Spontaneous success is a wonderful thing.
You know, those wins where you just show up unprepared and nail it on the day.
It is exhilarating and takes someone who can think on their feet. However – most of the time, success is found through a strategy of some sort.
Yes, the All Blacks have an incredible amount of natural talent – but they have a game plan.
Nicole Kidman didn’t wake up and find herself internationally famous – she studied acting and pursued her professional goals, one by one.
And of course, Richard Branson spent decades cultivating the ‘Virgin’ brand – starting with a magazine and a mail-order record business.
Strategy is the backbone of success.
As a business owner – it is safe to assume you have a business strategy. You (hopefully) have a marketing strategy. But do you have a social media strategy?
What is a social media strategy?
Social media is often the afterthought.
We see businesses accounts where posts are done ad hoc, when the mood strikes. Several employees may have access to the accounts, posting their own ideas at irregular intervals.
While this works for some people – a social media strategy will help you ensure you have a regular, consistent – and ‘on brand’ presence.
It includes planning around all the essential elements of your business – so you have a roadmap for your posts that is based on your goals.
What does a social media strategy look like?
There are several important factors that should be considered when devising your social media strategy.
The first thing you should ask yourself when posting on social media is – who am I posting to?
Who is my audience? What are they interested in? What problems do they have, that I can help them solve?
WIthout serious consideration of your target audience, you cannot hope to make much of an impact. Your social media strategy will outline all these details, like
- occupation/income bracket
Now that you know who your target audience is – we need to figure out where they are.
We don’t mean physically (that would be a little bit creepy.)
Where do they exist in your digital ecosystem – and more specifically, which social channels do they frequent?
Some people spend lots of time on Facebook and Youtube – while barely touching Instagram and Twitter. If you are a B2B service, LinkedIn is likely where you need to be.
Your strategy will help you make informed decisions about which platforms you need to invest your time in, based on the traits of your target audience.
Ok – so we’ve got who you’re talking to down pat – and we know where they are.
Now you need to decide what you want to say to them.
Your business should have key messages already included in your overarching marketing strategy. They are phrases and sentences that get to the crux of who you are and why people should buy from you / work with you.
They give people an instant idea about your value proposition – and they should definitely be at the forefront of your social media presence.
It distresses us when we see a business posting all kinds of content, using graphics with all kinds of fonts and all kinds of colours.
Your brand elements need to be consistent on social media. It distinguishes you as a professional and helps with brand recognition. Canva is a great place to create quick and easy graphics, as it allows you to save your brand elements.
One of the strongest ways to use social media in your business is to drive traffic to your website.
This should absolutely be part of your social media strategy. Which pages do you need more eyes on? Do you have a blog you want to share?
The hashtags you use almost require their own strategy!
Hashtags are a great way to further your reach and connect with a wider audience who may be interested in what you have to offer. Most platforms use them to a greater or lesser extent – they are powerful inside Linkedin as much as Instagram.
Just ensure you do your research – some of the terms you think may be relevant to your brand may in fact be a whole different rabbit hole.
We have put together a handy resource, listing 450 hashtags for businesses in several different industries like business consultancy, accounting, health, real estate, legal and more. Get your copy here.
Why is a social media strategy so important?
We are not saying all your social media use needs to be planned out in advance.
When done with minimal effort, using social media for your business will help build a rapport with your audience, establish your knowledge in your industry and increase brand awareness.
However, when done properly and professionally, you could generate real leads, build your marketing list – and sell your stuff!
If you need help creating your social media strategy – get in touch.
We have worked with many businesses to help them create content that is thoughtful, engaging – and relevant to their audience.