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Time to Create a Social Media Strategy

Social media traffic has the potential to be one of the biggest referrers of quality traffic to your site. While some types of social traffic have a reputation for being hard to convert, overall, social media traffic is very engaging. We blogged about social media engagement last month and last week, using it to effectively grow your market. Now I am going to discuss what you need do to create a strategy that works. A good social media strategy will benefit your business in many ways. It will assist you to holistically drive traffic to your site, build relationships, better customer service, satisfaction and retention.

Before getting started, make sure you do your research. It is important to know who your target market is and develop a plan for reaching them. You can then optimize your content with the keywords needed to reach them. Competitor analysis can be a great way of seeing what is and isn’t working.  It is also crucial to determine what social media platforms to focus on and have different strategies for them. Find out where your target audience is spending their time on. Once you figure out who your target market is, what platform they are on and what they are looking for, you can then start delivering value to them. The more value you can provide, the faster you will grow your presence. Remember, consistency is key. People will get used to viewing your social media posts before work and/or at lunch every day, so make sure to give them that.

You need to get followers or everything you are doing on social media is pretty pointless.  Without people seeing, reading, and re-sharing the content you post, you’ll never build relationships, trust or see significant traffic. As your follower count grows, you can slow down on growing your targeted following, as the exposure from the content you share will start to earn you significant follower growth and traffic.

There are many techniques to engage and get followers naturally on Twitter, but platforms such as Facebook is largely a pay-to-play site now. You don’t need to spend a lot of money, but you do need to start running Facebook and/or LinkedIn ads depending on what your target market is. Linkedin is usually a lot pricier. It is also important to cross-promote on your social media. If you have a lot of followers on Twitter, then tweet out your LinkedIn and Facebook page in order to grow on those platforms also.

You need to automate for success. Nobody has the time to be tweeting all day. As I said at the beginning, the one key to success with social media is consistency and if you can find shortcuts to help you achieve those goals, then go for it. The easiest way to be consistent is to use tools (many of which are free) to schedule your posts. The best standard for posting on Facebook is 3-5 times a week and their algorithm fluctuates very frequently; LinkedIn is the same. Twitter is the best of both worlds because you can post as much as you want up to once an hour, mixed in with retweets and @ mentions. Instagram, Pinterest and others are pretty flexible, it is best to optimize for preferred times though.

Last but not least, you want to benchmark, measure, analyze and make recommendations on your social media analytics.  We use sponsored by Hootsuite and that works great, but there are endless tools out there that work just as well.  You need to commit to following your strategy for months until you start seeing any real results, but even then it could take years for your strategy to start producing the ROI you are looking for. Right now, you are investing your time and resources so that you can get those results. Keep that in mind in the months ahead.