By Meghan Greaves
Meghan is the Content & Marketing Strategist at factor[e] design initiative. She is focused on developing and executing leading content marketing strategies that engage a targeted audience.
Integrating social media into your marketing plans can be a frustrating experience. In the first stages it may seem like things are going well; you’ve got a good follower base, people are interacting with what you’re posting, and you start to get a good understanding of what works and what doesn’t for your business. Then, what tends to happen is that your performance comes to a standstill and you’re left searching for ways to find success again.
More times than not, when looking for examples of success, we turn to companies that have endless amounts of resources. From this perspective, winning over the social media world can seem like an uphill battle.
However, keeping a few things in mind can help improve your overall performance and experience integrating social media into your marketing plans – whether you’re a startup or a big business.
Don’t try to do it all.
Finding success with social media doesn’t mean having a presence on every platform. Success is about utilizing the platforms that are the most relevant to your audience, content, and services or products. This is especially important if you don’t have a team specifically designated to managing your online communities.
One of the greatest things about social media is that your audience can put a face to the name and get to know your business on a different level. Being real is two-fold. On one hand you have the ability to share updates in real-time. On the other, you have the opportunity to engage in genuine conversations that are happening within your current community and begin to tap into new ones to expand your audience.
Be open to kick-starts.
Paying to promote your business or post on social media is something that many people are scared of. But when first starting out it can give your online presence a good kick-start. Even if you already have an established presence on social, paid reach can help you get added exposure and the leverage you need to reach your potential audience – especially with the latest algorithm changes.
Although many businesses love social media because it’s free, this free ride is slowly coming to an end. Social media platforms are starting to alter their algorithms to enhance user experience by weeding out promotional posts and highlighting those that are paid. This means that as time goes on it will get harder and harder for businesses to find success organically.
Measure, monitor, report, repeat.
The only way you will find out what’s working for your social media strategy is by (1) measuring your performance, (2) monitoring your performance over time, (3) reporting your performance so you can benchmark your performance, and (4) do 1 through 3 on a regular basis. Many social platforms (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn) come with built-in analytic tools that can help your measure your performance, but there are also endless others that you can use as well like HootSuite, MOZ and Klout.
Always be consistent.
Consistency is a key component to a successful social media strategy since your audience will forget about you if you’re not interacting with them regularly. This is something that many businesses struggle with. It’s hard to remember to post on a regular basis let alone interact with your online community when you have a full plate already.
Having someone designated to be your community manager is the easiest way to avoid inconsistencies. However, this is not always feasible. If you’re not in the position to designate someone to manage your social media activities, try scheduling posts and setting aside specific times to interact with your audience.