The only thing constant is change.
Social media has been part of the marketing landscape for more than a decade now. From FaceBook to TikTok, the field has been in a constant state of evolution and flux, with both technology and audience demands changing rapidly.
Are you keeping up?
If you’re operating on a social media strategy that’s even a year old, you’re already being left behind, according to Jenn Herman, founder of social media management company Jenn’s Trends.
During the height of the pandemic, Herman explains, both brands and consumers leaned heavily on social media. More content was produced, and more content was consumed. But as life has largely returned to normal, that’s changing.
“(Consumers) aren’t dependent on social media to fill their days,” Herman says. But content creation hasn’t slowed any, even as there’s less engagement to go around.
In a recent video for RaganTraining, Herman breaks down common mistakes brands are making with their social media strategy — reveals how to fix them.
Mistake: No defined social media strategy.
Yes, even in 2022, some people are operating without a clear, written plan for how they’ll move forward in these critical venues. This can lead to inconsistent posting — which can mess with many algorithmically driven platforms — and an overall lack of direction.
“You cannot just keep winging it and hoping something is going to stick,” Herman adds.
Solution: Pick the best platforms and build strong foundations there.
The first step to a successful social media strategy is to figure out where you will post. Unless you work for a large corporation, odds are you can’t do every social platform well. But the good news is you probably don’t need to. Think about your target audience demographics and use research to determine where they spend their time. Under 35? You want TikTok. Over 50? Facebook’s still your go-to. Journalists? Twitter it is. B2B? LinkedIn, of course. Focus your attention on a couple of networks that truly fit you and your audience.
Solution: Set a baseline for content scheduling.
Once you’ve determined where you’re posting, the next step is to decide what you’re posting and how often. Herman suggests answering these questions to build out this part of your strategy:
- How often will you post?
- How much content will be video vs. photo vs. text?
- How much time will it take to create each piece?
- Can you pre-schedule content?
- How will you incorporate spontaneous or trending content?
Simply writing down the answers to each of these questions will put you on the path to having a functional social media strategy.
Mistake: Measuring the wrong things.
This is probably the biggest mistake PR pros make in any activity. It’s easy to measure vanity metrics such as likes and decide getting a bunch of thumbs up means you’re doing a good job. But of course, you need to make sure your activity is contributing to business goals, not just “being good” at a social network.
Solution: Set tangible long- and short-term goals.
A short-term goal looks approximately 6-12 months down the road. Success isn’t tied to an increase in engagement alone, but instead to business outcomes, such as achieving an X% increase in sales, reaching $Y in revenue or increasing customer retention by Z. A longer-term goal might look years into the future and have a slightly more diffuse goal, but it still can act as a north star to keep you on track.
Remember, your goal isn’t to be active on social. Your goal is to help your organization thrive.
Mistake: Only trying to sell your product or service
You’re going to stop seeing results quickly. “You need to be social on social media. You need fun posts, you need educational posts to help your audience,” Herman urges. Stop worrying about pushing your product and focus more on sharing your brand story. Over time, you’ll earn the right to share more about what you’re selling.
Solution: Review your account insights and analytics from the last 6 months.
Determine what your top performing platform and content type is right now, not two years ago, Herman advises. If you’re running off data and metrics from even a year ago, it’s irrelevant. That baseline is constantly evolving, and you need to be ready to evolve with it.
The bottom line? Do more of what works right now — and be ready for that to be different tomorrow.
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