So you’re working on a new social media strategy and you’re thinking to yourself, how do I go about this? What information should I give to my potential customers? How can I use my updates to generate sales?
Ultimately, your primary goals are to advocate your cause, increase sales and expose your brand. But the road leading to all that takes time to navigate and requires hard work, wit and a lot of wisdom.
Whether you’re an expert in the field of digital marketing or just starting out as a rookie, the key to social media is to build strong and lasting relationships with your followers. Realistically, these are not founded solely on posting random stuff on Facebook or Twitter. You have to feed something valuable to nourish the symbiotic relationships that produce likes, shares and retweets; thus expanding your social network.
Step 1 - Start With a Theme
You want your audience to know who you are and what you do. You’ve got products and services to sell after all, but chances are you have numerous competitors in the same marketplace. You have to make sure that you stand out from the rest and give your brand the best possible chance of being the one that people will remember, and even better engage with.
Come up with an overall theme – a general idea about what you want your audience to glean from you. It is also better if you can relate to your audience on a personal level – the extent of which varies depending on the nature of your business.
Step 2 - Solutions over Products
Focus on your product. Actually no don’t – focus on providing your clients with solutions to their most irksome and recurring problems. Whether you are selling e-books, training modules, fashion or cars, it is critical that your audience sees the value you offer. Products are physical items that depreciate over time. Solutions, however, are long-lasting and are still relevant for significant periods of time.
For example, let’s say you’re promoting a hammer. Focussing on the product would see you tell people, “It’s made from a very strong metal” but focussing on the benefits to your customers might see you state, “You’ll never have to buy another hammer again…” See the difference?
Step 3 - Consistency is the Key
Believe it or not, your audience possess very keen memories. Once they decide they want to follow your business’s feeds, they remember almost everything you say and write. Therefore, you need to be consistent – from the frequency of your posts to the upcoming special feature you’ve committed to release. Plan your overall strategy for a four to six-month period. You can still be flexible to make adjustments and although it is nice to innovate from time to time, do not make promises that you can’t keep. Avoid running before you’ve learnt to walk i.e. finish one campaign to a high standard rather than trying to run multiple, poorly.
Content planning can be tedious, but it can be highly rewarding if you master it and see the numerous benefits that it can bring. Take it seriously, but don’t become disheartened when your first posts don’t go viral or get as many shares as you would have liked. The bottom line is to engage with your audience and keep your posts fun to maximise their shareability.
- Seek to forge strong and lasting relationships
- Utilise your corporate branding to allow for easy recognition
- Explain product benefits not specifications
- Always be consistent
- Nail one project 100% before starting the next
- Social media is a marathon, not a sprint so keep going and don't give up!