It has been a while since my last post but I have a good excuse. I have been taking my New Year’s resolution goal to be healthier seriously and I’ve been hitting the gym in my spear time which consequently has resulted in me neglecting this blog. Okay, so it is not a good excuse and one thing I am learning from my workouts is to eliminate excuses so here I am writing this post.
Today at the gym I had a conversation with the manager who happened to be working on developing a social media strategy. And I won’t name any names but this gym is fairly new but a quickly growing national franchise. That being said each franchise location is responsible for their own social media efforts which, as you can imagine, can be difficult for a manager of a fairly new brand to generate a following and build awareness from ground zero.
During the conversation I had with the manager, she confessed that while they are currently on social media networks they really are not sure with how to grow awareness of their location, offerings and build a loyal community.
Unfortunately, this manager is not alone. Even well-established companies are still struggling today with a Social Media strategy. They know they are supposed to be on social but they don’t fully know how to take advantage of its capabilities.
In the time it took me to reach my target heart rate on the elliptical I was able to just 3 quick tips to building a social media strategy that I call F.I.T. and I thought this would be perfect for sharing with all of you.
Here is how to jump start your Social Media Strategy into shape with my social F.I.T. tips:
FORM A PLAN around your target audience
Casting a wide net with generic advertisement will not work for marketers any longer. If you try to capture everyone, you’ll miss everyone. And if you have a “if you build it, they will come” mentality you are very much headed in the wrong direction. STOP and turn around.
Really think about who your customers are or who you want them to be. Having an idea of the person is not enough. You need to make a profile of your target audience. Write out who they are, what their likes are, their interest, etc. You should include what type of language they use online like keywords and phrases and when and where they post.
If this seems like a lot of work your feelings are valid, it is. But that is the work that is necessary to create a good social strategy and there are social tools available out there in the social sphere to help you identify all the pertinent details of your target audience.
You don’t need to be on every social network (web-based community of people often grouped into common interests). Once you identifying where your target audience is posting you will be able to narrowing down the networks and sources you need to be on.
INFLUENCERS are critical to your brands growth
Social Media influencers (or brand advocates) are people who are active on social media and blog and according to Jay Baer, “can drive action, not just awareness”
And please don’t confuse the word influence with someone on social having a large audience.” Influencers can have a small to mid size following that are very loyal and dedicated to the influencers and more likely to take action on the influencers recommendation. And why are recommendations important? Well, because 70-90% of consumers buying decisions are influenced by social media and the recommendations from those they know and trust. If you haven’t noticed yet, social media is about being social and building relationships with others who share common interests, ideas, opinions or other characteristics. When a brand builds a relationships with the right influencers, that partnership can extend the brand’s reach and boost visibility with it’s target market. You can find out who some key influencers in your niche or industry by simply viewing profiles and seeing the amount of activity and engagement (and the content of the messages) that that person has. A more advance and effective way of uncovering unknown influncers is to utilize specialized social listening now tools which I will go into detail in on future post.
TARGET your audience with engagement
If you haven’t yet heard the expression “Content is King” let me be the millionth person to re-state it. Content is King! And good, consistent content will lead to better SEO, more web traffic and increase in readers (followers, fans, prospects). Good content includes using relevant keywords that your target audience will be searching for. Make sure to consider the source when you are publishing content. This plays back into forming a plan around your target audience. What social networks and online sources are your audience on? Blogs, forums, Facebook, Twitter?
Make sure you are pushing out your optimized content on the best channels to reach your audience. Relevant content on the right channels will increase your chances of being both found online and receiving engagement. Make sure your conversations are not one-way. Write content that promotes readers to engage with you (ask a question, comment, share an opinion, like the post, click on a link, or share the post). Most importantly, when they do engage, make sure to respond back appropriately and in a timely manner to keep the conversation going, build rapport and hopefully gain a loyal fan(s).
There you have it folks. My F.I.T tips to get your Social Strategy into shape and start seeing positive results.