Social media is one of the most effective ways to connect with potential customers and build relationships with them, which leads to more sales in the long-term. But if you don’t have a social media strategy, then your efforts will be scattered and ineffective at best—and downright damaging at worst. That’s why I’m going to share four key benefits of creating a strategic plan for your social media presence:
1. It creates your plan
Imagine starting a long, cross-country road trip without having SatNav or a map. Sure, eventually you may reach your destination, but not without a great deal of luck, stress, and wasted time and money in the process. That’s why businesses of any size need a map, a plan to guide them in their decisions in order to drive their enterprise forward with minimal waste and to maximum effect.
A social media strategy is a plan for how you will use social media to promote your business. It should include:
- Goals and objectives. What do you want your company to accomplish through its social media presence? Do you want more customers, more engagement from current customers, or something else entirely?
- Target audience. Who are the people who will benefit from seeing the content you create on Facebook and Twitter? What do they care about most in terms of products and services offered by your brand?
- Content. What are some things that could be shared on Facebook that would resonate with potential customers and make them think, “Yes! This is what I need right now.” Or on Twitter: “@yourbrand has just released an amazing new app!” Or whatever it may be.
- Tools. What social media platforms are you going to use?
- Operation. Do you need an agency or freelancer to manage your account, or will someone in-house be able to handle everything on their own? When do you plan on posting content and interacting with customers.
2. It focuses your effort
When you have a social media strategy, you are able to focus your efforts on the most effective platforms for your audience. My view is that when starting out, a small business should focus on only one type of content, audience or goal at a time. This is an excellent way to ensure you’re not spending too much time on each social media channel while also making sure that all of your efforts are directed towards achieving specific goals and performance metrics.
3. It improves reach and exposure
Social media can help you reach your target audience, and help build relationships with people who may not know much about your company yet – but could become regular customers if given the opportunity! They’ll get to know you before committing any time or money towards doing business together, which means less risk for all involved.
4. It helps you monitor and measure your performance
Monitoring and measuring your performance on social media is an important part of creating a social media strategy. Tracking your metrics will help you determine what’s working and what isn’t, so that you can refine your efforts to create better content going forward. To do this, it’s important to use analytics tools like Google Analytics, ContentStudio, or Hootsuite, which provide insight into the performance of all of your social channels – including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (and many others).
The metrics that are most important for monitoring are unique visitors (or views), engagement rate (time spent viewing/reading) and bounce rate (how long someone spends on one page before clicking away). These metrics will help you identify how much traffic is coming from each channel or campaign; where people are spending their time when they visit your website; how successful individual blog posts have been at generating leads or sales; etc.
Social media is an integral part of any business’ marketing strategy. If you don’t have a plan in place, you could end up wasting time and money on ineffective tactics. But by creating a social media strategy that aligns with your goals and audience, you can have a successful presence on social media without breaking the bank.