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If your business isn’t getting the results you want from your social media efforts, you need to switch up your strategy. There are several fundamental elements that can make or break your social media success, so make sure you’re doing them right. These are the 11 things you need to blow the roof off your social media campaign.
1. Specific Goals
Your social media campaign must have a defined purpose. Without a clear purpose that includes specific, measurable goals there is no way to know if what you’re doing is working, and without that knowledge it’s impossible to identify which activities you should prioritize.
Here are some questions to ask that will help you create specific goals for your social media campaign.
2. The Right Message
Your social media messages need to be more than a lot of indiscriminate noise to build value. Results come from thoughtful, engaging content that drives the reader to action. It takes a lot more than product announcements and sale promotions to do this.
Your message should establish your company as a trustworthy source of information that people can’t get anywhere else. Provide content that is focused on your customers’ needs and desires, rather than the goals and objectives of your company.
Make your communications helpful and entertaining; give people a reason to want to check back or sign up for alerts. Use different formats to keep people engaged, including blog posts, videos, slide shows, and podcasts.
3. A Clear Call to Action
Give visitors to your blog or Facebook page something to do. The ultimate goal is to get users excited enough to participate in your marketing efforts. Offer free downloads that share enough information to whet their appetite for more. Make it worth their while to sign up for your email list.
Provide the kind of content that makes people laugh, think, or have an ah-ha moment. That will motivate them to comment and share your posts with their connections. Nothing’s better than an army of social media mavens spreading the word about your company just because they want to.
4. The Right Channels
You may have bright, witty content that’s totally engaging but no one can find it. Part of your overall strategy should be to identify the right social media channels for your product or service. A blog is almost always a good choice, but where are you promoting the blog?
Facebook and Twitter are great tools for multi-level marketing companies, but may be too casual for a law firm or medical office. Pinterest is an ideal place to promote wedding planning or an upscale stationery brand. Match the tone of the platforms you use to the tone of your product or service. It’s more important to be on the right channels than on every platform out there.
All your efforts will be for naught if you don’t regularly post new information. You should schedule how often you will interact on each social media channel you use. Decide which types of communication should be published on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Blogs and newsletters need to have a regular schedule your followers can count on.
To keep attention on your blog, post no less than once per week but don’t add new content every day. You don’t want to bombard your followers’ inboxes with a glut of information that was posted just for the sake of having something to post.
6. The Right Connections
In addition to finding your customers, you also need to connect to other online influencers in your industry and market. Invite an expert or blogger with a large collection of devoted followers to write a guest post for your blog to reach their audiences.
Ask influencers to share links to videos and other information you’ve posted, and offer to return the favor. Forming partnerships sets you up as someone notable to pay attention to and expands your audience in a way you can’t do on your own.
Don’t be a faceless, lifeless company. You want your customers to feel like they are in a relationship with you. Engage and interact with your followers on a regular basis by responding to their comments, asking questions, and addressing customer service issues publicly when you can, which lets everyone see what a great job you’re doing.
Contests give you a great way to acknowledge the loyalty and enthusiasm of your fans. Photo contests or monthly giveaways for online reviews are fun ways to get others talking about and promoting your company for you.
If you’re not capturing information from your visitors and contacts, you’re missing a huge benefit of social media. Regular contact makes it easy to turn a one-time shopper into a repeat customer. Use an auto-responder like iContact or MailChimp to help you build email lists and maintain regular follow-up with customers. Auto-responders can help you build lists from your Facebook page, website, or company blog.
9. Enough Time
To build a strong, consistent social media brand, it’s important to devote time to your social media efforts. Someone should be in charge of your campaigns and responsible for posting content and interacting with followers in a timely manner. You may need to hire a blogger or social media manager to make this happen.
In addition, be sure to give your social media campaigns enough time to gain traction before declaring it a success or a failure. It takes time for a social media campaign to establish a following and start bearing fruit. It may take from six months to a year before you can accurately judge the progress.
10. Share Buttons
Once you’ve mastered the art of creating content that people respond to, make it easy for them to share your posts, photos, videos, and promotions. Add social media share buttons to all of your posts, which you can learn how to do via online tutorials. Limit the buttons you use to the platforms that are most relevant to your product or service. It’s tempting to want to add every share button available, but that will just water down your message and its impact.
11. The Right Measures
To gauge the success of your social media strategy you need to measure the results. Your results should align with your goals and the defined purpose of your social media campaign. Consider things like how your blog performs in search engine rankings, growth in the number of followers, views, and shares, and how each social media platform ranks when it comes to referrals to your website.
Depending on your sales cycle, you may also be able to capture the number of social media referrals that convert to sales. Other benefits are more difficult to quantify, like brand awareness and customer loyalty. However, they are central to the reason you want to have a social media presence in the first place and shouldn’t be overlooked.