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Being on social media isn’t an option anymore. If you want your company to be successful, you need it to have a strong social presence. Social media is the place where people are most likely to engage with any brand and is the best way to reach new customers and deepen connections with existing ones. It’s easy to think that you can just pop onto your social accounts now and then and post whatever you think of in the moment, but if you sit down and create a thoughtful, consistent social media strategy and implement it systematically, you will be amazed by the results. Here’s how to get your social strategy up and running.

Make (Attainable) Goals

Make goals, but not extremely lofty goals like “get 1 million followers by next week.” Think about why you’re on social media. What do you want to get out of your social presence? Are you trying to increase followers, make more sales, drive traffic to your website, or give better customer service? Once you come up with a few goals, you can prioritize these and use your social accounts to support these.

Plan a Budget

Budget both the money and the time you plan to spend on social media marketing for each month. Are you doing social yourself or hiring a professional? Is there going to be one person in charge of everything or is your social strategy a team effort? Once you know exactly how much time, money, and manpower you have behind your social media strategy, you can prioritize and decide how many social platforms to use, how often to post, etc.

Create a Calendar

It’s important to create a social media calendar so you can document your planned posts and have a place where you and your team can make edits, move posts around, and keep track of everything. This can be done using Google calendar, an Excel spreadsheet, social calendar apps, or even on paper.

Schedule in Advance

Schedule your social posts in advance as much as possible to make things easier on yourself. Use our reputation management software to get everything scheduled out in advance so you don’t have to think about posting every day.

Know Your Followers

What kind of people are interested in your brand? What else are they interested in? Think about who your followers are and who you want to attract. Post accordingly. One good way to see what your target audience might be interested in is to check out subreddits related to your industry or product to see what else people in that community are talking about.

Follow Your Competitors

You should know exactly what your competitors are posting all the time to see what’s new in your industry, what strategies are working (and not working) for others, and to build a community of like-minded accounts.

Pick the Right Platforms

Do your research and know which social platforms your key demographic uses. You only want to spend energy and money posting to platforms that are actually relevant to your target audience, so if you discover that your key demographic isn’t on LinkedIn, don’t bother with a LinkedIn account. Focus your best efforts on the platforms where you know your audience spends the bulk of their time.

Best Time to Post

This goes back to knowing your followers. Figure out what times of day your target audience is most likely to be on their social media (do they have 9:00-5:00 jobs? Are they night owls?) and adjust your social media posts to fit their schedule.

Stay on Brand

Establish a cohesive brand voice and stick to it. Do you want your posts to be casual, funny, inspiring, professional, or quirky? Figure out your brand’s personality and inject that into each and every post. To learn more on creating a brand voice, see this blog post.

Complete Your Profiles

Fill out all of the information fields when building your social media profiles and make sure each social account includes a link back to your website. Write a short, snappy bio that explains what your company does in a clear and concise manner. Additionally, make sure contact information and your company name is consistent in all of your social accounts and website—you’ll rank lower in search if your basic information isn’t exactly the same across all of your online platforms.

Share Original Content

Don’t just repost from other accounts. Social media gives you the opportunity to get a little personal with your followers, so take it! Take photos of your products, your office, your cat, whatever. Make videos and Boomerangs. Tap into your inner comedian and come up with your own meme.  You want to create a social presence that shows what your brand is all about and what makes it unique.

But Don’t Share Only Original Content

It’s also important to curate interesting posts from other accounts related to your industry or niche. Repost when your account is tagged in something favorable, have an influencer take over your account for a day, and don’t be shy to repost from your competition too. Your industry is a community and social media is a great way to show that.

Listen to Your Followers

Social media is all about interacting with and listening to others, not just putting content out there. Pay attention to your followers, have conversations with them, and really listen to what they want and don’t want. This is an incredible opportunity to get to know your target audience on a deeper level that will help you provide products, services, and marketing campaigns that will truly resonate.

Be Prepared for Negative Reactions

With a good social media strategy in place you will minimize undesirable reactions to your posts, but there will always be negative feedback every now and then. Have a strategy in place for that, too. Always respond to negative comments, take responsibility and apologize if you made a genuine mistake, and don’t forget that negative attention is just part of being online and having a following.

Your social media strategy can make or break your brand. Want to leave it up to the experts? Contact us today!