Just like you can't build a house on a leaky foundation, you shouldn't open a social media account for your business without having a strategy in place. All businesses, big or small, need to understand what makes them stand out, why they are different, who they are targeting, and what they are measuring success against. However, you'd be surprised by how often the first step most of us take is just opening an account.
So, let's go on a road trip - one where we'll show you how to go about your social media journey, so you're set up for success.
Know Your Why
OK, we're going to channel our inner Simon Sinek here, but understanding your "why" should be the very first thing you do. (Also, if you haven't read "Start with Why," drop what you're doing and run, don't walk to read this book.)
Now to get back on track. You need to know why your business does what it does, so you can understand what makes you different and why you matter to your target audience. So, using the social media journey template Honeypot has created, start by asking yourself these preliminary questions:
1) What's your company's mission and vision?
2) Who is your target audience?
3) What is your brand's message?
4) What makes your business different, what are your strengths?
5) What are your weaknesses? (Be truthful.)
6) Have you done your keyword research?
Taking the time to understand what your audience is searching for before you make content can help ensure you are delivering what customers are seeking.
Who's the Competition?
Before heading into any ring, an athlete will take the time to study their competition; the same goes for social media marketing. Understand who and what you're up against.
You're about to start competing with other accounts for attention, so if you don't know what they're doing, and what makes you different, you may run into an issue where your message falls on deaf ears.
So take the time to analyze the following when it comes to your competition:
1) Who are they?
2) What are their strengths?
3) Compared to them, what's your edge/strength?
4) How could you alter your message to play upon your strengths?
5) What are some potential roadblocks?
6) What benefits does your brand offer that the competition doesn't?
What's Your Endgame?
Now's the time to define what your objectives are. For instance, are you looking to increase brand awareness? Are you looking to improve engagement? Social Media is full of a vast number of tactics you can use to develop content, but not understanding your objective is kind of like trying to solve an algebra problem at 3 am. (Unless you are incredibly good at math, in which case, thumbs up to you).
To help you understand the difference between various objectives, so you can work smarter not harder, check these out:
Increase Brand Awareness – To create authentic and lasting brand awareness, avoid solely publishing promotional messages. Instead, focus on content that emphasizes your personality or values first.
Lead Generation – Whether online or in-store, the followers aren't going to make social purchases by accident. For example, are you alerting customers about new products and promos?
Community Engagement – Find ways to grab the attention of your current followers; this means experimenting with messaging and content.
Web Traffic – Whether through promotional posts or social ads, keeping an eye on conversions and your click-thru-rate so you can better determine your ROI from social media.
What's the Target?
What does success on social media mean for your brand? You could have 1 million followers on an Instagram account, but that doesn't mean you will see conversions. Understanding the difference between vanity metrics and ones that help your content convert is the difference between a successful social strategy and one that will have your C-level team questioning the value behind your social efforts.
So how do you approach this?
1) Set targets – if your account is brand-new, look for industry metrics. Rival IQ is an excellent resource for this information.
2) Understand what your objective is – Do you want conversions, or are you just trying to get more people to use your social accounts as a customer service channel?
3) Test and learn – The way users interact on social media is continually changing. Don't jump on the TikTok bandwagon if that doesn't make sense for your brand (remember your why); however, maybe it's worth doing a test and learn to see if it makes sense.
4) Measure consistently to determine what is working and what isn't – We recommend monthly, quarterly, and annual reports.
5) Always optimize – By reviewing your account analytics, you can tell what is working and what isn't. It's not a failed campaign if you didn't receive the results you were looking for, but rather, an opportunity to see how you can improve and right-size so your account performance improves.
We want to see you reach your social media destination, so make sure you download our free social media roadmap so you can start building and growing your brand today.