From the rise of Snapchat to the debut of Instagram stories to changes in Facebook’s News Feed algorithm, the social media landscape is constantly changing—giving us marketers more than enough “new” to snack on each week.
But sometimes we bite off a little more than we can chew, thinking that a healthy social media strategy needs to incorporate a little bit of everything in order to drive growth and engagement—and ultimately ROI.
However, according to Social Media Examiner’s 2016 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 92% of marketers said they’re unable to say which social media tactics are the most effective. So, stretching your strategy to include every platform and tactic may not be the best way to drive the results you’re looking for.
The key is to create a strategy that balances your unique business goals and your audience’s needs—sort of like crafting a healthy diet. I’m not talking about a temporary restriction plan that promises 50 lbs of weight loss by eating three cookies a day. I’m talking about habitual nourishment–something that doesn’t involve quick fixes, but rather getting back to the good stuff that helps you survive and thrive.
With all that said, below we show you how to put your social media strategy on a paleo diet, cutting out the things that lack nourishment and adding in the building blocks of healthy growth and engagement.
#1 – Create a shopping list.
Anyone embarking on a paleo diet needs to make sure they have all the right ingredients to set them up for success when crafting meals. Similarly, your social media strategy needs to have the right objectives in place to guide your strategy.
Whether you want to increase your number of followers, boost referral traffic to your website, foster engagement or drive more conversions, set goals that you can measure. Be aggressive, but not unrealistic. Social media is first and foremost a brand awareness tool, so make sure you’re using it for the right reasons.
Set benchmark goals so you can measure the impact your efforts are having as you work toward larger goals. Put more effort behind what is working and look for ways to improve the tactics that aren’t.
#2 – Prep your meals.
Meal prep and planning is essential for staying on track for any diet.
Craft a strategy that encompasses the tactical elements that will propel you toward the goals you’ve set. Get started by asking yourself the following questions:
- What should my followers know about my brand? (What niche do I serve?)
- What are my customers’ pain points?
- How can I provide something of value? How can I empathize with my audience?
- What type of content does my audience consume on social? (Typically, How-to and List posts are wildly successful.)
- What social platforms should I be a part of? (Where is my target audience? Do I need to be on every platform?)
- What tools would help me manage my networks or help me create better content? (e.g., Hootsuite for page management or BuzzSumo for mining for trending topics or industry influencers for content.)
- How will I measure results? (Engagement metrics? Social traffic to the website?)
With the answers to these questions in hand, create a social media content plan that outlines what, when and where you’ll be posting, as well as who is responsible for engaging with followers and measuring impact.
#3 – Eat the rainbow.
The perfect paleo meal will include a variety of proteins, fruits and veggies to create a colorful plate combination of whole foods.
When it comes to your social media strategy, using an integrated approach that’s tailored to each social platform will give your strategy the appetizing color it needs.
Combine your social media strategy with your other digital and content marketing efforts to create a tactical mix that speaks to your audience. Some tactics that you could include are influencer content, video and live chats.
As mentioned in the intro, you don’t need to use every single marketing tactic nor be on every single social media platform. Choose what works for your business and helps you make meaningful connections with your audience.
#4 – Listen to your body.
We’ve all made a quick trip through a drive thru to satisfy hunger or cravings. The naughty stuff just tastes so good. But soon after our bodies will often tell us we’re missing something—whether that be through hunger pangs an hour later, restless sleep or low energy.
When it comes to social media strategy, your audience is your body. If you want to find success, you need to be listening to what they’re telling you.
Start by taking a peek at your engagement metrics to see what kind of content is resonating with them most. This will help you work that type of content into your plan. In addition, consider asking them questions to foster engagement. One of the best ways to find out what your audience is thinking is to simply ask.
#5 – Cut the cheese.
For most paleo enthusiasts, dairy is a no-no. One reason is that lactose, which is an element found in milk and cheese, doesn’t sit well with many people.
So when it comes to your social media strategy, cut the cheese. Don’t leave your audience with an uneasy feeling by sharing things that stink. Be creative and engaging.
#6 – Stop counting calories.
You can certainly count calories all day long, but if your body isn’t getting the nutrients it needs, your progress will slow and frustration will set in.
When it comes to your social efforts, make sure you’re tracking and measuring the right metrics. Go beyond high-level metrics. Dive deeper into the data to see how people are actually interacting with your social content.
For example, don’t just look at overall social referral traffic to gauge success. Use Google Analytics or your preferred analytics tool to uncover how much referral traffic each social platform is sending to your website, top page, time on page and average number of pages visited, and conversions. This will lend more context to the traffic you’re receiving and help you draw conclusions about whether your not your efforts are driving the results you’re looking for.
#7 – No cheating.
This one’s a no-brainer. If you want the best results—for your body or your social strategy—you can’t cut corners.
Use the strategy and the content plan you’ve created to hold you and your team accountable from development to implementation to data analysis to fine-tuning–and beyond. Set up a standing meeting–whether that be daily, weekly or monthly–where the entire team comes together to look at progress and brainstorm ideas to keep your strategy on track.
What changes have you recently made to your social media strategy’s diet? What’s working and what isn’t? Tell us in the comments section below.