- Develop a strategy and adjust as needed. Social media is a cost-effective way for a brand to get its message out, connect with customers and generate brand awareness. But as with any other segment of public relations, social media requires a strategy, strong writing and creative ideas. It’s important to leverage the right social media tools and a thorough understanding of what drives traffic on social platforms to make it an effective marketing resource for your business – both internally and externally.
- Create a social media content calendar. Generating social media posts in advance will ensure that you have quality content to share with your followers on a pre-determined schedule. A couple things to remember: determine your post frequency by channel in advance and create or curate relevant, engaging content.
- Keep up with national news/trends. There’s almost always a way to put a local spin on a national topic. Take advantage of holidays, current events and national trends to tie it back to your brand. Be sure your content has some relevance with your target audience. Additionally, ensure what you post can be easily connected to a bigger picture story already trending.
- Optimize content. Search engine optimization (SEO) should be top-of-mind when crafting your social media strategy. And while search functionality continues to evolve and improve on social media sites, there is always something new to learn or experiment with. To stay in the know, learn as much as possible about search on each of these sites to ensure content is optimized and users (i.e., your current or potential customers) can find you.
- Explore paid social media advertising. Changing algorithms have created the need for boosted and sponsored posts on most channels. However, before you jump in to recommending the latest and greatest channel or an aggressive paid social budget, consider your current audience and engagement trends. On what channel do they spend their time? What type of content are they engaging with? Use this information to your benefit, and develop a plan around that.
- Bonus: Monitor. Report. Act. As you continue to learn how to effectively measure social media activity, it will be of the utmost importance to put that information to good use. What are your brand’s key performance indicators (KPIs)? If your follower base continues to increase, but no one is engaging, are you measuring the right thing? Should you reevaluate your strategy for engagement? These are all good questions to ask in order to provide actionable metrics.
Originally appeared in the April 22, 2016 edition of the Memphis Business Journal.