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12 Steps for an Effective Social Media Strategy

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When it comes to social media strategies, First Digital Media know only too well what works, what should work and what doesn’t work.

Are you struggling to your business the reach online it needs to be successful? Are you falling behind on your social media strategy and feel like you’re getting nowhere? Then our social media marketing team are the people you need to speak to!

By putting together the top 12 steps to creating an effective social media strategy, our team are able to plan, implement and monitor your results so that you don’t have to lift a finger!

1.      Find Your Target Audience

Finding your target audience is number one priority on your steps to social media strategies. When it comes to your potential consumer reach and your actual customers you need to be targeting those that are actually interested in your business.

Without the proper attention paid to your customers, you could be gaining followers, likes and shares from an audience that have no interaction with your business and you could be wasting your time. People you need to target include:

  • Current customers
  • Potential customers
  • Associates of current customers and potential clients
  • Bloggers
  • Journalists and editors
  • Suppliers
  • Affiliate businesses

2.      Research Your Buyer Personas

Behind every great social media strategy is a lot of research. You need to know your audience and their interests or you can be far from ever meeting their needs and desires. With a clear understanding of your audience and their personas, you can create a clear visualisation of them and somewhat humanise them online.

HubSpot recently stated that:

Buyer personas (sometimes referred to as marketing personas) are fictional, generalised representations of your ideal customers”.

You need to have a clear understanding of your buyer personas to drive sales, target content and keep customer retention high.

3.      Find Out More About Your Influencers

Your influencers don’t have to be your enemies. Look at them as family and you’re just looking for some guidance in your own growth. If they’re doing well in a certain area, check out what their consumers are interested in and follow the same paths.

It is not copying them or stealing their data, it’s just simply identifying what works for a certain audience and matching it with your own audience. You can then target them directly and build the relationships needed to get them on board with your business.

4.      Check Out Social Media Platforms Used by Your Buyer Personas

By using several social media platforms and searching for target keywords for your industry, you are able to follow conversations and topics that are already out there on the platforms. This can then lead to interviews with your current customers on their habits and the chance to watch how your audience travels through the social media platform.

Instagram is great to follow keywords by using the hashtag to search for certain topics of interests. See what people are posting, what is out there to share and what will interest your own followers to get them hooked on your business.

Business 2 Community said in 2015 that social media platforms drove 31.24% of traffic to websites, imagine what that figure would be now two years later?

5.      Check Out Your Competitors Platforms

It is also isn’t a crime to check out what your competitors are doing online. If you have a direct competitor who has launched a new social media strategy, see what they are doing!

Other websites that are performing well don’t necessarily hide their secrets when it comes to social media marketing. There is only so much that you can do with the platforms and find out what works best for you is easy enough found with a few trials on methods. This can give you an insight into what platforms will work best for your industry, rather than guessing and hoping for the best.

6.      Create Content That Will Target Your Buyer Personas

Of course, you need to create content that will resonate with your consumers and audience. If you are not creating content that will entice your consumers, then why not? Nowadays, businesses have no excuse to be sharing boring content with their audience and hoping that something will stick. With software, experts and First Digital Media around for you to make use of, why would you risk it?

Match your content with the right channel, engage with the times that your audience is most active and delve into conversations with your consumers. As we have said before, video content on Facebook is growing fast, so why would you not share some videos?

7.      Start A Content Back Log

By building yourself a content backlog of useful articles, news posts, images, videos and blogs, you never have to run out of quality content again. If you have a consumer ask a question you should be prepared to answer to the best of your ability and without pre-empting those questions with the material in a backlog, you could end up being caught out without an answer.

Having detailed content to fall back on at all times gives you time to plan other areas of the business and also lets you create a solid social media strategy that falls into a plan with your business. You should also look into creating infographics, images, videos and other content that will break up sections of blog posts and articles.

Remember that all consumers interact with different content formats, not just one!

8.      Build Relationships with Consumers

Of course, you have to create a relationship with your consumers otherwise you could be losing out on potential customers for your business. If you are getting a lot of conversation on your posts on social media, get involved and respond to what they are saying amongst each other. It’s time to engage with your consumers and make sure they are enjoying your content otherwise you might as well not bother!

9.      Create A Cycle of Content Publishing

Keeping your publishing cycle consistent with the times your consumers are most active will give you the highest chance of interaction. By following steps 1-8 you should have content aimed at your audience that meets them on certain platforms, in different formats. Using this in an organised manner is essentially your social media strategy and the rest is monitoring results!

10. Make an Investment to Get More Social Followers

First Digital Media also advise certain customers of ours to make investments into getting more social followers. If you are looking to getting more social followers, you need to invest both time and effort into building your audience.

First Digital Media specialises in building social followings and engaging with current audiences. Trying all natural techniques, we advise on paid advertising to get new followers where necessary. We don’t suggest to buy followers ever as that is bad marketing techniques but we do take the time to carefully plan your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn ads to gain the right target audience, not just as many followers as possible.

