Crafting Winning Social Media Strategies
Social media has been increasingly growing over the last couple of decades. So much, so that social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat have become a vital source of information and news. This is the reason that 73% of marketers agree that social media has had some effect or a very noticeable effect on their business as revealed by Buffer in 2019.
At Prohibition, we can help you craft the perfect social media strategy so that you can interact with your customers and drive meaningful conversations that also achieve your critical corporate objectives. Whether you are thinking of hiring a social media influencer or creating Facebook content to secure sales or attract followers, the effectiveness of the content marketing strategy will depend vastly on your business. At Prohibition, we understand the cultural and social impacts needed to create first class content or social media strategy.
We help brands interact, grow, build and maintain their customer base with industry-leading tools and sophisticated tactics. How does a business measure the impact of their social media platforms in marketing? Or devise a strategy that is sustainable and reaches the right audience? The answer lies with our experts and strategists and in your data.
No two social media platforms are alike, so your strategy for one platform will vary, sometimes significantly, from another.
Track Meaningful Social Media Metrics
Most companies decide the effectiveness of their brand awareness campaigns by measurable actions such as likes, shares, retweets, and comments.
These actions are trackable, but the issue is that there is no real way of deciding what they mean in monetary terms. How many leads are they generating? How many web referrals has the brand received from them? What is the conversion rate of these customers?
They are excellent as indicators, but a brand needs quantifiable measures that can determine how effective their outreach is. Every social media strategy should have a different tracking mechanism or KPI for each platform and these should be used for a different aspect of customer outreach.
Here are the top four critical social metrics you need to know and the ones that we can help you curate accurate data for each:
In simple terms, brand awareness is the extent to which your customers can recognise or recall your company. It can be quantified from some of the standard social media metrics such as shares, links, mentions, and impressions. This report could be tracked across several timeframes from a week, month, quarter or even a whole year.
There are three ways of tracking it:
- First, decide which social media metrics your brand considers necessary or critical for brand awareness.
- Second, decide a period in which you want to measure your brand awareness.
- Third, be consistent in tracking quantifiable data to reach a solid conclusion.
At Prohibition, we have several best in class tools that can monitor your brands performance and quantify this data.
Audience Growth Rate
Audience growth is the indicator that says how many followers you have increased within a specified period. In recent years it has been seen as more of a vanity metric, as organic reach on most platforms has dropped substantially. However, brands do still have a chance to grow their follower base indefinitely, and there is a lot of data to support that followers often go on to purchase.
The audience growth rate should be carefully tracked every month – if not every single week. The leading questions here should include – how many people followed us in the last month? How did we do in comparison to the month before? How are we doing compared to our main competitors?
Tracking audience growth rates is simple. Track how many organic followers you have in a month. Divide the net follower count by the total number of followers you have and multiply it by 100.
If you gained ten followers in the last month on Instagram and have 1000 followers in total, your audience growth is 1%. Not only should you track your brand growth, but also the growth of your key competitors.
Organic Post Reach
Every organic post made on social media should have some fundamental purpose. It should also reach the right number of consumers and be genuinely useful to them. This one metric is easily trackable, and translates into how many people are interested in your brand and product.
It is affected by some common factors like the timing of when your target audience is online, what content can engage your audience and what they don’t find interesting. These are actionable outcomes that could help perfect your social media strategy and improve your engagement rates when you outreach.
Every post you make in any platform should be appropriately tracked, and then divided by the total number of followers and multiplied by 1000. So, if you reach 100 people with a single post, your outreach is 10% effective for a separate post.
Post reach talks about how many people see your posts, but potential reach is all about how many people could see your post. Every time one of your followers shares a post you made, the outreach should grow 2% to 5% amongst the follower’s followers and should be accounted for in potential reach.
Reach is a complicated metric and one of the most important for a social media marketer. Potential reach determines the conversion rate of customers. However, there is no quick trick to measuring potential reach. There are potential reach factors directly tied to your posts, and possible indirect ones from mentions, shares, and likes.
At Prohibition we have a range of brand monitoring tools that have effective algorithms that can calculate this number precisely for you and track them over time.
Understand Your Audience
It’s important to take the time to really understand your audience. All of your content should be served to people who are genuinely interested in your brand, service or offerings. Your customers define what your target audience should be and what they want to see on social media is the type of content you should be sharing.
Use your target audience to define the content you post on social media because that is how you will convert followers into real customers.
