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Show notes from Podcast 03: How to Create a Social Media Strategy
We guide you through creating a strategy to help your social media channels attract business, sales and leads.
Resources mentioned in the Podcast
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Welcome back to What the Elle Podcast. Coming up on today’s episode we help you create the ultimate social media strategy for your business.
Ok, so, let’s get straight into this, we are going to help you create a social media strategy with ease. Before you begin to create your strategy, though we do advise completely auditing your social media channels, alongside your website, so that you understand where you are currently are at with your social media strategy. If you haven’t got one at all, it’s okay! If you have got one, but it’s not great, we’re going to help to improve it.
If you are auditing, your social media channels and your website, this will give you a benchmark going forward, if you’re not sure how properly audit don’t worry at all. We are giving you free and that’s free, our auditing chapter on our Academy. So if you go to ellefluence.com and add the Academy to your basket, enter the coupon code FREE that’s FREE all in capitals letter, you will get the whole Auding Chapter for free. Anyways moving on, you should be continually auditing your social channels quarterly, so you’ll be able to understand what works and what doesn’t
Through auditing your social media channels, you’ll get a more clear understanding of who your ideal customer is, where and when they’ll be online, so that you can start creating an individual social strategy for each social media channel. Although the information that we’re giving you today is a blanket approach, each individual strategy is not. So take these tips and apply them to your business, and you will form a strategy that will work well for your business.
What we’re going to do is when we talk about social media, we’re going to try and stick to the main four initially today. That’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. I do appreciate that there are other social platforms such as LinkedIn and niche specific social channels. We are just concentrating on these four today.
The first thing to appreciate is that each social channel will be different. However, they all need to pull together coherently. So your message is consistent across all of your active channels. For example, if you have a sale going on make sure that your communicating the sale across your Facebook and your Twitter as well as your Instagram & Pinterest.
The strategy in itself is extremely simple to create. It is the consistency and the ability to analyse, which will turn your strategy from an activity you’ve completed into something that’s really going to help become a lucrative marketing model for generating profits to your business.
There are five parts to forming your social media strategy. I’m going to go through them and second, what I do want to say is this is just a brief overview of a strategy, you really can drill down into real specifics, and I do really recommend you do that. However, if you’re new to social media and new to creating a social media strategy, then this is going to give you a basis to grow from okay?
So five parts form a new strategy;
We will get straight into step one. Set goals and objectives. I’m a massive believer of setting goals and objectives and should do this in everything. It helps you with a purpose and helps you keep on track of everything that you doing.
So choose a goal for each of your social networks that you’re going to be active on, set yourself a goal and a mission statement for each network and define a purpose. This is going, give you more clarity for when it comes to content creation.
So, for example, our goal for ELLEfluence on Pinterest is to create visuals to drive 50% of social traffic to our website and convert newsletter subscribers from this or customers over the next twelve month period. Our mission for Pinterest is to use it to inspire small and medium business owners to grow their business through information and the tips that we share. So have a go now, why don’t you just pause this podcast and write down your goal and your mission for each social platform.
Number two, audit your social media profiles. Audit your profiles to check they are on brand. They all have a coherent message. Your profile pictures are all the same. Your handles are simple and easy to remember and again all the same if you can have them. Your website url is linked and the link has been tested and correctly works properly on each platform. If there is a place where you can add a contact button with contact information, the best email address, maybes display opening times and location.
If you’re a service based business, where permited ensure people can book appointments. So if you’re a restaurant or hairdresser, nail technician, make sure that people can book online from a button on your social platform. What you are wanting to do here, when you audit your profiles is make sure that all the information is there with ease, so people can search for you and take away everything that they need from one place instead of sending them on a wild goose chase.
Then you’re going to have a little look at your audience and the content you have already posted. Do they align with your ideal customer? If not, how do they differ? Have looked to see when their most active and assess the content that performs the best on that platform? Also, if you can, try and get your channels verified as once they are verified it gives your business a little bit more clout and people know that it’s an official, genuine business so will be more inclined to follow you/buy from you if they are seeing your business for the first time step.
