Social media marketing is nothing new – it is a massive industry to which 3.5 billion people are using it worldwide. If you’re a business in this day and age with no social media strategy, then it might be time to jump on board. So, what is the most effective channel and how do you make sure that your digital presence is getting you the most out of time and effort spent on each platform?
Even if you have an existing presence, the chances are that algorithm updates, habitual shifts and a tricky audience will be competing for your attention. So how do you actually plan around it all and create an effective social media plan to accommodate for each element?
What is it exactly what you want to achieve with each channel? Your biggest objective is the need to understand that each platform will need a different goal in mind.
You cannot expect your organic Facebook traffic to reflect the same as your LinkedIn paid streams; both have different audiences, needs and wants. Beyond that, there is certainly no ‘one size fits all approach’ to this form of marketing and if you think there is, then this may just be your first biggest content mistake.
Instead, give each channel a different outlook, do your research and find what resonates with each audience on each channel. You’ll thank yourself later.
Knowing who your audiences are and how they tick is crucial to marketing on every type of channel.
A perfect example of this is understanding specific demographics – Instagram has over 72% of its users in their teenage years, whereas Facebook has 81% of the highest users between 18-29. Going into as much detail as possible – including nutting out the specifics of gender, location, interests and age – will allow you to determine the correct platform for each level of demographic you are marketing to.
Who are your biggest competitors and what are they doing differently to you?
Essentially, their audience is your audience, so knowing how they engage with their communities, what platforms they most active on, and how they utilise tone of voice is all-important. Grasping all of this will allow you to maximise your engagement and tap into what they’re doing well (or avoid what they’re not).
Don’t limit yourself to your direct competitors, either – go deep and figure out if someone similar to you has a 10/10 content piece. What was it and why did it resonate so well? It may have been one single post that made the stars align for that brand or a series of strategic posts that really hit the mark. Whatever it was, make sure you analyse it and see if you can create something similar for your audience.
If you have completed all the above steps, then you should have a pretty good idea of which networks are most valuable to your business. From here on in, you will need to prioritise which ones will bring you the most benefits and results.
There is no point in you spending 10 hours of your week creating, writing and scheduling content for the following period if your audience is not even actively engaged on that platform in particular.
Instead, prioritise where you need to be spending the most time and energy. Allow yourself to be more effective and valuable to your audience; remember to constantly refresh your ideas and strategy, in order to ensure consumers are actively engaging with your content.
I cannot stress this enough. Understanding your brand is crucial to make sure your messaging and tone are consistent across all channels.
Your guidelines should cover everything from channel activity to colour schemes and should be accessible to anyone using social accounts. Use it as a company Bible and don’t forget to include emoji, hashtags, banned topics and words that should be avoided. In the end, this will be your protocol for interacting with your audience appropriately.
Above all, the number one priority is making sure your audience feels familiar with your messaging; this will essentially allow you to gain loyalty and embrace long-term relationships.
Content in this day and age is huge and should never be overlooked.
There are so many different ways you can showcase content across social channels, too, but it comes down to what is going to resonate with what audience and how. Each channel – like I said earlier – is different in its own shape and form, all with its own user etiquette and optimisation.
Be it photos, graphics, infographics, videos, articles, blogs or stories – dabble with a bunch of content types and find out what works best for your cause and audience. The ultimate goal is for your community to interact with your material by sharing or tagging, so figuring out which type reaps the results will help you spread word-of-mouth.
Don’t forget to consider things like:
Timing is everything, so make it count! Showing up early and not being late to the party both internally and externally will help your channel execution.
Find out when the party is, write about it before, during and after across each platform. This may include a photo, tweet, a live story or Instagram TV. It may even be a short blog on the summary of events allowing your audience to feel like they were a part of the occasion, even if they were on the other side of the world. It all counts.
So, you have most of your social structure laid out in a strategised and well-thought-out manner, but how do you actually format it so you are not repeating it and spamming your readers?
Using a content calendar will help you keep on track of what you’re posting across multiple channels. Create yourself a spreadsheet – or use a project management tool like Asana or Trello – to monitor all key components, such as:
Make sure you share this with your team, giving complete transparency across the board. This will help free up everyone’s time to spend on other more pressing tasks.
Covering strategy and making sure everything has its set place will ensure your audience is getting the most value out of your brand.
So with all that said and done, you now have the following under your belt:
Alright, with that all out of the way, let’s get visual.
What about optimising your images for each channel? Let’s go through five of the top social media networks to help your image and creatives get off to a great start.
Our goal is to reduce the rising skill gap and make digital marketers which can assist brands and businesses drive exponential growth. Learn Digital Marketing Courses From The Digital Sandbox (TDSB)