Specialising personas can take finesse, time and research. It is done with your potential customer base in mind, and even in the same industry, two similar businesses can have widely different personalities. We have vast experience in creating engaging buyer personas for maximum brand impact, and can offer even further analysis on what your personas like, what they buy, what their political views are and how to engage them better.
Collect Real-Time Data Of Customers
All social platforms store a plethora of data related to their users. It is a useful media tool for deciding the demographic of the platform. However, making assumptions about user data is not going to be accurate most of the time. In a study done by social media strategists, it came out that despite the widespread belief that boomers are more active on social media, millennials still outweigh them on Facebook.
The target age, interests, occupation, income, and friend circle of your demographic matters to you for your marketing. Even a careful analysis can uncover a lot of gold dust information that is not publicly available, but can turn around your brands next sales figures.
We can offer regular customised reports from the data insights to help you understand how your customer preferences are driving business goals.
Do Competitor Research
For every product you want to sell, there is probably a competitor who is already out there on every social media channel doing the same thing, but for a longer time. There is a lot to be learned from the strategies that these competitors are already using to get new customers effectively. This can data can be extracted through careful competitive analysis that we do regularly for clients in all sectors.
Discovering who your competitors are, and what actions they have taken, to increase their sales, as well as what mistakes caused them to lose customers, will help you strategise your campaign and primarily learn from their mistakes.
By doing this, you can also spot the gaps in their strategy. If one of your competitors has a good reach on Facebook, but not so much on Instagram or Twitter, then you can focus your growth on these platforms to reach out to the customers who are not following a competitive brand.
Make Sure You Invest In Social Media Listening
As they say, you should listen twice as much as you talk. This is especially in line with social media marketing where you should focus on what your target audiences are worried about or discussing frequently and then speak accordingly on these topics. Social media listening is critical, and any brand can now listen to social media conversations in far more detail than ever before.
It is essential to keep a close eye on all the social media platforms your audiences are active on. Keeping an eye on specific posts, understanding the keywords used can bring out insights that can effectively be utilised when devising your own social media content strategy. You can hit the mark with the audience by using the right content by merely engaging in some professional social listening.
Audit All Social Media Accounts
Auditing social media accounts is a decent way of determining how they are performing. If you are using tools for individual platforms, every few months, at the very least, you should evaluate what has been accomplished and look for areas to improve. Consider:
- What are you doing right, and what can be improved?
- Who are the people that have engaged with your social accounts?
- What other networks do your target demographic engage with?
- Is your social media presence comparable to the competitors? Is it better, or is it worse?
- What can you learn from your competitors?
Once you have all the relevant information required for auditing in one place, you can start evaluating your campaign efforts and its key outcomes. Then in turn, you can implement new measures to ensure your campaigns deliver great impact.
An audit should clearly outline the ways that a particular platform is helping your business grow. If there is no effective outcome from one account, then you can debate on whether it is important enough to invest time and effort in.
The most basic questions a social media platform should pass are:
- Does my target demographic use this platform?
- What do they use the platform for?
- Is this account contributing to meaningful business growth for my brand?
Create Accounts in Every Network and Work On Building The Existing Ones
If you do not have a social presence, then work on creating them as early as possible. If you already have accounts but don’t do much outreach, work on building them carefully and accurately, so they are beneficial. Define which channel should be used for which strategy – all channels serve different purposes.
Instagram can be used to create engaging, inspirational and visually pleasing posts that build brand awareness. Twitter allows you to respond to any customer complaints or queries and generate public interaction. Snapchat is useful for creating stories and reactive content. Facebook can be used to reach a wide audience and keep your customers up to date. Every social media account serves a different purpose and it’s crucial that you use them effectively.
To make it simpler, we focus on a one-line vision statement for every social media platform you use and work to achieve this goal. This is because if you can’t come up with a solid strategy for each social platform, then it might not be worth spending time on that particular channel. You need to have mini-strategies for each channel to ensure they perform to the best of their ability for their brand.
Build Your Existing Accounts
It is perfectly acceptable to use just a few social media channels that will benefit your business, and focus on growing them, instead of creating a profile on every platform for the sake of it. We will build your existing accounts through the creation of carefully crafted profiles that your followers can then rely on and will engage with.
The first step is to research key words that your audience is interested them and embed these into your content. For example, if you are the seller of customised Lord of the Rings figurines, we can find out from Google keyword planner what the relevant keywords are for your products. These words are what people search for in Google when looking for a specific product.
When you use these key words in your posts, people who search for a specific keyword like ‘Frodo figurine’ will be able to find your social media account and then may start to engage with your content. It’s all about targeting the right customers and converting their comments, likes and clicks to sales.
