Making social media work for you

How do you make social media work for you?  The answer is simple: develop a social media strategy, which summarises how you plan to use social platforms to promote your brand, service or products; this will ensure that you are successful on social media.

 This strategic plan will provide clear direction and keep you on track to achieve your goals and get the results you want. A successful social media strategy will typically include the following;

  • Goal: Have a clearly defined goal or goals that are quantified such as, I want to increase my followers by 50%, I want to get 50 more clients.
  • Target Audience: Research your customer base, who are you trying to reach? What does your ideal customer look like? Are there any new potential markets? This will help define the channels you should use.
  • Key messages: What’s your key message and will it resonate with your target audience? Consistent & clear messaging gets results.
  • Content: It’s all about content, content is king.  Your content needs to engage your audience, it must be real and transparent.
  • Measure and monitor: Create metrics or KPI’s that relate back to your goal/goals. The different social channels provide good metrics on your posts. By measuring and reviewing your posts you can make adjustments as some will work, others won’t.

As it’s all about content here are a few tips:

  • Infographics are one of the most highly shared pieces of content.
  • Long form articles get more shares than shorter ones. Aim for 1,000-2,000 words per post.
  • Content that evokes a happy emotion like joy or amusement fares better than content that generates anger or sadness.
  • Include images in your posts to increase engagement and shares, even better use video.
  • Make sure that you use a variety of content types, and don’t try to be overly promotional. Fans get turned off if the only content you’re sharing boasts about a sale or product.
  • Be completely transparent if you’re selling, such as posting your blackboard specials if you are a café or restaurant, Don’t have a hidden agenda as it’s all about building trust. 
  • Take time to engage with your followers, like and comment on content they post, share relevant information and give back – relationships are a two way street.
  • Remember, social media content isn’t created in a vacuum. Followers can suggest content too. Ask followers what they want to see via questions on social sites or email surveys for more insight.

In short social media is about developing a relationship by connecting and interacting.  Through this relationship you build trust, which is underpinned by commitment and retention.  Ultimately this leads to engagement and advocacy as you create brand loyalty.

Tim Langford-Smith
Managing Director
JAZ Creative

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