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If you have a business, chances are you have a social media presence, and why not? Social media is a powerfully effective way to reach consumers. For example, 58% of those in the U.S. have said that they’re more likely to be interested in a brand if they’ve seen it in Facebook Stories — one of the many different social media channels available.
The problem, though, is that creating a social media marketing strategy isn’t quite a simple as it seems. It requires thoughtfulness, planning, and purpose. It can also soak up large quantities of time, effort, and resources. This naturally requires a certain return on investment (ROI) if you want your social media efforts to succeed.
If you use or are considering using social media in your business’s marketing, here are a few questions to ask yourself in order to assess whether or not you’re using social media to its full potential.
Have You Set Clearly Defined Goals?
Social media is fun, exciting, and rewarding. If you’re a business, though, it can also easily become a black hole that sucks in as many of your resources as you’re willing to give it — and all without any clear benefits in return.
With that said, it’s crucial that you set clear goals and objectives when using social media. This can be anything from driving website traffic or converting sales to simply spreading brand awareness. Measuring the success or failure of these efforts typically revolves around gathering data and then analyzing it to see if you’re achieving your desired goals.
Some of this data is fairly obvious, such as measuring clicks to your website, the number of followers on your page, and how many likes, comments, and shares your posts receive. There are also many valuable insights that can be measured behind the scenes, such as demographics, relationships, and other aspects of your social media crowd’s interactions.
Regardless of the specifics, it’s absolutely essential that you figure out what your business’s goals are, in what ways you can reach them, and how you can measure your success. Without these benchmarks in place, you’re simply shoveling your efforts into that black hole with no surety of success.
Have You Identified The Best Platforms to Use?
There are numerous major social platforms at this point. Some, like Facebook, are excellent for community-driven interactions. Others, such as Twitter, consist of short, text-driven conversations that are often of a time-sensitive nature. Still others, like Pinterest or Instagram, revolve around image-heavy content that can be perfect for product promotions.
If you want your social media efforts to be effective, it’s important that you identify what platforms work best for your particular business, industry, and niche. Where does your audience congregate online? Do they tend to use one platform more than another? Don’t restrict yourself to the big platforms, either. Sometimes focusing on second-tier mobile-dominated platforms, such as WhatsApp or WeChat, can be a great way to reach a specific audience.
As you assess the platforms that you’re currently using, make sure that you’re focusing on the most effective channels out of the lot. If you’ve spread yourself too thin, consider reallocating resources to two or three platforms at the most. If this means migrating away from a current platform, don’t shut down your existing account. Instead, post a final message communicating your focus on other platforms and then encourage your followers to join the conversation there.
Are You Organizing and Scheduling Everything?
A disheveled approach to social media will almost certainly translate into wasted time and missed opportunities. Without structure and organization, you can miss the chance to create important, time-sensitive content, you can post inconsistently, and — worst of all — your audience may see your social media efforts as slovenly and unprofessional.
As you take stock of your social situation, remember to take your followers’ user experience into mind. Make an effort to organize, schedule, and streamline your social media strategy in order to:
- Maintain a simple yet engaging social presence.
- Avoid pushing your company’s physical limitations to keep up with your social accounts.
- Stay in front of your audience on a regular basis.
- Create content that provides genuine value for your loyal followers.
Hands down, organization is one of the most powerful tools that you can bring to your social media marketing strategy. It breathes life into old tactics and can help you clear away the dross as you strive to stay lean, mean, and relevant in a constantly changing business atmosphere.
Are You Maintaining a Growth-Mindset?
A growth mindset is critical in the 21st-century business world. If you aren’t willing to maintain a mindset of continual learning, flexibility, and adaptability, your operation will quickly fall behind the times.
As you consider the state of your company’s social media, check to see if you’re maintaining a growth-mindset. Is your strategy inflexible, rigid, or unable to bend to the ebb and flow of technological changes? Perhaps your tactics are outdated.
In addition, think about how you will be able to adapt to changes in the near future. Things like integrating chatbots and the IoT, creating quality video content, and even personalization are all developing trends. If you can’t adopt them into your social media strategy in the months and years ahead, your social media accounts will eventually atrophy in their outdated irrelevance.
Breathing Life into Your Social Media
Social media may be here to stay, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s over a decade old now. If your brand has been using social media for any significant length of time, there’s a good chance that things have started to slip somewhere along the way.
This is a completely normal occurrence that all businesses must deal with, especially when using ever-evolving technologies such as social media.
That’s why it’s essential that you regularly take the time to assess how your company uses social media. If you can ask the right questions while applying an innovative growth-mindset, you’ll be able to identify what’s working, fix or change what isn’t, and generally keep your social media marketing strategy as up to date and effective as possible.