It's not enough to simply be 'present' on social media in 2018. To see real ROI on your social media activity you need a clear, goal-focussed strategy. Here are 4 steps we use with clients to help them achieve real growth for their business through social media and some tips to get you ahead of the curve for 2019...
If you're not analysing your social media activity - how do you know if it's working? Using your Insights (integrated analytics tool on Instagram) will help you work out which content is engaging your followers and find the times of day your audience is most active. By honing your content and schedule to reflect these findings will help boost your engagement.
That said, it's not enough to look at your own metrics - research where your target audience are hanging out in their screen time so you can position your brand in their 'information pathways' and increase your brand's visibility. Find the social media demographic that is the closest fit to your target audience and make this your primary channel. It's not about 'covering all the bases' - pick the channels that are the best fit for your audience.
Look at your Google Analytics to track where your referrals are coming from - is it from the social media channel you 'think' it is? Tracking your sales back to the referral source will help you decide which social media channels give you the best ROI and where to focus your time, energy and ad spend.
Also take a look at your social competitors - research your hashtags and competitior social media activity to see what works for them, it's not about a copy-cat approach but knowing what is working for your industry will help you build your own unique strategy.
Goal setting (in writing - not just in your head!) is proven to make your 30x more likely to achieve them.
Set achievable goals for your social media so you can track your progress. It might be to increase your audience, build a library of UGC (user-generated content) to demonstrate a loyal following, increase brand awareness, work with key industry influencers or to drive more traffic to your website.
It's also useful to set up goals on Google Analytics - these will help you track conversion rates, forms filled, buttons clicked etc once people reach your site. This is an easy, automated way of keeping an eye on your progress.
Now you know your goals and when/where to share your content - you've just got to create some! But what media to pick? Think beyond the grid - 90% of online shoppers said a product video would help them make their purchasing decision and video is projected to claim more than 80% of all web traffic by 2019 according to Hubspot. We wrote a blog last week about Instagram's new video functionality IGTV. Video content on social media, not just YouTube is going to be a massive element of social media marketing going into 2019. If you're not already using Stories or video blogging on your site - consider starting now to get ahead of the curve.
Planning is key and will help you become more consistent and efficient on social media. We have a content planner available to download that will help you plan your content ahead. Zooming out and looking at a wider plan for your social media is the best way to ensure you are integrating your social media strategy into your broader marketing plan.
Be social! The clue is in the title - you can schedule and strategise all you like, but building engagement takes an organic, personal approach - it's not something you can automate. Be responsive and use your channels to spark debate, ask questions, take polls - bring your audience in to your brand's journey. Overly curated feeds leave audiences cold - they want to see behind the scenes, the down days, the realities of what you do - not just an 'Instaperfect' edit.
As always - if you would like a 1-2-1 social media strategy session, in person in Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire or Worcestershire here are more details. Remember, we train clients around the UK and Internationally with our Skype sessions.