Using social media for business

71% of consumers would recommend a brand if they have a good social media experience with them (Source)

Social media is a communications channel which cannot be ignored by businesses and marketers. Having a strong social presence allows brands to demonstrate expertise, build a loyal fan base and drive converting traffic to your site at a relatively low cost in comparison to traditional channels.

One of the common misconceptions surrounding social media for business is the value that the activity generates. Knowing how to measure the results can help highlight the return, proving its worth to the wider business.

Is the investment worth it?

The 2017 social media marketing report by social media examiner questioned marketers on the benefits social media has had on their business. A staggering 52% of business reported improved sales whilst 66% reported that social generated more business leads.

 

So, what are the challenges facing social media managers?

According to recent research conducted by Smart Insights, 24% of social media managers claim that their biggest challenge on social media is no formal strategy (source).

Creating this strategy can be daunting however, investing time into formulating the best plan for your business will enable you to create a social media strategy that really works.

To help guide you, I have detailed four top line tips to ensure you are turning that social traffic into revenue!

 

Know your social media history

Before you start any social strategy, you need a way of measuring and understanding historical activity. A social audit is a great way to gain this understanding and will allow you to use the learnings to create a social strategy.

Firstly, you will need to find all of your existing social profiles and detail them within the audit. Often it is the case that responsibility for your social media profiles will have changed hands multiple times and so there may be profiles already created and simply forgotten about. An easy way to find any existing profiles is to use a tool called Namechk. It allows you to search a variety of social channels for accounts which contain your brand name.

Top tip: search for different variations of your brand name to make sure none are missed and that you gain the full picture. For example, Branded3 and Branded_3

Once you have identified all the accounts have a look at how they are performing. Which do you need to keep? Can any be removed or deleted permanently? Once you’ve done this, you will be left with a full list of suitable profiles, for which you can create a full strategy.

Do your research

Once you have a list of all your profiles, it is time to dig deeper into their analytics and your websites analytics overall.

If you have correctly set up Google Analytics you will be able to see the difference between paid and organic post referrals. Use this data to look at conversions which have come from social media, when and why did we get these, and from what channels? This will allow you to prioritise your efforts and see where you need to focus the strategy.

Quick help: Check for organic social traffic through the following steps,

Log into Google Analytics >> Choose the correct time frame >> Click source/medium >> Search for the social channel you require >> Add a secondary dimension as “campaign”.

Any campaign titled ‘(not set)’ should reflect organic referrals.

Know what content is currently working

By researching what content is currently working, you can build out your strategy from there. One really easy way to find this content is to use a tool called Buzzsumo.

Buzzsumo will allow you to see what is currently getting shared (and what content isn’t!). These learnings can then feed in to your social media content plan.

The content plan will be based on the analyse of each social account. What’s working, what’s not? When is the best time to post? Who are you targeting? Only when we have all this information will we be able drive real growth for your business.

Why not try: Using Buzzsumo to check out your competitors too. Find out what content works well for them and whether you have any gaps in your own.

Set impactful KPIs

Any social activity should drive real business change and impact your bottom line. We often see brands who follow all the correct steps but then fail at the final stage when it comes to setting KPIs. They often focus on “fluffy” metrics such as likes or followers which can be easily manipulated. Whilst these absolutely should be monitored, more tangible indicators such as revenue and traffic should be set as these are the real figures that will impress in the boardroom.

Many brands run competitions on their social channels as a way of increasing their follower numbers. Although this tactic works, it is worth being aware that the community you’re building may be more interested in the competition than you as a brand. This can be a short-term boost however, they are less likely to convert in the long run.

Top tip: All content produced on your social channels should be highly targeted and relevant to avoid building an unengaged community.

 

 

 

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