On this blog, we’ve shared with you specific social media channels and strategies for how to best utilize those channels for your store(s). We’ve even shared insights about how to integrate certain facets into your social media strategy. But what about your overall social media strategy and planning? Well, you’re in luck! The National Grocers Association (NGA) recently sponsored a webinar covering the major points you to consider with your social media marketing plan in order to get the most out of it. The webinar, titled “Social Media – Put It To Work For You!” was hosted by Laura Strange, Senior Director & Communications and Marketing at NGA, and Elizabeth Weddington, Social Media Manager at AR Marketing. They discussed the social media strategy process all the way from program goals to content calendars and tools.
When creating and executing your social media strategy, ask yourself and your team the following questions.
What are you doing now and what do you want to do?
- Determine Social Media Goals
- Do you want to increase brand awareness for your store? Do you want to grow your social audience. Before you start posting content, determine what you want that content to do for your business.
- What kind of content do you want to share and which audience demographics do you want to reach? This will help you determine which social media platforms you use to promote your store.
- Audit Your Social Presence
- If you’re already using social platforms without a specific strategy, it’s important to audit what you’re already doing to determine what’s already working for you.
- You should also review your profile information regularly to determine if it’s still correct. (Have your store hours changed? Do you offer new services you’d like to highlight on your profile?)
- You should also review your posting frequency. How often do you post or tweet, depending on the platform? Does that fit with what is recommended for marketers on that particular platform? This can affect your engagement and followers. Remembering, overloading somebody’s Facebook newsfeed might lead to them unfollowing your page.
Who is your audience and who is your competition?
- Become Familiar with Your Audience
- Whether you’re currently building your audience or you have an established audience, determine who they are. Look at the total number, their average age, % of male and female users and what they’re responding to. This information is easier to find directly on the Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest platforms versus other social media platforms (for now), but there are tools you can use to track your followers/fans on Instagram…until they offer it from their platform, that is.
- Get to Know the Competition
- In addition to regularly researching and analyzing your audience, it’s important to keep any eye on the competition. Look at their social media profiles to see what they’re doing to engage with their fans. On Facebook, you can even set up “Pages to Watch” that will give you easy access to certain pages without having to separately search for them every time.
What kind of content will you share on each platform and how?
- Develop a Content Strategy
- Once you’ve determined what your goals are, who your audience is, and what your competition is doing, it’s time to determine what you’re going to do with your content. Remember to keep in mind Jason’s advice to earn the right to sell to your customers on social media. The 70/20/10 rule is a good way to keep track of that.
- Reward Your Fans
- Strange and Weddington point out that it’s important to build a culture around your brand that promotes happy customers. Fans love sweepstakes, contests, giveaways and offers.
- Go Beyond Generic Content
- Use dynamic content, like pictures of store events, employees enjoying their job at your store, customers having a good time, etc. Be sure tag users or include their handles if it’s applicable. Use popular hashtags, especially on Twitter (just make sure you research the hashtag first).
- Create a Content Calendar and Content Tools
- Don’t just post for the sake of posting. Don’t wait until something comes to you at the last minute either. Look at your store calendar, be aware of upcoming holidays, and even use food holidays as a way to create content for your social profiles.
- Monitor Your Social Channels
Set clear goals and use them as a guide for the platforms you use and the content you share. This will help you create a successful social media strategy for your business. Need help creating a fully integrated digital marketing plan? At AWG, we can help you create a comprehensive social media marketing strategy that will work best for your business and bring the most value to your customers.