Building a social media presence is perhaps the most common advice given to brands that have just begun building their online presence, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Social media is so big that it has become a part of our lives, both personal and professional. Even those who don’t consider themselves very “social” find themselves scrolling through the feed of one platforms or the other.
In other words, regardless of what industry you operate in, or who your audience is, there is a good chance that you will find them on at least one social media platform. That is also perhaps one of the reasons that exhaustive packages for digital marketing services also usually include social media marketing as a service.
While building a social media presence is necessary, building a social media marketing strategy can be quite confusing for beginners. This is particularly true for the same reason one must include social media marketing in their online marketing plans- there are simply too many social media platforms today.
While this means that you are bound to find your audience on one of them, it also means that finding the right platform, and figuring out its quirks to drive your success can be very confusing.
If you identify with the above statement, this article is for you.
In the following sections, we will be discussing the tips that will enable you to create an exhaustive and effective social media strategy from scratch.
Don’t Try To Be Present On EVERY Platform
While it is a safe assumption that you may find at least one prospect on every social media platform (since almost all of them have several millions of users), being present and active on all social media platforms is simply too difficult. Not to forget, the effort is not worth the potential results that you can get.
Instead, the more efficient way to do this is to carefully select between one and three social media platforms where your audience is most likely to be present.
If you know your audience and have worked on creating a detailed buyer persona, identifying these platforms should not be difficult. If not, the first step for you is to understand your audience better.
This way, you will be able to minimize the effort that goes into building a social media presence and still get promising results. Once you have understood the traits that define your audience, you can refer to this research about the demographics of the users of various social media platforms to guide your decision.
The reason I suggest limiting the number of platforms you target to three is that managing accounts on more platforms can take up significant amounts of time.
With that said, for many businesses, there is a chance that their audience is present on several platforms. In such cases, make the following considerations:
- How much time can you spend on social media marketing?
Answering this question will enable you to determine the right number of platforms that you can consistently manage and track.
- Which platform(s) suit your and your team’s skills the best?
The content formats that are popular on every platform are different. For instance, on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram, visual content usually performs better. However, on Pintrest, it is possible to drive audience engagement with graphics and photos. On the other hand, audiences on Instagram and Facebook are more used to watching videos. In this case, if you have the skills and time required to create professional and engaging videos, Facebook and Instagram might be the right choice. Otherwise, it is wise to stick to Pinterest and post the same photos on Instagram.
You need to break your echo chamber and build an understanding of your audience and answering the above-mentioned questions should enable you to identify the platforms you want to target. Next, it is time to create social media profiles for your business.
Create Complete Profiles For Your Business
Creating a social media business profile is quite simple, yet many businesses either leave something out, or get something wrong.
Every social media profile, regardless of the platform, has two parts: the visuals and the text.
The visuals include the cover photo (on platforms like Facebook and Twitter) and the profile photo. Different platforms accept different resolutions and sizes, here’s a guide about the same.
If you are targeting multiple platforms, having similar photos as the cover photo and the profile photo is a good idea to build brand consistency. Remember, everything mentioned in this section of this article is about appearing professional to your audience on various platforms. Having similar photographs and a similar colour theme is a great way to build consistent and communicate professionalism.
The second part of your brand’s social media profile, the text, is just as important as the visuals. In most cases, the text part makes up for the social media bio of your brand account. Writing a strong and expressive bio is a great way to appear professional to those who decide to check out your business profile.
When writing the social media profile bio of your brand, make sure you keep the following things in mind:
- Describe what your brand does.
- Describe what your brand has achieved.
- Keep the language simple and easy to understand. Avoid industry jargon.
- Give your audience a reason to follow your brand.
Once you have created your brands’ social media, it is time to start posting. However, before that, you must figure out how your brand talks.
Set A Tone And Find A Voice
Every person has a personality. They talk in certain ways, they carry themselves in a certain way, and they have certain unique reactions to things happening around them.
