You’ve heard of companies using social media to grow their business and know it’s a great community building tool, however, you aren’t quite sure how to go about using it to support your current marketing and sales efforts. The first thing to understand is that your social media strategy can’t be successful in a vacuum as a standalone presence if it isn’t part of a larger company-wide initiative. Before we get into what exactly that might look like, let’s outline how to measure the overall success of your social media efforts. In order to gauge success you’ll need to have some goals in mind that you can work towards. That will give you a way to measure if what you are doing is working and how well or not.
Size of Your Following
The size of your following is the size of your audience on any particular social media platform. This is obviously an important metric to monitor over time with a goal to increase it since in doing so will increase the number of people that you reach with your content. That said a large following will only do you as well as the quality of the individuals following. By this, I mean how closely they fit into your target customer audience profile. If your following solely consists of family and friends, you may be missing out on the opportunity to reach future potential customers. One aspect of your social media strategy should involve increasing the size and quality of your following.
Here are a few ideas on how you might achieve that:
- Develop or optimize your current social media pages
- Post new content regularly
- Connect with other businesses that provide complimentary services or products
- Encourage visitors to your website to follow your social media pages by providing an incentive
- Hold an event your promote through social media
Reach and Engagement Scores
These metrics give you a better idea of the actual impact your efforts are having. Reach and engagement increase as your followers interact with your posts and content. This can occur through liking, sharing, commenting or following a link back to your website. When posting content to your social media pages, therefore, the goal should involve achieving that desired interaction. As more people are interacting with your content, it becomes more visible and is circulated through the platform also increasing the number of people who may encounter it.
Some ways to increase your reach and engagement include:
- Paid advertisement
- Share focused content your audience is interested in
- Post video
- Encourage engagement by providing an incentive
- Post trending topics
As social media platforms become more saturated it becomes more difficult to stand out from the crowd. This is why it’s critical that your social media efforts are part of and supported by a broader marketing strategy. Rather than thinking of your social media pages as their own entities, consider ways you can use them to support any of your current online and offline activities. For example, you may want to use your social media pages as a venue for collecting and responding to customer feedback, to supplement a live event or promote a new offer.
Once you’ve mapped out your content strategy, identify opportunities where you can link it with an ad campaign. All of the social media platforms provide solutions to target your customer demographic with a variety of ad placement packages. Through these solutions you will be presented additional data that you can use to measure success and determine what yields the best results. If you’ve used a campaign to promote an event and see an increase in the number of registrants that came from social media, it will be obvious that the efforts were worthwhile.
Putting ‘Pen to Paper’
It’s only marginally helpful to know the how if you don’t know the ‘who’. Get a handle on who your current audience consists of by using any of the built in tools found on a given platform. For an excellent step-by-step guide to accessing information for your current social media following, visit: 10 Free Tools to Help You Understand Your Social Media Audience.
Feeling overwhelmed? Ask us about our Facebook Business Page Optimization services. Or if further along in the game, Varsity 5 can create a custom engagement strategy specific to your business that will help to promote interaction while fostering community.
Visit us at http://v5a.com or email [email protected].
Designer, Educator, Contributor
Liz is a designer and former educator, having taught full-time in the Digital Media & Internet Design discipline for 6 years. Her experiences in print design and production coupled with over 10 years of real-world web development have provided Liz a great foundation to contribute meaningfully to our Team Talks.