Social media can bring incredible benefits to your business, however, this doesn’t mean that your business should be present on every platform.
In this article we help you make the most out of your social media presence, start with the 5 important questions when setting out your social strategy: Why, Who, What, Where & When?
Firstly, you need to look at why your brand should be on social media. Some of the benefits that social media can bring to your business include:
- Increasing brand awareness
- Driving traffic to your website
- Making your business more credible and trustworthy
- Gaining customer insights
- Positioning your business as modern and relevant
- Increasing conversion rates
- Connecting you to influencers and thought leaders
Once you’ve selected the main aims of the brand on social media, next we can look at the who will be using your channels.
To identify the best channels for your brand, you will need to identify your audience. Start with defining your target audience’s demographic including; location, age, occupation, gender, interests, etc. This can then be used to identify the channels where your audience is active. For example, if your target audience is a 23 year old female you may consider using Instagram which is highly visual and image based, instead of LinkedIn or Google+ which would be good platforms for targeting 30+ business professionals.
So now we have the Why and the Who, we can move onto the What.
This section is all about Content, content, content!
The type of content you want to create, will also be a deciding factor in which social channels are right for your business.
Industry updates, company news, white papers
These content types are typically suited to the B2B targeted channels such as LinkedIn, Twitter and SlideShare. Sharing content on these platforms allow you to engage fellow professionals with industry-specific content.
YouTube, is the clear front runner in this category, and is the world’s second largest search engine with over 3 billion searches a month!
However, make sure you don’t neglect the other social video channels. If your video content is in short-form and aimed at a younger audience, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumbr and Periscope are key ones to consider. If it’s more universal, Twitter and Facebook will likely also generate high levels of engagement.
Image based content
If you’re a B2C brand with a visually engaging product to sell, you may want to consider using Pinterest, a site where users can bookmark images. Another great image based social channel is Instagram, perfect for building an aspirational visual brand story, or for the younger demographic Tumblr and snapchat.
For businesses looking to establish themselves as trusted Influencers, publishing articles on LinkedIn’s publishing platform can expose brands to over 300million users. Twitter is also a good platform to gain traction, and it’s a good idea to post editorial content as a Blog on your company website and to link back to it from the social channels. This will increase the website’s SEO ranking (but that’s a whole different Blog article!)
Now we know the Why, Who and What, we can now start looking at the Where. Below is a brief summary of the target markets, and audiences on some of the main social media players:
||Posting type if relevant
||Aged 24 and below
||All target audience
Once the best channels for your brand have been identified, the content will need to be optimised for each channel i.e. a tweet can be a maximum of 140 characters, LinkedIn should have a more formal Tone of Voice for the business community and Instagram is image based and more informal.
Each of these channels also have a different strategy for optimising the posts in terms of gaining the most visibility & interactions, from the content type and Tone of Voice, to varying styles of tags or hash tags, which all lead on to the final point of When to post on social media?
Ok, so we’re nearly ready to go. We know who we’re targeting, we’ve got the content, we know what channels, but the question is When?
A big challenge when developing your brand’s marketing strategy is figuring out how often and when to post to different social media channels. You want to optimise your posting to reach and engage your audience just enough to stay top of mind without being a nuisance. With this in mind, it’s typical to stagger postings across the different social channels, at different points in the day / week.
It can be a difficult balance, and it’s even more complicated because every network has its own sweet spot (that’s constantly evolving).
Let’s look at a brief overview of best times to post on the different channels:
||Best time to post
||Best day to post
Thursday & Friday
Thursday & Friday
Having said that, you also need to ensure that you don’t follow the crowd to the letter, and post your content at the same time as every other brand on the channel!
Social media is a constantly evolving environment, and successful marketing strategies need to be constantly analysed and adapted. What worked this month, may not work next month, so constant analysis is required.
If this article has whet your appetite, and left you wanting to know more, or blown your mind and you want to talk to someone about creating a strategy that’s right for your brand, we’d love to hear from you.