Unless you’re Taylor Swift (or Taylor Swift’s social media manager), you’re likely to post whatever you like on social media, whenever you like, without any pressure to boost engagement.
I’ve found that the best brand pages require early planning, time, consistency and careful monitoring. The content needs to be unique, fresh, relevant, and consistently rolled out and stripped of any gross, boring buzzwords. It sounds difficult, but when you lay out the groundwork, the rest of the ride can be much more enjoyable.
Gauge Your Social Media Networks
Since brands started using social media to reach their potential customers, marketers have been trying to make a science out of these online networks. As a result, new social media managers have a wealth of resources when it comes to finding information on what works best on which network, how to tap your demographic, and what other companies similar to your business are doing.
Find out who is currently connected to your accounts and ask yourself who your target audience is. What type of content should you post to which network to maximise their engagement? How many people engage with you or your site? What is the best tone to reach your target audience? And, more importantly, what is the purpose of each social network you are using? Each social entity should have a mission statement. For example, it could be, “We will use LinkedIn to showcase our financial and professional success, in order to generate more leads,” or “We will use Facebook to create more brand awareness and advertise our product (or service) to targeted audiences in order to increase sales.”
Plan Your Objectives
When planning your goals and objectives, you’ll want to be as specific as possible and particular with how you’ll reach out to each of your networks. All contact on social media should be aligned with your mission statement for that platform. Make sure you have an implemented way to measure your target goal. A common social media management goal-setting strategy is known as S.M.A.R.T, which stands for:
- Specific: Establish a specific objective for each network.
- Measurable: Have a clear outline of what it means to achieve your goal (30 likes, five retweets, three comments).
- Attainable: Is your goal realistic?
- Relevant: Does your goal align with your social media mission statements and the overall integrity of your brand?
- Time-bound: Is there a deadline for your goal, or sense of routine?
This goal could be: “I would like to increase the number of likes on my brand’s Facebook page by 10,000 likes by February.” Or, “We will post five photos on Instagram a week that display our products to encourage our aesthetic culture, with the hopes of getting 40 likes and 10 comments each.”
Create a content plan and an editorial calendar. Allocate posts to bring people to your blog, curate from other sources, bring people to your actual site, generate leads or add to your culture.
The more you plan, the more efficiently your social networks will run. With a calendar, you’ll never miss an important date, you can more easily track your best and worst-performing posts, you can base your assignments for writers on your calendar, and you can better and more evenly allocate your time and energy to each of your networks.
By planning your content in advance, you can also stick to your goals and allocate a certain number of posts to fulfill different tasks. With a calendar, it’s easier to plan your strategy around how you will accomplish your goals and when. For example, you could decide to dedicate 20 percent of your posts to bringing people to your blog, 20 percent to generating the culture around your brand, 20 percent to bringing people into your culture, 10 percent to calling on your followers to subscribe, and 10 percent to curating content from outside sources.
Fill Out Your Pages
Now that you have a sense of what your social media campaigns will look like, it’s time to bring them to life. Make sure your branding is clean and consistent. Write each page bio to be specific to the social network it’s catering to, following each page’s tone (Facebook is fun; LinkedIn might be considered more straitlaced and professional). Don’t forget to include necessary links to your website and other online entities, and keep images to your original design using this sizing chart.
Test, Track, and Modify Your Social Media Posts
This is the fun part! After you’ve posted for a little while and seen how people respond to each post, you should be able to look through your content on your pre-scheduled check-in date to do a little audit of your efforts. I even use social media in this way to help with customer service. Next, if you surpass your goals, it’s time to switch up or add to them.
If you notice that the people who are engaging with your content are a little far from your target customer, tweak your content to reflect the culture of your brand more. If you’re falling under or lagging behind your goal, you can see whether or not you can improve your posts, post more frequently, or at a different time. Here are a few metrics you should be using to track social media growth. You can track your social media on Google Analytics quite easily, or use another platform to track your social media, like Hootsuite or Trackur.
Using Google or Hootsuite’s social media analytics will help you maintain a clear vision of where you’re headed and show you where you can improve for better metrics. Social media is a job that requires constant shifting and consideration to keep you on target. Your social media endeavors can become manageable by establishing a consistent effort to bring your brand’s presence to these platforms.