Social media is an essential piece of your inbound marketing strategy. Once you’ve created valuable content, social media is a great way to deliver it to your target audience. In addition to being an effective content distribution channel, it can also help you increase your brand awareness and visibility, connect with your audience, capture leads for your business and even drive referral traffic to your website.
Before you begin seeing results from your social media efforts, however, you must start with a solid social media marketing strategy. Below we’ve shared a few tips for businesses that need to start building your strategy and leveraging social media as an effective inbound marketing tool. These tips are the foundation of a successful business social media strategy to help get you started and get you going in the right direction.
Before determining which channels to use or what content to share, you must first understand why you are using social media for your business. Are you looking to grow your online audience? Drive traffic to your website? Boost customer engagement? Aim to be as specific as possible, and then use these goals to guide your social media marketing strategy moving forward.
2. Start with 2-3 Social Media Channels
It can be tempting to create an account on all the major social media platforms. However, you don’t have to be present on every channel when you’re first starting out. Choose 2-3 channels based on where you’re most likely to find and engage with your target audience. Make sure your strategy is complete - and effective - before taking on another channel.
3. Establish Content Themes
Building themes into your social media strategy makes it easier to find and create content to share with your audience. Themes can be based on your blog categories, various aspects of your business (like your products or services), and your audience’s needs and interests. Whichever themes you choose, make sure they are relevant to your business and/or industry.
4. Build a Social Media Content Calendar
Consistency is key in social media marketing, and planning your content in advance can ensure you’re posting on a regular basis. Creating a social media calendar also allows you to be strategic about the content you create. For example, if your business is running a special promotion, you can plan ahead to publish several posts to build awareness and drive traffic to the promotion. Your calendar can be a simple Excel sheet or built in an online tool like Airtable, and it can include space to add the post date, time, captions, hashtags, calls-to-action, and links to social media creative.
When publishing to social media, be sure to share a good mix of branded and curated content. In other words, don’t just talk about yourself. To achieve this, follow the 30/60/10 Principle:
- 30% owned content: Any blog posts, articles, photos, videos, infographics, and other content that you’ve created.
- 60% curated content: Content from external sources. Sharing content from competitors implies that you’re more focused on bringing value to your audience rather than promoting yourself.
- 10% promotional content: Any content that sells to your audience should comprise the smallest fraction of your social media content. However, as you continue to share valuable content, you’ll begin fostering trust with your audience, and they’ll become more accepting of your promotional content. Even better, they may actually make a purchase.
6. Create a Measurement Strategy
In order to determine if your strategy is working, you must understand how well your social media content is performing. How many likes on average do you receive on posts? Are users sharing or retweeting your posts with their online audience? What’s the average click-through rate (CTR) for your posts? These metrics and others can help you evaluate the effectiveness of your strategy. When measuring your social media marketing strategy, however, the key is to focus on metrics that align with your overall goals.
Social media plays a major role in your inbound marketing strategy, as its a vehicle for getting your content in front of your target audience. To be effective, it’s important to build a strategy that sets your business up for success. Use the steps above to get started and begin attracting customers to your website through social media.