Do you really need a plan for social media? Yes, if you want to succeed.
Long gone are the days of uploading content and it landing instantly in a potential customer’s feed. You must work for it now. Algorithms and platforms change frequently, and getting your content in front of the right people is the key to your social media success. To do this, you need to know where your customers are and how to engage them. Here are six simple steps to achieve this.
Step 1 – Set your objectives.
First, outline your goals as a business. Then, think about how you will use social media to achieve those goals. This is your social media strategy.
Step 2 – Understand your audience.
Consider how old they are, where they shop, their general interests and which channels they engage with the most so you can focus on those. Once you know this, take a look at the pages and posts they interact on and whether there are any commonalities or patterns. Take note; this is your audience persona.
Step 3 – Think about content.
Did you notice any content themes when analysing your audience persona? Were they more engaged with product photos, lifestyle shots, video, or a mix? Now is the time to create your content and test it to see how your audience responds. Start by creating a bank of assets. This will save time, ensure you have enough content to share at the start and ease the stress of worrying about what to post. When creating content, always remember your brand values, think about your brand colours, style and how you want to be perceived by your audience.
Step 4 – Get organised.
Consistency is key when growing your social media presence. Initially, try to post your content on the same day, at the same time each week. After one month, try a new time and day. This will allow you to understand the best times to post for your audience.
At the start of each week, create a content calendar. Plot your content for the week ahead including post copy, hashtags, images and the time and date to post. Then, use a scheduling software online to preschedule. Remember to make a note of when you are posting, so when a post goes live, you can be available for any questions or engagements you receive. Social media is called social media for a reason – start conversations with users and seek out those that might be in your audience persona, say hi and add value to their posts. They will be more likely to return the favour.
Step 5 – Try new things.
Social media platforms are constantly rolling out new features, so try them. Channels are known to be favourable to the accounts that do utilise new features and keep users on their page for as long as possible.
For content ideas, add a folder to your Instagram and Facebook to save images and video inspiration that you may like to try and build on in your own way. Pinterest is another excellent tool for developing ideas.
Step 6 – Analyse your data.
Analysing your performance data is a crucial part of your plan. Download your post data to understand how your audience has been engaging with your content each month. You can analyse post-performance as well as any conversions that have happened or if posts have been hidden. This is all valuable insight into how well your social media strategy is working. Set small objectives for the following month based on your findings to give you something to work towards.