6 Reasons Why You Need a Social Media Strategy

6 Reasons Why You Need a Social Media Strategy

When it comes to social media influence, building your brand can be challenging. You need a clearly defined strategy as, without one, you can find yourself hitting dead end after dead end; posting, but getting no real results.

Today we’ll review the top 6 reasons why you need a social media strategy for your brand and how having a strategy will benefit you.

To Build a Strong, Organic Presence

Building a strong and organic presence is crucial. Users need to become accustomed to seeing your posts. With a social media strategy, you can plan in advance and schedule your posts, fulfilling the #1 rule of social media – posting consistently. Many social media accounts fail to grow due to lack of consistent posting.

To Save Time

The creation of a content calendar and content bank may seem to be a time-consuming task, but it is well worth the initial effort. You will find that sorting and scheduling your posts a week or month in advance will save you time in the long run and the course of your posts will run smoother as well.

To Make Sure Your Goals Are Covered

Having a social media strategy in place helps you to stay focused on the broader spectrum of your goals. The creation of your strategy requires you to outline your business goals, which means you can work backwards from there and generate posts that reinforce them. You should also outline your social media goals and keep track of their progress to make sure you’re staying on the right path.

To Effectively Target Your Audience

A social media strategy will help you target your audience more effectively by helping you to engage them. You can utilize polls or questions in your updates to get a better understanding of your audience; what they react to and how to provide more value to them.

To Leave Room for Creativity and Create Better Content

The creation and use of a social media strategy will give you a bird’s eye view of the whole social media spectrum. You will be able to easily discern what is working and what isn’t. With this information you can create the type of content your audience can connect with; enabling you to become more creative and have a more targeted approach. You can get creative with live videos, Instagram and Facebook Stories and Twitter conversations.

To Stay Ahead of the Competition

Every reason for having a social media strategy we’ve gone over in this article is to the end goal of asserting your presence and staying ahead of the competition. With the scheduling and planning of your posts out of the way, you can focus on the details that really help you stand out. You will be able to analyze and tweak for better results, develop your brand niche, establish a distinctive look and feel for your brand account, post consistently and attract the followers you are looking for.

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New Ways to Gain Social Media Reach, Interactions and Followers in 2018

New Ways to Gain Social Media Reach, Interactions and Followers in 2018

As we go into 2018, here are some general, as well as platform-specific, tips and tricks you can use to boost your social media reach and get you better interaction and more followers.

General Tips for Better Social Media Reach and Interaction

  • Tell a Story

The great thing about stories is that readers are engaged from the first line. Depending on your brand or product, you may be struggling with how to make a story out of it. The trick here is to think about the story behind the brand or campaign and then craft your content ideas around it.

  • Use Videos

Of all the types of posts on social media today, videos garner the most interaction in likes, comments and shares. If you’re camera shy, there’s no need to worry; you can keep your video simple and short – 15-30 seconds is more than enough.

  • Create a Feeling of Community

People like to feel a sense of community. When they feel a part of something, they are much more likely to stick with it- be it a brand, a product or a website. You can offer physical products exclusively to your online followers; create a Facebook group to boost interaction, conduct polls and perhaps even create events that your followers can attend.

  • Use Social Media Ads

Boosting your posts with an ad can be a great way to widen your reach and gain new followers. It’s relatively inexpensive as well – you don’t need a huge budget to get potentially thousands more followers and customers.

  • Retarget

When you do get traffic to your website, be sure to target those visitors, engage with them and invite them to Follow or Like your page.

  • Timeless Tips

It goes without saying that some things must always be followed through on if you want to gain reach and followers.

  • Always use high-quality photos and images
  • Be consistent. If your page is inactive for too long people will lose interest and are more likely to Unfollow you. The recommended schedule for posting is generally 2-3 times a week.
  • Test out and have fun with new features. Change your posts up once in a while and add a sentence at the beginning that will help humanize and personalize the post. This will engage your followers and encourage more interaction.

