What is a social media strategy?

Before we can begin to look at why you need a social media strategy, we need to understand what one is. A social media strategy outlines how your business is going to use social media in order to meet its specific aims and objectives for each of the individual platforms. It is important that the aims and objectives are measurable. This allows the progress of them can be analysed and the strategy can be altered accordingly.

It is important to remember that other businesses (including your competitors!) and a proportion of your customers are actively using social media, so it is an avenue that has to be explored.

1. Decisions to make a purchase are influenced by social media

Did you know that almost half of social media users are using social media whilst thinking about making a purchase? Social media provides customers with a wealth of reviews and recommendations on products. With this set to grow, people are using social media to help them make a decision with regard to whether they should make the purchase or not. This makes it really important to plan how you are going to encourage people to talk highly about your products.

Secondly, you need to spend time thinking about which social media platform is going to work best for you. There are differences between each of the social networks. For example, Pinterest is really good for people to source inspiration and provides a useful tool for storyboards/mood boards. On the other hand, Facebook is good for people that wish to share content and find promotions for the items that they wish to purchase.

If you don’t have a clear strategy in place you will not know if you’re losing out on potential sales or if you are selling to people that don’t really want to be sold too.

2. No strategy means handing the advantage to your competitors

Today you will struggle to find a business that doesn’t have some form of social presence. More and more companies are starting to develop clear social strategies that are aligned with their specific business goals.

If your activity has direction then it is going to lead to better results. Over time you can learn from the data that your social media accounts are providing and use it to inform and evolve your strategy.

There is nothing more disheartening than spending hours planning content for social media for it to have a low reach and minimal engagement. Therefore if you do not invest in a clear strategy you will not be able to see whether or not your campaigns have been successful. Hazarding a guess, you cannot afford to be wasting resources on undirected activity. Meanwhile, your competitors will be working smarter and engaging with their customers based on a clear set of measurable goals and objectives!

3. Potential customers are active on social media

Facebook has gradually become people’s main go-to for content due to the nature of people using and sharing information. Rarely do they read blogs or emails, there is no need when Facebook is so easily accessible and can be done so on their own terms.

Some of your customers may want to get information from you via one of your social media platforms. Therefore you need to ensure that you are there ready for them. One example of this is brands such as BT. BT have embraced the fact that Twitter is slowly becoming a place where their customers can go to in order to resolve a problem. This means that your business needs to ensure that it is updating is customer service framework. You need to make sure that you are readily available on these platforms, while still ensuring all traditional lines of communication are still open.

This is the main reason why you need a clear marketing strategy. Deciding how you are going to connect with potential customers is not a decision but strategic thinking. As we have said above, if you merely continue without a social media strategy then you are at risk of both inefficiency and inaccuracy.

4. There are key influencers in every social network

You should never underestimate the power of both peer and influencer recommendations! Businesses know that customer reviews and ratings can increase conversion rates through the power of peer influence; people deem feedback from another customer as trustworthy.

All social media channels have influencers, these can range from celebrities or self-made stars. Most high-street retailers often employ influences to market their products. They advertise them across a variety of different social media platforms. Therefore it is important to be innovative. Be bold in your marketing campaigns to ensure that your business does not get left behind.