You must be thinking how this information is relevant to this article.
It is relevant because while your brand might be an ‘imagined reality’ and not a person, when it starts talking to people, it needs to have a personality.
This personality is reflected in the way your brand communicates in its copy and visual assets. The tone and voice of your company will determine what feelings you inspire within your audience, and if you store everything in a brand asset library it will ensure that the message you are putting out to the world remains consistent.
If you don’t already have a tone and a voice in mind, you can get started with the following exercise:
- Think of your brand as a person. Now, make a list of the adjectives you will use to describe this person.
- Next, make a list of adjectives that DON’T describe your brand.
- Now, consider your ideal customers’ point of view. How do you want them to perceive your brand? Think about what you want your customers to say when they are asked to describe your brand.
At the end of this exercise, you will have a list of adjectives that describe your brand. When writing the copy for your website or social media posts, keep them in mind. Use these adjectives to guide the tone and voice of all your marketing communications.
Remember how we discussed that it is not advisable to be present on too many social media platforms because it is simply too much effort for too little results?
The same thinking should be applied when you finally start posting through your brand’s social media handles and profiles. To make sure your efforts and results are in balance, you must do these things:
- Introduce focus to your posts
Many brands make the mistake of simply creating and posting on social media, without a strategy in mind. On the other hand, successful social media accounts post with focus. Most have a few fixed formats of posts that they utilize. For instance, a digital marketing company will talk about tips and tricks, best practices, their own services, and links to useful and interesting articles.
This way, those who follow them know what to expect from their content. At the same time, the ones handling the account don’t find themselves reinventing the wheel every few weeks.
A way to take this approach a step further is to think in terms of campaigns. Find a goal you want to achieve and design a campaign to achieve that goal. Timed campaigns with specific goals will enable you to effectively measure the progress of your efforts while also ensuring that your content, despite being limited to a fixed number of formats, never seems repetitive.
- Determine the right time and frequency for posting
Social media marketing is all about getting more visibility and more engagement. Only when you can check these two boxes, can you think about converting someone from your audience into a paying customer.
While it may seem like a good idea to post more often to get more visibility and engagement, the case is quite the contrary. There have been many studies conducted with the objective of determining the right frequency for posting on social media. These studies have found that after a certain number of posts, the visibility of content drops. On some platforms, this drop is significant.
To get started, you can use the following numbers as a guide:
|Platform||Posts Per Day|
Besides the frequency, you also have to make sure you are posting at the right time. Once again, there is a lot of research freely available on the web that can help you make an informed decision in this matter. Alternatively, you can refer to this incredibly detailed guide.
With the information provided in this article so far, you can get started with your initial efforts on social media. But what after that? Let’s find out.
Analyse, Improvise, Adapt
One of the biggest reasons that social media simply blew up as a marketing platform is the availability of data. Engagement and visibility numbers, when aligned with your website’s traffic metrics, can provide you with extremely valuable information.
It is this very information that brands all over the globe are utilising to drive their success on social media.
For instance, the information obtained from various social media platforms was used in the research to find out the ideal frequency and time to post on social media. However, those numbers are a starting point.
Every brand is targeting a different audience of real humans with very unique and very human characteristics. What may have worked for several brands may not work for yours. To determine what works for your brand, you must analyse the data you can obtain from the social media platforms you use. You must conduct experiments with different content formats and timings to figure out what works for your audience.
Before wrapping up, I would like to talk about the number one challenge that beginners face with social media marketing and that challenge is, being consistent. Being consistent is perhaps the magic key to social media success. However, this success comes slowly and being consistent may prove to be surprisingly difficult.
If you find yourself struggling with being consistent with your social media efforts, you can think about automation with a social media scheduling tool. Alternatively, you can get in touch with a professional social media marketeer that will not only automate the entire process for you, but will also bring a fresh vision and their experience to your brand’s social media efforts.