In my previous article on how to develop a winning social media strategy you will have covered the basics of building up your customer profiles and researching the consumers and competitors in depth. Now you can start building juicy content on your social media platforms. But first things first, which ones are you going to use?
1. Choose your Social Media channels
I’m sure you will have a presence on some of the sites already, however if there are some that are not working for you as well as they should be its time to ditch those, in favour of the channels that will best communicate your message to your target audience.
Here is an overview of the most commonly used ones and which businesses they are best suited to.
It’s the obvious starting choice for many but not necessarily the best for your business. If you can share photos, these have the top figures when accounting for most engaging posts in social media but this is not the case for all businesses. Several social sites are predominantly visual so if your business is in fashion, beauty and food related products then the visual sites work best.
My personal favourite, Instagram is a completely visual experience as it eliminates the need for lengthy written content to accompany it. If it looks good post it, a picture says a thousand words anyway. Unlike Facebook, there are no algorithms for the timeline display so every follower has the chance to see every post when scrolling through their timeline. Anyone in travel, food, fashion, beauty, design and photography can take huge advantage of this platform.
This one is up there above the rest only because before there was social media as we know it today, there was social networking on LinkedIn. This has been used by business professionals for well over a decade now to expand their professional networks. It is also a huge resourcing and recruitment site and in can result in real opportunities and connections to expand your business. LinkedIn is a good starting point for anyone in Financial Services, IT, Recruitment or any other B2B company.
Twitter can be used to build a relevant audience quite quickly if you make it a more personable account instead of a corporate projection. People want to connect with people so if your brand is not a household name, its unlikely they will engage with a logo they are unfamiliar with. They go to Twitter to share and learn so make sure someone is always listening.
By using YouTube, you are tapping into a huge potential market as most consumers are more confident in their online purchasing after watching video. As a predominantly visual site you need to rely on communicating your message clearly in the video as the consumer is not here to read all about it in the notes below and you need to keep them engaged throughout. Typically a DIY approach to YouTube is not going to cut it as a lot will need to go into the production – telling the story, writing the script, editing and moving things around, whilst still focusing on SEO. Media, music and TV shows use YouTube well but any business can market their service and products if you create high quality videos, you cannot go wrong.
A fun and interesting platform that has huge potential with converting into direct sales. Pinterest is the sales conversion powerhouse as consumers are there for shopping inspiration. The audience is predominantly women, typically mothers and they lust after anything to do with fashion, beauty, interior design, arts and crafts, food and travel.
If SEO is crucial to your business then this is a big one to consider. Also if your customers are predominantly male, Google + could hit the mark as 64% of their audience are male. Although it can be perceived as a bit of dead place to a newbie, Google + is full of very passionate communities and it encourages you to connect you with ‘new’ people who have the same interests, passion or even career as you.
Blogs and Podcasts
If you choose to produce blogs and podcasts for your audience you will be demonstrating your expertise and knowledge and educating your audience or solving their problems. This turn leads to more trust and confidence in your brand so you can build long term relationships and you will also gain a much wider exposure for your business.
2. Communicate your Key Messages
Once you know who your target audience are and which channels you will use, you need to determine which key messages you want to get across. This should tie in with your overall marketing strategy, company vision and mission statements.
Start with 3 key messages that you want to communicate and find creative ways to do so with each. Don’t be afraid to experiment a little and keep trying new ideas as your audience will appreciate your unique, varied and original content.
Find ways to deliver valuable content to your customers, instead of just communicating your message. If you are helping to solve their problems, they are more likely to trust your service and products in return.
3. Create a Content Calendar
Now its time to create a content calendar so that you have guidelines of what you need to be posting, when and on which platforms. You need to be consistent to be successful, especially with blogs and podcasts as your audience specifically subscribe to these channels and expect fresh content regularly. Try to incorporate a good mix of pictures, videos, infographics and blogs where you can.
4. Get feedback often
Your social listening skills will play a key part in developing your content strategy further. When people have something to say about your brand, good or bad, they often turn to social media to report on this so it’s important to acknowledge what is being said. Depending on your business you may have review sites you can check, or you may want to create customer feedback forms to send out. It is also worth joining relevant groups so that you can help point people in the right direction to solve their problems, even if they are not talking to your directly. Nurture your exiting customers to check they are satisfied with everything and get recommendations and testimonials from your most loyal ones.
Please feel free to leave me any feedback yourself, in the comments below.