I am often told: "I have social media accounts but I don't really post to them that often." Social media is the perfect platform to build interest in your products or services.
Points to consider before your start:
Look at your competitors. If every café in the area is posting images of cappuccinos on Instagram, it doesn’t mean you need to be doing the same. What sort of response are they getting?
Decide how you want to differentiate your brand from your competitors and decide how you are going to convert social media followers into customers – and agree which platforms will support those goals.
Then plan 10-15 samples posts for each platform and agree with your team which ones work best. Get your team and friends and family to give you feedback and what made them stop scrolling!
Next – put together Social Media Guidelines which are personal to you or your business.
There may be a particular style of branding you prefer on your images.
Questions to think about:
If you are creating a personal brand (in which case the answers to many of these questions will fall in line with you or the person you’re representing), your brand’s personality should be a reflection of the people you want to attract.
Write your Social Media Guidelines as if you were explaining things to a new employee who doesn’t know anything about your brand. Who are you? What are you selling? How are you using social media to enhance user experience with the brand? When are you posting, to which accounts and how often.
NEXT – CREATE A SOCIAL MEDIA CALENDAR
Based on the platforms and quantity of posts agreed with the client, you should then create your first month’s social media calendar, even if it changes throughout the month. Include key dates around your brand and ensure you include a reference to these dates in your social media calendar.
You need to ensure that you allow yourself the flexibility to comment on current events and your plan will allow you to set your social media goals for the month, including how often you will post and have some planned shares included too, especially when you are too busy to respond to comments.
This is also a good time to start thinking a few months to a year ahead. Drafting a tweet months in advance may be pushing your marketing knowhow! However, thinking about where the brand is headed in the next year can provide ideas for the types of social campaigns you’ll want to launch in the coming months.
As with most tasks, launching a social media campaign typically takes more time and planning than it may seem from the outset. If you can start getting the details together a few months out, future mini-launches will go more smoothly.
Ensure that you at least two people sign off your posts before they are scheduled (ideally the content writer and a proofreader) - Typos can and should be prevented!
Launching your brand on Social Media
Before the launch, create a checklist and double-check every detail. Ensure that:
Your Social Media Launch Day
If you’ve planned well in advance, launch day is all about watching your well-prepared copy go live and viewing the likes, comments and shares.
Today is know as the day you start to engage with your online “fans” by responding to questions and comments. It’s your first chance to show off your brand’s personality.
Ensure that you measure your engagement and take screenshots of post successes throughout the day, particularly if a post received an above average interest in its content.
After your launch date, by continuing to create great content (always with a call to action) you need to stay active ad positive and respond to comments to ensure you grow the personality of your clients brand.
If you receive press coverage on launch day, select pieces to share with key journalists too. Most journalists have a Twitter profile, so find their profiles and tag them in on posts directed to them.
At the start of your brand building campaign, get to know your first few followers and frequent posters and build a conversation with them. Who are these people? How do they compare to the people you anticipated interacting with your brand? Do they have lots of followers?
The great thing with social media is that you can experiment until it starts to work. If your plans to get fans to buy hasn’t quite worked as expected, try something different. Just keep your brand fresh and content in line with the “guidelines” you set up at the outset.
Don’t aim on getting out a piece of content which goes viral immediately as it could make or break your brand’s success. You need to build on your brand and your success will come.
Don’t launch on one social media platform just because everyone is there. Where are your competitors? Where are your customers? Sometimes your competition can get it wrong!
It can seem a little odd to send out a tweet saying “Hello and welcome to xxx we are looking forward to chatting with you on Twitter.” However, if you follow the tips and timeline set out above you will be starting with your best social foot forward.
Good luck with Developing your Social Media Strategy and if you need help with the planning stage, just get in touch.
All blogs are written by Amanda of Sunflower Creative and they are based on my experience.