Social media is an essential piece to marketing and communications strategies. It is more important than ever to remain thoughtful about the content you share and how it will stand out to your target audience. A lack of knowledge regarding target audience and followers can cause brands to either miss groups of consumers or run campaigns that are irrelevant to their following. Below, we have outlined the two most important steps in creating a successful social media strategy.
Step 1: Determine Your Target Audience and Highest Performing Content
Recently, we asked our followers on LinkedIn and Twitter to vote on what content they find most engaging. The top three results were industry news, entertainment, and personal interest. Equipped with the understanding of what is most relevant to our target audience, our team was able to map our content planning to what our audience finds the most interesting.
Everyone interacts, consumes, and creates digital content differently. Some people prefer to engage with video, like live chats, storytelling, and Q&As, while others may prefer still images and infographics. Creating and sharing a variety of content not only diversifies your page to keep your content fresh, but it also allows you to discover what content medium receives the most attention from your audience. When examining how to share your content, ask yourself:
“Is my content inspirational? Is it educational? Entertaining? What am I offering my audience through the content that I post and the way I post it?”
Step 2: Foster Conversations
Social media serves as a two-way conversation between you and your target audience or stakeholders. Your content initiates the conversation, and it should captivate your audience and encourage them to respond, comment, or create their own posts related to what you have shared. Those conversations drive engagement, grow your following, and help you establish a relationship with your audience.
Here are some ways you can proactively initiate and foster conversations with your audience:
Create content that encourages a response: A simple way to do this is through creating and sharing relevant polls across your social media channels. Not only are you driving engagement and initiating a conversation, but you are also gathering important insights about your audience's interests.
Continue the conversation in the comments section: Responding to comments is another great way to bolster your engagement and build a relationship with your audience. If someone is taking the time to comment and engage with your content, a simple response or acknowledgement goes a long way. It demonstrates that you value what they have to say.
Listen to what’s being said: You cannot be a good conversationalist without being a good listener. This applies to social media as well. It’s important to stay on top of what your audience is talking about – trends, current events, social issues, etc. This will allow you to garner some insight on what topics you should be chiming into.
Interact with other accounts: Whether you’re liking a tagged post, commenting on a review, or sharing content from your target audience, those interactions have a huge impact in fostering conversations and relationships. Every positive interaction has the potential to become a new follower of your brand.
Keeping these two steps in mind can help set up your organization or campaign for social media success.