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Three Tips to Optimize Your Business’ Social Media Strategy

Provided by the International Finance Corporation


With social media spending on the rise, businesses need to demonstrate the return on every investment into social media. Optimize your time and your business’ social media effectiveness with these 3 tips.

 

 What makes a good social media manager?

 A social media manager needs to understand your customers’ interests, keep up-to-date on trends, analyze performance data, and be able to develop or source relevant, catchy content, ideally having writing, creativity skills. You don’t necessarily need to hire a designated person for this role. If your current staff meets this profile, make sure they feel accountable with clear responsibilities.

 

1. Be realistic

It takes time  and money to understand what your target audience values in social media and build relationship with them. Are your expectations realistic regarding your business’ social media strategy? Get clear on the answers to these questions:

  • Which of these do you want to achieve with your business’ social media?
    • Increased your brand awareness.
    • Increased visits to your company’s website.
    • Deeper engagement with your customers through an online community.
    • Better understanding of your target audience.
    • Education.
  • Who is your target audience? Where are they connecting on social media?
    • Focus on those channels.
    • Being active on one channel is always better than maintaining an inactive presence in many channels.
  • What can you afford in terms of time, human resources, and budget to reach the right people at the right time?
  • Who is the best person to manage your social media activities?

 

2. Connect and engage effectively with followers

Business and personal social media are not quite the same!

Be responsive and as per business social media etiquette

  • Reach out the same business day to users and take their concerns and comments seriously. Anything you post in the name of your brand reflects on your business. Be professional and respectful at all times.
  • Be constructive when answering negative comments and only eliminate them as your last resort. Do not engage in arguments or extensive debates. This includes not only the obvious (no ethnic slurs, personal insults, obscenity, etc.) but also privacy and inflammatory topics – such as politics and religion.

Be active and publish regular, fresh, sticky content

Successful social media strategies focus on listening to the target audience and engaging it around topics that they like and share. Build loyalty around your brand by making it one that your target audience trusts, can relate to, and is intrigued to engage with.

  • Sign up for newsletters and news sites consulted by your audience and in your sector; search for keywords and hashtags on Twitter, Linked In Pulse; create your own Paper.li personalized newspaper with daily updates.
  • Think video, audio clips, and visuals over long text in line with your target audience life events. For example, publish informal greetings to start and finish the week with a viral funny picture.   
  • Use an editorial schedule to publish in sync with the event cycle. Post on Facebook at least once per day and on Twitter around 3-4 times per day. Frequency will depend on your human resources, goals and availability of relevant content. To save time, you may publish the same content (slightly adapted to the different media channels) on different social media, as well as use tools such as Hootsuite to program your social media posts in advance.

 

3. Measure and adapt!

You can only manage what you can measure

Use a social media performance tracking tool to measure monthly progress on each social media channel. Key questions include:

  • Have you reached your target audience?
  • Are you engaging your target audience?
  • How many of your social media followers are interested in your products or services?
  • How many of these are actually becoming new customers?

Adapt to your Social Media Audience

The more you know your followers, the more success you will have in engaging them. Adapt the type of content, delivery method, and timing to make sure your post reaches as many people as possible.

  • For example, if your analysis shows that the majority of your followers are women aged between 20 and 30, adapt your content for their interests.
  • If you discover that most of your users are online at 3pm and prefer videos and daily tips over detailed articles, plan those types of posts ten minutes before 3pm.

For more resources

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2121 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20433, www.ifc.org

The material in this work is copyrighted. Copying and/or transmitting portions or all of this work without permission may be a violation of applicable law.  IFC does not guarantee the accuracy, reliability or completeness of the content included in this work, or for the conclusions or judgments described herein, and accepts no responsibility or  liability for any omissions or errors (including, without limitation, typographical errors and technical errors) in the content whatsoever or for reliance thereon.

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