Instagram

Time for some platform-specific tips – here are some ways you can grow your brand organically through Instagram.

  • Post Strategic Comments

A great way to gain exposure as well as new followers for your brand is to interact with other related brand accounts. Simply choose 5 brand accounts similar to yours and leave just one sincere comment on 2-3 of their photos per week. Doing this will widen your exposure to their followers and help gain you new followers.

  • Liking Post Comments

Liking comments on those same brand accounts posts can help with exposure, just the same as leaving comments on those posts will. Liking a comment will bring you to a person’s attention. It’s equally important to like the comments left on your own posts as well.

  • Stories and Live

Not only does using the Instagram Live and Stories feature bring you to the attention of your audience much more often, but it also helps you to roll out even more content. You can add to a Story every day and your followers will not feel overwhelmed as they might feel if you were actually posting that often. Another added benefit is that Instagram Live content can also lead to your video being featured in the Explore section, which is a gold mine for exposure.

  • Highlight Your Story

Instagram now has a feature that enables you to keep some Stories highlighted on your profile for as long as you want. This works exceptionally well for offers, events, brand promotions, contests or even just humanization of your brand which will help you gain traction with your followers.

  • Hashtags

Another recent Instagram feature is the ability to follow a hashtag. Not only can you keep track of how many people are using your (or a certain) hashtag, but you can also use it to gain more exposure for your hashtag.

Facebook

Like Instagram, Facebook has its own set of features that can help you to get better and wider reach for your posts and here are two of the best-utilized ones.

  • Live Video

Here again, videos are one of the best ways to engage your current followers and gain better post reach. Make an effort to learn all the ways to use Facebook Live and then utilize each one to maximise your marketing.

  • Facebook Groups

As we mentioned before; people love to feel a sense of community and Facebook Groups are one of the best ways to promote that. With Facebook Groups, you can better connect with your audience as well as encourage interaction between your followers and, thanks to the new features, you can schedule posts as well as view Group Insights to manage and track the performance of your Group.

Twitter

  • Live Videos

It simply cannot be said enough that videos are the best way to engage your audience and, fortunately, you can stream your live videos straight from the Twitter app.

  • Character Limit Update

There are so many advantages to now having double the amount of characters than before. Utilize them to churn out more and better content for your brand.

  • Twitter Chats

Twitter chats are one of the best ways to create that feeling of community we keep talking about. You can use them to interact with your audience and gain new followers as well as demonstrate your experience and expertise in your field.

In Closing

Even if you don’t see results immediately, there is no reason to give up. Be consistent, keep trying and you will eventually find the combination that works for you in every way you want it to.

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Are Micro Moments Part Of Your Video Strategy Yet?

Micro Moments and Video Strategy

If you haven’t yet, they you must and should! This will help you capture your customers attention when they are stepping out of their personal zones to explore new boundaries via their mobile device.

Let’s take a look at a few insights that Meltwater has on this particular aspect of video marketing.

According to Google, video micro moments fall into four categories:

“I-want-to-watch-what-I’m-into” moments
These are the moments when a person looks for a video because the topic aligns with their passions or interests. According to The Consumer Barometer Survey, “53% of online video viewers watch online video to be inspired and entertained.”
“I-want-to-know” moments
These are the moments when a person looks for a video to learn, explore, or research something new. According to a Google Consumer Survey, nearly 70% of millennials agree that YouTube has become a place that they can learn anything.
“I-want-to-do” moments
These are the moments when a person looks for a video in order to get instructions to perform a task. According to Google Data, “how-to” searches are up 70% on Youtube since the past years.
“I-want-to-buy” moments
These are the moments when a person looks for a video to decide what or how to buy a product. According to Google Consumer Survey, 18 to 34 year olds use YouTube as the #1 place to learn about a product or service.

What to Put in Your Micro Moment Video Strategy
According to ThinkwithGoogle, the first step that brands can do to adapt their videos to these micro moments is to understand their consumer’s intent when watching videos, specifically on YouTube.

