buyers and viewers are. You want to know a detailed list of both their demographics and psychographics. Having this written down is a great way to specialize your social media marketing to increase your engagement rankings and conversions.
3. Determine Which Platforms You Will Utilize:
There are a few social media platforms out there today. All of them are better than the other platforms in certain aspects, especially when pursuing your specific target audience. Check out the detailed infographic below for when to use which social media platform.
4. Competitive Analysis:
Knowing your competitors strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats, and trends will help you create a differentiation strategy when it comes down to social media while, simultaneously, allowing you to craft ideas of what’s working and avoid what's not. Note: these assessments should be conducted with minimal bias for the most effective results.
5. Social Media Strategy Plan + Calendar:
Create your social media posting strategy. How many times a week do you want to post? How many times a day will you post? What will you be posting? What time will you be posting? There’s a ton of questions you want to figure out before launching your campaigns. The best and easiest way to keep track of all this is to create a social media calendar (at least a month in advance) that includes what and which day you will post. In addition, this helps you see the big picture and allows you to hone in on developing your brand image that you see is best fit.
6. Content Curation & Content Creation:
“Content is fire, social media is gasoline” - Jay Baer. I believe what Jay’s trying to say is that Content Marketing is more than a buzzword these days... It's one of the hottest trends in marketing because it’s the biggest gap between what buyers want and what brands produce. It’s important to create good, meaningful content that will resonate with your target audience as well as grow your follower count. Whether you are curating or creating content, think about how you want your audience to perceive your brand image, voice, tone, etc.
7. Create a Content Bank:
Creating a content bank is not only a great way to stay organized but will save you time and headaches. Whether you dedicate one day to just creating and curating content and saving all of your content in an organized google drive folder or you prefer to create a PPT slide and caption the post in the slide notes, you will be much more organized and your social media process will seam streamlined.
8. Determine Keywords, Hashtags, Location, and Tags
Just as if you were creating a website and had to come up with a few keywords for SEO- social media plays off that similar idea. Utilizing hashtags allows you to group your post into similar conversation threads, thus, allowing you to reach a new and larger audience. You should have a few unique hashtags that represent your brand, but should also couple trending hashtags as well. The more frequently used hashtags will have more users but also have the risk of burying your post due to how many posts are being posted with the particular hashtag. Therefore, it’s a best practice to couple unique hashtags, popular hashtags, and a “little less” popular but still popular hashtags. In addition, utilizing a popular location can also grow your reach into a new audience.
9. Schedule on Social Media Tools or Later
There are tons of social media tools out there that allow you to automate your post and facilitate your content creations, hashtags, social media calendars, and more. Depending on the platform you are using, you will find different tools. For example, On Instagram, we like to use Hootsuite – a social media management platform that covers almost every aspect of a social media manager's role. With just one platform users are able to do the simple stuff like curate cool content and schedule posts all the way up to managing team members and measuring ROI – and Planoly – a visual planning tool that allows Instagram users to create calendars to plan their content, curate the content of others, schedule posts, analyze engagements and even grow an Instagram team.
10. Analyze Content & Engagement
This step’s for all the data lovers. We keep track of every post's analytics in a spreadsheet so we can measure and compare what’s working and recommend you do the same! In this step you will be able to determine if your post is deemed to be successful based on your goals and KPI’s that you determined in step 1. Measuring engagement is always going to be one of the better KPI’s when determining if the social media post was successful or not. It’s simple, the more posts you have, the more data you accumulate, resulting in a more deliberate and strategic social media campaign moving forward.
Now of course, these 10 steps will allow you to grow your social media presence in due time, but if you are looking to exponentially grow in a rapid manner, we would suggest social media paid advertising. Many of our clients come to us to run social media campaigns, sponsored ads, and boosted posts to help grow their target audience and quickly. If you are looking for someone to help grow your business on social media, we invite you to schedule a free consultation with one of our experts. Oak street takes pride in the creation, execution, and delivery of social media content and strategies to increase user engagement to facilitate business success. Connect with us to see how we can transform your vision into effective content.