Social media has been around for just over a decade, but businesses have only started tapping into the power of these platforms in recent years.
Although social media should be treated with the same urgency and seriousness as other marketing activities, many businesses still see it as a chore and don’t put much effort into it. Truth is that consumers spend more time on social media than ever before, and studies show that seven out ten consult these platforms before making purchasing decisions. This also means that they are inclined to contact businesses and brands through social media, whether it is to complain or compliment.
Social media gives consumers direct access to businesses. Because of this, having a clear plan for business social media platforms is incredibly important and can also have reputational implications. It is thus imperative to have a social media strategy in place. A strategy sets out what you want to achieve with your platforms and how you will go about doing that, in other words, setting goals and measurable objectives.
Below are six reasons why every business should have a social media strategy in place:
Actionable goals are important
Setting actionable goals for your social media platforms mean that you are working towards something, it gives it structure and direction. When you know what success looks like, you can measure your performance and tweak as you go along.
You have defined your target market
Your target market is clearly defined in your social media strategy. This will guide you on which platforms are the most suitable to engage them on and also what type of content to push out. Please note that not all businesses need to be on all platforms, choose the ones that are relevant to your niche.
It saves time
The strategy should be used as a roadmap to achieve objectives. It gives a clear guide to messaging and content, which saves time when writing content plans.
Planning ensures consistency and growth
Planning content ensures that there is a consistent tone and golden thread. This means that your followers or fans get a proper sense of what your brand stands for. This also leads to consistency which helps to grow your platforms organically. Make sure to leave some room for spontaneous posts or agenda surfing to capitalise on trending topics when relevant.
Purchasing decisions are influenced by social media
Consumers often consult their peers on social media when they want to buy a product. In addition to trusting others’ opinions and taking it onboard, they also use social media as a research tool.
Plan for a crisis
Your social media strategy should include a crisis management plan. There’s a lot less panic when you know how to handle a social media crisis before it hits and can be instrumental in reputation management.
It may seem like a lot of time and effort to develop a strategy, but it is worth it. Having a voice on social media and growing a community can stand businesses in good stead, not only to generate leads, but it’s great to create awareness and gain new customers too.