1. Find what your consumer wants.
After you identify who your target consumers are, you must identify what kind of content that they want. For example if your priority consumers are African-American males between the ages of 18 and 25, you need to expand their profile to what content or topic that they would want to watch. Through audience insights you might create videos about urban fashion and the hip hop music genre.

2. Identify your consumer’s micro moments and goals. Then put it in your videos.
You need to figure out your consumer’s needs and when they look for them in the consumer micro moment map.

Example: Sephora noticed that beauty “how-to” videos on YouTube has gained a lot of popularity in the last year.

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“Forget Me Not” Says Your Social Media Content Strategy

Social Media Content Strategy

Creating the social media content strategy that works the best has become a job description in itself. It is obvious that a lot of aspects have to be taken into consideration while creating a content strategy. since we are only human, even though we have a list of items to include, we sometimes tend to miss out on some of the basic aspects.

Now we don’t want that happening do we. To help cook up the best strategy here are the 4 points you should never forget, as penned down by Ignite Social Media.

GET TO KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE

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Yeah, those folks out there!

First and foremost, you really must get to know your audience. Not like the polite suggestion to get to know your neighbors, because you never know when you might lock yourself out or need to borrow a cup of sugar, etc. We’re talking about achieving a deep and genuine understanding of the folks that are consuming your content and, hopefully, forming a relationship with your brand. It starts out as simple as knowing the basics, like gender, age, socio-economic status, favorite television shows, and so forth. While you want to be careful of not casting too broad a net and lumping people into generalized categories, you still want to know who you’re after here.

Once you know who your audience is, you’ll then want to dive a little deeper. It’s important for you as a brand to know what else, besides just your brand, your audience is consuming. Making an effort to find out what other key interests are driving your audience’s activities will help inform how you might leverage those interests with your brand’s content.

Now that you have this more refined understanding of your key demographic(s) in mind, you’re ready to begin diving even deeper into some of the critical behaviors of your brand’s audience. By performing easy little daily tests, you can find out the approximate range for an ideal content cadence, and, in doing so, ensure that you are neither boring nor drowning your audience. Additionally, you’ve got to know not just when to speak to your audience, but also how to speak to them to guarantee the strongest resonance and impact. Learning whether your audience loves or loathes sarcasm, for instance, can be of critical importance when writing a piece of what-you-think-to-be-witty content.

LEAVE ROOM FOR REACTION

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That’ll get a reaction!

Now, this next bit is of truly dire importance, so please, please, please pay attention. When you create a piece of content and send it out into the universe for your audience to consume, it’s absolutely not being transmitted to them through a vacuum. Your content must travel through an infinitely complex and ever-evolving web of social, cultural, and political events and realities that are going to shape the way that it is received. For all intents and purposes, your content is like a pinball, and, though it sets out straight and true, it has to weather a mess of occurrences before arriving at its intended destination.

But how on earth can one brand account for and prepare against the onslaught of external stimuli that content is inevitably going to encounter before reaching an audience? Well, in short, you can’t. Sadly, not even the most well equipped and most culturally astute brand is going to be able to foresee every possible scenario (i.e., Red Lobster & Formation). But… that’s okay. You don’t have to. What you do have to do, however, is always be sure to leave room for reaction.

Nimble agility in your content will help your brand account for obscure national holidays about which you’ve forgotten, current events that have only broken a moment ago, and any other unforeseeable scenario that you’ll want to adapt your content to better suit. But, wait! Does this not sound like an amorphous system devoid of any structure to support itself. Now, now, don’t get yourself all worked up. This brings us right into our next topic of discussion, wherein we will examine the principal of ‘Freedom within a Framework’.

UNDERSTAND & MAINTAIN YOUR BRAND’S NICHE

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What’s that? It’s your niche!

