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How to develop a social media strategy for your business

Growing your followers and interacting with your audience via social media is a fantastic way to build awareness of your business. But without a defined and organized social media strategy you could be missing out on opportunities. Planning your social calendar to keep your audience engaged and attract new users will require a systematic approach to get the most out of your content.

Here are some ideas you can incorporate when designing a social media strategy for your business.

Set goals and aim for targets

Part of planning a successful business content strategy is defining your goals and targets. Think about what you want to accomplish using your social channel. Do you simply wish to grow your audience and expand your reach, or are you hoping to drive conversions and generate sales? Whatever you are hoping to achieve you will need to create your strategy around the desired outcomes. Once you have your goals and targets set, this will help you to create content that aligns well with them.

Pick your platform

Not all social media channels speak to the same audience or have the same features. For example, platforms like Linkedin are geared towards the business community, and Instagram reaches a younger demographic. Pinterest is highly visual and has a predominantly female user base. Each one has its own strengths and weaknesses so it is worth researching your own audience to understand who your customer is.

What age range they fall into, are they more likely to be male or female, and the kinds of interests or social causes that may resonate with them will all help you to build a buyer persona. Depending on your product or service it can be helpful to choose social platforms that work well with your brand or has a user base that mimics your own audience.

Use different content types

Gone are the days of posting a single, simple image to social accounts. Now you can add interest to your feed by using different content types. Videos, stories, live feeds, and carousel posts can all help to engage your audience and nudge them into interacting with your accounts.

Make full use of stickers, gifs, hashtags, and tag other relevant accounts or users to widen the reach of your social content. Platforms like Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and Linkedin can all have clickable links added to posts to lead your audience directly to a website, product purchase page, or lead form.

Stay on brand

Hopefully, you have developed a brand image for your business and know what you want it to represent. Posting to your social channels should be fun, but it is important to remember your companies core values and make sure that your content reflects that ethos. Remain professional when crafting posts or captions and stay away from anything that may create a negative view of your business.

As a general guideline, it can be best to avoid emotive issues such as politics, religion, or ethical debates. Making posts that include your logo or that are based around your brand’s colors is also a good way to make your content stand out and be instantly recognizable in social feeds. A series of posts or those that can be fed in installments can all capture the interest of potential followers.

Post frequency and timing

Give some consideration to the timing and frequency of your posts and try and hit a healthy balance. Some social accounts move so fast that posting and reposting are totally fine. However, do the same on other platforms, and your risk losing users due to them feeling bombarded by post after post. Timing can also play a big part in the success of your social accounts and can be influenced greatly by the type of business you operate. If you are in financial services you may find that posting at 7-9 am works best when everyone is traveling to work. The same time slot may be less successful if you sell kids’ clothes as busy Mums and Dads are concerned with getting their children dressed, fed, and off to school during those hours.

Use your analytics

Most social media platforms include analytical information pertaining to your posts. This can yield important information about the type of content that resonates with your audience, the time of day that people interact, and may even contain specific information about the gender and location of your followers. The analytics can be examined and evaluated to help you determine what is working best, and the information can be used when designing a successful business social media strategy

Measure your success

All the analytical information that you can access will be useless if you don’t know what you are measuring. As part of your social media strategy, you will need to decide what means success to you. Is it 12 sales a month, or acquiring 3 new client accounts? Whatever it is, your measurement will need to be understood and included in your plans so that content can be generated with your goals in mind.

Call in the experts

With all of the points to be focussed on it can be worth having your planning and content design outsourced to a professional social media management service. This is a hands-off way of having someone else manage your social presence leaving you free to dedicate your time and resources to other areas of your business. Many services will create professional-looking on-brand graphics for your accounts, write captions, and interact with your users. Depending on the specifics of your agreement, your social management service may even provide a recap of weekly or monthly analytics and offer suggestions to improve your social media interactions.

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