This kind of links back to their social media audit, where you’re going to create a powerful and striking about or bio section. You’re going to include the key information that, we have just gone over and no unnecessary information. I don’t need to know your business is Uber rating and I don’t need to know what brand of prosecco you drink on Friday in the office. You need to be asking ‘will this be of value to your customer’ searching for your business or help them understand your main focus? If not don’t be including it on your social media profiles ,
Also tidy up the visuals and branding across all of your social media channels and use the same voice to speak to your followers, so they become familiar. Speak to them on a level that they understand, don’t use, complex terminology that makes them feel inferior and like they can’t relate to you.
Okay and then look at your best performing content and your worst and making a note of this for the next element that we’re going to have a look at. So why don’t you pause the podcast now, go and have a look at your social media platforms, go and see how you can improve them and see if you can work out the best and worst 5, I’m going to say, pieces of content from each platform. Once you’ve done that we are now going get into creating the content strategy. This is the second most important section of your strategy.
You need to think about when to post. So you need to work out how often to post and went to post. How often is simple for Twitter once every hour we recommend, Facebook two to three times a day. Instagram want to two times a day and Pinterest you should be posting at least five of your own pins and re-pinning 3 high quality pins as just a little guide. This obviously isn’t by the book, you dont have to stick to this, this is just a recommendation, and although that is some guidance about which time to publish each follower base is different. So our business follower base is completely different to say, a parenting website follower base. As our followers will be active at a different time to a parenting business.
Look at your analytics for each social platform and analyse the best times to post on each day. The active times change day-to-day so that is worth knowing and looking. Check in monthly with these times and analyse. If your times do change adjust your schedule accordingly.
Once you know when to post, you need to understand what the post. So before we asked you pick five of your top performing and five of your worst performing pieces of content from each social platform. If you look at them, you will probably see a correlation. The top performing ones are there similarities that you can pick out? The worst performing ones, can you see why these haven’t performed very well? If the content is similar for the best performing post, you want to be creating more of that visual content for your audience, they obviously like it. If you see a similarity between the worst performing post stop creating that content, because it obviously isn’t working very well!
Once you’ve established what works, then you can establish working it into your content strategy. What I’m going to recommend here is thinking about the rule of thirds.
Online you want to spend your time three ways on social media, ⅓ of your time promoting your new product or service. ⅓ your time interacting with others and ⅓ of your time sharing industry news and tips that you think followers could benefit from. It sounds dead simple and that’s because it is! We’re not trying over complicate anything, we are trying to make it is as simple as possible for you, so that you have the best effects of creating social media strategy.
Okay, so how do you create the post? The anatomy of a post is different for each social channel, and this is something we do explore far deeper in our Academy, but for now, we’ll cover the main 4 again, which will help you understand what goes into creating content. So that when you bring every element of a post together you are going to have the optimum effect. Not only to serve your current following, but also work with the algorithm to attract new followers. Which you can convert in leads, sales and long term customers. So not only do you want to be engaging and creating rapport with your current customers, you also want to be growing your following so that you can convert new followers into customers.
Take Pinterest, because I really love Pinterest at the minute. Think about the image, as Pinterest is actually a search engine. It’s not social media channel. There is very little in terms of commenting and engaging like that. The way that Pinterest works is you re-pin pins and it is a very visually orientated search. Where as Google you search for links, on Pinterest you search for images that you can relate to, and then click through for information.
So the image is a visual, which tells an immediate story. You need to be creating longer images, as these will be re-pinned more. Always choose vertical over horizontal, and this should be the case for all social media. If you think about it, people are scrolling down and you want to cover as much of their screen as possible as they are scrolling, so that they stop to see what your content is.
Try and avoid using Pins with faces, as this gets the least traction and if you’re using people in pins use images when no faces are visible.
