I think we're beyond the point of making the argument that a business needs to be visible on social media.
If you're reading this, you likely manage social media for a business - either as part of the marketing or management team - or would like to know how to better manage social media to meet personal branding goals or to support the work done by your business' marketing team.
This quick guide doesn't dive into specific platforms - the platforms you decide to be active on depends on who you're trying to talk to and what you're trying to achieve - but it does give advice on exactly what you should be paying attention to if you're looking to improve your social media footprint.
So get comfy.
Grab a coffee.
And get started on the next chapter in your social media journey.
1.Set realistic goals
Rome wasn’t built in the day, well neither was a successful social media platform.
We assess our social media performance on a monthly basis, taking a closer look at our strengths and weaknesses.
But, if we didn't have goals and targets, how would we know what to measure?
Every 90 days Big Blue Digital ask ourselves: what is our big picture aim (vision) and what are the core business goals we want to achieve? These might be revenue, database, training, sales conversations or new project targets. Within the marketing team, we then translate these big goals to digital objectives (or where our work fits into the bigger picture, and what we need to focus on to help). Eventually, these big goals inform what we want to achieve on our indiviual social channels.
We use our Digital Analytics Model to help us in this stage.
Maybe you want to build your brand and overall presence, so in that case follwer numbers might be important. Generally though, steer clear of vanity metrics, and think about click-throughs and conversions from your social channels.
And be realistic. Don’t set yourself up to fail, and focus on sustainable and achieveable growth.
2.Keep your content on brand
Yes, content is king.
First, make sure you understand your brand personality.
The, the easiest way we have found to keep our content on brand and on track, is to set monthly themes and base your daily posts around those themes.
You wouldn’t believe how much easier your life can be when your posts are planned. And what’s even more satisfying is when your followers can recognise the theme within your posts. We also use batching and scheduling to get more done in less time, and have handy tools like Sendible to keep the content flowing.
3.Drive traffic back to the right place
So, you’ve got your content themes planned to pick up engagement, but now what?
What is the purpose of your social media platforms? What do you want to achieve?
Sales of course. Which is why you need to make sure that EVERY post has a call to action, where you drive the user back to your website. Let’s be honest, these days people won’t go out of their way to find your website, so it’s much easier to provide them with a link in the post so all they need to do is tap a finger.
Consider how you can use custom landing pages to drive people to the content that most relates to the information they're looking for.
Let's imagine for a second you're a retailer. You have a great range of homewares, but (because you have themes) you have decided you'll be all about lovely scents - candles, soaps and reed diffusers - this month. Will you drive people to your homepage from your themed social media posts, or, should you create a landing page that just focuses on lovely scents and helps your customer get to the stuff they want - and make a purchase - faster.
Want to know more? Read Convert More Customers With Great Landing Pages.
4.Get Google Analytics
Google Analytics is one of the most powerful tools to measure the performance of your website.
It’s not just about visitor numbers, it’s about really understanding visitor behaviour, why they contact you or buy from you, why they don’t, and what you can do about it.
It's like that you have Google Analytics set up on your site, and that someone in your team or web development agency has access. While pouring through data isn't for everyone, Google Analytics offers you the ability to customise dashboards. This lets you see the information you need (those goals you set in your Digital Analytics Model) in one easy view, and can speed up your reporting. We have a list of our favourite dashboards, but what you need will depend on your business goals and objectives.
5. Commit to your chosen channels
We’re all guilty of trying to keep on trend with the latest social media platforms.
But now is the time you need to draw the line, look at your measurements and identify your stronger channels and what your target customers would most likely be circulating on.
You need to commit to these channels and continue to develop relationships with your followers. What’s the point of putting your Facebook on hold for a month to try and work out the Pinterest game if your customers aren't there?
UPDATE 11/04/2018: We are so thankful that the social media sphere has become a little more stable - there isn't a 'hot new platofrm' every week - and more and more businesses are finding what they're good at and sticking to it.
That said, we now find people are so overwhelmed with information that they're more likely to stop or ignore their social media channels (and direct their marketing team to do the same) than really take the time to consider where their customers are lurking.
Choosing where to market is an important business decision. You'd likely have data to back up any other business decision - and not just rely on personal preference - so why would you treat social media differently?
6. Gain control
Last, but certainly not least, you need to gain control.
You have to own what you do.
As an owner of your business' social media channels, you are the voice communicating to current and potential customers. Make sure you have a clear community management policy in place. Know exactly how will you respond to questions, comments or complaints, including any escalation procedures, timeframes for response and basic responses which allow you to express your brands' personality. Write it out and make sure your management and/or team are on board.
Go out and conquer!
BONUS TIP: This is an extension of a post we published earlier in the year that quickly became one of our most read posts. A great title can go a long way! So get creative! And if you get stuck, get some inspiration from Portent, a really fun ideas generator.