Facebook has 2.23 billion users per month, Instagram 1 billion, and Twitter has 335 million. This paired with the rise of mobile devices we can only expect those numbers to rise. What does that mean for you? You should care about social media.
Over 2.46 billion people use some type of social media, and if your users are using social media, you should too.
Social Media Strategy
With social media, you can design a better digital experience for users and be in touch with them in various different channels.
Goals - Always start with creating goals, what do you expect to get out of the use of social media and how will you validate your efforts? How will you measure and track your success?
Know your users– understanding your users and who they are is essential to creating content that they will like, share, and comment on.
Competitive Analysis– See what your competitors are doing, how are they using social media? This will not only help you be aware of what they are doing, but it will also help you spot opportunities or pain points users may be having.
Expectations - You want to send messages that align with your users’ needs and their expectations. What information do your users expect from you? Is this information they want?
Frequency- According to a report from the Neilsen Norman Group called the Social Media User Experience, users often said that companies who posted too much were a top annoyance. You want to find that sweet spot; in order to do this, it is best to look at similar companies and to your users to see how frequently they post and do some testing yourself. Once you find this sweet spot, be consistent with your frequency of messaging.
Create a Content Calendar – Plan the social media experience you will provide for your users, what type of content will go out on what days and have a consistent flow.
Not all social platforms are the same, it is tempting to just post the same content over all your social channels, but different content does better on different platforms.
What do you want your users to get from your social media posts? When writing copy for your posts this is the most important thing to think about.
You want your copy to have clarity in message, be simple (but not simple-minded), have brevity (not too much or too little words), and humanity.
Be visual with your content – a study on learning showed that after 3 days only 10% of users were able to recall what they read, while 65% were able to remember what they saw.
Rule of thumb: when balancing an exciting visual or exciting copy, pick one or another.
Social media gives you more than brand building
Having a good social media strategy gives you SO many more benefits beyond building your brand.
UX Research – social media provides us with so much rich user data which you can use to identify gaps in the market, pain points, and reveal your users’ needs.
Persona Creation– With social media, you can have a better idea of who your users are, what they like or don’t like, and more.
Listening – Using social media you can enable things like Google Alerts to enable you to listen to social media conversations surrounding your product, making feedback and data collection easier.
Be with your users– If your users spend time on social media you should too! By being active on social media you can engage in conversation with your key users and get a feel for who they are, what they like, et al. You can identify those who love you and turn them into possible brand ambassadors or use them for usability testing, or you can identify those who complain and acknowledge their pain points or turn them into fans.
A consistent experience– your users move between many different channels so it is important to have a presence each one to provide a consistent user experience with your brand.
After planning your social media strategy it may seem daunting to put it into action. Using a platform like Hootsuite will make it much easier. You can schedule posts, track posts about your company or a hashtag, engage with posts, see social data, and more.
I’ve used Hootsuite in a variety of ways to create social media reports and to plan out content. It made my life so much easier being able to schedule my posts and interact with multiple social channels at once all in one place.
Even better? The base platform is free! There are other plans that are paid versions, but for someone starting out you can learn the ropes using the free tool.
Social Media Success
Want to check out some companies that are killing it with their social strategies?
Posting content that your users want to see
Sh*t that I knit is a company that sells homemade knit products (hats, wraps, etc.). Using social media, they have built their brand up to have 24,000 followers on Instagram alone. They do a great job at posting content that their users like to see and posting content of their customers wearing their products.
Social media enables you to connect with your users and to engage them in a conversation. Check out these companies that are having conversations with their users and killing it. Having conversations with your users allows your brand to become more human, strengthen the relationship, and get key insights.
To conclude– social media is great and works well when you keep your user at the center of your strategy and your posts, and you can get so much more out of it than just getting your brand out there.