7 ways to ensure your social media strategy is working for you and your business, by leading expert Mel Kettle
- Know why you’re online
It’s all very well to be Facebooking, tweeting and sharing cute photos on Instagram, but if you don’t have a clear reason for being online, you might be wasting your time. Think about your unique selling point – are you using social media in a way that helps people know what it is?
It’s a really good idea to have some social media goals and objectives, so your posting has a purpose. They might include driving traffic to your website, improving customer service or improving brand engagement. Ideally, they will be measurable over time and aligned with your business goals.
- Set some metrics
Work out what you want to measure and set some metrics. If your goal is to drive traffic to your website, then metrics might include how many visitors are coming from your social media channels compared to from other places or from searches? Also, think about which channels drive the most traffic to your website?
If you want to measure the increase in brand engagement, then look at metrics such as how many people are mentioning your brand and how many of these are you replying to? How many likes, comments and shares are you getting?
Don’t forget to start with establishing some metrics that can act as benchmarks so you can see how you go in achieving your goals.
- Do a quick brand audit
A quick brand audit should take you about an hour, depending on how many social media platforms you are using, and how consistent they are. You want to look at your:
- avatar/picture – ideally you will be using the same one on every platform. Try and use an image of a person rather than a logo, as people do business with people.
- banner image – is this consistent? Did you know you can now use a video as a banner in Facebook? If your avatar is a logo, then make sure your banner image has people, and ideally people from your business vs a boring stock image.
- bio – they need to be consistent across your social media, but not necessarily identical. You have different character limits for each platform, so use them wisely. Please also check for typos…
- URL – either use the same URL for each, or create a landing page for each platform – I really like how Nikki Parkinson does this with her Instagram for Styling You. Regardless of what you choose, make sure all the links WORK!
- Physical address – if you have a physical shop then include your actual address in the location section. Make it easy for people to find you.
- Look at your posts – are they getting cut-through?
Your audience is bombarded with millions of messages a day, so it’s not surprising their attention span is shorter than ever. Add to this the fact that most people check their social media on the tiny screen on their phone, and it’s no wonder it can be difficult to get cut-through with your content!
You need to make sure you’re delivering the right content to your audience using the right channels for THEM. It doesn’t matter how much you love Snapchat if your audience doesn’t use it.
Content that gets cut-through is usually either very visual, uses video or tells a compelling story—or a combination of all three. Look at the language you’re using, the colours, fonts and style. Do you have a recognisable look and feel? Do you provide content that solves the problems of your audience? Do they seek you out or do they pass you by in favour of other, more interesting messages?
Have a good look at what you’ve posted over the last few months. Does it make you think “yes, I’d like, share or comment on that”. If it doesn’t, then re-evaluate how you are creating content.
- Review your audience and engagement
Is your audience engaging with you? Are you engaging back? Social media is about being social (that’s why it’s not called ‘sales media!), and is a great way to get your customers to know, like and trust you. It’s also a great way for you to know them. How much social listening are you doing? Do you know what your customers problems and needs are? How can you provide a solution for them? Social media is a lot like dating. You wouldn’t get married on a first date, so you can’t expect your audience to buy from you immediately. Take the time to get to know them, engage with them and let them know, like and trust you. Then the sales will happen.
- Look at your competitors
What are your competitors doing on social media? What do their profiles look like? Are they getting more engagement? Creating better content? What can you learn from them?
- Review your content calendars
If you don’t have an editorial calendar, then now is the time to create one! It will take a little bit of time to set up, but save you HOURS of time in the long run. The easiest way is to just set one up in an excel spreadsheet with one month per tab. It should include:
- a description of the content (or the title)
- links to supporting documents, such as reference articles
- who is responsible for creating the piece of content
- the social (and other) channels where you will promote it
Think about also having a social media content calendar where you identify the content you will share each day on each platform. Some businesses like to theme their content – either by day of the week or by month. Regardless of what you choose, your social media calendar should work in conjunction with your editorial calendar. Don’t forget that you don’t need to create all your own content – you can also curate and share other people’s content if it’s relevant to your audience and what they want to know.
If you do one step a day, you’ll be ready for spring in no time!
Mel Kettle is a communication and social media expert who works with organisations of all sizes to help them develop effective and practical communication, and social media strategies that lead to an increase in brand awareness, customer satisfaction and business growth. She also trains, mentors and up-skills CEOs, staff and volunteers.