How to develop an effective social media strategy

Organisations in our current business environment ignore social media at their peril. Every successful company realises the power of social media and understands that having an effective online presence makes good business sense.

However, haphazard social media activity is not nearly as effective as an organised and planned social media strategy. Simply posting the odd update or tweeting once a week is not enough. Regularity and consistency are the keys to getting to the best results from social media. Equally important is getting the right information to the right people, in other words making sure that the people who are reading your social media are interested in what you have got to say.

Social media courses will teach you how to maximise your results using social media. Read our top 5 tips below for developing an effective social media strategy:-

social media

1) Target

There is a tendency with social media to believe that you have to do lots of everything including Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, blogs etc. What is more important, however, is that you select your intended audience and target them effectively. To do this, think about who your existing and prospective clients are and consider which mediums they are most likely to use.

2) Frequency

Once you have established who you are aiming at and which social media channels you are going to use, the next step is to work out how regularly you need to update them. As a general rule the more consistent and regular your communication the better the results but don’t bombard people as this will likely result in them turning away. Using a social media scheduling tool such as Hootsuite will really help with organising and timing your activities.

3) Content

You have got to give people something that they will find interesting to read otherwise there is no point. Also, remember that it is what they are interested in not what you want to write about that counts. The types of content that  appeals will be tips, advice, suggestions, recommendations, news and opinion pieces. Developing a content schedule will really help you to stay on track and ensure that you are only providing pieces of value.

4) Resources

Any strategy requires an allocation of resources. With social media it is really all about deciding who has responsibility for what. You need to ensure that you manage your social media activity and responses quickly and effectively. The main ‘expenditure’ in terms of social media is time so it is essential to allocate enough time for you or other people to manage it effectively.

5) Monitoring

In order to evaluate the effectiveness of your social media strategy you must establish measurable metrics which will enable you to gauge progress. This could be as simple as setting a target for the number of posts or re-tweets or more in-depth analysis of all the figures. This last step is vital for you to be able to check whether your social media efforts are working for you.

Karen Osborn is a highly experienced National Account Manager for a range of clients at leading training consultants, Thales Training & Consultancy.

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