With over 44 million active social media users in the UK today, it is now more important than ever to have a well researched social strategy for your brand. An average of 1 hour and 54 minutes is spent each day on social media, with younger audiences spending roughly 5 ½ hours on these platforms daily! Your customers live on social media, so your business needs to be there too. But if you aren’t quite sure how to get your brand started in the social world, we have got you covered. We are here to talk you through the 5 essential steps to creating an effective social media strategy. So let’s get to it.
Define your audience
Without understanding exactly who you are trying to target on social media, it is almost impossible to know what sort of messages need to be constructed to reach them. When defining your online audience, you need to consider the following questions:
- Who are they?
- What are they into?
- What/who influences them?
- When are they usually online?
- Which social media platforms do they use?
Once you have been able to answer these questions, you can start to build an audience profile of your typical customer. This will help you to identify what sort of language you should be using in your messages, when you need to be posting, and what social media platforms you need to be focusing on to reach your audience. The main goal of any social media strategy should be engagement, and understanding your audience and constructing messages to meet their needs and interests will very much help you to do this.
Define your goals
Defining what your business wants to achieve on social media will help you to identify the social actions you need to take to meet these goals. If your goal was to provide better customer service, you would need to make sure you have a dedicated customer team on social media who are ready to respond to any queries quickly. Or if you wanted to increase the amount of traffic to your website, your business would need to regularly post links to interesting and engaging content on your site.
When it comes to deciding which social media platforms to use in your strategy, you must consider your audience and business goals. Do you have a business focus or a lifestyle focus? Each social media platform is different, so you must identify which ones are most relevant for your brand and which channels your audience spend the most time on. For example, if you were a logistics company with a B2B audience, LinkedIn would be a very effective channel to use to target other business professionals. But don’t forget- different social media channels need different strategies so it is important to research the ‘best practises’ of each platform you decide to use.
Your brand’s social voice
It is very important to keep a consistent social voice when posting online in order to build a strong brand recognition for your business. To best be remembered, the following factors should always be kept consistent throughout a social media campaign:
- Logo use
- Fonts and colours
- Tone of voice
- Style of images
- Brand guidelines
Your tone of voice should be decided based upon your target audience and business values. Do you want to be perceived as formal or casual? Is your business quirky or uniform? Choosing a tone of voice that fits well with your target audience will really help to build engagement with your customers online.
By defining what social media success means to your business, you can easier understand what you need to do to get there. If high star ratings are a measure of success for you, then you could start asking your customers to leave a Facebook review after they have completed their purchase journey. Or if an increase in mentions means success, then it would be useful to start engaging in online communities and asking questions in your social media posts.
So to summarise, in order to best engage with your audience and build awareness of your business online, it really is essential to first create an effective social media strategy. It is important to remember that quality always rules over quantity, so take your time when constructing content to make sure it will engage your target audience and align to your business goals. Try to be authentic, relatable and timely. And once you have got that all in place, you will be able to use your plan to build your brand and engage with your customers on social like a pro.