With the wider shift towards eCommerce over the last year and the increased use of social media as a means of connecting on different fronts, as you have no doubt heard time and again, it is now imperative for all businesses to have a social media presence to expand their online business. Maximize presence and increase brand awareness – and thus sales.
But it’s one thing to say you’re building a social media presence and quite another to do it. This is even more true in the current environment as the competition for attention on the internet is getting tougher and it can be difficult to highlight your brand presence and build any type of following in social apps.
It can be daunting to invest the time and effort on your social profiles to only get a few followers each week, and it can feel like there’s no point. Since building a social media presence doesn’t just involve creating a page and posting a few pictures, it requires research and planning, and you need to have some direction in these efforts.
So where do you start and what are the key elements to consider?
Here’s a quick rundown of three key planning points that you need to tick on your social media strategy list to ensure that you are doing your best in every app.
1. Make sure your social profiles are filled out and complete
This is likely to go without saying, but it is a crucial point. In order for your company presence to be visible for any relevant inquiries and for people to have all the information they need to connect and buy from you, you need to make sure that you have completed every field on your company profile on every platform, including Telephone numbers, email information, opening times, etc.
- This is especially important with Google My Business. Google remains the primary method most people use to search online. You must therefore ensure that Google provides all relevant information for your company and your offers. This overview shows you how to complete your Google My Business profile.
- You should also double-check all of your profile and background header images to make sure they match the size requirements of each platform, which means your graphics will look crisp and professional on all devices. Here is a breakdown of the platform’s current visual dimensions.
- You also need to know what searches people are doing to find businesses like yours so you can include relevant keywords and hashtags in your presence, which we’ll cover in the next point.
2. Conducting competitor research and establishing performance benchmarks
It’s one thing to read general guides about what to post, when to post, what works best on each platform, etc. But many of these guidelines are general pointers based on broad engagement trends – if you have your own Formulating a digital marketing strategy You don’t want to assume that something will work, you want to know as well as possible what is relevant for your specific target group and how you can meet them where they are wanted.
To do this, you need to do your research in your local or niche market and understand which of your competitors are doing well on social media, what they are doing to make it happen, and how you can develop your approach in similar directions.
- First, you need to make a list of direct competitors in your market or region. These are the companies that are already reaching the people you need to target, and you can use the reaction they see and the tactics they use as a guide in your approach.
- Compile engagement reports for each of your competitors to get an understanding of their performance over time. You can use tools like CrowdTangle, BuzzSumo, Twitonomy, SocialBlade, and Followerwonk to compile benchmark data reports on each of their profiles that show you things like average engagement rates, likes, video views, the types of best performing posts, often hashtags and more.
- Once you have these notes, you can rank each profile and presence by engagement and examine the best performers to learn more about how they get those results – while also giving directions to the worst performers so you know what not to do should . For example, if someone posts a lot but their audience growth is slow, they are likely making some important mistakes in their approach.
This element takes time, but once you have these performance benchmarks in place, build your strategy based on current, real world data so that your own goals are based on what your competitors actually see as a real comparison of your performance.
3. Research key content trends and interests in your industry
The next element of research is broader content trends to determine the right hashtags, the most important topics for your product and marketing strategies, and which platforms are most relevant to your reach – even if your competitors aren’t using them.
- Data trending tools are invaluable to this element, and with the help of Google Trends, along with newer, similar tools like Pinterest Trends and Snapchat Trends, you can get an idea of whether people are actually engaging with content on these platforms, related to your niche. and what they are increasingly looking for in relation to your products. Based on that, you may find whole new opportunities your competitors haven’t even considered, and new platforms to get in touch with (TikTok is also developing its Top Ads Insights tool, which can also help provide similar context) .
- Again, BuzzSumo is a great content research tool – you can search for the top performing content based on social shares by entering your target keywords, or you can enter a specific URL, including that of your competitors, to see it on which pages users will look up and will help you increase your understanding of what users not only want, but also what they are sharing on social apps. This also gives you a clearer picture of which platforms are the most popular with your target audience (note: BuzzSumo also lists Reddit engagement, which could highlight additional opportunities).
- Hashtagify is a handy tool for researching the popularity and usage of hashtags. Based on these insights, you can formulate a stronger hashtag strategy based on actual usage and engagement. You can also use Instagram’s search tools to get an idea not only of how popular each hashtag are, but also related hashtags that can help you determine which tags are more relevant to each website.
- Answer the Public uses insights from Google and other search engines to show you key searches for every term you enter.
Based on the information you get from these sources, you can then formulate a more concrete strategy based on real audience data rather than hypotheses for related content on social platforms so you have a clearer direction on what to post, what interactions generates which types of updates are best received and which information trends can improve your discoverability.
Of course, some of these apps are paid tools, so some investment or partnership with a consultant who can provide such insight is required. However, if you want to maximize your chances, not only do you need to fully understand the general trends and cues, you also need to know what is working in your niche in particular.
These research advice is a solid place to start, and once you begin your investigation, you will likely begin to see trends and patterns that will then influence your process and improve your broader understanding of what to post, what to promote, and how to promote it Get your messages in front of the right people through social apps.
And with the holidays approaching fast, now is the time to get a grip on your audience and increase your marketing opportunities.