1. Set SMART Goals
Pop quiz: why are you on social media in the first place?
If your answer is resounding “Uhh…” or “Everyone else is on it,” you might have a problem.
The concept of SMART goals has been around for decades, but they are so important to your social media presence today.
In short, brands should set goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.
An example of a good SMART goal for social media marketing would be something like “Well increase our Twitter response rate by 25% by the end of the first quarter.”
Specific: “We’ve specifically identified the social channel (Twitter) and a metric (response rate).”
Measurable: “The response rate can be measured from the Sprout Social dashboard.”
Achievable: “We didn’t make an outlandish goal of say, a 100% increase in 10 days.”
Relevant: “Our goal will have an impact on our overall social media presence, making it very relevant.”
Time-bound: “The goal has to be met by the end of the first quarter.”
Assigning your social media efforts a concrete purpose helps you avoid the trap of posting aimlessly.
2. Identify Your Audience
After you’ve outlined your goals, you need to outline your target audience.
Pro-tip: “everyone” is not an audience.
Maybe it’s prospective customers. Perhaps it’s industry players and influencers. Either way, breaking down your audience will help you figure out the following:
Which social media sites you’re active on
Your posting schedule
The type of content you publish
Your brand’s voice
The information in your profiles
Many brands spin their wheels because they don’t post content that speaks to a defined audience. Spend some time looking at your audience personas, understanding what their challenges are and what brands they already love via social. This sort of competitive analysis can help you understand how your own social media presence can stand out from the crowd.
3. Be Human
This is a big one.
One of the worst mistakes to make on social media is coming off as the faceless corporation with zero personality. In the modern age of transparency, people want to get to know your company on a more personal level.
Many brands today crack jokes and aren’t afraid to talk to their followers like they would their friends. Whereas brands were once lambasted for coming off like robots, a human social media presence has become an expectation among many followers.
We got you 👀 https://t.co/Rw1tf3geVr
— Warby Parker (@WarbyParker) June 14, 2018
Similarly, showing off the human side of your brand means showing off the faces behind your social feeds. Whether it’s office photos or snapshots of your team “in the wild,” getting personal with your followers can help you form a much-needed connection.
And hey, that leads us directly to our next point!
4. Seek Relationships, Not Just Followers
We can debate all day whether or not your follower count is a vanity metric.
That said, having 100 followers who regularly engage with you and your content are infinitely more valuable than 10,000 that ignore you.
It might be cliche to say, but don’t leave the “social” out of your social media presence. The beauty of social is that you can form relationships in an instant with followers from just about anywhere.
For example, Sprout Social’s own #SproutChat gives us the opportunity to regularly connect with our lovely followers who are likewise stoked to get in touch with us.
Got my jams going for #sproutchat with sprout-stagram famous @sproutdarryl!! My desk dance isn't as good as his data dance but whatevs… pic.twitter.com/p9Any0zmVZ
— Shannonigans (@mausi_nana) June 13, 2018
If you’re not exactly sure where to start when it comes to relationship-building, here are some quick ideas:
Always @mention people you reference in your social media posts
Answer questions people ask
Reply when people @mention you or share your content
Don’t just Retweet and Like other people’s content; reply with a comment to start a conversation
5. Create an Editorial Calendar
Spoiler alert: sticking to a content schedule isn’t just something “extra” that brands do.
If there’s a common thread between the biggest brands on social, it’s that they post on a consistent basis.
Chances are you’re juggling multiple social channels and are trying to make sure you tick a lot of boxes in terms of descriptions and when to post, right? Consider how a content calendar can make the process much easier by…
Allowing you to fine-tune each of your posts for each platform without having to jump between sites.
Timing your posts to maximize engagement, keeping you from having to constantly post in real-time.
Avoid repeating the same content over and over again, ensuring each of your articles or pictures gets the most love possible.
In short, taking the time to make a schedule does double duty of keeping your social media presence organized while also maximizing your contents’ reach.
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