Social media is vital to the success of any business. It’s an effective form of communication that allows businesses to gain recognition and influence, share aspects of its personality, and build relationships. These are all things that businesses need to thrive, and social media creates an accessible avenue to accomplish them. For any social media efforts to be successful, however, you need to create a strategy.
When I first began making social posts for Boxcar, I didn’t know the importance of strategy. I had tried writing plans, but I couldn’t fill them out with content and stick to it. As a result, we weren’t reaching new users or engaging with our followers, and our pages were not cohesive. I quickly sought the help of creative super-genius Jim, and he gave me three key tips for building a social media strategy.
The first tip is to make sure Boxcar’s personality is being communicated in every single post. When we think of the Boxcar personality, three elements stand out: we are knowledgeable, we are approachable, and we are fun to work with. Our team and clients know these elements of our culture, but the rest of the world does not (yet). To communicate our personality, I began to think more in-depth about each social post I made to ensure Boxcar’s character was being accurately represented. This involves making sure social media content reflects the work we do, being mindful of the tone we write in, and striking a balance between being professional and not taking ourselves too seriously.
Jim’s next tip is to be mindful of followers and page likes. While followers aren’t the only mark of success, they do matter. Social media influence is vital to gaining new business and establishing yourself as a reputable participant in your field, so it’s important to make sure that you’re reaching and engaging with your followers in meaningful ways. There are a ton of resources for social media analytics. Facebook pages have the insight tab, Moz subscribers have access to tools such as Followerwonk, and sites such as Simply Measured have both paid subscriptions and plenty of free reports. Knowing who your followers are, when they’re online, and what sort of content they like is incredibly helpful for increasing the success of your social media pages.
The final tip is to post the correct type of content. On any social media platform, you want your followers to be able to interact with the content you post. Social media content should always be relevant to your field and should inform, entertain, convert, and engage your followers. Engagement is such a buzzword in social media, because likes, shares, and comments increase the reach of your posts and get people thinking about your brand (in addition to all that, it makes the people managing your social media feel warm and fuzzy).
It’s common knowledge that social media is important for businesses, but you can’t play it by ear. Businesses with successful social media endeavors have comprehensive strategies and plans. It can be difficult to come up with a social media strategy, and you will likely need to take some time to experiment with what works for you. I’ve only just begun to completely implement the strategy Jim and I came up with, but our social media pages have already seen results. Thanks to an effective strategy, we can reap the full benefits of social media.