When learning about inbound marketing, you might be thinking: “so where does social media fit into...
“We’ll just send out a few tweets this month.” If I had a pound every time I heard that I definitely wouldn’t be sitting here writing this blog. You’d have found me on a private island enjoying a cocktail. Most of the world is on social media now after the year we’ve all had, which means it’s time to refine your strategy.
It’s no surprise why plenty of brands and businesses are using social media to continue growing their following, generate leads and increase sales. To engage your audience and reach your social goals this year, here’s how to create a social media strategy fit for 2022.
- Start by covering the basics
- Do an audit and research your competitors
- Come up with a posting blueprint
- Use a video-first approach
- Focus on employee amplification
- Make your content mobile-friendly
- Invest in specialist social media software
Start by covering the basics
Establish your goals early on - what do you actually want to get out of your social media strategy? Create achievable and realistic SMART goals which align with your overall marketing objectives. This can be anything from growing your audience, generating leads, boosting sales or even improving engagement. Whatever it is, make a record of it and keep track of your goals.
Next, define your audience. Who are you targeting? Ask your marketing team to pass over the buyer personas they’ve created so there’s no guesswork and you’re always targeting the relevant audience. You’ll know what they want and what engages them. That way, you can push the content they’ll like and are more likely to pay attention to.
For this, you don’t need their life story. Age, location, interests, the platforms they use - this should provide a solid foundation.
Once you know who you’re targeting and your buyer personas have outlined the social media platforms they use, it’s time to take your pick. Don’t sign up or create an account for every platform out there if your audience isn’t using it. Depending on your industry, you might find Facebook and LinkedIn work best. Alternatively, all of your personas could love Instagram, so that could be how you convert them.
Do an audit and research your competitors
Don’t go in blind. Conduct an audit of your previous social media activity to see what did and didn’t work, but don’t stop there. Peek over to your competitors’ social media timelines to see how they’re getting on. If some of them are doing really well, try and adopt their tactics if they’ll help you achieve your goals.
Look out for the type of content they share, how often they post, when they post, how they respond to queries, the hashtags they use and more. This isn’t just a chance to see what your competition is doing well and what you can use, but also an opportunity to learn from and avoid mistakes.
Come up with a posting blueprint
You’ve got the data, you know your audience and you’re logged in to your social media platforms. Great, now get that creative syringe out and inject it straight into your posting blueprint. Here’s what you’ll need for your social media game plan:
- Create a structure: Random posts can be slightly jarring and cause confusion. Create a theme or a weekly structure so your audience knows what to expect on what day. Whether you’re pushing out content from your new campaign or sharing industry news, keep it consistent.
- Use a calendar: This is important. If you’re pushing out a lot of content and scheduling far out in advance, you’ll need a calendar or schedule to stop it from getting overwhelming. Trello, HubSpot, a Google Sheet - whatever works for you - break it down so it’s easy to understand and follow. This includes keeping track of what you’ve published to avoid reposting, customising where relevant, timings and more.
- Know what to post: Not everything you publish will have the intention to promote your brand. First, spend time creating and sharing original content but also think about the type of content you’re pushing out. You need to find the right balance to ensure you promote your business, reshare industry leader thoughts and educate your audience.
Having a blueprint will allow you to post at the best time and the mixture of content means your audience is more likely to engage with your posts.
Use a video-first approach
Video has been on a meteoric rise for a while but it shot up to a new level during the coronavirus pandemic. People are more cautious than ever and want to see they’re buying from humans with their interests at heart and aren’t just forcing a sale. From social to sales to content - video needs to be a part of every strategy in your business.
Video is a great way to humanise your brand and show the people behind the product or service. Company news, recruiting new hires, hyping up a blog and offering free resources are just some of the things you can convey through videos and publishing them on your social media channels.
You might not know it, but one video could be the place you begin a relationship with a prospect who ends up as a customer because of your human, genuine approach.
Focus on employee amplification
Just like your audience is using your social media, your employees will also be using Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and more. If you have a team that uses social media actively, they could be the key to helping you get more followers, grow the business and improve engagement.
This is where your team promotes the business on social media (or in person, same thing). If they’re enthusiastic about working at your company, they’re probably already sharing your content on their private channels for their personal networks to see. Individual team members usually have more than 10 times the followers than their company page too, which is thought to increase brand reach by a whopping 581%.
This is another way to build authenticity. It shows you look after your own and staff aren’t hesitant to shout about all the good things you’re doing. That shines you in a good light on your social media channels and is something your audience won’t miss. It’s time to work with your ready-made promoters in 2021.
Make your content mobile-friendly
Most people (and by most I mean billions) tend to use their smartphones to check their social media accounts rather than a laptop or desktop. That means your content needs to be optimised for mobile as what may fit on a desktop might not always look great on a smartphone.
Images, infographics - anything you post needs to look good on a smartphone first and foremost. That way, you’re much likelier to attract a bigger chunk of users to your content, rather than risk losing them because your content looks a little...weird.
Invest in specialist social media software
There’s actually a lot of great social media software out there that all do different things. Whether it’s for management, social listening and anything in between, it’s a good idea to spend some time looking through what could deliver your strategy and achieve your goals.
Here are some of our favourites:
- Later: Love this tool! It lets you plan, schedule, publish and measure the results of your posts from one place. HubSpot does a similar job so definitely give both a try.
- InShot: An inexpensive video editing software that does what it says on the tin. It’s good for quick edits, resizing videos and adding music/audio. Now you have no excuses to leave video out of your social media strategy.
- Canva: A real lifesaver. It’s a graphic design platform that lets us create graphics, GIFs and the like without needing a lot of design experience.
- Feedly: This is a news aggregator application which allows you to source and organise third-party news quickly and efficiently. In other words, you won’t have to sit scrolling through Google all day looking for content.
Don’t just try out these tactics and leave it there. See what has and hasn’t worked, what you need to try more of or maybe switch up entirely. Continue tweaking until you find the perfect strategy to help deliver your goals this year.
Once you’ve tweaked your social media strategy, it’s time to look at all your other channels to see what worked last year, what didn’t and where you need to improve. To help you flag these things quicker and set things in motion, we have a handy, one-page checklist to help you get started.
Take your marketing to the next level this year
If you want to stay ahead of the trends and start off on the strong foot, make sure to use our conversion calculator. It'll help you outline the benchmarks to set based on previous years.
Use it now using the link below.