There’s nothing better than a fired-up client … a client eager to spend resources and energy on reaching clients in a smart way … a client ready for results and willing to do what it takes to get them. And there’s nothing worse than having to tell that client to holster their excitement because they aren’t ready to pull the trigger.
If you’re researching creating a social media strategy, you first need to make sure your website is properly optimized to handle and keep the traffic coming to it. Once your confident in your website design and optimization, then you can focus on on a social media campaign.
First thing’s first.
Is Your Website Ready?
That is sometimes the situation we find ourselves in when our small business clients are interested in implementing social media strategies before they have made sure that the location they are driving traffic to – their website – is prepared to handle the traffic. A social media campaign and presence is an important part of any digital marketing strategy, but only if you’re website is fully functional first.
Your home website is the foundation you build your social media presence on and if it’s weak, it’ll all come crashing down.
When it comes to marketing their own brand, many small- and mid-sized businesses are working with limited resources. So a decision to increase focus in one area often becomes a decision to decrease attention in another. But what many small businesses don’t realize is that by doing this, they’re hurting their marketing and sales efforts.
If a searcher finds your company page on say twitter and follows the link back to your home site, but it’s slow to load or the design hasn’t been changed since the early 2000s, they’re going to leave. Your home website it what you’ll be judged by because everything you post will lead the viewer back there. And your website is where a searcher will go to do research on your business. Would you want to do business with a company who has outdated info and tacky pop ups on their site?
Here are a few simple ways to optimize your website:
- Check your mobile/ desktop load time speed here
- Include your target keywords in your landing pages
- Invest in keyword research using SEMRush, Google Analytics, and Google Console (Use these useful SEMRush tutorial videos and these helpful Google Analytics tutorial videos to get the most out of it)
- Write helpful content and start a blog
- Use a graphic designer or developer to create an innovative website design
*Just for fun: You can use the Wayback Machine to see old websites and how they’ve been updated through the years. It might give you some good ideas on new designs to use and ones to stay away from too.
Using Social Media
Creating a social media strategy can be a major undertaking for any company, an effort that often manages to soak up a lot of internal resources. This can mean that the more mundane efforts it takes to update the company website can often go ignored, leaving the place you are trying to drive more traffic to looking something less than its best.
Why is this a problem? Because social media efforts are just a means to an end, with your final goal being to convert traffic into sales. So you need a strong social media strategy, but don’t forget to prioritize your home website as well.
It’s important that the first step of your social media strategy be taking a look at your website and making sure it is an effective end-destination for every tweet, blog post, and shared video.
- Are there clear “calls to action” throughout your website?
- Are your products and service pages current, accurate, and complete?
- Are your contact pages updated and complete? Is it easy for customers to continue the dialog that you started with a social media vehicle?
Pages that need simple corrections should be taken care of right away. Any section that needs more extensive effort should be avoided as landing pages for social media traffic. Once you are confident your website is ready to handle new traffic, then start investing in creating a social media strategy.
4 Step Social Media Strategy
Step 1: Establish Your Goals
Layout what you want to accomplish by using social media.
This will be the basis of your plan and will help you decide the right courses of action. These goals can be about getting a certain number of followers or post shares. Just make sure your goals are attainable and within your resources. Any specific metrics you can set and track in Google Analytics as well. That way you can measure clicks, shares, engagement etc. Your metrics should be specific to provide you with reliable numbers.
Step 2: Know Your Target Audience
Before you start creating a bunch on social media accounts and start posting, you need to know who you want to see your posts and where your potential customers spend their time.
Research your target audience, the right social media sites, and hashtags if it applies.
At a base level, Facebook is always a safe bet and YouTube is becoming very popular for small businesses to create a channel to post educational or training videos for employees and customers.
Step 3: Research Your Competitors
If you need some motivation or ideas what where and what you should be posting, just take a look at your competitors’ social media accounts. How often are they posting and to what sites?
Researching your competition will give you a good idea of what you should be doing and will maybe help you see what you can do better on your own social accounts. You can research what hashtags they’re using and who follows them to gain a better view on who you should be targeting as well.
Step 4: Post Regularly
Social media is a great way to connect with your customers and target audience, but you need to give them something interesting to read or see.
If you want to gain and keep a steadily growing amount of followers, you need to be active on your social media sites posting pictures, helpful articles, videos, etc.
You also need to put effort into following other individuals’ pages and liking their posts as well. You’ll start to build build recognition if users see you popping up in comments, likes, and in their news feed regularly. Ideally, you should be posting multiple times a day to get the most recognition.
Creating a social media strategy is important and beneficial, but make sure your website is optimized first. You’ll want the visitors that found you on social media to also be intrigued by your home site and spend time on it.