Becky Lawson

6 Tips for Creating a Successful Social Media Strategy for 2018

January is the month of new beginnings and learning from the past, and this is no different for your social media strategy. In 2018, analytics will continue its reign and utilising feedback from your communities will ensure your social media campaigns are on point and hitting the right audience. But that’s not all: there are a bunch of trends and tactics that can help you maximise the potential of your social media activity in the New Year.

To shed some light on what exactly you should be looking at, we caught up with our resident Social Media Queen, Erin Simons, to get her top tips on creating a successful social media strategy for 2018…

1. Find the key drivers of engagement

Sentiment is important to review and we suggest looking into what your target audiences felt about your content and brand messaging. Getting the tone, campaign strapline and hashtag right can mean the difference between campaign success, social media sandstorm or total flop. Take these insights into account when looking at what issues and messaging mean something to your audience.

Dig deeper and identify which pieces of content outperformed last year in terms of engagement, traffic and conversions? Was it the same piece, or did certain themes provide more in terms of engagement? How can you thread the pieces together to further target those people to click through and convert?

A/B testing, for example, is a great way to get more out of your content by discovering what works and what doesn’t. We also recommend cutting down content assets such as infographics, reformatting them into social posts and creative adverts, and tweaking and targeting to specific sectors of your audience.

There’s no such thing as a content strategy that works for everyone, so it’s important to find the formula that works for your core audience. When you know more about your entire audience in all its variety; the targeting that works for them and the subjects they relate to, you can streamline your content and campaigns to suit.

2. Consider your content ratio

Although traffic and sales are vital metrics, don’t overlook engagement. Building your audience with targeted and engaged individuals allows you to micro-target them with messaging and offers that move them through the customer funnel into advocacy.

Show that you’re an expert in the field you are in: what can you provide that others are not?

Thought leadership, information and news articles offer an angle that pure sales-based posts simply cannot achieve. Consumers crave one-on-one connections with their favourite brands, they want to interact and have a conversation, so look to share more user generated and curated content from your communities and be conscious of your content ratio and how your audience is engaging as a result.

3. Think in campaigns and calendars, not last minute offers!

Planning a roadmap for the year is the most secure and rewarding way to social success.

Last minute decisions, offers and deals are often not considered and could mean a high ads budget is used, not to mention stress levels, all for little reward and minor social impact.

Use your insights from 2017 to put together an overarching campaign, launching supporting campaigns at different points of the year that are relevant to your audiences and marketing calendar. Don’t forget national awareness days and seasonal periods that are most relevant to your audiences and fit them into your content strategy.

4. Create unique content for each channel

Every social media channel and audience is different in terms of user behaviour, expectation and platform functionality, so content and campaigns cannot be one-size-fits-all.

Take a look at each platform in depth and dedicate time to finding out how your influencers and target audiences engage and interact, and what they relate to on these different channels.

How do they consume content? What length video do they watch and what are their scrolling habits? Repurposing content to suit each particular audience is the difference between success and failure.

5. Consider working with influencers

The influencer is not a fad, they are your friend. Look at which influencers already follow your brand and engage with you, then look to outreach with them.

Think quality over quantity; do they have a lower number of followers but a high number of comments and actual influence over trends and sales? If so, reach out!

One important thing to remember when outreaching to influencers, however, is that they’re not there at your every beck and call. Working with them requires mutual respect and collaboration, so don’t assume they’ll promote any old thing and, in every situation possible, always offer something in exchange. They work hard on building their following and nurturing their audience engagement, so don’t expect them to give that away for free.

6. Assess and amend

Platform insights and Google Analytics are your secret weapons, so use them. Look at the comments from your communities and assess how they are receiving one type of messaging over another.

Remember to A/B test everything, from posts to ads to campaigns. One small tweak in a headline or a sales tag can make all the difference in revenue terms.

And if you’re not so confident in using analytics, Google offer fantastic courses via their Digital Garage to help you understand the data that matters to your business. There’s also the GAIQ exam, which can really step up your Analytics expertise!

While the tips outlined here are by no means exhaustive, we wanted to share the key insights that our Social Media team believe are the non-negotiables when it comes to effective channel management. There are plenty of other insights we can offer, but to do that effectively, it helps to know more about the unique challenges and opportunities of your business.

If you’re looking to step up your Social Media strategy and activity in the New Year, and feel a helping hand is needed, contact a member of our team by phone on 01642 988416. Together, we can discuss how Visualsoft can help you ace your objectives, grow your channels and maximise your conversions through Social Media.

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