11. Put A Plan in Place for Sharing Content

We are all aware that social media marketing takes time as there are so many platforms and methods to use at one given time. With there being so many networks to spread yourself across, you need to work through all of these 12 steps to create a plan with our team that works for you. Whether you leave it all to us or do some yourself, we need both be on the same page so that your audience get content that is targeted to their needs and purpose of your business.

12. Evaluate The Results and Work On Your Strategy from Here

Once you have gathered all of the evidence of your strategy, you can then see what worked and what didn’t. One of the steps that our team have mastered is number 12, as we can clearly see what works for our clients and what needs changing.

Using your results allows you to perfect the social media strategy you currently have, remove the weak links and create a solid strong plan to follow over the year. If after reading all of this you are panicking that you dont have the time or the insight into social media marketing, then you are in the right place. First Digital Media are only a call away!

Get in Touch

To arrange a call with a Digital Marketing Executive today give us a call on 0845 094 1830. We are here, ready and waiting to take over your social media platforms and totally transform your online presence. With 92% of marketers saying social media is important to their business, What are you waiting for?

Have You Heard About Fake News? YouTube Certainly Have…

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Social media platforms have cottoned on to the spreading of fake news and now YouTube has launched its own battle with making the internet safer.

Recently announcing its launch of a new campaign in tackling internet safety and fake news in particular, YouTube are aiming their efforts at 13- 18 year olds specifically. With workshops designed at that age range, anyone all over the UK can take part in the fight against fake news on the internet.

Past Criticism

It was only a small month ago that YouTube was criticised for not tackling hate speech head on and they were asked by many to re-evaluate their guidelines. Back in March, YouTube took a long hard look at its existing guidelines and how it governed the content that was allowed onsite.

After acknowledging that advertisers didn’t want their adverts next to explicit content or content that didn’t match their values, they started to take a tougher approach on “hateful, offensive and derogatory content”. “A recent investigation by the Times found adverts were appearing alongside content from supporters of extremist groups, making them around £6 per 1,000 viewers, as well as making money for the company”, BBC News.

Current Regulations

Under current YouTube regulations there are set community guidelines that need to be followed by all users. These include respecting the community, not crossing the lines, reviewing all reports carefully and to join in with active YouTube campaigns.

Some of the common-sense rules that they ask you to take into account when posting include avoiding:

  • Nudity or sexual content
  • Harmful or dangerous content
  • Violent or graphic content
  • Copyright
  • Hateful content
  • Threats
  • Spam, misleading metadata and scams

Workshops Around The UK

The workshops have been designed and created to allow attendees to get creative with the hosts, stay safe online, remove negativity and use videos to help people spread their voice properly. As well as tips on how to navigate social media, check facts and escape ‘social bubbles’, the workshops are great to discover how you can make the most out of the internet.

As part of the Internet Citizens Day, YouTube are aiming to raise awareness about the actual threats online and how we can avoid fake news spreading.

Vulnerability Online

Highlighting the vulnerability online, YouTube have covered voice, story, courage, community and action in all workshops with the last few weeks being dedicated to testing the impact. As “young people in the UK spend more time online than ever before”, it is about time that something was done to encourage safe activity online, Anna Smee, CEO of UK Youth.

First Digital Media’s Thoughts

We think it is great that the internet is more awake to the problems we have out there online. Supporting all workshops and further investigations into fake news, we hope that the craze will not be in action for long!

Get in touch for digital marketing assistance, social media marketing and more with First Digital Media.

The Legendary Unskippable Ad Slips into History for YouTube

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This week saw a major shift towards consumer satisfaction with YouTube removing the 30-second ads before video playback. Starting from next year, you will be able to watch your video until your hearts content, without the annoying interruption at the start!

YouTube is the second largest search engine across the whole world and with more than 100 hours of video being watched every minute, it is clear why they have made the change to meet their consumer’s needs.

Let’s Be Honest…

We have all been there, ready and waiting to watch the latest music video, earphones in place and BOOM another advert appears telling you about the latest Nike shoes or Make-up Application (no offence to Nike).

Although it is great to see new products on the market and the up and coming face improvement techniques, sometimes we just want to watch the video we first went there for without the annoying distractions.

Skippable Content

We all understand that adverts have to exist in order for businesses to survive but we believe, as a whole, that we should always be given the option to skip it when we really don’t care about it at all. For a while now the ‘unskippable’ ads on YouTube have been driving users mad with many of them moving over to other video platforms and music apps but worry no more because YouTube has been listening.

From 2018 they have made the decision to remove the unskippable options on adverts and will focus on “formats that work well for both users and advertisers”. Although there has been no mention of the 15 and 20-second unskippable ads, this is something great for us consumers at last! Right?

Ads Still Rule

Adverts are still ruling the game when it comes to YouTube. Don’t celebrate too early about the 30-second removals because there are still the 6-second bumper ads that will be coming out to play more and more throughout 2018.

With competition from Facebook every day, video is moving towards becoming the next big thing in online marketing, social media and every online platform pretty much. As more than half of YouTube’s users are coming from mobile phones, a 30-second ad can really harm a user’s data plans so it’s great news that its no longer going to be a pain… we just have to wait until 2018!

Get in touch with First Digital Media to learn more about video marketing, the digital age and how we can create the perfect online marketing package for your business.