Social Media Strategy.
Hmm…that sounds easy enough for growing your business.
All you need to do is post a few updates, build some connections, share cool articles, and away you go with a stellar campaign! Right?. . . if only it were that easy.
The reality is that many of us struggle with using social media for our business.
Because, social media marketing is complex.
It takes tried-and-true techniques to help your marketing campaign get off the ground. Once you have these techniques down, you’re well on your way to building an awesome social media strategy.
Now don’t go thinking you have to be a rocket scientist (or a marketing guru) to catch on to best practices for social media.
It’s actually quite simple to understand and once you know how to strengthen your social media presence, you can keep your strategy from going sour.
What causes a social media strategy to go sour?
Ask no more! I’m about to walk you through the top 8 reasons so that you can avoid falling into these traps.
REASON #1: YOUR IDEAL CUSTOMER ISN’T THE CENTRAL FOCUS
This is something I struggled with years ago when I started a blog for the first time with my mom and sisters. We were super focused on trying to please everyone on the Internet and failed to nail down our ideal customer.
This meant we were building a blog with no strategy.
We had quotes, recipes, interior design, fashion tips, humorous stories on parenthood and marriage…and we were creating every type of content under the sun! Whoa.
We thought that if we have content on a variety of topics, we’d appeal to everyone. Nope. That was the worst strategy for our content marketing.
Bottom line: Don’t be like me and my ol’ blog. Don’t try to create content to please everyone. Instead, find your niche and stay very focused on your ideal customer. Make sure that your content strategy always points back to them. If your ideal customer isn’t interested in the latest trend in home decor, don’t post it.
REASON #2: YOU TALK TOO MUCH ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOU’RE TOO SALESY
If you talk too much about yourself and push your product too much, you’ll come across as unrelatable and self-absorbed.
When you start a business, it’s easy to assume you must promote your products and yourself…all…the…time. Nope.
There is a balance between promoting your brand and sharing relatable content that is subtly connected to your brand.
Don’t just post content that is focused on your great accomplishments, product sales or promotions. You need a mix of valuable content that will be educational, entertaining, and engaging for your ideal customer.
Not to say, it isn’t important to build your brand and drive sales through social media, but do so with tact and think more about what influences and inspires your ideal customer.
Here’s a cheat sheet I pulled together that features different content ideas that do really well on social media. This cheat sheet will come in handy on those days when you just don’t know what to say.
REASON #3: YOU DON’T HAVE A GOOD MIX OF ORIGINAL CONTENT
Original content is key to successful content strategy.
I see a lot of companies who don’t want to make this a priority or don’t take the time to focus on producing original content. The only share content already posted online.
It’s okay to share other resources like great podcasts or videos that you like, but it’s highly important to throw in a mix of your own blog posts, photos, and videos.
One way to brainstorm content ideas is to look at a Holiday calendar. This is especially useful for coming up with photo and video ideas. Here’s a quick glimpse at the 2017 Holidays you could create content around.
Note: When you’re creating your content, you need to consider the proper image sizes. Believe me! Nothing is worse than creating an image, uploading it to social media and seeing that it was cropped funky. Then, you have to go back to the beginning and tweak the design. Here’s a quick image size guide for you to reference:
Consider the 30/60/10 Golden Ratio for social media marketing. This means that 30 percent of your content should be original, 60 percent should be relevant, curated content from external sources, and 10 percent should be promotional.
Of course, this ratio doesn’t need to be exact, but it is a great guideline to aim for as you plan your content strategy.
REASON #4: YOU’RE NOT CONSISTENT ENOUGH WITH YOUR POSTS
I know I say this a lot, but consistency is key to becoming a thought leader in your industry.
Once you start posting good content consistently, people will start listening to what you have to say.
Ideally, you should post daily on most social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. You don’t need to post on YouTube or write a blog post each day, but each scheduled post should be consistent so that people know they can count on you!
Here is a little posting frequency cheat sheet I whipped together. It highlights how often you should be posting on the top social media networks.
It’s best to pace yourself with your posts and avoid ramping up a lot of content in the beginning just to fizzle out a month or two down the road.
Don’t give up.
If you stay consistent, you will start to see a great return on your invested time.
REASON #5: YOU’RE NOT ENGAGING WITH YOUR AUDIENCE OR INFLUENCERS
If you neglect to interact with customers and followers that engage with your content on social media, they’ll stop commenting on your posts.
I know, this does seem logical. 😉
Your ideal customer wants someone who’ll take time to respond and acknowledge their comments. Rather than feel like they’re talking to a wall.
When you take time to comment back and interact with customers, it has a huge impact on the success of your social media strategy.
You need to engage with your audience and network with influencers to build your social media community. And, if it’s too much to devote time to doing this, you can hire someone to respond to social engagement for a few hours each week.
