How to build a winning social media strategy

Social media has proven to be an important tool that can help a business increase awareness about their brand, reach a large audience and educate new and current customers. According to a recently published article in Forbes magazine, 90 percent of social media users follow at least one brand and the average person spends 145 minutes on social media each day. 

With social media such a large part of everyday life for many people, businesses should invest in developing a social media plan that can strengthen their relationship with customers and build brand recognition. Here are three steps to build a winning social media strategy.

Defining your goals and objectives 
There are many different ways to define your goals and objectives. Is the goal to increase followers on a social media platform, such as LinkedIn or Instagram, or to generate clicks to a page on a website? For example, a few things that would be worth defining is what type of engagement posts will be a good fit for the followers, what do you want your social media layout to look like, and finally what is the posting schedule frequency? 

Another consideration is how will the social media account grow and increase followers? Keeping posts relevant to your company’s products and audience, as there should be a direct correlation, will help attract the right followers. One last thing to consider is also to make sure your goals are realistic and reachable. Mapping out these goals and objectives makes it more likely that you will be able to successfully execute your social media plan.

Targeting the right audience
When planning your social media, you must consider your target audience and understand what type of content and information will appeal to them. One way to do this is to define your buyer persona by researching the age, gender, and the location of the majority of your customers. As part of this you should also understand which social media platforms your customers primarily use. For example, customers operating in the business-to-business space are more likely to engage on social media platforms like LinkedIn, where the consumer market is more likely to use social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook. 

Create engaging content
Once you have defined your target audience and the social media platform, then it’s time to  plan your social media content, including visuals. Using  visuals in social media posts greatly increases engagement, by as much as 40 percent. Look for eye popping visuals, find high quality images, videos or GIFs to get more attention, but also make sure that these images align with your branding. Be sure to create content that drives traffic back to your website. This could include a clickable link to additional content to further educate the customer on a topic, such as a blog post, or to a product page. Also, don’t be afraid to mix up your content to include a variety of post types, from engaging content that includes polls and questions and fun fact infographics to content that is educational.  Asking for customers’ opinions and asking questions is also a great way to engage, because it shows a genuine interest in a customer.

There are many steps that go into building a successful social media strategy. Keep in mind that social media is an ongoing, dynamic process. You need to be able to adapt to the changes that are always happening in social media, but starting with clear goals, understanding  the right audience and creating engaging content will ensure you get the outcome you are looking for.