Today, including social media a company’s marketing plan is communications 101. What is often questioned is the type of results that can be expected, and how much time and money needs to be invested. Based on our client work and feedback from clients, here are some of the best foolproof tips for a brand’s social media strategy.
1 – Outline your brand ethos and write it down. Know who you are and what your brand represents. Determining your brand should not be a difficult exercise, because it is the foundation of what you do and how you do it. If you and your team don’t understand your brand message, it’s highly likely that you customers won’t understand that identity either. Be sure to communicate what makes your brand unique. Understand that a brand identity should be flexible and can evolve as your businesses offers new categories and experiences.
2 – Post consistently. It is essential to understand your resources. This means identifying an internal person who will help develop content and either posting in-house or using a firm. Once resources are assessed, use that data to determine how many social media platforms you have available resources for and which ones work best to achieve your goals. Create a posting schedule accordingly. You don’t want to open accounts for seven social media platforms and post all the same content or only post once every few months.
3 – Learn from traffic and feedback through the use of analytic tools that gauge engagement, traffic and audiences. Make adjustments as needed, especially since this information can be attained within a short timeframe. Don’t shy away or ignore potential problems or issues, since the right tools will show you first if there are problems and you can take the steps needed to resolve any potential negativity.
We cannot communicate the importance of this point enough. A well-known women’s apparel company hired @TBG for social media services, with the warning that recent Facebook posts had been negative. The team was able to quickly turn engagement into a positive dialog when responsive feedback to all posts (both positive and negative) were addressed. Our team also set up a calendar that included topics of interest and social media only content, while limiting the number of purely promotional posts.
4 – Set a realistic budget and understand that social media isn’t really free. Yes, it is free to open a social media account and post. But no one will see your post, especially on Facebook, without some money behind it. When setting a budget, keep in mind that you are not just investing money — you are also investing time. This is especially true at the beginning when the account is new. Don’t think too broadly. If you are setting a budget with a goal of “selling more”, or “getting more followers”, there are really no milestones to gauge success. Set achievable goals that can be measured, have defined objectives, and a timeframe for achieving those goals. For example “increase the number of followers to 50K in two months.”
Finally, your budget can vary according to the month, season, products, etc. For example, if your company is small and just starting out, you will need to dedicate a higher percentage of your total budget to marketing during your first few seasons because no one knows who you are YET. You’ll make up the difference at different times of the year, or when there is a better understanding of what products are more popular and require less marketing support to sell.
5 – Have a clear call to action. Social media call to actions don’t have much time or space to generate an impact. The fewer the words, the faster the message can be communicated. Go back to your goals and then create your call to action (CTA): Do you want to drive traffic to your website? Increase followers? Encourage people to purchase? Educate audiences about your brand? Having a sale? Make sure each post DOES something.
Audiences expect a call to action, so don’t hide it in the message. If you aren’t grabbing people’s attention with impactful graphics and bold commands, you aren’t grabbing people’s attention. You see these commands all the time: Click here, Like this, Follow me, etc. Be as clear and concise as possible.
Goals – Put these tips to use!
These few time-tested tips from @TBG’s social media marketing team will help building an engaged audience and establish a brand’s presence. While specific platforms are not mentioned, these recommendations will work across all your social channels with some slight tweaks!
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