REASON #6: YOU’RE ON TOO MANY SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
Have you spread yourself too thin?
Too many platforms could mean you can’t devote enough time to manage all of them!
I’m not saying that you should stick to one platform, but if you are on too many platforms you can’t build your strategy effectively.
I like to tell my clients that they should start small when it comes to social media. Work on getting REALLY good at one platform and then you can add another platform to the mix.
For example, let’s say you decide to start a Facebook Page. Great!
Create your Facebook Page. Then, create and compile a month’s worth of content. After all your content is pulled together, schedule that content so that it will automatically publish to Facebook for you (on the dates and times you choose).
I use the following social media scheduling platforms:
- FACEBOOOK: Hootsuite, CoSchedule and Meet Edgar
- TWITTER: Hootsuite and Meet Edgar
- PINTEREST: BoardBooster
- INSTAGRAM: Hootsuite, CoSchedule and Mosaico
- YouTube: TubeBuddy
Voila. You’re on the way to rocking your first social media platform.
Once you get to this point, you’re ready to tackle platform number two. So, pick the next social network where your ideal customer likes to hang out and repeat that same process. 😉
Note: Ideally you want to get up to three or more social media platforms. This will allow you to have a larger reach.
REASON #7: YOU’RE NOT ON ENOUGH SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
On the flipside, another reason your social media strategy just isn’t cutting it is… you’re not on enough social media platforms.
Don’t keep your strategy limited to one platform.
Yes, it’s easier to manage, but if you are solely focused on one platform you’ll be limiting your potential reach (reach = the number of people your content gets shown to).
Think of it this way, your ideal customer may spend time on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. If you are ONLY actively posting on Instagram then you’re missing out on the reach, engagement and traffic you could be seeing from Facebook and Pinterest.
There are a couple other reasons why it’s good to be on more than one social media platform.
- Sometimes social media platforms change their algorithm. When this happens it impacts your reach. Phew, how many times can I say reach in one blog post. To be safe, it’s best to be on multiple social media platforms AND to test the frequency of your posting.
- Sometimes social media platforms fizzle out. Take Twitter for example. Over the past couple years, companies have seen a DRASTIC decrease in website traffic from Twitter. If you only relied on Twitter for social media, then suddenly you’d be in trouble. Because you’d have to go out and build out a new account + audience on another platform. You can hear all about how “Twitter is Dead” over on the Marketing School podcast.
REASON #8: YOU’RE NOT REVIEWING YOUR ANALYTICS AND INSIGHTS
This is a key piece to a successful social media strategy.
You need to review your analytics and insights WEEKLY. Psssst…. You know it’s uber important when I write it in all caps. ha!
This is because your analytics and insights tell you which content is getting a lot of attention and engagement.
When you see that a piece of content is reaching a lot of people and receiving clicks/comments/shares… then this is a key indicator that you’ve “nailed it on social”.
The next step it to add similar content into your future posting schedule.
For example, earlier this week I posted an Instagram photo to my Facebook Page. This photo featured my to-do list for the week and talked about how much I love a fresh list.
Within hours, this post had received a larger reach (than most posts), multiple comments and reactions.
What these insights tell me is that my audience LOVES the to-do list topics. And you better believe I’m going to be incorporating this topic into future Facebook Live Classes, images, blog posts, et cetera.
Of course, it can be less thrilling to discover your content strategy isn’t performing well. Believe me, those moments do come. But, don’t give up. Keep trying and testing. When you push through to find that sweet spot, you’ll be so glad that you did!
Okay, let’s run through these sour things one more time! Gotta make sure you don’t forget. I surely don’t want your awesome strategy to go sour because one of these tips is missing.
- Focus on your ideal customer and stick with creating content that matters to them.
- Mix in entertaining and educational content without being too salesy or talking about yourself too much.
- Add in more original content. You can still pull from other resources, but make sure a good balance of content is your own original creation of blog posts, images, or videos.
- Be consistent with your content.
- Engage with your audience and make sure you reply to their comments or questions.
- Don’t spread yourself too thin by getting on too many social media platforms.
- Yet, don’t limit your strategy by solely focusing on one platform.
- Review your analytics to determine what content strategy works best for your audience.
You Got This
Now that we got those sour things outta the way, it’s time to remove those obstacles holding you back. Believe me, you can do this!
You can build an awesome social media strategy to help build your business and I’m here to help guide you (so don’t feel frantic).
Social media strategy is an incredible and inexpensive way to grow your community of ideal customers, followers, and influencers.
Knowledge is power. These suggestions aren’t difficult to follow, but highly important tips to keep in mind as you develop and manage your stellar social media campaign.
Have you had any sweet (or sour) experiences with your social media strategy? I’d love to discuss them with you. Leave a comment below.