The Year Is Half Over! How Are You Faring With Those Social Media Resolutions?
August already! If you are like me, you will feel as if you just blinked and suddenly the year is more than half over. Back in January, I wrote an article outlining 17 ways to rock your social media in 2017. Did you follow any of those tips?
Now that we are more than half way through this year, it seems like a good time to review how close you are getting to meeting your social media goals. If you are on track, well done! But even if you have fallen short of your goals, it’s never too late to get your social media back on track. As a reminder here are seven questions to guide you.
(1) Social Media Marketing Plan
Have you created a written plan to guide your social media marketing activities? A plan establishes who you’re trying to reach, what you want to accomplish, and what set of social tactics best ﬁt your goals. It’s worth spending time refining your plan. If you simply launch yourself on a new platform, without knowing your goals, you won’t make any significant progress.
Take Action: The first step is to create a marketing plan that supports your business goals — so now is the time to revisit your social media marketing goals to see if they are still SMART — specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound.
(2) Target Audience
Do you have a clear understanding of who your target audience is? What are they looking for? What motivates them? What’s going to help them?Remember, your marketing efforts will be stronger if you can identify your target market and tailor your content more specifically to match their needs. Ardath Albee, CEO of Marketing Interactions Inc. and author of Digital Relevance, says: “Your content will become more purpose-driven and meaningful when it’s focused on the issues your audience is trying to resolve and the objectives they are trying to achieve.” Learning about the type of people you’re interacting with, from their psychological behaviors to their demographics, is crucial to creating an experience that relates directly to them.
Take Action: Use Google Analytics and built-in audience analytics features such as Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics to build your audience persona. A persona is a fictional (yet research-based) representation of the person you’re trying to engage with. Check out HubSpot’s MakeMyPersona tool to help you.
(3) Social Media Profiles
Review each of your existing social profiles. Is it time to update your bio with new information and optimize it with keywords and industry specific hashtags relevant to your industry or niche? Fill in every part of your profile in detail and include keywords in your bio and description, but do so in a natural way.
Should you use a more professional image for your avatar? Are your header images clear and compelling? (Tip: Use a tool like Canva to create header images). Are you making good use of keywords? Do you need to include a new call-to-action? Now is the time to perfect your social profiles to convey a professional, consistent and recognizable brand image across all social platforms.
Take Action: Be consistent — keep the same name, profile, pic, imagery, and look across your social profiles. Keeping a consistent profile helps people find you easily, and it helps cement a picture of you in the minds of others. The fewer variations you have (ideally you’ll create one consistent look), the easier it is to be memorable.
(4) Content Marketing
Take a look back at the content you have created this year, can you breathe new life into it, and extend its reach by repurposing? Have you incorporated a call-to-action each time you write a new piece of content? Can you rewrite your headlines to be more impactful? Add more compelling images to enhance your posts? Are you making good use of keywords? Is the content you are creating aligned with your audience’s particular needs? Can you incorporate user-generated content (UGC)?
Take Action: Create specific posts for each social platform. Do NOT copy and paste the same post on each platform. The platform and the audience using each, are unique and as such require a unique post. That doesn’t mean that you cannot create similar posts — but format each of them to meet the requirements of the specific platforms.
(5) Live Streaming
Have you gone “live” yet? Live video streaming is a big trend in 2017 and there’s still time to get on board. People are spending 3 times longer watching live content than ones that have been prerecorded. Thanks to the rise of Facebook Live, Twitter Live, and Instagram Stories’ “Live” mode, you now not only have the ability to communicate with their audiences via social media, you can also do so in real time.
Live streaming is a powerful medium because it gives your audience a chance to interact. Your audience is not just viewing your content. They become part of it through live streaming of events, customer Q&A sessions, or behind-the-scenes sharing. Cover topics and feature people that your audience has indicated interest in.
Take Action: Take a look at which pieces of written content have performed exceptionally well on your site and your social channels, then use those topics as inspiration for your live video.
(6) Promoting Your Content
Content is both king and kingdom in the marketing world but what good is great content if no one sees it — Top Rank
Are you getting more likes, shares, comments, and engagement since the start of the year? If not, it’s time to step up your promotion strategy. Content has no value unless it’s shared. Rand Fishkin, co-author of Art of SEO and Wizard of Moz, goes so far as to say: “Before you ever create content, I urge you to ask the critical question: Who will help amplify this and why? If you don’t have a great answer, a specific list of people, don’t create it.”
Take Action: Leverage hashtags, create high-quality, relevant content that people will want to share, maintain a consistent posting schedule, post when your audience are online, write better headlines, add more images to boost, and boost your best performing posts with a paid promotion strategy.
(7) Measuring Results
Have you been tracking and measuring your activities to see how close you are to meeting your goals? How do you know if all the time you’re investing in social media marketing is paying off? You don’t know unless you put a system in place to measure and analyse your efforts.
Take Action: Use built-in tools such as Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics, third-party tools, and measurement of social traffic and conversion with Google Analytics to track and measure your progress.
Use these six questions as a prompt to review your social media marketing activities since the start of the year. Are you pleased with your progress to date? What are you planning on refining for the next half of 2017?
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