We share our six top tips for establishing an effective social media strategy that can elevate your organisation to its next level and build your profile with the audiences that matter:
1. Know your audience
Preparation is key. If you have social media channels already in place, begin with an audit of your existing audience – how many followers do you have? In what sectors do they work? What are their demographics in terms of age and location? Understanding who you are already speaking to will provide an important insight into what content has or has not been successful in the past. It can also shed light on how you might need to tailor your strategy across different channels for potentially different audiences.
From there, you can build up a strong audience persona – which will ensure that content is always tailored effectively.
2. Complete regular audits
But don’t stop there.
Social media audits should be a regular habit, helping you to catch any inconsistencies in your content or with engagement, review benchmarks and set KPIs. Reviewing page analytics and reporting will help to provide this insight on a regular basis.
Crucially, analytics will be the foundation of any audit. It’s vital to see what is and isn’t working for each channel and audience in order to understand why and move forward in your approach
This will be the basis from which you can evolve your social media strategy as your audience and profile grows.
3. Create good content (on the right platforms)
In the attention economy, good content is king. The age of scrolling means that, no matter the platform, you are always in competition with the next post down.
Content should always tailored be not only to your audience, but to the platform. For instance, the algorithm on Instagram often favours video content, while posts that ask questions will help to spark comment and debate on LinkedIn – which might just see your post hit the LinkedIn News pages…
But it’s important to make ensure you are using the right social media platforms for your organisation. If network is popular, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will also the right platform for your objectives.
Similarly, think about the different types of content available to you. There are a plethora of forms that it can take – from infographics and imagery to animations, video and, on LinkedIn, even PDFs. Each will be more effective on different channels and with specific audiences.
Don’t panic – you don’t need to be an expert graphic designer to create good visual content. Tools like Canva and Lumen5 are available to help. However, it’s important to prioritise a cohesive visual style – optimise the quality and dimensions of your visual assets, but don’t forget to keep them fully aligned with your brand, values and image.
4. Schedule, schedule, schedule
Nothing keeps you front of mind for your audience better than consistent social media content. Plan ahead, create a good bank of material and schedule posts, for example by using platforms like AirTable or Hootsuite.
Scheduling can also help you to manage on-going campaigns or projects, as well as testing the best time of day for prompting engagement from your audience on each social media platform.
Preparing evergreen content can help to achieve consistency, but don’t be afraid of a little spontaneity. On Twitter, which is a short lifespan platform, news driven posts that plug into (appropriate) tending hashtags can really help you to cut through.
5. Amplify (and then amplify some more)
Social media can play an important role in amplifying media relations and PR activity.
By sharing thought leadership pieces secured in a leading sector publication, or a comment by your organisation in a breaking new story from the national press, you can truly demonstrate your authority and further grow the profile of your organisation.
Sponsored posts and paid ads can aid this process. This can include boosting posts that have already proved successful in terms of organic engagement, which will have been well received by individuals that already follow you. Paid posts can promote that content further afield to new and targeted audiences.
However, remember that sponsored social media posts should always include a call-to-action – whether that’s to follow your page, visit the website, book a demo or reach out directly through a contact form.
Consider amplifying content across pages, too. If your Chief Executive shares an interesting post, make sure to reshare it on your company channel, and that employees across your organisation are sharing and engaging with content regularly.
6. Make time for engagement
An organisation’s social media strategy plays a key role in growing its profile. But, alongside good content creation and evaluation, don’t forget to keep the social in social media.
Managing engagement with your customers and stakeholders is crucial. A good strategy will also allow time for interaction – speaking with connections and followers in the comments, asking questions and supporting others with engagement on their posts, too.
However, while engagement can be broadly positive, it’s important to have clear processes in place for negative comments. Consider an approach of politely clarifying, but not amplifying. Strategic communications consultancies, such as Sapience Communications, can help you to put in place a robust strategy and plan for responding.
The social media landscape is always evolving, but a good foundation and robust strategy for your social media will help to elevate your profile, enhance your PR and drive engagement from your target audiences.