Developments in social media are changing every month. It is vital you adjust your social media strategy based on data, insights and trends within the industry landscape and consumer behaviour so your posts convert into impressions, engagement and targeted reach. As the market evolves, it's important your plan can be modified to align with any new innovations. Here are a few tips to follow to strengthen your social media marketing plan so that brands can produce an ambitious yet achievable strategy to take you through 2019.
Social Media Audit
The first step to creating a strategy is to have an in-depth understanding of your brand's current social media performance. Examine what social media networks you are currently on and whether these are the best platforms to reach your target audience.
Carefully examine the metrics from each social channel and see where your leads and conversion rates are being driven from. Sometimes algorithms change on social media sites meaning what used to be your best social platform for your organisation may no longer be reaching and generating the same outcomes.
Tracking your metrics over the course of the year will allow you to monitor your performance in terms of return on investment. It's important you don’t get distracted by positive results from one campaign, this is undoubtedly positive but its important that you also gain impressions throughout the year to keep up reach and build a level rate of new leads.
When creating a marketing strategy, social media should play a role within, how closely aligned your objectives are and how much of a role it has to play all depends greatly on the industry and the size of your company.
Whether you are looking to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to your website and generate leads, or boost sales through building a community, it's important you strategy feeds into these goals providing your organisation with a clear picture of what needs to be achieved over the coming year.
One of the most important requirements when setting goals is to make them realistic and achievable. Using SMART criteria will allow you to track your contribution.
Breaking down each goal will allow you to pinpoint key areas that need to be measured making sure you continue to progress towards the final targets and that your goals are helping you grow and reach new heights in your market.
Content Schedule - Why do you need one?
Having a content schedule helps your business to plan out what their core social media will look like for the coming year. Working from this you have the ability to examine through insights what is working for your audience, and could even notice gaps in the market which could result in significant growth and impressions. Not only is having a schedule as a smart choice for all organisations, but it's also productive as it will minimise the amount of time spent each week looking for ideas of what to post.
Now the next step to identify is what platforms should be used for each post and when is the perfect time to post on these. If your posting industry articles or pushing short interesting industry data then LinkedIn is your platform. When sharing news or increasing traffic through the use of trending topics and hashtags Twitter would be the platform. For visual brands, Instagram is the social channel which allows you to post pictures, quotes and short-formed videos for the best return. Facebook has had a difficult 2018, but even with the change in algorithms, Facebook still produces a lot of traffic. Video content performs best here.
The next area you need to examine is what times you should be posting on each platform. Having an understanding of when your audience is most active on social will allow you to plan out your schedule so you post content at the optimal time ensuring the highest level of engagement. Working from a range of data sources the best day and times to be posting on social media are as follows:
Facebook – Best days to post are Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, with the key time being 12 – 4 pm.
Instagram – Best days include Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, while the key time is 11 am – 1 pm.
Twitter – Best days to post are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday around 12 pm.
LinkedIn – Look to post between 5 and 6 pm on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.'
Try something new
It’s important when creating your new year's social strategy that you look at the biggest industry innovations and try to integrate these to strengthen your approach. This year, video content is a must. More than ever short-formed video content like Instagram stories and IGTV are being consumed due to these being visually simple to digest. Video content is dominating social media with Facebook and Instagram Video Ads becoming one of the most cost-effective revenue streams.
Using video as part of your strategy allows your content to be more present and in the moment. There is an upwards trend of live-streams and real-time content. This type of content boosts audience engagement and allows you to be creative and increase your reach.
Lastly but most importantly, it's vital you check out your competitors. Identify what type of posts are getting the most traction and the channels they are using to connect with their audience. Looking at competitor analysis will help you to understand key industry terms, trending subjects and what content and campaigns audiences are responding too when posted from your competitors.
If you would like to learn more about creating a social media strategy get in contact now.