The “freedom” in the phrase ‘Freedom within a Framework’ has been explained as the ability to navigate and negotiate the ever-changing climate in which our content must exist. What we mean by framework, however, might have you scratching your head. It’s really rather simple, though. You can think of the framework as analogous to your brand’s niche. Whatever it is that your brand is responsible for bringing to your audience, there are bounds to the nature of that material. Within those bounds, your audience will respond with favor. Beyond them, though, you may begin to bore, confuse, or even alienate your audience.

A brand whose focus is in the electronics realm is going to fair better, and more successfully reach its audience, with content of an electronic nature than it will with content that is perceived by the audience as falling outside of the brand’s niche (i.e., illustration, home-improvement, athletics, etc.). That’s not to say that a brand can only ever talk about the exact good or service that it provides (for that would surely bore its audience). Simply that straying too far from the core of your brand’s identity will leave your audience scratching its collective head, and that you do not want.

It’s a simple matter of exploring every aspect of your niche, learning just how far it might extend in every direction, and, most importantly, discovering where it ends. By giving yourself the freedom to maneuver while still maintaining a keen eye on your brand’s established framework, you can be sure to provide your audience with a fresh array of exciting content without ever overstepping your niche and leaving your audience disappointed.

A RELENTLESS COMMITMENT TO INNOVATION

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Now, if that’s not innovative…

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It’s Time To Boost You Social Media Traffic, Don’t You think?

Social Media Traffic

Smooth moving social media traffic is a lot like a well planned where the channels through which you get social media traffic are the systematically laid out roadways of the city.

There is the option of using paid means to get the required traffic but the traffic that comes in organically holds more weight since you know that something that you’re doing as a part of your strategy is working really well.

There is no better way to gain visibility than through social media. So here are a few tips and tricks of the trade put together by Sprout Social.

How Do You Increase Social Media Traffic?z

Increasing your social media traffic happens when you engage and build relationships on each network. Being readily available for customers,brand loyalists and potential buyers it helps you nurture these people through the purchasing process.

Twitter image

Each social network is different, but to get an immediate boost in your social traffic, there are some steadfast rules to follow for all your social channels. Remember that your content says everything about your brand, so make sure your blog posts, case studies or infographics go above and beyond to make the social sharing aspect greater.

To get your social media traffic rolling, follow these six steps to get people to your social channels and ultimately to your website:

1. Inspire Your Audience With Visuals

First impressions are essential. We always say “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” but more times than not, visuals help us make decisions. In fact, Adobe’s Q4 2013 Index showed social media posts with images create650% more engagement than text posts.

adobe Q3 2013 index example

People want visual content to help make sure their purchasing decisions are valid. When customers are able to view a product video or demo, they are 85% more likely to make a buying decision right there when compared to reading a text review.

Master Instagram

On social media, you have to use visuals to drive traffic to your website. One of the best avenues for visuals continues to be Instagram. With more than 80 million photos and videos shared each day, there’s a lot of competition.

Fender post

 

But when you’re able to create beautiful and engaging content on Instagram, businesses see a difference. According to data from Instagram, brands see the highest level of engagement (4.21%) on Instagram when compared to other social networks.

instagram engagement example

Nearly three-fourths of Instagram comments are made within two days of the post, which shows its high impact on on brand’s Instagram strategies.

Provide awesome visuals that not only stand out, but speak volumes about you, your product and your story. The best visuals on social media tend to include:

  • Vibrant colors and well-designed layouts
  • High-level photography
  • Visuals telling stories
  • Visuals showing products or services in a new light
  • Consistently on point and well-planned

2. Make Your Content Easily Shareable

Every marketer or business owner by now should know the importance of being mobile friendly. Data from ComScore showed in 2013, 65% of time spent on social media was through a mobile device. Almost 40% of news content was read on a mobile device compared to a desktop.

comscore graphic example

Living in a mobile age means your content has to be easy to read, but more importantly, simple to share. Share buttons on mobile devices are critical to driving social media traffic. Neil Patel explained it by stating the harder it is for your audience to share your content, the less likely they will.

