When you tackle the marketing strategy for your business, you’ll have multiple channels at your disposal. You’ll need to look at various factors, including audience, budget, resources, and goals, to help identify the most relevant streams to pursue. More often than not, a combination of channels will deliver the most effective strategy.
It’s guaranteed that social media will be one of the channels you choose to pursue. Why? It’s trackable, relatively easy to set up, and incredibly cost-effective (when you do it right). Moreover, it’s where your audience is online.
Many companies think of social media as a magical marketing cure-all, but simply “having a social media presence” isn’t enough to boost your business’s revenue. Too many companies create a Facebook page or Instagram profile without conceptualizing how to use this channel to deliver on marketing objectives. They dive in head first, skipping the first step to most things in life; planning. You can’t just have a profile for the sake of it. That’s where creating a social media plan comes in.
Yes, social media is a powerful tool that can absolutely grow your business, but the success or failure of your social campaigns will depend on the execution. It’s about unpacking how you plan to use social media to spread your brand’s message. If you’re looking to see a real return on your efforts, you’ll need to have the right social strategy in place.
A Quick Guide To Creating A Social Media Plan
Once you’ve finished fleshing out your marketing strategy, it’s inevitable that social media will emerge as a critical channel. Now it’s time to take it a step further. Within social media, you can utilize several channels or platforms. Each one serves a different objective and audience. Here’s a holistic view of the journey you should take to tackle social media head-on.
- Define your goals: Clearly define what you hope to achieve through your social media efforts, such as increasing brand awareness, driving website traffic, or boosting sales. Remember, you can accomplish all of these with social media. It’s about highlighting which social channels to use for each objective. Spend a chunk of time on this step. It’ll help you build the foundation for your social media plan.
- Identify your target audience: Understand who your target audience is and where they spend their time on social media. This will help you determine which platforms to focus on and tailor your content to their interests and needs. You need to cross-reference your audience breakdown with your business objectives, finding the platforms that tick all the boxes for your brand.
- Conduct a content audit: If you are already on social media, you need to review your current presence. Take note of what is working well and what isn’t. This will help to identify gaps in your existing content pillars, highlighting opportunities for improvement.
- Develop a content calendar: Building a credible presence on social media requires consistency. That’s where a content calendar comes in, holding you accountable to regular posts. You can use this to plan your content creation. It’s an opportunity to develop a variety of content types, such as text, images, video, and infographics, to keep your audience engaged. Planning leads to better curation, ensuring you always deliver high-quality content that adds value.
- Engage with your audience: Community management is essential. You need to monitor and respond to comments or inbox messages in a timely manner. Use social listening tools to stay informed about what is being said about your brand and engage with your audience. It’s a great way to track general sentiment.
- Measure and analyze your results: Use analytics tools to track the performance of your social media efforts. Analyze the data to identify what’s working well and what isn’t, and adjust accordingly.
- Continuously monitor and optimize: Keep track of the latest trends and changes in social media and adjust your strategy as needed to stay competitive. Continually optimize your social media plan for better results. Although creating a social media plan is essential, it must continue evolving. Your metrics will drop if you become boring and predictable.
Social Media Priorities That Drive Revenue
There are three pillars to consider when creating a social media plan. These pillars feed into the marketing funnel, taking your audience through the consumer journey. Think of them as the backbone of your social media strategy, ultimately helping you grow your business effectively.
Pillar 1: Building Awareness
Awareness is an essential objective within your social media strategy. Social media allows you to establish your brand and make it more visible to potential customers. When people are aware of your brand, they are more likely to think of it when they need the products or services you offer.
By increasing brand awareness on social media, you can also:
- Increase website traffic and sales by directing people to your website
- Build trust and credibility with your target audience
- Differentiate your brand from competitors
- Improve customer loyalty and retention
- Increase the chances of word-of-mouth recommendations, which can be a powerful form of marketing.
How to drive awareness on social media:
When it comes to social media, the age-old saying rings true: content is king.
But it isn’t just any kind of content that will boost your brand recognition and help you bring in more leads. If you really want your social media feed to build awareness in the marketplace, you need to post content that’s useful and relevant to your audience.
Many companies make the mistake of posting mostly about themselves—they post about recent projects, celebrate their accomplishments and awards, and advertise internal news like new hires and promotions. None of these are bad things to post, and shedding some light on your company culture isn’t a terrible use of your time. But if you’re only ever posting about your company’s achievements, you start to sound like the worst dinner date (it’s all “me, me, me”).
Instead, consider using your social media feed to post content your ideal customers or clients could truly benefit from. This could look like:
- Blogs or whitepapers sharing your expertise on an issue in your industry
- FAQs pages answering common questions your ideal clients often have
- Infographics with simple tips for people seeking your services
Because this content is useful to your audience, it’s driving awareness and fostering engagement. It’s also a great way to build trust by demonstrating your expertise to your audience.
Social media is one of the most cost-effective ways to reach a large audience. Get your content right, and your awareness and engagement will follow suit.
Pillar 2: Driving Reach
Reach is important on social media because it represents the number of people who have the potential to see and engage with a particular piece of content. The larger the reach, the more potential there is for engagement, such as likes, comments, shares, and click-throughs. Additionally, having an extensive reach will feed into awareness. From a business perspective, it helps you connect with a broader target audience. This is essential if you’re going to grow.
We’ve established that great content serves as the cornerstone of an effective social media strategy—but that content won’t do your company any good if nobody sees it. That’s why you’ll also need to prioritize effective ways to distribute your content to ensure the most significant reach.
Most businesses already have a corporate page they post to, but if that’s the only way your content gets shared, you’re severely limiting the reach of your social posts. People don’t log in to Facebook or LinkedIn to scroll through your company feed, and the ideal clients you’re looking to bring in probably won’t be following your account yet.
