By Kelli Folse
If managed and operated correctly social media can be extremely effective in building lasting relationships with fans and customers. With the right social media strategy your business can attract its target audience, stimulate engagement, and turn social activity into business impact.
David Ogilvy, the father of advertising, once said that advertisers who ignore research are as dangerous as generals who ignore decodes of enemy signals. It is important to know your audience, their needs and their interest in order to tailor your messages in a way that will reach them. This being said, look at what your fans and customers are following. What kinds of posts do they like? What kinds of things do they comment on, repost or respond to?
In addition, what are your fans looking for? Create a purpose for your profile; is it a central hub for resources? Is it an informational or educational blog? Is it a discussion board? Figure out what you’re audience is looking for when they visit your page, and then give it to them.
Content is king. People will only value your posts if they are valuable to them. In other words, simply posting often is not enough. It can actually backfire by annoying your followers if they think you’re blowing up their newsfeed with useless information.
Keep posts brief and casual. Remember that social media’s main priority is to grow relationships with your community of customers. Be aware of your tones when writing posts and avoid using phrases that sound to “markety.” Followers can tell when you’re just trying to sell them something, and it’s not always welcomed.
Other great ways to engage your followers are to host contests, provide exclusive promotions or giveaways, or ask questions and polls. Your goal should be to inspire conversation, not simply be a thread of promotions. These kinds of strategies will not only encourage current followers to become active on your page, but can also attract new potential fans.
Not everything works for everybody. Fortunately popular social media websites, such as Facebook, have created ways for you to monitor your page’s traffic and activity. Using your business’ Facebook Insights page can help you rate your posts’ quality, keeps track of the interaction on your page by week, tell you if you’ve been mentioned in other people’s posts and can even help you identify who your target audience is by providing demographic information. Simply put, it provides information about who is liking what and the best time to make a post for maximum exposure.
By analyzing the data for previous post’s interaction you can pre-test future content. Identifying your target audience will help you formulate tailored messages with specific content to develop posts with the greatest impact. After monitoring your pages traffic, interactions and mentions you can determine what is working best and plan for future successful posts.