First thing you need to ask yourself is “What do you want from your social media strategy?” because social media strategy planning starts with your goals.
The two most common goals for social are increasing brand awareness (58%) and increasing community engagement (41%). Whether you want to build a larger following or a more active community, taking the time to define your social goals is the first step to reaching them.
Either way, your goals will define your social media marketing strategy and how much time and energy you’ll need to dedicate to your campaigns.
What really matters is that you set realistic social media goals. Huge emphasis on “realistic,” by the way. We recommend tackling smaller objectives that allow you to scale your social efforts in a way that’s both reasonable and affordable.
Here are some sample goals that businesses of all shapes and sizes can pursue:
Increase brand awareness: This means getting your name out there. To create authentic and lasting brand awareness, avoid solely publishing promotional messages. Instead, focus on content that emphasizes your personality and values first.
Drive traffic to your site: Simple enough. If you’re laser-focused on generating leads or traffic to your website, social media can make it happen. Whether through promotional posts or social ads, keeping an eye on conversions and URL clicks can help you better determine your ROI from social media.
Generate leads and sales: Whether online, in-store or directly through your social profiles, followers don’t make purchases by accident. For example, are you about alerting customers about new products and promos? Are you integrating your product catalog into your social profiles? Are you running exclusive deals for followers?
Grow your brand’s audience: Bringing new followers into the fold means finding ways to introduce your brand to folks who haven’t heard of you before.
Growing your audience also means discovering conversations around your business and industry that matter the most. Digging through your social channels is nearly impossible without monitoring or listening for specific keywords, phrases or hashtags. Having a pulse on these conversations helps you expand your core audience (and reach adjacent audiences) much faster.
Boost community engagement: Index data shows that 46% of consumers think brands that engage their audience are best in class on social, so it pays to explore new ways to grab the attention of your current followers. This means experimenting with messaging and content. For example, does your brand promote user-generated content and hashtags?
Even something as simple as asking a question can increase your engagement rate. Your customers can be your best cheerleaders, but only if you’re giving them something to do.
Any combination of these goals is fair game and can help you better understand which networks to tackle, too. When in doubt, keep your social media marketing strategy simple rather than complicating it with too many objectives that might distract you. Pick one or two and rally your team around them
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