Congratulations! As a social media manager, the fate of the brands you represent is firmly in your hands (talk about pressure!). Joking aside, creating and managing social content requires a strategic mind, a love of data and an in-depth understanding of your audience. Daunting, but doable.
Without further ado, I’ll take you through the six things to keep in mind when creating and managing a social media strategy:
1. It’s all about your customer
One of the biggest social media mistakes brands make is tooting their own horn. Hard truth? No one cares about your product; they care about what your product can do for them. Instead of waxing lyrical about new features (however fancy they might be), put yourself on the other side of the screen. Remember that the crux of social media is connection. Behind likes and follows are human beings with concerns and problems just like you. As a social media manager, your job is to find the thread that connects your offering to your audience.
2. Quality over quantity, always
Anyone can write a line or two of copy, slap an image on it and call it a social media post. But regurgitated, watered-down content will do nothing for your brand. In fact, it’s one of the fastest ways to turn your audience off (quite possibly, forever). Posting for the sake of it flies in the face of the end goal: to get people to engage with your brand. Every single image, piece of copy or call to action in your strategy needs to work for you, which is why a well-researched, data-driven strategy is crucial.
3. Plan it out
Your sanity is vital. And a well-thought-out, easy-to-understand content calendar is your ticket to remaining of sound mind. Chances are the majority of your content can be mapped out beforehand. Posts about product launches, competitions or promotions, holiday or seasonal-related content and blog promos can all be scheduled ahead of time. By planning out your “evergreen” posts (ones that aren’t time sensitive), you’re freed up to spend time interacting with your audience, dive into performance data and tweak your strategy accordingly.
4. Keep your ear to the ground
Social media is the 21st century equivalent of a town hall meeting. In other words, it’s a conversation – one that happens 24 hours a day.
And if you want to join in – and importantly, be heard – you need to know what people are talking about in the first place. Inform your social media strategy by monitoring for keywords or phrases that relate to your offering. Bear in mind, these won’t necessarily be specifically about your product or service. In fact, the majority of these talking points will orbit your offering. By listening to the things that get your audience excited (or riled up), you have a direct “in” that you can use to connect with them.
5. Conduct regular A/B tests
No one becomes a super-star social media marketer overnight. In the same vein, successful social media marketing strategies (for the most part) owe much of their efficacy to trial and error. All social strategies require constant tweaking; after all, the social media landscape is constantly shifting, which means that what worked a month ago won’t necessarily work today. For this reason, you need to continually test out aspects such as posting times, the types of content you post, and the channels you post them on.
6. Budget according to performance
Throwing money at social posts in the hope that one of them will miraculously gain a thousand followers is futile. As paid social costs increase, you need to ensure that your investment pays off. Instead of promoting every single post, boost only those that are your standout performers. Then, dissect the post in question to determine what made it so popular. Was it the image? The time of posting? The platform? Or all of the above? These insights will direct your strategy and enable you to hone your approach for maximum reach and engagement.
The moral of the story? Data is the holy grail of social media management. As such, in order to compete with the deluge of content that’s posted daily, you need to arm yourself with a data-harnessing tool that gifts you with actionable insights. The good news is, deciphering performance analytics doesn’t require an IQ that rivals Einstein’s. Thanks to tools like Warbble, deciphering performance analytics is easier than ever.
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