Five things you can do today to level-up your brand's social media strategy

Coming up with, implementing and managing a social media strategy is hard work; much harder work than many people think it’s going to be before they’re actually tasked with taking it on. If you’re the one who’s spent countless hours devising a strategy, crafting content, scheduling posts, growing your community and trying to think of clever things to say on Twitter every day, you probably feel a bit peeved when your posts get little more than a handful of likes.

With ROI being the name of the game, those numbers mean everything, and you’re probably quite keen on the idea of a few quick fixes that can help add a few digits - possibly even a few 0s - onto them.

There’s a lot to be said for changing tack and hitting refresh. These five steps (which, incidentally, are super-easy to implement) should be your first port of call.

1. Do less of it.

Yep. The first thing you can do to do social media better is do less of it. When businesses decide they want to “do social”, there’s a tendency to feel like they should be posting every single day on every single platform. The result? A convoluted content strategy, a community management nightmare, and a lot of wasted resource.

Think about your target audience, your subject matter and your objectives for social, and use that to decide where your content should live.

If you’re a design agency looking to show off your work and attract new talent, Instagram - home of the inspirational aesthetic - is going to be great for you, but Twitter - the ephemeral, news-oriented chatroom of the social media world - isn’t.

On the flipside, if you’re a tech recruiter hoping to show off your industry knowledge and push people to your jobs board, Twitter’s fast-moving click-ableness is a natural home for that conversation.

2. Don’t wait for people to come to you

Being on a channel and posting content with the expectation that an audience will materialise around your virtual ankles is the equivalent of opening a restaurant in the middle of a forest and not telling anyone about it. Don’t be vain about your follower/following ratio, nobody’s looking at how many people you follow. Follow anyone and everyone who’s relevant to your business, have conversations with them, and use hashtags to make yourself ‘discoverable’ (but be wary - over-zealous hashtagging can actually turn people off). If you have a piece of content you think someone might be interested in, direct it at them. The worst outcome is that they notice you.

3. Anthropomorphise your brand

You’ve probably got a ‘style guide’ and a ‘tone of voice’ deck knocking around somewhere - use them. There’s nothing worse than the ‘generic brand tone of voice’ that swamps social media (“Team drinks! #FridayFeeling”), so take a few hours to workshop your brand personality and turn it into something tangible. If it were a celebrity, who would it be most like? How might it say ‘hello’ in the morning? What type of guest would it be at a wedding? Does it use slang? If so, which specific words? How about emojis? Create a checklist and run all your copy through it from now on.

4. Spend some cash

If you’ve been a commitment-phobe about promoting your content, now’s the time to take the leap. Particularly on Facebook, organic - that is, unpromoted - reach is nearing extinction (dropping by as much as 52% in 2016), meaning posting content without sponsoring it is a big waste of everyone’s time.

As little as £10 behind a post will not only boost your visibility, but unlock a whole plethora of targeting options and post formats. Try creating one post a month specifically for being boosted, with an objective (such as clicks to website, or gaining new followers who work in Derby) in mind.

5. Create some templates

Investing in some up-front time to create templatable content formats will save you heaps of time twiddling your thumbs trying to think of new ideas each month. Once you’ve got your format (“Tech tip of the week”?), have a designer create a graphic template to go with it, so it’s easy to swap in new copy and photography each time you use it. One small tip: stay away from motivational quotes against sunsets. There’s enough of that on social media as it is.

Got something to add to this list, or want to tell us how you got on with these tips? Hit us up on Twitter.