Social media can seem like a bit of a minefield when you first get into it, it’s difficult to know where to tread, plus it all changes so quickly. Here we offer you a quick seven step guide to ensure you are getting the basics right if you are just starting out or feel that your company’s social media needs a bit of an overhaul.
1. Review & set goals
- Where are you now? Look at your follower numbers, the quality of content, engagement levels, effectiveness of content in delivering objectives, are there any platforms you are not using – should you be?
- What is being said about your brand? What is the team like who are running the accounts, are there any training needs?
- Is your website working with your social media? Is it optimised to convert inbound social traffic? Do you have social share buttons and plenty of ‘owned’ content to use on social platforms?
- Review what your competitors are doing on social media
- Define your objectives
2. Devise a strategy
- What do you want to achieve? New customers, increase in sales, communicate key messages, change views of the brand?
- Which platforms work best for you?
- Define approaches; who to target, type and tone of content, interaction levels, response time and integration with other marketing
- Who does what? Do you have holiday and weekend cover?
- Write a policy document including employee guidelines, tone, handling negative content and crisis management
3. Set up/update accounts
- Set up any new accounts that you need
- For active accounts review details such as ‘about’ text, category, check the layout and any cover/profile images – does this also work on mobile? Nearly 80% of social media time is now spent on mobile devices so this is crucial
4. Plan & create content
- Review your content types – e.g. links to relevant content from other organisations, your own content, products, people, surveys, questions, memes. Consider the tone – funny or educational, topical or emotional?
- Plan your content calendar. List what content you want to post when, link it in with key events. Know that this will be flexible and you will add to it as you go, it just gives you a good base. Look at paid content to enhance key posts. And remember to review this as you go along (see number 7)
5. Increase reach and build followers
- Improve organic reach: ensure links to social media are on all other communications, have social sharing buttons on web and email, promote social channels on newsletter, run competitions where you have to like/follow to enter, use hashtags and start conversations with people – social media is not just a broadcast medium, it is a valuable tool to talk directly with your customers
- Improve paid reach: Ensure your ads are on relevant platforms and are targeting the right demographic, install conversion tags on your website to track conversions and push ads for sign ups
6. Use content to gather emails
- There are various things you can do to increase email capture and build your database with social media; retarget website visitors on Facebook and Twitter with ads, offer compelling reasons for users to give their email address such as useful content and competitions, use content on social media to drive referral visits to your website and offer a pop-up sign up
7. Evaluate, track and optimise
- Regularly review how effective your content is using analytics for the individual channels and Google Analytics.
- Make changes based on what you learn – what time is best to post, what content are people responding to?
- Never stop learning – the digital landscape changes constantly, go with it and you will reap the rewards
This is just scratching the surface of how useful social media can be to grow your audience. If you need further advice please get in touch here.