Social media is where the action happens nowadays and if you’re in business, chances are you’ve at least created accounts on the main platforms. However, just having staked a claim to your company’s name on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and the like doesn’t equate to maximizing the benefits these platforms offer.
Leveraging social media can prove to be crucial to your business on many fronts. Most notably, you’ll get a boost to your brand awareness, but it runs deeper than that. Proficient and intentional social media usage can set you apart as a thought leader in your niche, it can foster meaningful interactions with your consumers and clients, and even be an incredibly useful tool for nurturing leads in your sales funnel. After all, isn’t keeping your audience engaged part of online reputation management for your brand?
Social media prowess isn’t gained overnight though and it’s not luck that wins the day; building an effective social media strategy takes planning and execution.
It all starts here. The quality of your content is vital. Sure, it’s fine to share relevant things from other accounts and websites now and then, but if your entire social media existence is resharing content, it’s going to be tough for you to pick up steam in the way you need to.
Being active but not actively creating value for your audience is a waste of resources. Your audience is your audience because they value some particular aspect of what you offer, create, or sell. So, create quality content that accentuates your unique brand or solves problems they may have. That is what builds trust and gets people to stay.
With the “what” of a content marketing strategy in place, the “when” becomes the next big-ticket item to consider. You can be creating the best, most useful content on the planet but if you’re only posting once every three months, what good is it? People are finicky and they’ll go elsewhere.
When you’ve hooked someone with a great article or wonderful photos, you need to keep them hooked by providing that content regularly. Consistency is key in just about every facet of life but when working on leveraging social media, it’s even more necessary. The consistency with which you publish is yet another thing that engenders an air of confidence in your company.
So, take some time when developing your strategy to research the best days and times to post on your platforms of choice.
Now that you’re consistently posting award-winning content, the next step is taking the “social” side of social media seriously. Really get in the thick of it with your audience and followers as these are the people who are in part keeping your business afloat. Talk to them!
Engaging on social networking sites is a fantastic way to learn exactly what people think you’re doing right and wrong. This gives you the insight and direct feedback you need to improve where needed. Another great perk is the ability to feature your clients or customers, giving them a little celebrity treatment and validation while creating a stronger bond between them and your brand.
A little bit of magic happens when you put yourself out there; people typically respond, and you end up fostering interactions and deeper connections. They then engage with you and your quality content, sharing it among their circles, and growing your audience even more in the process.
The reality is organic reach just isn’t what it used to be. Back in the day, you could put in the time to create a killer article, blog, or video, post it, and just see the clicks or views pile up and translate into sales. That’s not the world we live in anymore.
Fortunately, there’s a solution: paid advertising.
It may feel like cheating but it’s the new normal and a mighty effective way to expand your reach. That said, paid advertising requires a supreme understanding of your audience so you can target effectively. Otherwise, you’re just throwing money into the wind.
While it’s an arduous, time-intensive process getting all of your ducks in a row for social media success, the end goal should be turning a percentage of your audience into leads and eventually nurturing those through to conversions.
This is really an extension of your engagement which you can turbocharge by incorporating lead management software and tools. These can help you pinpoint who might be your most qualified and promising leads and who to give a little more attention.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your strategy for leveraging your business’ social media, and that’s okay. Don’t get overwhelmed, just get started. The blueprint outlined here gives you the basics of some key components that should be incorporated no matter which industry you’re in or which direction you’d like to go with social media. Value, consistency, and engagement are foundational elements but there are certainly more.