Wednesday, January 22, 2020
Brands can be make or break on social media. With constant algorithm updates on the different platforms, it’s important to have a solid strategy to guide your efforts. Setting up a cohesive social media plan can seem like a minefield of hashtags and cross-postings, and it can be hard to tell if all that ‘gramming is helping. Keeping on track and measuring results is key to monitoring your progress.
The first step of any social revamp is to perform a current state audit. Before setting goals, you will need to get a baseline so you have something to measure performance against. You’ll have to decide which key metrics are important to your business and draw your insights from there. What channels are working well for you, how many followers do you have, what are your audience demographics, what are your top performing posts? Look at each social media profile separately, but don’t forget to check your overall branding. Is there a disconnect across your social profiles, or are they all immediately identifiable as your brand? It’s important to be consistent to provide the best possible brand story for your audience. Before conducting your audit, you should build a template that’s customised to your business that you can use each time. If you would like to get started straight away, we like this template from Hootsuite (link:https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-audit-template/).
As part of your current state audit, you’ll have identified the demographics of your current audience. Now it’s time to decide on the types of audiences you’d like to focus on or haven’t yet been able to reach. Who are they? Their ages, likes, dislikes? Once you’ve identified your target audience, figure out what channels they use and which channels you can ignore. When looking at individual platforms, ask yourself, ‘is my audience here, and if so, how are they using this platform?’ You want to drill down to ONLY your target audience and speak directly to them—after all, they’re the ones converting on your website.
Before deciding what type of growth would be considered successful for your business, take a look at how that compares to similar businesses in your industry. Identify who your direct competitors are (although you’ll likely already know). You can do this via a simple google search to find their websites, then navigating to their social media. Or try browsing industry relevant hashtags on social channels. Get the lowdown on them: how many followers they have, what kind of engagement do they get (this is harder now that likes have disappeared). Look at the top performing posts of your competitors, what are they doing in their content that you’re not? The aim isn’t to copy their work, but to see what you could be doing better.
Now you’ve done all your background research, it’s time to get SMART. Setting specific, actionable goals will improve your chances of social media success.It’s not enough to simply ‘improve’ your social media presence, that is too vague and gives you nothing to measure against. Maximise your performance by setting SMART goals. That is, goals which are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. For example: increase brand awareness by 20% by 2020 (look at brand mentions, shares, post reach and impressions for KPIs).
It’s time to decide on your content strategy. Are you going to start from scratch, post more of the same, or maybe revamp old content? Take the lessons you’ve learned from your competitor analysis and current state audit to decide what will get the best results for your business. Now is the time to establish your tone of voice and messaging—how should your brand sound? It helps to have this written down somewhere in a social media style guide. Ask yourself, if a new social media manager walked into your business, would they be able to nail your brand tone using your style guide alone? Your brand should be instantly recognisable in a feed no matter which platform your audience visits. To keep your audience engaged, it’s important to mix up the content you post. Consider the rule of thirds for your posts:
Solidify your content calendar/posting schedule for stress-free posting, and nominate a date by when you want to hit your KPIs. Now you want to get a little creative with your planning and scheduling so you are creating and amplifying content regularly. A free calendar tool like this one from HubSpot (link:https://offers.hubspot.com/social-media-content-calendar?_ga=2.263252367.2003835731.1571630219-1395909608.1545026105) can be a great starting point. Now is also when you want to set a timeline of goals. When do you want to have hit your KPI’s? Setting deadlines will help keep you on track.
When all is said and done, it pays to take a step back and objectively evaluate your campaign. Did you hit your KPIs? What worked well? What didn’t? A formal review at the end of a campaign is important, but don’t forget to routinely evaluate campaign performance as you go. Frequent check ins will mean you catch issues early and can tweak your work for the best possible performance. Hit the ground running in 2020 and start planning your new social strategy now. It’s going to be a work in progress, but these 7 steps will let you put your best foot forward.
It’s important to be consistent to provide the best possible brand story for your audience.