That’s where the power of social media sharing comes into play. If even one employee or business partner shares your post, you’ve extended its reach to all of their friends and followers. And if you can get a dozen—or even a hundred—people to share? The audience your content can reach is now exponentially larger.
How can employee advocacy drive reach?
Employee advocacy can drive reach on social media by leveraging employees’ personal networks and online presence to amplify a company’s messaging and content. By encouraging and empowering employees to share company-related content on their personal social media accounts, a company can expand its reach and engagement beyond its own official channels. Additionally, when employees share content, it is often seen as more credible and trustworthy than when it is shared solely by the company. This can lead to higher engagement and conversions.
Traditionally, the biggest stumbling block to this strategy is that it’s hard to get your whole team to share your content. After all, your employees are already busy doing their jobs and may not have the time or patience to manually share posts every day.
An employee advocacy tool like Clearview Social solves this issue by letting you easily queue scheduled posts, then share them with your whole team via email. All your employees have to do is schedule with a single click, and Clearview Social will automatically post the shared content from their accounts. Your company saves valuable time while also ensuring consistent sharing of your content.
Pillar 3: Repetition
Repetition is important in a social media strategy because it helps to reinforce a message and increase brand awareness. When a message is repeated multiple times, it becomes more familiar to the audience, making it more likely to be remembered and acted upon. Repetition also allows different audiences to see the message at different times, increasing the chances that your target audience will see it. Additionally, repetition can build trust and credibility with the audience by communicating a consistent message over time.
Furthermore, repetition can also help to reach a wider audience by being shared by different people with different networks. It can also increase engagement by reminding the audience of the message. Repetition is also useful for creating a sense of community by regularly posting about the same topic, for example, a company’s culture, values, or events. It can help to increase the visibility of the brand. Being more present on various social media platforms makes it easier for people to find you.
It’s important to note that repetition doesn’t mean posting the same message every day. Instead, finding a balance between repetition and providing new and exciting content to the audience is crucial.
Why repetition matters and how best to achieve it
Many companies make the mistake of posting only once or twice a month—and while that may seem like a lot to you, it won’t be enough volume to create consistent impressions for your audience.
It’s worth keeping in mind that no one spends all their time on social media, and some might not even check their social media feeds every day. If you’re only posting once a month, a hefty portion of your audience is likely to miss it altogether. But if you’re posting several times a week, you maximize the chances of your content being seen by as many people as possible.
Some companies worry that too many posts will “bother” their followers, but our research and experience have shown that you can post up to 20 times a month before you start to tire out your followers and see diminishing returns. (Again, most people won’t even see every post—but keeping up a high frequency is key to making consistent impressions.)
If 20 posts seem like a lot of content to produce, the good news is that you don’t have to write it all yourself. We recommend aiming for at least one piece of original content a week. You can curate useful, industry-specific content from other sources like newspapers, journals, or industry partners for the rest of your monthly posts.
While your own original content will usually be the most valuable for your business, sharing curated content helps you make a consistent impression while still providing your audience with value.
Pulling it all together: Tracking your progress
So you’ve started producing heaps of great content, regularly posting on social media, and sharing your posts far and wide with the help of the right technology.
The final step is to track all the leads your social media presence is bringing in, so you can understand how well your strategy is working and fine-tune your future social media content. This can sometimes be a challenge since it isn’t always obvious exactly where your leads are coming from, but there are two methods you can use to better track your efforts: lead magnets and feedback forms.
A lead magnet is any piece of content that’s gated and accessible in exchange for the reader’s contact information. They get useful information on topics that apply to them, and you get their email address in exchange. Although it’s usually best to keep at least some of your content ungated, any useful, informative content that applies to your audience’s needs can potentially serve as a lead magnet (white papers, guides, and e-books are all good candidates).
The advantage of gating some of the content you share in your social media posts is that you can easily follow up with those leads via targeted email campaigns—and you can track exactly which piece of content brought that lead to your site.
Of course, you can also simply ask your new customers and clients how they found you. Including a “How did you hear about us?” field on your intake forms or checkout pages helps you track where your leads are coming from. In turn, this can help you decide which kinds of social media efforts are most worth your company’s time.
Top Tip: Build In Client Referrals
While employee advocacy is fundamental for building your online reputation, don’t forget about client or customer referrals. Client referrals can drive revenue on social media by leveraging the trust and credibility of existing customers to attract new ones. When a satisfied customer shares their positive experience with a business on social media, it can influence their friends and followers to become customers. A referral from a happy customer is often seen as more credible and trustworthy than traditional advertising, which can increase the likelihood of conversions.
Additionally, client referrals can increase brand visibility and reach by spreading the word about a business to a broader audience. When a customer shares a positive experience on social media, it can be seen by their friends and followers, who may also share it with their own networks. This can lead to a snowball effect, where a single referral can reach a large number of potential customers.
Some businesses also incentivize referrals by offering rewards or discounts to customers who refer their friends and family. This can increase the likelihood of referrals.
It’s important to note that in order to drive client referrals, your business needs to have satisfied customers, provide good customer service, and (ideally) have a referral program in place. Weaving this into your social media plan can be a powerful tool to drive revenue.
Maximize Your Social Media Presence With Clearview Social
Ready to start making waves on social media? We can help!
Clearview Social is an employee advocacy platform created to help companies in all industries expand the reach of their social media presence. Our platform makes it easy to build a queue of content to be shared, then send your employees a link to share your posts—with only one click.
Once posts are approved, Clearview Social will automatically share the approved content at strategic times of the day when social media traffic is highest, then report back to you with in-depth analytics about your posts and their impact.
Sound too good to be true? Get A Free Demo and see for yourself how easy it can be to drive revenue with your social media presence.