5 Social Media Business Strategies to tweak in the New Year

The New Year inspires new goals. Businesses typically review performances of previous years to see how they can improve, where improvements are needed and how they can go about accomplishing new goals. A business manager recently asked me what to change in her marketing strategy to increase referrals from customers.  Marketing comes to the forefront when the intention is to grow in sales or awareness to meet business goals. Going into 2016, a marketing plan without a sound social media strategy could lead to missed opportunities that are not only vital to the current growth of your business, but its future sustainability. A sound social media business strategy will increase your awareness and present more opportunities to generate leads. Going into the New Year, here are five social media business strategies or processes to tweak to generate awareness and in turn more customers.strategy blog

Visual Strategy

The world has gone crazy for videos, photos and any appealing visual content. As consumers, we engage more with visual cues and our access to portable devices that provide visual content is growing rapidly globally. Videos are the most emotional and believable way to share information. According to Simply Measured, Landing pages with video have up to 800% more conversion than the same page without a video, and videos are shared 1200% more times than links and text combined. Businesses can take advantage of this by providing visual content that’s appealing to their customer base. Instructional videos, “how to” videos and videos of business events are examples of videos businesses can create for affordable rates to make visual impacts that can generate awareness and leads. So if texts and photo posts have been the bulk of your social media communication, it could be beneficial to start adding and increasing video posts.

Content Theme

We don’t see Nike doing food commercials or Disney doing insurance commercials. Their products and brand determine their themes, which in turn determine their marketing communications.  Having a marketing communications theme solidifies branding. A plumber would want to post plumbing tips, changes in laws that might affect plumbing and all plumbing related news, rather than posting changes in the finance industry, unless it somehow affects his business image.  Business posts should reflect what you would want customers to say about your company, if asked.  Posts should also prompt people to bring your business name up in conversations related to your industry. The more your business name gets mentioned in conversations, the better for your awareness which in turn is better for your business.  If your businesses social media posts have not been centered on a theme, pick themes relevant to your business and its industry to draw desired customers to your social accounts with the intention of building relationships that could lead to business.  Being known as experts in our fields of work is what we typically strive for and having marketing themes help solidify that.

Schedule

My doctoral thesis , which focused on the efficiency of social media as a business tool for businesses  found consistency of social interaction as one of the 2 significant variables affecting the success of social media as a business tool. Consistency is very important in social media interactions. Your business is a brand that has to stay relevant and remind people constantly of its existence and offerings in order to generate awareness and sales.  McDonald’s is arguably the biggest food chain in the world, yet their commercials are constantly on TV to remind customers of their brand and products. Social media serves as the perfect business tool for commercials for small businesses. Having a schedule, could simply be posting on social platforms (X) amount of times in a day, week or month.  In most cases, schedules don’t have to be necessarily rigid, unless timing is a factor in the effectiveness of your post. Posting lunch specials at 2pm on a day you want to drive lunch sales may not be the way to go, but if the specials are all week through, posting sometime at the beginning of the week would be .  It all depends on the goals you are trying to accomplish with your social posts. If your schedule doesn’t permit you to manage your businesses social media operations effectively, assign staff, family members or hire a social management company to help maintain your business posts. You can also curate feeds and articles from business associates or blogs in your industry to post on your social media platforms.

Calls to Action

Having a “Call to Action” strategy is important, if you intend to lead customers to sales pages or pages that further explain products and services.  Calls to action could simply be including links to landing pages, or as famously know on Instagram, putting the link in bio.  Calls to action on different social media platforms might require different strategies. Twitter’s character limit, forces us to get our message across with less words, which means a lengthy post on Facebook would have to be shortened on twitter.  Marketing strategies or campaigns that are great with no clear calls to action typically miss the intended goal.  Some LulaRoe’s Facebook teams have mastered the call to action process that their audience loves and is accustomed to. When customers want to buy an outfit, they simply go to the post and enter in the comments section “sold” to get details on how to purchase the item, which prompts the post to be either removed or edited to reflect how many of the items are left.  There are several ways to creatively create calls to action that can make a huge impact on your business goals and it would be wise to constantly revisit possible ways for your 2016 strategy

Platform

A few years ago, it was Myspace and then Facebook, Yelp, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and it goes on and on and on… The good news is as a social media business consultant, there is always something new to share with my clients, because there are new platforms springing up constantly and current platforms changing constantly. The bad news is that it could be overbearing at times. There are many social platforms catering to many social interests and picking the right ones to focus resources on while keeping an ear out for new ones that might impact your business is the way to go.  The platforms your business utilizes can make or break your social media operational gains.  Facebook is a no brainer for all types of businesses these day, however if your business is in the fashion industry, you might create a bigger following on Pinterest.  If you are into broadcasting Periscope or Instagram might be the most effective platform for you.  Not being on the right platforms can lead to a waste of resources, so picking the right platforms and creating a strategy that will increase awareness is important to marketing and business goals.

In conclusion, revisiting these five strategies would assist you in creating an effective social media strategy for your business goals. As a business, social media stands to be one of the most effective ways to communicate to your customer base and solidify your brand. Having a professional social media presence is becoming very important for businesses of all shapes and sizes.  Not having social media these days is starting to look like not having a phone for your business…. Odd.  If you are stuck, seek out a consultant, that can assist in creating social media business strategies and if finances are an issue, do some research on what your competitors are doing and speak to a friend or family member who is social media savvy to assist. Hope you have a great year accomplishing your business goals through social media! Feel free to share strategies you are tweaking for the New Year.