Research has shown that receiving likes, comments and shares on social media makes us feel happy and rewarded. Every time you see those little pixel hearts light up or an alert about a new comment, your brain releases a spurt of dopamine. It rewards you for being popular on social media with a healthy dose of happiness. But, without an effective social media strategy, your posts are as good as dead in the water.
So, does that mean that the endgame of social media is to get the most likes, retweets, and comments possible? Is follower count the vital key that’s going to skyrocket your business into the stratosphere and make you the new Apple or Amazon?
You may have noticed in Social Media Strategy: Part 1 that we didn’t include an increase in followers as one of our suggested S.M.A.R.T goals. There’s a reason for that — we believe in quality over quantity. It’s better to have a small community of loyal, engaged and interested customers than a 1000 followers who are just there to bump up numbers.
The simple fact is, if you create high-quality, interesting content and share it, you’ll gain an organic following who are with you because they like what you do. People who believe in your mission and will help you spread the word.
It’s better to find your target audience and focus on delivering your message and content to them, rather than spreading yourself thin trying to reach everyone. Social media is a big place, so how do you make sure your content is reaching the people you want it to?
Audit Your Audience
Before you even begin creating your strategy, we recommend that you perform a social media audit. It’s a great place to really dig down into what has been working for your business and areas that you can improve on.
If you need some tips on where to get started with a social media audit, check out our post — Social Media Marketing for Startups: The Basics 1 – Social Media Audit.
To recap quickly, the main steps of a social media audit are:
Make a list of your social media accounts — make a spreadsheet to keep track of the profiles, users and engagement metrics.
Evaluate your needs and missions — understand what goals you have as a business and how you can achieve them.
Be on brand — make sure you have an easily identifiable profile picture, header image, and an informative bio.
Future Forays — keep an eye on emerging platforms.
As an extension of this, you should audit your audience. Don’t worry — it’s not about chasing your past customers around with a clipboard!
It’s actually possible to perform an audit of your followers without ever asking them for feedback through inbuilt or dedicated analytics tools such as Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, and Twitter Analytics, to name a few.
These handy tools can break down audience demographics and help you define who your core audience is — from age and location to deeper statistics, like how they interacted with your post and what other posts have interested them.
By understanding the people who are interested in your message — you can really start to tailor your marketing strategy to deliver a more personalised experience.
Using the data from analytics can help you to isolate the channels that perform best for your business and help you to decide where to focus. If you’re just beginning your journey into social media marketing, it may be tempting to try and spread the word across all platforms equally in a bid to reach the widest audience.
But trying to do that can actually be counterproductive. It’s better to choose your best-performing networks and put the time and effort into nurturing a community there.
If you still need some pointers in deciding which social media platforms to prioritise, we have a handy guide which looks at the main channels and their pros and cons, here:
Or if you like your data condensed, we have a quick list here:
Analytics offer almost instant feedback that you can measure and track, showing you whether you hit the right note or where you need to make improvements.
Find Your Feedback
We mentioned previously that you can audit your audience without even contacting them. While it is possible — we don’t recommend it. Even though we’re living in a digital age, customers still value human contact highly and if you want to know what a customer likes about your business, the best way to find out is to ask them.
Getting in touch with your customers via social media, email or even in person (if you run a bricks-and-mortar place of business) can be a great way to get vital feedback.
There’s a knack to it though. A recent report by Zendesk found that customers are experiencing customer feedback fatigue, claiming that customer surveys are too long, too personal, and inconvenient.
How do you avoid this? Keep it short and simple. Offering an incentive doesn’t hurt either. A discounted service or product can be a great way to reward your loyal customer base who take the time to share their opinions with you. The most important thing — keep it personal.
You can gather demographics and metrics from analytics, so use customer feedback to gather more human insights into your business.
By combining the data of analytics and human feedback, you can build up a really good picture of who your core audience is, what they like and what they want.
And when creating your social media marketing strategy — that’s key information that can help you to deliver a more high-quality, personalised experience that consumers will want to interact with.
The next part in our Social Media Marketing for Startups series continues our exploration of social media strategy. We’ll show you how to craft your own personalised strategy and the importance of reviewing and refining.
If This Is All a Bit Much…
We’re here to help. You focus on your business. Let us look after your social media marketing. Reach out and find out how we can help your business succeed.