Building a Robust Social Media Management Strategy
A strong social media management strategy is essential for your business to thrive.
Many business social media strategies are haphazard at best. Often, that means publishing a post when time (i.e. you finally have some) and memory (oh yeah, our Twitter account!) intersect. The rest of the time, your social media accounts sit there, lonely and neglected, left to the ravages of cyberspace and time. This, of course, is the path of amateurs. You’re no amateur.
What do professionals do? They plan. That’s all you need in order to professionalize your business’ social presence and distinguish it from your flailing, procrastinating and bloviating competitors. Just some good ol’ strategic thinking. And lots of elbow grease.
This blog will help you build a robust and actionable strategy. The hard work? That’s on you.
Yes, Social Media Management is Actually a Thing
What kind of thing, exactly? A social media manager creates and publishes content to the social feeds under their control, and analyzes and improves that content’s performance while staying true to a brand’s voice. A social manager also engages and interacts with your business’ followers, customers, partners, or whoever might ask a question or post a comment (yes, even the negative ones) on one of your feeds.
Oftentimes, a business owner acts as their own social media manager. If you are adept at social media, knock yourself out. In reality, most people aren’t, so it’s best to reach out for some help from an outside agency battle-tested in the dark arts of social media (hint, hint…hint).
By creating a coherent social media strategy and handing the reins to a seasoned pro, you’ll position your business to tap into the global pool of nearly 3.5 billion social media users, 75% of whom use social media to inform their buying decisions.
Whether you hire a professional to manage your business’ social media accounts or decide to take on the task yourself, here are four key pillars to build a durable social media management strategy.
1. Know Your Platforms
More than 2 billion users across the world, across all demographics, worship at the altar of the blue-and-white calf
Nearly 70% of all U.S. adults have a Facebook account
This is a very big pie – grab a slice of it
- Twitter only has 330 million followers, but it is very influential
- If you are looking to makes waves with your business online, head here as a good chunk of Tweeters (40%) are between the ages of 18 and 29
- Twitter has its finger on the pulse of what’s happening, 280 characters at a time – if you want to engage with your customers and the trends, its is the place to be
- Perfect for spreading the visual (as opposed to the word) about your business
- Instagram is visually focused, very hip, and offers a unique platform for businesses to showcase their creativity using both still photos and video
- Around 67% of Instagram users are between the ages of 18 and 29, and the platform is popular with both men and women
- The social network to establish a business within an industry
- This is a great platform to recruit new employees, establish contacts within your industry and build your business’ reputation and brand
- Fifty percent of U.S. adults with a college degree use LinkedIn – if your business needs a few good people, find’em here
- That’s right, YouTube isn’t just great for amazing animal videos – it is the spot for longer-form content
- YouTube is the platform for how-to videos, product demonstrations, and exclusive information to boost brand awareness and juice sales
Nearly 73% of U.S. adults say they use YouTube – you should too
If posting to multiple platforms, it can get unwieldy. A social media management tool, such as Buffer or Hootsuite, will help. Both have free versions, but they are limited. But investing in a social media management application will help you track your business’ social content, its engagement rates and how to improve your posts’ performance. Definitely something to think about if you’re going to run your business’ social accounts on your own.
2. Develop a Strategy
So, you’ve got your bearings within the social media landscape. Now, you need a strategy to articulate your brand’s unique voice.
In a nutshell – your business’ strategy is made up of the methods and actions used to achieve your business’ goals.
So, in order to execute that strategy, your business needs to set out specific goals to achieve over the short, medium and long term.
What are your business’ goals? Here’s a sample of some that might cross your mind:
- Sell as many products as possible
- Acquire a certain number of new customers each month, or quarter
- Build a niche market for a new product in an old industry
- Fill a yawning gap in your industry where consumers are demanding a solution
- Facilitate dialogue within your industry, or within society at large
Your Voice & Your Audience
How will you address your customers on social media? What is your brand’s voice? Is it a playful Tweet with a touch of seriousness when selling your biodegradable toothbrushes? Or a series of succinct LinkedIn and Facebook posts when offering details about your firm’s no-nonsense guide to wills and estates? Bottom line: know who your customers are, where you’ll be engaging them, and how.
Your Brand’s Look
Nail your brand’s look and plaster it across your business’ social presence, but tailor it to each platform. Make sure you all your logos, bios, icons and header displays are sized correctly to each platform’s specifications. You want your brand’s look to subtly boost your brand’s awareness on social, not take away from it.
3. Create a Routine
If you’re running a business, and its ancillary social accounts, a schedule, or content calendar, is a must. Both Buffer and Hootsuite, and other social management applications, have functions to help you schedule your business’ posts. Ideally, you’ll want your social content scheduled at least a month in advance, taking into account any of the following:
- product launches
- how-to demonstrations
- holidays, etc
Get your social media followers to expect your posts at certain times of the day or week, on every platform you’re on. Know what your clients want and deliver to them on social, which hopefully will lead them to your checkout.
4. Engage Your Followers
Once the posting is done, don’t rest. After all, we’re talking about social media here, and the social aspect (aka customer service) is arguably the most important part.
Once your content is out there, people will engage it, by “liking” a Facebook post, retweeting your Tweet, or giving your Instagram post some love. Don’t just enjoy the view – build that relationship. Thank that user, either with a “like” or “heart” of your own or – even better – write them a quick message of thanks. Show them you’re there for them.
If negativity comes your way on social media (and it will), deal with it professionally at all times. Remember, this isn’t your cousin’s no-holds-barred wrestling club where anything goes. This is your business, so if a customer is angry, or demands a refund, hear them out and engage them professionally and with respect.
You can’t make everyone happy all the time, but a brand that deals with the negative as respectfully and as adeptly as it does the positive? The end results usually speak for themselves.
Summary: Social Media Management Strategy in a Nutshell
Social Media Management is essential for your business’ online success. Most businesses are on social media these days, so do the work and put your best foot forward. Social media is a terrific way for any business to generate more clicks, website visits and profit boosts so long as it effectively, consistently and professionally executes its strategy.
If your head is barely above water running your business, or you need to hand the social media load off to a trusted pro, Clavis Social is here to help. We’re experts at creating, planning and executing social media strategies for businesses large and small. Get in touch with us today!