I wish I could give you a copy of our social media plan as a guide for success. But just as every business is unique, so too should each business’s marketing plan. What works for one business or industry may not be successful for you.
That’s the challenging thing about trying to conquer social media — there are always new trends to follow, new tools to learn, and new platforms to populate. What works in January may not work in April. Don’t be discouraged! Here are 10 social media strategies to keep your social media plan fresh. While we think the top 4 are must-haves, feel free to choose the strategies that make sense for your business.
1. Have a strategy
The first step is having a social media plan. Whether you are a one-man show, balance the workload among several employees, or have a social media manager, you need a social media plan.
The plan should include:
- Goals for frequency of posts
- Set the tone and style of your posts
- Define what “successful posts” mean to your business
- What analytics to review
- Goals for increasing customer engagement
- Evaluate platforms
- How often you review and revise your social media strategy
Let’s dive into a few of those points a bit deeper.
Set the tone and style of your posts
Even if your posts are created by several employees, all posts should maintain a consistent voice that represents your brand. Your posts can be playful and sweet, or scientific and authoritative. There are many options out there — think about your brand and decide what makes sense for you.
How many social media platforms are out there? Too many? You can probably name the top five easily, but there are continually new, emerging platforms. It would take an army of social media personnel to maintain a solid presence on even the top 10 platforms. Find the platforms where your customers are, and work to grow your audience through those channels. If a new platform emerges that you want to try — go for it — but remember to evaluate later on, and adjust resources if necessary.
Check out “Effective Social Media Marketing Tips for Your Business” for more social media strategy advice.
2. Content calendar
Your social media plan should include a content calendar. While your social media plan looks at the big picture, your content calendar should be part of your weekly — if not daily — workflow. The content calendar ensures your posts are structured and maintain a consistent voice, and allows you to plan ahead.
3. Optimize your profiles
Were your social media profiles set up years ago? That’s OK, you can still optimize them, as your profiles should be maintained and updated regularly. Social media optimization means your profile information is current and informative. Make sure your company bio is accurate, update your hours of operation as needed, and change your cover photo often. You can include a monthly profile check-in and update in your content calendar plan.
4. Use images
This is one of the easiest ways to boost your social media posts. Posts that include images tend to have higher engagement, including post shares.
According to Buffer.com research, posts with images generate:
- 84% more views
- 94% more clicks
- 30 times more reads
- 40 times more shares
(Think about it: did you get the information faster in the graphic or the text?)
The next step up from photos and images is video. You don’t have to hire a movie director to create a successful video post. Most smart phones include video capabilities, including editing.
6. Voice search
Siri and Alexa are not going away. Reports show nearly 50% of online searches in 2020 will be through voice devices. Will your content be found? Learn all about how to optimize your website for voice search here.
Stories help build a stronger connection with your audience. Stories are a series of photos, posts and/or videos that are available to the public for only 24 hours. While stories are temporary posts, they connect with people in real time. They provide a sense of urgency for viewers to be in the know, and they help people form a personal connection to your brand.
A post from a brand about a new product might draw your interest, but if a friend tells you about the product you’re more likely to make a purchase. That’s how influencers work on social media. An influencer expands your social media reach by touting your brand on their profile. You might have an employee who could be an influencer, but you should also review social media users in your community to find a person with many followers who would be a good match for your brand.
9. Niche social networks
We already said there are too many social media platforms, but emerging niche social media networks are another way to increase your social media reach within a specific audience. Neighbor.com is a network any local business can utilize, as it is location-based — your posts would reach people directly in your neighborhood. Other niche networks are industry-based, like AllRecipes.com, Dogster or Care2.
10. Network and engagement
Maintaining a strong social media presence is not just a one-way distribution of creating posts for your social media platforms. You also need to be listening and reacting to your online community. Make sure you are responding to public comments on your posts, as well as tags or mentions in other people’s posts. And follow other businesses and organizations in your community to comment on and share their posts, as well. Be aware of the community conversations on social media and allow your business to contribute appropriately.
Still not sure where to start? Swift Local Solutions can help. Complete this simple form for a no-hassle consultation.