On Pinterest, warmer pins, such as reds and pinks from their color palette, perform far better over colder blue images. Try not to oversaturate the image, and once you have your visual, your description helps turn your good pin into a great pin. Like I said Pinterest as a search engine.
You need to be using keywords wisely in your description, pack in as many as you can, that make sense, try not to go over two hundred years characters in your description as those with two hundred characters are more likely to be re-pinned and try using trending hashtags which will increase your engagement.
Also add a strong call action as most re-pins don’t get a link click, and this is what you want to be doing from Pinterest. You want the link click. Add a call to action on your pins and as well in the description to urge people to click.
Moving onto Twitter. Create a strong call action, make sure you adding a call to action with each tweet, so click here, retweet, here’s why and read on, have really high conversion rate. You need to be telling people explicitly what you want them to do. This will help you to motivate people to get the result you’re looking for. Although the character limit is now 240 characters do try and keep tweets between 120-140 characters, as this is best practice for better results.
Stick to a maximum of two hashtags per tweet, otherwise it really does lose impact. Those tweets with questions that infact engage in cases and have the highest rate to re-tweet.
Please please, please also don’t sacrifice spelling and grammar and punctuation just to get your tweet in, you’ll make your brand look less professional and it’ll also make you look dumb.
If you want to add an image, they do increase retweets and engagement, but it’s a fast sharing channel, so you don’t want to be overloading your feed with images. Save them for when you want to make the most impact all over.
Now you always need to have your mission in your goal in mind. So with Facebook content that is most engaged with includes inspirational and positive content, as well as humourous content.
Think about the things that you interact with on Facebook. Would your customers interact in the same way? If so, that might give you an indication of the kind of content to create. You don’t need to write essays people don’t read them, people will scroll, two-three sentences is enough for an impact and use your links, where you can, with a strong call to action to drive people to your site.
It is so important so use links on your content on Facebook, as people can directly click on them and you want to be driving people to your website. So the visuals, it is a visual social site and images have a really long shelf life as viral content can get engagement for months even years after it has been posted if you do it right.
And you should also be engaging with your followers, this goes without saying and should happen on all of your social channels. But if you comment on your own post after you posted it to start the conversation and then reply to others to keep the conversation going, once a conversation has gone to a lull, comment again on the post to get other people engaged with it.
Finally, Instagram visuals are absolutely everything on the ‘gram. Instagram is all about the visuals, concentrate on high crisp quality images, no pixelatated rubbish, no saved from Google images. I hate that do not post images from Google images like from Google saves a wherever, especially if you are brand!
Unlike Pinterest though blue images are more engaged with over reds and pinks, block colours and low saturation are also really important.
What I do recommend is creating a cohesive magazine looking style on your grid, as this earns high engagement and people be able to recognise your images as your brand as well, as it’s going to look so cohesive and flow well.
Use hashtags like keywords to be discovered. You can use up to 30, however, we recommend using between 12-15 per post, avoid banned hashtags, that goes without saying and use hashtags that have relatively good popularity. Keep a mix between those that have got millions of hashtags and those with between 5,000-10,000 to ensure that you are seen.
What I do you recommend is for you to create a dedicated hashtag for your customers to use when featuring your products. This is a great way to be social, you can add this to all of you, communications with people, and it helps create a community, as well as you being able to quickly find images to share across your social platforms from your customers. People love that
If you all sharing quotes, memes, I have already just mention this, but I cannot stress enough how important it is to create your own branded versions, with either your handle, hashtag or your url on aswell as sticking your brand guidelines. So your colours and your fonts. You can create these for free on Canva and in very little time as well.
That was a whistle stopped her of the anatomy of the 4 most popular social media posts. Again we can go into so much more detail, but now you kind of know what the post should look like, you can put this together with what you ve discovered about your popular content and the time your audience is most active and we are about to create your content schedule.
