Starting out can be difficult. Businesses just like yours are regularly publishing content on multiple platforms, so how do you make your messages heard? Follow our 10 steps to build your social media portfolio.
1. Know Your Target Audience
Before you begin, consider your current customers: their habits, their lifestyle and the value they get from your business. If you don’t have customers yet, who do you want them to be? Identify who you would like to reach and get to know them. Keep your target audience in mind at all times when utilizing social media.
Social media allows you to learn more about your intended audience including what messaging resonates best with them, visuals they find appealing, and demographic information from platform insights.
2. Have a Goal
Have a clear goal in mind. Identify what you want to achieve from utilizing social media. Do you want to drive traffic to your website or build a community of like minded people? Make sure you tailor your social strategy to achieve those goals.
3. Choose the Correct Platform
Take a look at where your industry, competitors, and community are communicating. Each platform boosts unique qualities for audience engagement. Instagram rewards visual creatives whereas Twitter focuses on short informational snippets. Not all platforms are appropriate for your message. For example, the Edmonton Oilers have a strong presence on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter but are absent on Pinterest and LinkedIn. Take the time to understand your chosen platform(s) before you start to post.
4. Have a Voice
Be you. Social media allows you to create a voice for your company and brand. Do you want to educate, inspire, celebrate, or entertain? Embrace your company culture and ensure that it resonates in your voice and connects with your target audience. Keep the tone, wording, and grammar consistent across all platforms. For example, if you are looking to inform customers and be a resource for your product category, consider a professional or authoritative voice with an honest and transparent tone, and utilize simple but category specific language in your messages.
5. Create Content
Start conversations and create value for your audience. The content you create should position you properly in the eyes of your customer. Content should be consumable in bite size snippets, and can direct to your website for further detail or full articles. Tell a story, go behind the scenes, educate your customers on what goes on at your company. Utilize hashtags on the appropriate platforms to make your content searchable.
6. Engage with your Audience
Social media is social. Listen to your audience and engage in conversation with your fans. Resist the urge to only promote, cite features, and share content links. Provide value in your conversation and the awareness will follow. When a customer comments on your platform, take the effort to engage with them by liking their comment or replying with an appropriate response. Not all fans will engage directly with you, but your interactions will be seen by others and will make an impression to those who observe. Foster relationships with your community over product promotion.
7. Be Consistent
Gaining attention is hard and if you are not consistent you will lose it. It takes time to build a brand in a noisy environment. Continue to test new content and messaging and eventually you will find what works best for your audience. Engage with new platform features and continue to create fresh content both in format and frequency to keep your audience entertained.
Also, keep the look of your social channels consistent. Have the same profile picture (a company logo) and cover photo across all platforms, and ensure that all profile bios contain the same relevant information.
8. Pay to Play
Let’s face it, the social media giants understand the power of their platforms and that’s why they limit a brand’s reach. If you create engaging content that is performing well, pay to promote it. Grow your audience and engagement with minimal spend. Social media is cheaper than Google AdWords, and when well executed, can provide an excellent ROI. If budget is limited, maximize your ad spend by utilizing cross platform promotions by advertising through Facebook. Ultimately, it is not necessary to spend money on social media, but it can have a significant pay off.
9. Know Your Sales Funnel
When communicating with your audience, ensure you are relaying the right message at the right time. Your initial marketing efforts should be directed towards awareness to build the top of your funnel. When your audience is more familiar with your product/service you can start the sales process. Try and segment your audience to ensure that you are “not proposing on the first date”.
10. Evaluate Your Efforts
A presence on social media can take time to establish. Be sure to evaluate your efforts by utilizing platform insights and analytics data. Replicate and repurpose well performing content. If a certain post style works well – reuse it. If there is a certain audience that responds to one type of content better, target that content . Take a look at your social channel information on Google Analytics and determine what channel is providing the most relevant traffic and focus your efforts there.
Social Media for Your Business
With more people joining social media platforms every day, it is increasingly important to have a presence on social media. Building a social media portfolio allows you to reach your customers, join the community, and control your brand. Simply, social media can be used to drive targeted traffic, boost conversions, and drive real product sales.
If you’d like to learn more about building your social media presence and portfolio, Bluetrain offers a wide range of social media services. With over 10 years of industry experience, we are able to create and help execute an effective and data-driven social media strategy – including paid social advertising and social campaign management. Contact us today to start building your social media portfolio.