A social media strategy is your game plan; it guides you down the path of your social growth and helps you connect more people with your service or product. It’s important, but if you’re getting stuck, I’d be willing to bet money that you’re having one of two common problems I see all the time in my work in social media strategy.
Problem 1: You Don’t Know Your Audience
There’s that classic, way-overused Shakespeare line that goes: “To thine own self be true.”
But in social media, that’s kiiiind of not the case. Don't get me wrong, you should be promoting something you believe in and you’re passionate about, but your audience is the person you need to be faithful and dedicated to.
If you have a great product but only a vague understanding of who’s buying it, you’ve only got half the road map.
You need to know who your audience is beyond the simple demographics. You may be marketing your content toward women of color in the Atlanta area, but your content isn’t truly tailored to that audience unless you’re addressing the psychology behind those demographics.
What do they want? What problem are you solving for them? What worries them? What gets them excited? That’s the kind of audience-definition you should be customizing your posts, blogs, and social media copy around.
To use a personal example, last year I really narrowed in on a niche audience of podcasters who want to use social media to grow their brand. Before that, my audience for my social media business was basically, “anyone who needs social media help.” But when I focused my attention on a specific audience that I understood really well, my social accounts grew so much faster.
Problem 2: Your Audience Doesn’t Know You
Maybe they don’t know you exist, they haven’t heard your podcast, they’ve never seen your website. Whatever it is, your audience is just… not where you want them. This can be such a discouraging feeling, especially if your service or product is something you feel so passionately about! No one likes sharing their heart into a void.
What I use is something I call the Savvy Engagement Growth Recipe to help my students grow their audience. Like all my favorite recipes, it’s simple.
Pick one platform, and spend 10 to 20 minutes a day doing these four things:
- Direct message (the icing on top!)
I think this strategy is a bit like working out. Sure, you could do one enormous five-hour workout on Saturday, but you’re still going to get better results doing thirty minutes every day. Small, consistent effort repeated over time will garner you social connections in an authentic, human way.
Who should you be doing the four steps with?
- Your current followers
- People who post using target hashtags
- People who engage with your posts
- Competitors’ followers
- Industry leaders
- Certain locations
Remember: you’re a human, and you are connecting with other humans. Act like it! This isn’t about spamming, this is about being human and making a connection. Just like with dating, don’t expect people to make a commitment right away. It’s about steady, intentional growth, which is far way sustainable than spamming someone or (god forbid) buying followers.
Andréa Jones is a social media strategist who works with lifestyle brands to build their online presence through targeted social media and content marketing solutions. She's also the founder of SavvySocialSchool.com – a membership community with everything you need to achieve visibility, growth, and engagement on social media.