10 Steps to a Winning Social Media Strategy

Social media has endless potential as a tool to grow and promote businesses. Many of us have personal profiles, but when it comes to a business page, creating a winning social media strategy requires a different approach.

The goal of using social media for business is to inform, engage and ultimately convert traffic into sales. Businesses use everything from catchy posts to free giveaways to entice customers.

There’s no magic formula for social media, since platforms and audiences are constantly changing. What works today might not work 6 months from now. That’s why it’s important to keep on top on trends to manage your social media platforms and roll with the changes.

Below are 10 tips for creating a social media strategy. These tips are especially helpful if you’re new to using social media for business or you’re on social media already and want to see an increase in followers.

1. Pick Your Platform

What’s the best way to promote your business? If you run a floral shop, use Instagram to show the arrangements you can make for customers. If you run a brokerage firm, use Twitter to provide short, concise tips about the market. It’s better to pick one or two platforms that suit your business, rather than try to manage too many.

2. Less Is More

Expect to spend 4-5 hours a week for each social media platform. This includes creating posts, sharing content and responding to followers.

That’s a lot of time, right? So pick the platforms that suit your business (see tip #1).

Social media users are savvy now. They know when a page is just automated content and feeds. Make sure you are a live presence that can engage with your followers in real time.

 3. Pay Attention To Demographics

Who are your customers? Once you know your customer base, you can start seeking them out on social media.

Networking with other businesses and focusing on the right social media platforms will make it easier to draw the right kind of followers.

Target your advertising to the kinds of customers you want to attract. Keep an eye on your competition and see what they are doing. It’s better to create a niche market with a clear message. Don’t try to be everything to everybody.

4. Find Your Voice

It’s not enough to have a great logo or brand on social media. A voice that defines your business will give you an advantage. No matter what your business is, you can create a unique voice. Think of Flo from Progressive! An insurance company now has some of the funniest advertising. Or the snarky voice of Wendy’s Twitter account.

Think about how you want to present your brand and what your users will respond to. Observe how other businesses present themselves on social media for inspiration.

5. Everybody Loves Free Stuff

You’d think with all the click bait on the Internet, customers wouldn’t bother with contests and giveaways. Wrong. People still love freebies and chances to win fun stuff.

Use freebies and contests to your advantage. Launch a “name our app” contest on Twitter and give away a free gift card or e-book. Our company uses free trials to promote our new virtual tools. This gives us an opportunity to solicit feedback on what we can improve when users try out our free products.

6. Be Here Now

It’s normal to automate posts and content, but make sure you have a real person on hand to respond to users and their comments and questions. The average user on social media expects a response within an hour! And users don’t have to wait. If you don’t respond, they may go to another vendor. Don’t miss out on business opportunities – get back to people right away.

7. Follow the 70-30 rule (or 80/20 as some people use)

According to AdWeek, using the 70/30 rule for sharing and promoting content is a useful strategy for Twitter.

It is defined as:

70 percent of the time, you should tweet others’ content. 30 percent of the time, you should tweet your own, branded or promotional, content.

This is a great way to promote interesting content to keep your followers engaged. You want to avoid having a page that inundates your followers with ads and promotional content.

8. Research Is A Must

If a tree falls in the forest… you get the idea. This is the same with social media. There’s no point in creating original content, scheduling posts and interacting with users if you don’t fully understand how this is impacting your business. You’ll also never know what works and what doesn’t.

Get familiar with Google Analytics to track your social media stats, and bookmark a site like this for tips on analyzing data.

What we're using to sell our products.

9. Be Trendy

Unlike things like the stock market or fashion, trends in social media are usually safe to follow. In 2017 chat bots, augmented reality (see dancing hot dog here), and video technology were incredibly popular. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new technology on your social media feed and ask your followers for their insights.

10. Time To Test

Just like reviewing analytics, A/B testing (or split testing) is essential to determine what is working on your social media platform. The reality is, social media for business requires data analysis! The upside to this is that A/B testing isn’t that hard. You can test in real time with the tools you have right now. Use the tools presented here and here to try your hand at some split testing.

Summary

Using social media to promote your business can be an incredibly powerful tool when used to its full potential. Setting aside the time and working on content and testing can improve traffic to your site and increase your sales.

Join The Conversation

What’s your social media strategy? How does testing your social media content improve your traffic? Share your experiences with us below!

Cynda Pike is a content creator for Virtual Gurus. Silver hair, black eyebrows. I like medieval killer bunnies, Emily Dickinson and Euripides.

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