With increasing digitalisation of virtually (pun intended) everything, it’s impossible to ignore the role and impact of social media. Not to dismiss the importance of traditional marketing mediums such as print or word-of-mouth, but to not have an online presence would be highly detrimental to the business’ progression.
While it’s tempting to apply the same strategy across all platforms, understanding the nature of each individual platform will achieve maximum results.
Take Facebook for instance. In addition to having access to a large audience, the social networking site also provides business features that allow you to schedule posts, purchase and monitor ads. It also provides features for specific industries such as Facebook Shops, a digital storefront for retailers, and the ability to showcase menus for eateries.
Instagram on the other hand, is a visual-heavy platform that focuses on photos and videos. Its features include Instagram Stories and live videos, both of which take a more unfiltered marketing approach, where the authentic element has enjoyed increasing popularity, especially amongst younger users. Instagram is perfect for raising brand awareness, as well as showcasing your products. While the platform doesn’t support direct links, users can still shop for products through Instagram Shopping.
It may not be the first social media platform to come to mind, but if you’re looking to build brand awareness and generate leads, LinkedIn would be your go-to platform. Engaging like-minded individuals in industry discussions, putting out educational posts and joining relevant groups can help you stay on the consumers’ radars, and allow you to stay connected and reach out to your target audience.
Different goals require different approaches. For instance, increasing brand awareness would mean pushing out consistent and engaging content. To measure the effectiveness of your strategy, you would have to look at metrics such as followers count, average post reach and engagement. As a visual-centric platform, Instagram would be a good option for this purpose.
For driving traffic to your website, the content would preferably take on an engaging and dare we say, intriguing angle for users to want to find out more. Metrics to take into consideration would include post clicks and shares. Given how Instagram doesn’t support direct links, Facebook in this instance, would be a better alternative as a traffic driver.
Other common goals include lead generation and revenue growth, all of which would require a unique approach.
Now that you’ve defined your goals, the next step is to know your target audience. Understanding who they are will help in terms of content planning and development. Do note that beyond the consumers you intend to market your product/ service to, each social media platform has its own unique demographic. For instance, Instagram would cater to a younger crowd as compared to Facebook. So tailor your content accordingly for maximum effectiveness.
We cannot emphasise this enough. Whether it’s the colour, look and feel or tone of voice, consistency can help build brand awareness and eventually, brand recognition. Always keep your mission, vision and values in mind when communicating. Staying true to your brand can also help establish a loyal consumer base.
While not interchangeable, pushing out content consistently and frequently will definitely keep you on consumers’ radar. A content calendar would come in handy in this instance, where it would, in addition to providing an overview, allow you to plan ahead and thus build your content bank. With the exception of trend-jacking, developing content beforehand will prevent situations where the bank is empty and you find yourself struggling to come up with relevant content.
It’s important to keep your mind open when crafting your social media strategy. This includes conducting your own research, picking up on the latest trends, taking into account feedback from existing consumers, and interacting with the community. Addressing the concerns of your community is also a good way of building relations and maintaining customer loyalty.
While there is no one size fits all social media strategy, the above pointers are definitely something for you to consider when crafting your own. Learn how each social media platform can help achieve your goals, and get creative!
Adeline is a content producer who dabbles in writing and photography. She’s also a bit of a history geek, and is glad to dish out facts nobody asked for.