Interact With Your Followers
Excellent customer service is something that will always be valued. Ask your customers what they are looking for from your brand. What are the things they are talking about online and the things they want to be updated on? Keep engaging them with thoughtful and considered content and asking their opinions on your products and what aspects could be improved. Make sure you take it a step further and deliver on the promises you make and the conversations you have. This will increase brand loyalty and speed-up conversion.
See if your customers are looking for something that you don’t currently provide. If there is something and you can offer this need quickly and simply – that will be highly favourable and won’t go unnoticed to your followers.
At Prohibition, we treat customer complaints on social media seriously. Even if they are for inconsequential things, you should be tactful of how you handle it. Ignoring a single issue can lead to 10 others. When you neglect an individual customer, your brand dependency and credibility comes into question which will effectively turn away other customers and leave you with a damaged reputation. This is why we are specialists in online crisis management, our managing director was even asked by the CIPR to write the book on it.
Have a Calendar For Timing Social Media content
Having a great variety of content is essential to achieve social media success. But that is not sufficient to ensure you reach the most people and convert the most customers. There is a right time and wrong time to post on social media and this varies between platforms. It largely depends on the industry and the audience when a social media post will reach the most people and get the maximum impact.
For example, the travel and tourism industry tends to begin trending as the weekend gets closer, usually during Friday afternoon. This is because people are generally trying to make travel plans for the weekends at this time. Even on Mondays, this is a trending topic, because this is when people reminisce about their weekend trips. Throughout the week, however, this trend is significantly down and posts will underperform during this period. So, understanding when you are best to post can be truly powerful.
Have a Content Posting Schedule
For all of our retained clients, we offer the creation of a monthly or weekly content calendar that contains significant holidays, awareness dates and other critical dates for a client’s particular topic or sector.
This is where we plan what kind of campaign to use on various awareness days and would look at what videos and posts will be most effective. The images and visual assets used will complement the plan – this is one reason we have an in-house design team to ensure your content always looks professional and visually engaging. Each month, different content will be required and drafted to ensure that key campaigns and messages are delivered to your audience and relevant awareness days and key dates are tapped into.
Mix Up Your Content
Don’t make all of your content about promoting the brand, or all about motivational posts. A content strategy needs to be carefully balanced. For example, you might have 70 per cent of your content informing customers about new products, 20 per cent for exclusive promotions and 10 per cent for customer service-related content. A variety of content will help keep your feed engaging. A portion of your content should be to increase reach and convert followers into customers.
Creating a content plan gives you an advantage when it comes to producing regular engaging content on your channels. At Prohibition, we have a range of tools that allow us to post content by scheduling it at the desired time in advance. Meaning more time can be spent on creating quality content.
Test And Reiterate Your Strategy For Optimum Results
Having an essential social media guide is crucial. You need this documentation to grow and plan your business. But there is no way you will get everything right when you try for the first time, or even that your strategies will work as expected for an indefinite period. It’s all about trial and error.
Social media trends and their algorithms change all the time. You have to account for these changes and make sure you keep working and building on your initial strategy. Some of the strategies that work should remain on the list, and others that are not as effective should be updated in light of platform updates.
Keep Tracking User Data
UTM parameters are a good indicator or how customers are engaging with your website. You can also use Facebook analytics funnels to see what stages of the sales and advertisements are performing well, and at what stage customers are becoming dissuaded.
This data will guide your social media strategy moving forward. You can use this data to understand the impact of different types of ad campaigns that you are creating and how each of these strategies is performing against one another. When you continually evaluate progress, you can see a change in real-time and then understand where improvement can be achieved.
One of the cheaper options that can expose a lot about strategy effectiveness is surveys. To find out how well these strategies are working, create one study targeting your followers on each channel and ask them. You can share them using their email lists or put it on your website. Your principal aim here is to understand the expectations and needs they have for following you on that channel, and what they do and don’t like. What they are asking for should be incorporated into your social media strategy to increase engagement and retain followers.
In social media, things change very fast and even some networks disappear. Orkut and Myspace had been pioneers in social media marketing, and they eventually dissolved, giving way to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
New networks like TikTok can emerge which your competitors are overlooking, and you can capture. Implement positive changes over time as needed, refer to the strategy as many times as you want, but do not shy away from needing to make drastic changes if it will result in better performance for your brand.
Keep your team in the loop, and your customers in the know so everyone is on the same page. This way, you can exert the maximum benefits from every social media platform by using our comprehensive strategy guide that keeps up with the times.
For more information on social media planning, strategy or delivery, contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.