Social media is becoming increasingly important for marketing efforts. In fact, it’s now a key component of marketing campaigns for brands worldwide. More companies use several social networks these days to promote their products and services.

Before we begin, you should also know that:

  • 72% of all internet users are active social media users
  • Every internet user has 5.54 social media accounts

Quite clearly, social media today is an inescapable reality. Businesses just can’t ignore these platforms; social networks are where all the action seems to lie. Social media networks are also a cheap and easy way to reach out to new and existing customers.

For brands, social media depicts even a rosier picture:

  • 9 out of 10 retail brands use two or more social media channels
  • Social networks are estimated to earn some $10 billion from adverting in 2016
  • Brands plan to up their social media budget from last year to some 13% in 2016

In a nutshell, the time has come when brands should come up with a viable social media strategy to reality their marketing goals. So, on what should the strategy focus?

Which network should they prefer more – Facebook or Twitter or YouTube or Tumblr? How much should they set aside for social media marketing? What should they expect in terms of ROI? Well, these are some questions we will look to discuss.

Key Elements of a Successful Social Media Strategy

Your social media strategy should be customer-driven. However, it can’t be rewarding unless you knew its elements. For that, you need to have a comprehensive understanding of the overarching factors that can affect your efforts:

#1    Know Your Target Audience First 

Each social media platform is unique. You can leverage social networks fully when you knew your audience better. Facebook has an entirely different set of profiles and users than Twitter and vice versa. So, first, you should know where your target audience is active before planning to track and chase them.

#2    Goal-Driven Content 

Your content should be focused; your posts should never be untargeted. Your content should be interactive, engaging, informative, and even entertaining, but not without a purpose. The content should serve a purpose. So, it’s important to vary the content to suit a specific goal and make sure your audience is prompted to only the most meaningful content.

#3    More Networks, Maximum Reach

Yes, you should look to build presence on more networks. Doing so will help maximize the reach and impact. Engage with your audience on numerous channels – don’t overdo it, however: if your customers aren’t going to be on Pinterest, don’t waste time putting content on this network.

 #4    Consistent Brand Presence

Channels should change, not your tone of branding. This means that you need to maintain consistency in the way in which you market yourself and your brand. Some examples of this type of consistency are:

  • Using same logos everywhere
  • Employing the same color schemes for different channels
  • Keeping the same fonts and basic brand layout across the networks

#5    Content Variation is Key

You have to try out a range of different content types on your social networks – this doesn’t mean change up your branding, as it simply implies that you should take some chances compared to other brands/companies. For example:

  • Cutting down on plain texts
  • Using more visual content
  • Filling the messages with images, infographics and videos

#6    Interact and Engage with Your Audience 

Interacting with your audience is a must on social media networks. Never let a response go answered and never allow comments to die out without your response. No matter which social channel is involved, you have to interact and engage with your audience. This not only boosts the trust a great deal, but also it shows that your company is paying attention to questions and concerns about products and services.

#7    Use a Mix of Engaging and Promotional Content

Social media is not only about engagement, but also it’s about promoting your brand. So, you’ve got to mix the content types up in this regard. Your social media content should encompass both engagement and promotion. While it’s important to have a mix, try be a lot more restrained when it comes to promotional content.

#8    Track Latest Trends and Analyze User Behavior

Social media is all about staying relevant to the times. It’s about being with the trends. Which means:

  • Trying to get as much marketing information as you can via user feedback
  • Leveraging Google Analytics to better understand your customers and their behavior patterns
  • Evolving your strategy based on the stats and data available with the analytics
  • Gauging the latest trends and devise a content strategy based on hot topics and hot searches

In a nutshell, your social media strategy should be unique and time-specific. So, try learning more about social media platforms and their potential impact on the long-term sustainability of your brand and customer base.

Abhilash Tyagi is an SEO and SMO specialist at Mind Digital Group with years of experience of the domain. He consults and guide brands on planning, execution and implementation of social media consulting Services to help them with drive more traffic.