🏆A sensible social media strategy for startups
5 efficient tactics to elevate your brand's social presence.
BeReal — the Gen-Z social app that aims to help users be more authentic online — is currently ranked as one of the top five social networking apps in the Apple App Store. It seems like a month can’t go by without a new platform catching on or an existing one drastically changing its interface or adding new features.
As a result, brands' social strategies are forever playing catch up. For newer brands with more limited resources, this can feel overwhelming — rightfully so!
With 70% of Americans regularly using social media, being present on social platforms is now a necessity for brands. For startups that don’t have a full-time team of social media savants at their disposal, social media success depends on creating a simple and sensible strategy that fits their resources and goals.
From receiving constant feedback from your target audience to tapping into individuals to share your brand story in a personal way that resonates, a social media presence benefits your brand in copious ways. Posting content just to post content, however, won’t cut it in today’s competitive and saturated social media landscape. To stand out, brands must embrace social media’s ever changing nature and constantly iterate to produce content that provides value.
Developing and implementing a social media strategy can turn into a never-ending, all-consuming task. Here are five easy and effective tactics to approach social media that won't consume too much of your team's bandwidth.
1. Build a presence on the social platforms that align with your brand and target audience.
Instead of investing copious amounts of time and energy into establishing your brand on all social platforms, only invest in the ones that align with your target demographic and advance your marketing goals and objectives.
To know which social platforms are right for your brand, tap into your CRM’s data to construct customer personas. Then, use these platforms to learn about your audience. Gain qualitative insights that help you understand your customer’s needs and wants and how your brand can best cater to them — bring this knowledge back to your product and marketing teams to establish a constant feedback loop.
2. Quality over quantity.
As cliche as it may sound, quality over quantity is a guiding principle for how often to post content. With platform algorithms using factors like user affinity and the timeliness of a post to determine which content will be prioritized, the more-is-better mindset no longer serves brands trying to strengthen their presence on social media. Don’t try to post multiple times a day, rather focus your efforts on posting relevant, on-brand content.
If you’re struggling to stay on track, using a social media management tool can pay dividends. The collaboration, scheduling and automated publishing features of tools like Loomly and Sprout Social handle the logistics associated with being on social media so you can create content upfront and without having to think about it daily.
3. Be social on social.
Two-way conversations are the heart of great social media marketing as people want to feel involved with the accounts they follow. Here are two ways to engage with your followers effectively on social:
Leverage platform features. Use the features unique to each platform like Instagram Stories, Twitter Polls, or Facebook Groups to fulfill your followers’ cravings for connection and to invite them to be a part of something larger than themselves. Take The Ringer for example — ahead of major sports events or when exciting entertainment news breaks, they launch a Twitter Poll to get their followers involved. Here’s one of their Polls that gained traction around the NBA Finals.
Tap into user generated content (UGC). UGC is used to build community as it provides customers the unique opportunity to participate in a brand’s growth instead of being a spectator. This personal connection influences brand loyalty and creates a feeling of involvement. A brand that really understands the power of UGC and has effectively put it in action with its enthusiasts is Outdoor Voices. The sports apparel company encourages followers to capture photos of themselves #DoingThings they love, then Outdoor Voices reposts these photos on their Instagram. Because this campaign focuses more on the individual than the brand it feels authentic, but it also benefits Outdoor Voices. As people flaunt their products and post them on their own social accounts, the brand gains traction and generates excitement without requiring a huge lift from your team.
4. Let influencers — big and small — share your story.
Instead of marketing content directly to your target audience, partner with influencers to share your key messages for you in a humanized and personal way. Consumers have an ever increasing distrust in traditional advertising and influencers give you direct access to their audience. There are three factors to keep in mind when you’re deciding on who to partner with:
Choose influencers who are on brand. When choosing who to work with, make sure that their expressed values and interests align with those of your business. Take Therabody, the massage gun and wellness device company: Having Peloton instructor Cody Rigsby as their partner would make sense while a fashion blogger does not.
Make sure their expressed values align with those of your brand. Work with someone who has a clean track record. This requires a vetting of their social channels and the conversations happening in the comments of their content.
Prioritize engagement over follower count. Although an influencer’s follower count may be impressive, it can be superficial. Because nano-influencers and micro-influencers have relatively smaller amounts of followers, they are often able to cultivate stronger relationships with followers, allowing them to have a massive impact in driving brand awareness and sales. Once you’ve identified potential influencers to partner with, consider using an engagement rate calculator to see how well their content is performing and resonating with their community.
5. Track success so you can learn from what does, and doesn’t, work.
From follower counts to post engagement, which social media metrics to look at often become an afterthought. Without the right metrics, a brand won’t know the impact of their social media presence or have the data to back up their social efforts.
Wondering where to start? Before analyzing every metric, look at your social media goals. For every goal, you need a related metric, which will help determine if your social strategy is hitting the mark or not. Take an awareness campaign for example. If you are running an awareness campaign with the goal of increasing the visibility of your brand, reach and impressions are far more important than the number of likes your most recent post is receiving.
Consider investing in a social media analytics tool like Sprout Social which pulls data to create customized social media reports analyzing your own brand’s performance compared to previous time periods and the performance of competitors in your direct industry.
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