Use Social Media Plugins & Buttons

Get readers to share your content by using social media plugins. There are various plugins that can help you spread your content via social media much easier. One of the avenues is using click to Tweet, which allows readers to highlight parts of your content to share on social without leaving the page.

social media buttons example

Secondly, you have to include social media buttons that are mobile friendly and don’t distract your readers while scrolling. According to Slate and Chartbeat, most readers only make it halfway down page, which means you have to optimize where you want to place your social media buttons.

Heatmap example

Use free heat map plugins like SumoMe (for WordPress) to see where people are clicking the most on your blog content. Once you have a good idea of an area with high click volume, add your social share buttons there to immediately increase traffic.

3. Improve Your SEO

While you want it to be easy for readers to share your content, you also need to ensure your content is being shared correctly and effectively. Digital marketing has grown immensely, which means at some point you have to consider upping your search engine optimization (SEO) best practices.

In the most basic terms, integrating SEO best practices into your content can help you:

  • Improve online visibility
  • Generate more sales/leads
  • Strengthen your brand’s authority and domain
  • Connect with your direct audience
  • Increase your social media traffic

If you’re looking to bolster your social traffic, optimizing content for search engines like Google and Bing can have tremendous payoffs. According to a 2014 Advanced Web Ranking report, data showed that on average,nearly 72% of searches lead to a page one click.

AWR 2014 report

That number drops significantly when you talk about ranking on page two or three. AWR data showed on average, page two and three garner less than 6% of organic clicks.

You’re not only helping your website traffic with SEO improvements, but you’re also increasing buyer persuasion with better ranking. A Fleishman-Hillard and Harris Interactive Annual Global Study found 89% of peoplelooking to purchase an item turn to search results to make their buying decision.

Encourage Inbound Links

While SEO best practices can help your website, you can use social media as a useful tool as well. Once you start to build up your quality of content, you’ll encourage external sites to link to your site with social media.

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Social Media Examiner does a great job at sharing various social media resources. When you promote your content, it encourages other outlets to as well. This can lead to a share that puts your content in front of different eyes.

While this process might not be immediate for newer social users, it’s good to get in the habit of sharing other’s content and your own to build awesome relationships.

4. Know When Your Audience Is Listening

The key to building follower count is all within consistency. The more consistent you are with your social media publishing, the higher chance you have at being seen. Once you start to see a spike in social media traffic, you shouldn’t slow down on your posting.

Keeping a daily publishing schedule is crucial to effective social media traffic building. Make sure you know roughly how much to post to each site and at what times. Constant Contact and Union Metrics provided some insights on how much to post:

  • Post on Facebook 3-10 times a week
  • Tweet at least five times a day
  • Instagram around 1.5 times a day
  • Post on LinkedIn 2-5 times a week
  • Post on Google+ 3-10 times a week

Use a Social Media Calendar

To make sure you’re up to speed on every channel, try to fill up yoursocial media calendar as much as possible. Once you build a full schedule, you’ll have a clear overview of your publishing habits, schedule and tactics.

sprout social publishing calendar

Sprout Social’s unique social publishing tools can help you schedule social messages while keeping a visual overview of your calendar. See how a month’s worth of content looks with our calendar with a free 30 day trial.

Optimizing your post time through a social media calendar can be the difference to seeing a change in your social media traffic.

5. Research Your Competitors

Finding out how well your competitors are doing is a tried and true marketing strategy. The same notion should be in place for your social strategy.

Social media competitive analysis simply helps you dissect your social media traffic. You can easily locate key performance metrics and see how similar audiences respond to competitors’ social posts.

Try to get as much insights from your competitors first. This give you a better idea what it takes to build an audience on social. You never want to directly copy your competitors, but the analysis can shape your own strategy.

Try to figure out things such as:

  • Successful post times and days
  • Most engaging social channels

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