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Founder and EIC of Now Entertainment, Personal Branding/Public Relations Expert.
Today, the average person on social media is exposed to more content than they were, let’s say, a decade ago. With more brands joining the social media race every day, we can take a wild guess as to what’s happening to people’s attention spans on social media.
Well, if you haven’t already guessed it, the attention span of consumers is dwindling. It will require more than just “thoughtful and authentic content” to communicate with your audience and keep them interested.
As social media and technology advances, many scientifically proven techniques for audience retention and conversion have popped up. So, what’s the secret sauce to a personalized and successful social media strategy?
1. Make a solid plan.
I can’t stress enough the importance of having a strategy that caters solely to your brand. More often than not, I see small brands copy strategies from more prominent brands and still end up with deplorable results. Why? Because these methods are not suited to small-scale brands and often target much larger goals and objectives. This leads me to the first step in a solid social media plan.
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2. Create achievable goals.
Every social media strategy starts with goals. Goals are a way to identify what you want to achieve on social media within a specific period. With a set goal in mind, it won’t always feel like you’re walking in a maze. Some questions to ask yourself before starting your social media campaign include:
• Do I want to increase brand awareness? Increasing brand awareness is the process of fostering familiarity between social media consumers and your product. This is a great goal if you’re just starting out or announcing a new product.
• Do I want to boost engagement? If you notice that you aren’t getting as much traction or as many likes as you used to, boosting engagement should be your top priority. Common ways to increase engagement include asking questions and creating interactive content.
• Do I want to drive traffic to my site? Social media is a great way to drive traffic to your site. How? Social media ads. Social media ads are similar to search engine ads and can be targeted and tracked, meaning you can keep track of ROI and make changes to your demographics easily.
3. Take time to research your audience.
It’s thunderstorm season, and John plans to visit the market to get some groceries. He is unsure if taking a walk would be the best idea but looks outside and sees clear skies. He decides to take a walk instead of driving his car — without checking the weather report. In his head, all he’s thinking is, “It’s dry outside and the sky is clear; I think I can manage on my own.” Moments later, it starts raining and John gets pelted by cold raindrops.
This brief scene is something that occurs too often with brands and their social media strategies. Not the rain, but rather relying on assumptions. For example, “This set of people look like they will like my product; my gut tells me to target them.”
Unreasonable assumptions and marketing don’t go together. This is why there are tons of tools and statistics online that can help you analyze a particular social media platform and get a wealth of demographic data in minutes.
For example, according to Hootsuite data, Facebook users click on an average of 12 ads each month, with women clicking on more ads than men. Based on this statistic, you might want to run more split tests on Facebook and run specific ads for women to determine if this benefits your brand.
4. Establish your most important metrics and KPIs.
Metrics and KPIs are crucial for knowing how well your social media strategy is performing. Without them, you probably won’t realize when you’ve hit your goals. Some important metrics to consider when creating your social media strategy include:
• Clicks: This is the number of times consumers have clicked on your content. If you’re able to identify what brings in clicks, you can replicate it.
• Engagement: Engagement is defined as any interaction your audience has with your content. This helps you know how your audience perceives your brand and how eager they are for your content.
• Reach: This is the number of unique users who have seen, not necessarily interacted with, your post on their feeds.
• Hashtag performance: This metric will help you determine what hashtags relating to your brand are used the most by your audience.
5. Create content.
It’s all been leading up to this. Content is the backbone of your social media strategy. Using the steps above, you can access what content works for your brand and what doesn’t.
If you’re still in a ditch about what to do for content, here are some proven strategies:
• Short-form videos: According to 2020 Limelight data, while online video consumption has increased across all ages, the most significant increase is in people over the age of 46. Videos are a great way to boost engagement, and with the reduction in the average consumer’s attention span, short-form videos will be welcome news.
• Stories: To put the importance of Stories in perspective, Instagram Stories are used by 500 million users every day. It would be a real bummer if you don’t consider them when planning your strategy. Create interactive stories, ask your audience questions and watch your engagement grow.
• Content theme: A content theme is a plan that helps you decide what to post in the long run. With a content theme, you will have a central theme or topic for a month instead of pondering what to post each day. A content theme also helps you dish out timely and thoughtful content.
As the months go by, you’ll receive more metrics and KPIs that will help you determine what to focus your attention on. Continue creating, viewing metrics and tweaking, and you’ll be raking in engagement in no time!