We’re often asked which social media strategies are the most effective, easiest to implement, and yield the best results. Choosing the right strategies depends on a multitude of factors (e.g. your brand, industry, target audiences, business objectives) that for us to provide a standard response for every brand would be not only impossible, but also irresponsible.
To offer some direction, we compiled a list of useful strategies in our guide, 100 Social Media Strategies for CMOs (PDF), from which any business can choose and customise for their digital marketing plans. If a hundred seems overwhelming, not to worry! From these, we shortlisted 15 to kick-start your brand’s digital journey, which we discussed in depth at TAMBA’s breakfast session in May.
Lots of businesses are confused about why they’re in the social space and what to measure, and that’s largely because they don’t know what they’re trying to achieve.
Before putting together a social media plan, always set objectives. You wouldn’t do anything in marketing, sales, HR, etc. without objectives, would you?
Here are some basic examples of metrics depending on what your objectives are:
|Increase awareness||Facebook fans, Twitter followers, brand mentions, blog visits|
|Increase engagement||Facebook post Likes & Shares, Twitter Favourites & Retweets, blog visit duration and comments|
|Drive web traffic||Website visits|
If you’re still deciding whether to take the leap, consider this: whether you have a social media presence or not, your brand is probably being talked about, thanks to growing use of Internet and smartphones. Imagine the potential PR nightmare if a negative comment by a customer were to spiral out of control, and no one from your team is there to manage it.
Beyond having a social media presence, the right people should be assigned to care for the brand. Sadly many companies that haven’t quite understood the power of social media leave this critical task to the intern. Would you send someone with little experience and understanding of your business to talk to your customers?3. Make responsive web design a priority.
In a nutshell, a responsive site adapts the layout to the viewing environment (e.g. computer, mobile). According to Google Mobile Planet, 51% of people in the UK use smartphones and 80% of users visit social networks. Assuming you’re using social media to drive traffic to your website, you’ll want to provide potential customers the optimal viewing experience.4. Align social media and SEO strategies.
Having your social media and SEO strategies working hand in hand is a no-brainer. Algorithmic ranking factors for Google, Bing and YouTube include social media metrics. An excellent way of driving traffic to your website is through a blog with keyword-focussed content and links to your social media.5. Think of your brand as a publisher.
When planning communications, it helps to think of all your social media channels as one big publishing hub. What would you say? How would your visuals look? Remember, content is still and always will be king.6. Develop a content strategy using media types most effective for your business.
Understand what each social media channel offers, how they differ from one another, and how they can be integrated to complement each other. There’s an analogy going around that may help: imagine Facebook as a pub, Twitter as a cocktail party, LinkedIn as a trade show, and YouTube as Times Square. To add to that, perhaps Google+ is a forum, Pinterest a scrapbook, and a blog your own magazine.7. Create a branded blog.
The benefits of a blog have long been touted, so we won’t go there. It’s a brilliant opportunity for your business to create high-value content that showcases your expertise and value proposition. Many businesses are already using it to establish credibility and thought leadership in their field. A blog is also a great avenue for growing a community that could potentially comprise brand advocates who, in turn, may blog about you.8. Build a community with LinkedIn Groups.
LinkedIn is a gold mine for companies, particularly B2B ones. Statistics show that 81% of LinkedIn users belong to at least one group. Setting up your own group gives you the opportunity to build relationships and generate leads through knowledge-sharing. Who doesn’t love free expert advice?9. Make it easy for your customers to buy on LinkedIn.
Although there are 2.7 million business pages on LinkedIn, a surprising number don’t have their products or services listed, which is a missed opportunity. Take the time to fill this out and ensure the links drive viewers back to your website.10. Turn your YouTube channel into a customer service hub.
If YouTube were a search engine, it would be the second largest after Google. It’s not just for videos of funny cats, it’s also a resource for education in its most powerful form – visual. With the technology available, anyone can set up a camera and start shooting. The challenge may be in developing the right content strategy.11. Repurpose your content.
Keeping a strong content calendar going can be challenging. That’s why it helps to refresh your content, whether it’s putting a new spin on existing content with updates or from a different perspective. Consider how one piece of content can be disseminated across different media. For example, a blog post can be turned into a video tutorial, a podcast, or even a photo album.12. Add games to social for a touch of fun.
One of our specialities at TAMBA is gamification, which is so much more than creating a game for the sake of having one. It provides an engaging way to get to know your brand. The “Happy Days” game we created for Butlin’s enabled their fans to get to know their resorts better, as the layouts were based on actual resort layouts. Our Sofa Bash game for Virgin Active came with free gym vouchers that were a good incentive for players to connect with the brand.13. Spill your social campaigns into “real life”.
Campaigns that integrate the online experience with real life generally tend to be more memorable, as a physical experience creates a powerful impression. Having said that, coming up with a great idea that manages to straddle both digital and real worlds can prove challenging without the expertise. Fortunately, there are agencies like TAMBA that specialise in guerrilla marketing.
During the TAMBA breakfast session, we encouraged attendees to Tweet about the experience using #100strategieslive – the MD of Cream HR was so delighted with the event that he tweeted, “Enjoying #100strategieslive at TAMBA. Very interesting and very useful way to start the day.”14. Beyond audience size, start measuring engagement.
Some companies focus on the number of Facebook fans or Twitter followers, which are sometimes considered “vanity metrics” because what do these numbers mean for your business? Does having more fans translate to an increase in sales? That’s why engagement is important for knowing what content appeals to your audience, and if your existing content even works.15. Monitor more than just brand mentions.
It’s worth noting that your customer interaction online involves more than just your brand. Aside from monitoring your competitors, consider checking out industry trends and events that could impact your business. A very simple way to do this would be to set up Google Alerts for words related to your brand, competitors, business trends, and industry events. This trick proved successful for one of our attendees from Conrad Anderson, who tweeted, “I think Google alerts will revolutionise my life!”About TAMBA Breakfast Sessions
Just what is it and is it as tasty as it sounds? Every month, we host a little knowledge-sharing event for businesses to help them grow their brands in the digital space, absolutely free. If you’d like to join us at our next breakfast, call Sarrah or Becky at 01543 495 888.