Social media: What's your strategy?

Our last article about using social media as a business tool explained that it’s about more than just posting items and waiting for your social media...

Monday July 25, 2016

Our last article about using social media as a business tool explained that it’s about more than just posting items and waiting for your social media presence to takeoff. Before sending a wave of posts, photos, tweets and hashtags from your social media channels, your business needs a social media strategy.

With a strategy in place, your business can do more than just make social media buddies, such as:

  • Share key messages about your company’s values and goals
  • Learn about your audience and understand their needs
  • Develop meaningful relationships with your target audience
  • Receive instant feedback from your clients
  • Improve web traffic and search rankings
  • Create brand awareness and strengthen your brand image 

Where do you start?

The social media experts at eSolutionsGroup know that it’s important to develop a strategy that fits your individual business. Different businesses have different goals and when it comes to social media, differences are what make you stand out. A good strategy will give your business a fighting chance in an already crowded social media community.

Your strategy should include plans to:

  • Communicate key messages that match your business’ values
  • Identify your target audience and discuss ways to reach them
  • Monitor and analyze the success of your social media presence

Every post, tweet, pin or tag has a purpose when your business has a social media strategy. Your audience has thousands of posts to like and hashtags to tweet – don’t waste their time with a boring social media page.   

Social branding

Include social media in the everyday operations of your company – never as a separate initiative. Social media content unrelated to your business is confusing to your audience and weakens your brand image. Existing customers will be turned-off and new customers won’t understand what your company is about.

A common mistake businesses make when they sign-up for social media accounts is that they don’t use their actual business name. Make a clear connection between your social media presence, your business and its brand. Don’t use nicknames or abbreviations that audiences aren’t familiar with.

In your social media strategy, include a plan to drive a target audience to your business’ website and to connect website visitors with your social media channels.

There are a number of ways to create this incoming/outgoing flow of visitors and followers, including:

  • Share your website and blog content on your social media channels, linking back to the main site
  • Add social media sharing buttons to content on your website or blog
  • Include links in your social media content that will drive followers to your main webpage
  • Include buttons to join your social media groups on your Homepage or Contact page

Explore different types of content that relate to your business and that interest your target audience. Posting a variety of meaningful content shows your audience that your business is a part of the community, is aware of current trends, and made-up of real people who care. Ultimately, your business should strive to create a strong, positive brand image on social media – everyone will want to be your friend!

Make it personal

Strategize how you will make a personal connection with your target audience. This will determine the content of your social media communications, which social media channels you will use, and how you will make your social media presence unique.

Plan to personalize your business’ social media platforms through content and tone – show who you are and what your business is about. Your business has character, so show it off!

Give your audience a look behind the scenes; talk about how things are done, who makes it all possible, challenges your business has overcome. Explain what your business does, making it clear and easy to understand. Audiences will have more confidence in your brand when they know what you’re all about.

Your social media followers are happy to share their thoughts, so get to know them through your social media interactions; ask questions, offer advice, request feedback. This is an excellent strategy for making a personal connection with your audience.

Interact with your audience on a regular basis and make a personal connection with them by:

  • Responding to questions in a timely manner
  • Addressing negative comments about products and services with an open-mind
  • Asking your audience for feedback through questions or surveys
  • Offering contests or incentives to reward customer loyalty
  • Taking advice and feedback from your audience seriously
  • Responding to negative comments, correcting errors and making improvements

Be careful not to make it too personal; some businesses forget to draw a line between their business and their personal lives. Audiences of your business’ social media channels don’t want to read about your CEO’s shopping habits or their family outings. They want to hear about your business’ initiatives, community outreach and the employees that make your company unique and successful.
 

Monitor and manage

Find out if your social media strategy is getting the results you want by measuring your social success through:

  • Audience comments and reactions to your posts
  • Shares and likes of your content
  • Web traffic on your business’ main webpage
  • Ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs)

Your audience shares content with others when it’s interesting, fun, creative and valuable. Read comments about your posts to find out if your message is being received the way you intended. If not, you need to clarify your message in a way that your target audience will understand.

A strong social media presence will boost your ranking in SERPs and will drive more traffic to your website. This is where your business has the opportunity to turn your visitors into customers or clients. Use web analytics tools to help you keep track of your business’ online strengths and weaknesses. Are more visitors coming to your website when you post something on your social media channels? Are those visitors then becoming customers or clients of your business?

It’s not enough to sign-up and move on with your social media sharing. Fill in your account information page with as much detail as possible to improve your position on SERPs. Businesses avoid filling in this information assuming that it affects the security of their account.

Don’t be shy! Let us know who you are by:

  • Including your business’s full name
  • Filling in the “about” sections of your accounts
  • Filling in as many fields as possible on the information pages of your accounts
  • Including a link to your business’ main website or blog
  • Categorizing your business when asked

 

When you’re not seeing the results you want, it’s time to regroup and revisit your social media strategy. Seek the help of experts to properly manage your social media presence. An effective social media strategy will mean the difference between a quiet, inactive social media network and a vibrant one, full of interesting conversations.

The experts at eSolutionsGroup can help develop a social media strategy that fits your business and your social media goals. Already a part of the social media conversation? eSolutionsGroup can give you advice on how to take your social media presence to the next level through proper management and a touch of creativity.

Ready to get started on your social strategy? Contact an expert today!

Ashley Pergolas brings media knowledge and advanced communications skills to eSolutionsGroup. As a Content Writer and Strategist, Ashley is responsible for communicating the key messages of eSolutionsGroup and its clients through creative and effective storytelling. With a Bachelor of Journalism from Ryerson University, Ashley possesses expert research, copywriting, copyediting and fact-checking skills. Her previous work in public relations, communications, writing and editing has reached international audiences.

 

 

 
 
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