Social media is easily one of the fastest growing and cheapest tools for reaching the greatest number of customers. For those in marketing, a solid social media strategy is an invaluable tool to assist in generating leads and establishing great brand recognition. However, for those who might be less experienced with the digital marketing platform, social media can be overwhelming and even scary.

What makes a social media presence successful? What factors go into building and growing a quality social media strategy?

There are a few guidelines to help you understand building the ideal social media strategy for your business. Here are 6 factors that will help you attain the best success possible with your social media marketing.

1. Choose the Best Social Media Platform for Your Business

While they might be some of the biggest platforms currently out there, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Snapchat aren’t the only social media sites that exist. In some cases, they might not even be appropriate choices for your business.

Fun Fact: There are over 200 social media networks in the world from which users and businesses can choose.

Choosing the right social media platform for your company can be done by answering 2 questions:

  1. Does the social media network reach my target audience or industry?
  2. What do I want to achieve through my social media strategy?

Let’s look at both of these questions as our next factors for a successful social media presence.

2. Understand Who Each Social Media Network Reaches

Not all social media sites have been built the same. In fact, many were built to target specific audiences, locations, and industries. There are some that cater directly to those in Russia or China. Some target industries like legal, contractors, freelancers, and travel. Of course, there are those that work better for local businesses and blogs – and these are just the tip of the iceberg.

When looking for the perfect social media site (or sites), make sure that your target audience will be active members on the platform. This is your first step to making sure you get the best eyes on your brand.

3. Identify Your Social Media Goals

There are many arguments as to the right “purpose” of a business on social media. Some claim that businesses should be creating sales through their social media presences while others consider it to be about brand recognition. There are arguments that say that social media should act as a customer service platform or simply as a means of building and maintaining quality customer relationships.

So which theory is right? The answer – all of them! Depending on your industry, sales model, and company personality, your social media goals might be different than even your competitor’s.

For example, a blog will have a stronger goal for attaining followers that provide post feedback while an ecommerce company might run specials to use social media to convert leads into sales.

The goals for your social media presence need to be clear and identified early. NEVER create a social media presence without first understanding what you want to accomplish through that platform. You’ll just waste your valuable time.

4. Use Unique, Rich Media in Your Posts

We recently posted an article about the value in using your own photos and videos when possible. Those rules apply even more when executing your social media strategies.

Not only should you use your own unique photos and videos in your social content, you absolutely MUST post something with media (picture, video, blog article reference) at least every other post if not more.

Plain text just doesn’t cut it with social media!

5. Post Content Through Your Company’s Personality

One of the greatest pieces of your value proposition will likely be found in the personality of your company. If you want people to know that you are a dentist who creates a fun atmosphere for kids, a lawyer who focusses on the growth of a small community, or anything else that identifies your business, your personality should always be seen through your social media presence.

The rule is simple – Customers appreciate authenticity. Your company’s authenticity needs to be seen in every post. Make posts that reflect who you are, what you value, and what goals you have.

6. Be Social, not “Salesy”

While last on the list, being “social” on your social media platform is one of the most important rules by which to live.

Your customers use social media as a means of escape from the world. They don’t want to be bombarded with ads that tell them they need to give you money. Instead, make your customers interested in coming to your web site to learn more about what you are selling.

Avoiding a salesy personality on social media, even if you want to make sales through social media, is so important because the social aspect of your strategy will communicate to your customers that you care about them. By being social, you will be able to entertain, educate, and encourage your customers. Once you get them to that point, you will have a much easier time selling them your solution.

Here are some tips for creating a “social” social media presence.

  • Post… a lot – You should be posting something non-salesy at least once per day.
  • Post relevant content for your followers – Spend time learning what your customers are talking about and get involved in the conversation.
  • Run contests and polls – Encourage your followers to engage in your conversations.
  • Use good hashtags – Use hashtags to help those who aren’t following you find your business.