It goes without saying that social media has proved to be an incredible tool for everyone – from global brands to everyday customers like you and I. But how many resources does it require to work effectively?
In fact, social media has been such a revolutionary, technological development that We Are Social’s Global Digital Report 2018 found that the number of internet users worldwide was over four billion. Over three billion are also social media users.
So, it makes sense to have a solid social media strategy in place whether you are part of an organisation, you are a consultant or an entrepreneur. Make it work for you and be realistic so that it doesn’t take up precious time, resource and cost and you don’t become tired of Twitter, fed-up of Facebook and incensed by Instagram.
HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR RESOURCES
MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR TIME
Scheduling is thoroughly important to have in place as part of your social media strategy. It can save time and means you don’t have to be locked into your laptop, desktop or mobile device at every waking moment. Remember to be adaptable so you can be reactive and post organically. And if you are scheduling, check everything is correctly timed, appears without glitches so you don’t end up failing like these examples!
Social media management platforms are ideal whether you have a number of different client accounts or just one but which has several channels to populate. Free platforms to download via apps or desktop such as Hootsuite and Sprout Social allow you to schedule posts, manage and monitor output. You can also use such platforms to keep on top of competitor feeds, direct messages and current news to piggyback on.
HAVING THE RIGHT TEAM
A vital resource to get right. One person or a team can deliver a strong social media strategy as long as it represents your brand correctly. You need someone in place who understands social media trends, how to react to positive and negative comments and how telling a story differs depending upon the platform used. Staff operating your social media channels should be researching daily to keep up to date with technological changes and so they can analyse engagement and react to it. They need to know about effective timings and be able to communicate with customers in a way which reflects the brand.
IMPROVING SKILLSETS AND OFFERING TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the amount of social media platforms to access and know which one gets your message across the most effectively. So, you need the right people in place to deliver your killer social media strategy. If you haven’t got that, look into webinars, ask for advice or enrol onto courses to get savvy with social.
PRODUCING ENGAGING CONTENT
This is one of the driving forces to a solid social media strategy. If you get it right, it almost takes care of itself as happy, engaged customers are the perfect word-of-mouth endorsement. Get researching keywords, timings, analytics, trends and what competitors are doing. Plan what you want to say and be informative and interactive. Don’t just roll out written posts either, consider quizzes, polls, live video and imagery to diversify your social output and get people talking about your brand.
PUTTING YOURSELF IN THE CLIENT’S SHOES
What do your customers want to hear about? If it’s the latest gadget you’ve launched, tell them about it – its features, why it’s innovative, tease out information with a call to action and be direct in how it can help your consumers’ lives for the better. Customers want to feel like they are being spoken to, not sold to, so speak their language. Offer things they can get involved with – whether discounts, offers, competitions or giveaways. All will make your social media strategy varied and give the customer something in return.
Check, check and check again! What are people talking about? Is there something current you can comment on that sets you apart as an industry expert and shows you’re on the ball? If you’re an energy firm and there’s headline news about energy price hikes – get your spokesperson’s opinion out there and join, or create, a conversation. Look into hashtags too, if you offer Afternoon Tea research into popular hashtags whether that’s #afternoontea or #teafortwo. If you’re on Instagram, use only the most engaged-with hashtags that are relevant. And LinkedIn is now promoting the use of hashtags so you can widen your reach with very little effort.
You don’t have to be a large agency or organisation to make your social media work, all you need to do is have an effective strategy in place which doesn’t cause a workload headache, creates engagement and gets people talking about your brand.