Whether you’re an established brand with a big budget, or a bootstrapping newcomer on the scene, it’s crucial that all businesses are fully invested in their social media marketing strategies.
With 48% of people saying they have tried a brand, service or business after seeing it on social (Q4 2017 Sprout Social Index), social media is one of the most powerful tools in your marketing arsenal.
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With a strong marketing strategy and the tools to help you develop a more efficient business comes cost savings, ultimately impacting your bottom-line. So, with that in mind we at The Urban List have compiled the simple five-step process for developing a kick-ass social media strategy for your business.
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#1 Set Goals That Solve Your Biggest Challenges
The first step for developing any business strategy is to understand what you want out of your efforts—and the same goes for social media. Goal setting is crucial, but with so many channels, tools and products at your disposal where do you even start?
We recommend focusing on three goals; the first, increasing brand awareness through meaningful content and strong personality. Next, driving foot traffic—using social to reward those customers who come to you, and alerting prospective customers with real-time incentives and information of what’s going on in your venue. And finally, creating a loyal fan base—encouraging user-generated content, engaging with your audience in real-time and giving customers a reason to endorse your brand on social.
The Urban List’s Pro Tip: Focus on location strategies to drive real-time foot traffic. A location tag can increase the engagement on your Instagram posts by 79 per cent. If you’re not already in Instagram’s location directory, you can add it here.
#2 Understand Your Audience
A successful social media strategy is all about targeting the right people with the right message. To do this, you need to understand your audience and what they want from you. We recommend starting this process by creating a series of customer personas—how old are they? Where do they live? What motivates them? What service are they coming to you for? It’s important to build a 360-degree view of your customer so you can pinpoint where they are on their journey and supply them with the right information at the right time in the right context, no matter the channel.
Next, look at your competition—find out who’s doing it well, who’s not, and why. For example, are they using location tags to get in front of an audience searching for recommendations by area? Are they using their Instagram feed to create a digital version of their menu, targeting customers that are visually inspired? Are they partnering with like-minded influencers to extend the reach of their content and target new potential customers?
Finally, your brand should consider the most valuable social channel for your business. When and where are you most likely to drive consideration with your audience? For example, foodies are one of the largest user sets on Instagram, using the platform 1.4 times more than the average Instagrammer. They also have 2.6 times more followers and 4 times more followings.
What does this mean for hospitality businesses? Your audience can be a big factor in the success of your marketing. Use the right hashtags to reach a larger audience and use trending, local, and cuisine-specific hashtags to help your posts show up in searches for relevant phrases.
The Urban List’s Pro Tip: Top brands post 4.9 times per week on Instagram.
#3 Set Your Metrics
Brands and consumers often get caught up with vanity metrics—like follower count post likes. But it’s important to take a step back and evaluate the social metrics associated with your real business goals. We recommend focusing on these metrics in 2018:
- Engagement: How many people that were reached by your content on social actually took action? You can use this data to identify your strongest types of content for delivering against each goal. Is Facebook video best for driving bookings? Do Instagram photos tagged with your location drive real-time foot traffic?
- Hashtag / location performance: With over 250 million posts with the hashtag #food, it’s often hard to get your content seen by the right people. Focus on hyper-local (eg. #sydneyeats) and hyper-relevant (eg. #sydneybrunch) hashtags rather than generic hashtags like #food #drink or #restaurant. Which hashtags are the most successful for you? Make sure every post is tagged with your location and analyse the results of people landing on your page via location searches—what action are they taking?
- Clicks: Link clicks are one of the most crucial metrics for understanding what drives your audience to take action. Do users click on the link in your bio and visit your website after seeing a post in their feed? Do they come though via swiping up on Instagram Stories? Tracking clicks per post is a smart way to dig deeper and help you find your focus.
The Urban List’s Pro Tip: Create a personalised and automated Instagram direct message that is sent to users who engage with your brand on social. Whether it’s a post 'like' or comment, you can send a direct message automatically to them inviting them to follow your page. It’s a great way to create a direct relationship with your online audience, just make sure the message is hyper-personalised, fun in personality and adds value.
#4 Build A Social Media Content Plan And Calendar
It’s no joke—social media content is extremely important to every marketing strategy. According to Sprout Social, 46% of users say they’ll unfollow a brand if there’s too many promotional messages. This shows the importance of having content marketing as part of your communication strategy.
- Find inspiration: While it’s important to understand who the competition is and what they’re doing it’s more important that your brand is distinctive and unique on social. To truly engage your customers, you need to give them an experience that they won’t want to leave. The best content creates a meaningful experience for the user, whether it’s a relatable video, a fun quiz, or personalised content that treats someone as an individual. You can check out the winners of The Webby Awards for examples of brands that are at the top of the content game.
- Create a posting calendar: Sharing great content is essential, of course, but it’s equally important to publish your posts at optimal times. Create a posting schedule that lists the dates and times you’ll publish content on each channel, ensuring your posts get the maximum impact.
- Plot your content mix: Your content mix should reflect your overall business goals. For example, you might find that Instagram photos tagged with your location drive new followers, while Instagram Stories are best for driving website bookings. Try to stick to the 80-20 rule (80% of your posts should educate or entertain your audience, while 20% can directly promote your business).
The Urban List’s Pro Tip: Businesses that post at least 60 seconds of Instagram Story content per day are prioritised by the Instagram algorithm, resulting in higher engagement, more followers and better social media marketing results.
#5 Engage With Your Audience
Taking time to reply to your followers shows you care what they say and that you value them. If a person writes you a compliment, thank them for it. If they ask you a question, respond to it. First impressions become vital, the lifeblood of your digital marketing strategy.
The Urban List Pro Tip: When responding to negative social media comments, keep your cool and be kind and apologetic even if you feel you’ve done nothing to apologise for. Find ways to keep your response firm, yet positive and polite.
This article is proudly sponsored by ANZ and written and endorsed by The Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Urban List possible. To find out more about who we work with and why, check out our editorial policy here.
Disclaimer: Eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, fees and charges apply to ANZ BladePay™ and third party apps developed by POS vendors. Use and potential benefits of ANZ BladePay™ require an app built by a POS vendor with appropriate functionality. ANZ is not responsible for apps developed by third parties.
The information contained in this article is general in nature and has not been prepared or endorsed by ANZ. It does not take into account your personal and business needs, financial circumstances or particular objectives, and is not a substitute for commercial judgement or professional advice. You should seek independent financial, legal, tax and other relevant advice having regard to your particular circumstances.