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10 tips to help you start building an effective social media strategySocial media can help you reach more customers. Learn how to start building an effective social media strategy for your business.

Social media can be an effective and efficient way to reach current and prospective customers. And these tips can help you create a social media strategy to fast-track your brand’s social media presence and achieve results.

Start small with your social media strategy

Start with just one or two social media platforms. You want to keep it manageable, especially in the beginning.

It’s a good idea to post regularly, with comments, updates, images or events. Try dedicating about half an hour each day to maintaining your social presence. You could do this in one or two different windows.

Your goal is to post during peak traffic times. Your ideal times to post content depends on your audience and when they’re most active on social media.

Profile your customers

Social media is all about connecting with your target audience. So, it’s important to define who your current and prospective customers are.

Outline their character profiles by age, gender, interests and profession. Then, determine their key concerns that you can help address.

Do this for each profile. And decide on the key marketing messages you want to communicate to each audience.

Determine the best channels for your business

Each social media platform has a primary audience. Find out which one your target market prefers.

This ensures your messages are on the most effective platform for engagement and results.

If your social posts link to your website, you should be able to monitor which channel drives the most traffic to your website using a tool like Google Analytics.

Share useful information

On social media, aim to help your audience.

Share tips they can use or share information that helps them solve a problem. When you post relevant information, your audience will view you as an expert. This makes them more likely to seek out your products and services.

Try to avoid hard selling or promotional offers. Otherwise, you risk people unsubscribing from your social media channels.

Create an editorial calendar

Plan and keep track of the content you intend to post. You want to be mindful of what you’ve posted and discussed in the past.

A social media calendar will help you manage your editorial content plan.

Keep the conversation going

A big advantage of social media is being able to communicate with your customers.

Social listening helps you monitor what people are saying about your business. Respond to comments on your social media pages promptly—even if they’re negative. This encourages more comments and allows you to build relationships with potential customers.

Build your audience

Join social media groups and communities to target specific demographics. Then, start and participate in conversations by asking questions and commenting on posts made by others.

Welcome new followers and thank them for sharing your content. Engaging with followers can help you build their trust and loyalty.

Track your social media results

Tracking social media performance data is the best way to identify which tactics work and which do not.

A few things to watch are:

  • Growth
  • Engagement
  • Post shares

Most social media networks have tools you can use to measure your results. But if you don’t have time to do this, many cost-effective dashboards offer content scheduling and performance analytic services.

Change with the times

Social media constantly evolves.

Regularly re-evaluate your goals. Experiment with new types of content on different networks. And every few months, step back and look at the big picture.

Try to replicate the things that are working. And adjust anything that isn’t.

Here are some pitfalls to watch for:

  • Unfinished profiles
  • Irregular posting
  • Too much automated content
  • Over-promotion
  • Inconsistent messages

If something isn’t working, ask yourself why. It might not be right for your audience. Or, there might be smarter ways to do it.

Mistakes are inevitable in any learning process. But knowing what pitfalls to avoid can help set your social media strategy up for success.

Keep an eye on the competition

Take some time to see how your competitors use their social media accounts.

This way, you know what you’re up against. You can even see how they advertise with Facebook underneath the “Info and Ads” tab on any Facebook business page.

Seeing the type of content and promotions they share can help inspire your ideas, find your point of difference and communicate it.

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