You need to be consistent in your social media strategy and be commiting to posting everyday without fail. I’m not saying that you have to be present all the time on social media because trust me, it will drive you mad, but there are so many tools, such as Tailwind, Planoly, Buffer and Hootsuite (Wait I’ll leave links to them in the show notes) which all have automation and scheduling options as well as Pinterest and Facebook have their own scheduling options too. And I highly, highly recommend you get in the habit of scheduling content so that you always seem present with your customers, even on a weekend.
By showing up, you will not only keep your business at the front of your followers minds, but will also help to show up in new and potential followers feeds by beating the algorithm.
By creating the social content you come populate your content ahead of time, which enables you to have a constant and consistent stream of content being pushed out. If you’re planning content ahead it also means it’s gonna pack a punch, you’re going to be less likely to create typos. And you captions are going to be well thought through to create maximum engagement instead of thinking I need a post now haven’t posted in a few days and quickly cobbling together something to post.
You’ll also never miss big moments again. You’ll be prepared well in advance for celebrations and global events to incorporate them into a marketing plan. There is a saying in the retail industry that you should be planning for Christmas in July, so that gives you a little bit of an idea of how far ahead you should be with your campaigns and your content.
A calendar also helps you track what works and what doesnt so that you can split test your content to find the perfect recipe for success. You do want to be testing constantly and recording this in your calendar, as well as this post did while, this post didn’t do so well. Be consistent with your tracking as well as this will help you to ensure that when you come to the analysis, your social media strategy is only going to go from strength to strength.
So the 5 steps to creating your content strategy are;
Also spend at least 30 minutes a day, every day, engaging with new accounts and responded to every common and message you receive. I don’t care how large you following or your accounts are, you could have 37 million followers. You could have 3 followers. You need to be responding to everybody who leaves a comment, if you want to grow you business. You’re going to build rapport and provide a great customer service, and the people commenting will feel like they’re part of your community, they’ll feel par of something, which will help long time with your followers freely sharing your account as they’ll remember you interacting with them.
Finally, the last step in creating your social media strategy, is the most important one, it is analyzing and improving your strategy. This should be the most important aspect of any business, any part of your business, let alone a social media strategy.
Analysing and improving is so important, there’s no point in going all the effort in spending all your time creating and posting if you’re not tracking what you’re doing any have no idea, if anything that you doing is working. It is a waste of time, so look at tracking and measuring the growth of your social accounts. The opt in to your mailing list and the engagement you’ve received on your posts.
It’ll help you understand more about what you need to improve and tweak to help you grow. It’ll also whittle out he content that isn’t performing well so that you create less of that. If you check in religiously with your social analytics, you’ll have an idea in real time of what you’re highly engaged content is.
Not all content is gonna do well well, we need to understand that, but, for example, try 5 different images behind the same quote. Or five different on brand color variations of a quote.
If you’re posting stock images all the time. Firstly STOP no one wants to see that. It’s not engaging. So why now, instead of posting this for the sake of posting and getting no interaction really focus on posting real life, lifestyle images with your products in situ, you can even take photos in the house or use photos from your customers. Also try and create a little variation, if you’re a make up artist and you’re just posting the same close up, split screen of just people’s eyes. People do want to see that, they want to see a bit of variation.
Test, test, test, test. I cannot stress this enough test, analyse and then adapt. If you keep consistent and keep planning ahead and you’ll be able to create the strongest social media strategy for your business. If you’re testing what works and what doesn’t. Keep testing what’s working, do more of that. What isn’t working, do less of that and within three months you will be an expert in knowing which content is going to perform really well. And you only want to be posting good performance content.
To round up the five elements of creating your social media strategy are;
We’ve worked on 1, 2 and 3 together, now, 4 & 5 are in your hands. They are the two most important elements of this strategy that will need consistency and worked on. You’ve been listening to What the Elle, I’ve been Laura, we’ll catch you on the next episode have a great day and stay safe.
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