How to create an effective social media strategy

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Modern businesses are facing more competition than perhaps ever before. The prevalence of social media means that marketing has changed dramatically and it comes as no surprise that businesses of all sizes need to stay one step ahead if they are to thrive in this hi-tech age. You’ll be glad to know the good news, however, which is that you don’t have to spend a fortune on fancy marketing gimmicks for your business in order to make the kind of impact you want. Instead, with a well-judged social media plan in place, you can be sure to stay on top of new developments and deliver excellent customer service. Here are a few things to look out for:

To blog or not to blog?

It’s tempting to start straight away by creating a blog, because everyone else seems to be doing it. Before launching into this particular undertaking, however, it’s worth taking a little time to establish exactly what your target market is and whether your current social media activities are reaching out to your potential customers. To do this, consider the following:

  • Are the networks you currently use bringing you the best possible value?
  • Are you making the best of the opportunities they offer?
  • How does your profile on each active network match up to the profiles used by your competitors?

By answering these questions, you may find it easier to identify where your strengths lie in terms of making the most of the available opportunities, and to focus on those networks that are serving you best. If you are confident about the profile of your ideal customer, for example, you can then turn your attention to blogging. Remember that this requires a commitment to provide fresh content of good quality on a regular basis, if it is to be successful. Your aim should be to provide content that will speak to your ideal customer.

Is your web presence up to scratch?

Another area to consider is whether you are truly optimizing the content of your own website as well as the information you use on social media. Statistics indicate that more people use Facebook than any other network (about 1,590 million users worldwide), followed by WhatsApp (1,000 million users) and Facebook Messenger (900 million users).

Nowadays, you can include images such as photos, videos and info-graphics. On most social media networks, you can also add short bios, links to useful websites and news items. Passing on useful information for free (via news items for instance) is a popular way of attracting favorable attention. Also, because it’s important that your sites look attractive, make judicious use of free images from reliable companies when you can, such as stock photos or videos that will break up the text you are using to create additional interest.

Social media marketing success

What social media success means to you is important, not least because it may well differ from the kind of interpretation and analysis used by others. Among the metrics or measuring methods you could consider as indicative hallmarks of success are:

  • The geographic or demographic reach you achieve.
  • The length of time people spend reading your blog or on your site generally.
  • The number of people who browse your social media posts or website and then become customers.
  • The number of times your brand gets favorable mentions.
  • The total number of shares for your social media posts or website articles.

Keep on keeping on

The final key to achieving a strategic plan for social media is to regularly review where you are and take steps to make any changes that might be indicated by your analyses.

To sum up:

  • Assess your current social media standing and decide if you should be looking at alternative networks and/or letting go of those that are not working for you.
  • If you opt to go blogging, be aware of the regular commitment you must make and keep your content original and fresh.
  • Make the best possible use of visual aids to complement written content. Use, but don’t overuse, relevant pictures, videos and diagrams that serve to illustrate the points you are making.
  • Be aware of what success looks like to you and make sure you are measuring and analyzing the statistics accordingly.
  • Finally, remember to review your strategy on a regular basis. Keep an eye on responses to your social media posts and any correspondence you get via your website and react accordingly and positively.
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