Do you need to kick-start your social media strategy this summer and get better at creating, scheduling and publishing engaging content?
Here are ten tactics that you can start implementing today to take your social media management to the next level.
Social listening to get closer to your audience
Social listening is defined as the process of keeping tabs on digital conversions to get a better understanding about brand perception and what customers really think about you.
Social media is great for this as mentions, hashtags and messages can be unearthed in real time. This is useful after a product or service launch, for example, as you can immediately find out consumer reactions online.
Marketing expert Jill Florence believes that social listening allows brands to be more agile and ready to meet the needs of audiences.
In terms of content marketing, online chatter can be used to refine topics and keywords and uncover new trends that can help your business in the future.
Immerse yourself in content and experiences
You will rarely be posting content in a vacuum on social media. It will be part of a wider conversation or will touch on topics that are being debated passionately by competitors and other companies.
Rather than having a myopic view of your industry, you should instead be willing to observe and immerse yourself in everything that’s going on around you.
This means consuming content from different brands and media outlets on social media.
Being able to recognise what makes this content great or substandard will equip you with the knowledge that can support your own team’s efforts. It can also identify skills or things that you may need to improve your posts.
Analyse data, but make sure to use it
Social data can be used to support KPIs and measure the success of your content marketing campaigns, but it is at its most valuable when it is shared across the business.
VERB Interactive’s Erin Fitzgerald notes: “Spending time analyzing numbers does not make you a data-driven company, but rather, making decisions based on the data and sharing those insights internally does.”
Create an experimental culture
Social strategies can become static, especially if you have been cycling through the same methods weekly for some time.
Social content often works better when you move out of your comfort zone and test new ideas. These changes can be as small as including different CTAs at the end of an article or a new set of emojis.
Don’t get too invested in these tweaks needing to deliver instant results though.
Take a dispassionate and unbiased view of how these changes impact the quality of your social media posts and be ready to refine your tactics or pivot to something else entirely if required.
Don’t forget live video
Half of consumers have a preference for video content, and live clips play extremely well to engaged audiences, according to marketing expert Carly Hill, who says that “raw” content helps people to “get through the day”.
On creating post-COVID-19 content, she adds: “We’ll continue to use video to give our audience the educational content they want even as things start to normalize again.”
Social videos no longer require a professional studio or extensive budget. You can provide value and inspire positive action with short clips that focus on brand storytelling.
Be ready for a digital-first future
The pandemic has highlighted how crucial digital channels are and this is mainly due to how buyer behaviour and habits have changed during the last four months.Marketer Jamie Gilpin notes that social media is now “the only door that’s open for some brands”. With physical stores in limited operation or still shuttered, social and websites are critical for pretty much every stage of a buyer’s journey.
Humm Kombucha’s Dakota Kendall recommends a new objective, ensuring that every digital touchpoint is exceptional to position yourself ahead of other like-minded brands.
Customer support is arguably even more important
Social media as a customer care channel has also taken greater precedence in recent months and consumers will not tolerate poor experiences.
Four in ten say that they expect responses within 60 minutes. The quality of responses must also be high. You can provide the support that customers need by setting up a small team capable of responding in a timely manner.
Marketer Kassandra Quinn recommends focusing on an “empathy sandwich”, where you lead with a response such as “Sorry to hear that” before restating the question, answering it concisely, and closing with another empathetic sentence.
It’s the perfect time to help customers
Empathy also extends to the messages and posts that you publish. This is the best time to offer support to audiences when they need it and to do it in a socially responsible and thoughtful way.
While there is a certain degree of COVID-19 burnout, you should still be wary of cold sales pitches for now. Try to understand what your audience needs and get into the conversation by publishing compelling, relevant content.
Humanise your brand to strengthen connections
Another extension of empathy is humanising your brand, which can really make a difference in terms of strengthening relationships and driving retention with customers during difficult times. Social media is an excellent outlet for short, snackable posts that bring some sort of joy to a user’s day.
Jamie Gilpin summed it up best when she recently said that consumers will remember how you made them feel rather than the specific details of a content campaign. Tailoring posts to elicit certain reactions from followers can really work.
Use limitation as a means to innovate
You may not have every social media tool or ad product available to you if you have a limited budget, but you can use these limitations to come up with something truly unique.
BCW’s SVP of digital innovation Matt Kelly believes that brands must always be creative if they are to differentiate themselves. Even if there are major challenges, you can still create posts that will create lasting and meaningful connections with consumers. It’s always worth the effort.