A few weeks ago, we talked about 5 Ways Big Brands Need to Think About Social Media. Every brand has their own unique goals and ideas of what success looks like on social media, but younger, growing companies should approach social media differently than big brands.
It’s important for small to medium businesses (SMBs) in the process of developing their social media strategy to know that it is okay to take risks, learn from their mistakes, and repeat what is successful! Measuring your social channel’s performance is key to helping you focus your efforts, making it easier to achieve your brand’s goals with social media. To measure your own social accounts, check out a FREE 14 day trial of Simply Measured.
When your brand is in the beginning stages of building their social strategy, or even just making adjustments from last year, the only way you can find out what works and what doesn’t is to experiment! How often should you post? When is the best time to post? Take some chances by posting different types of content with different calls for action. Typically, the SMB’s I work with focus on Facebook and Twitter in the beginning, but trying out other social channels like Instagram or YouTube is the only way you’ll ever know if it should be a priority. Simply Measured reports make it easy to identify what is working and what isn’t, so go ahead, have some fun with it!
Determine what channels to focus on (complete social media snapshot)
Once you have some data from experimenting under your belt, you’ll be able to determine not only what content your audience is engaging with, but which social channels speak to your audience the best. Using something like our Complete Social Media Snapshot report will help you determine what channels your brand should be on, helping to determine where you should be focusing your efforts. HINT: Your brand doesn’t necessarily need to be on every social channel out there. For example, retail and beauty brands typically focus on Instagram whereas finance institutions may focus more on Facebook and LinkedIn.
Set clear goals and KPIs
Now that you have an idea of what’s working and what’s not working for your brand on social, and you know where to focus your efforts, setting clear goals and KPI’s is going to be an important step for brand’s social strategy. Similar to what we mentioned in our previous post, 5 Ways Big Brands Need to Think About Social Media, there isn’t one set of KPI’s for all brands. Engagement and follower growth are both important metrics to track, but there are probably other metrics unique to your brand. A good example is a food delivery company may have a specific goal for response time for customer service. Defining what’s important for your brand’s success will allow you to focus on what’s important and help you reach your goals.
Benchmarking can look a bit different for SMB’s than for some of the bigger brands out there. If you are just starting off on a new channel, or don’t have direct competitors in your space, it can be valuable to track brands with a presence you want to mimic. Aspirational brands don’t necessarily have to be direct competitors, but they can be brands who have shown success on social and who may target a similar audience as yours. Whether you are benchmarking against your direct competitors or other successful brands, you’ll be able to get an idea of where you are stacking up in the social space, where you want to be, and learn from those brands of how to get there.
Analyze your audience, your voice will come
In the previous blog, we talked about having a voice. For SMB’s just ramping up their social media, or shifting their strategy in the New Year, it’s important to know who your audience is. When you know who you are targeting, you’re brand will develop a voice that resonates with your audience. I constantly am asked what demographic information we can provide for followers, fans, and subscribers. Demographic information is a great start to getting to know your audience, but a successful community manager gets to know what content interests your audience on each channel, increasing your engagement, and deepening that brand loyalty we all strive for on social.
What other areas of focus would you recommend to a company that’s growing their social presence? Let us know in the comments!