Three Simple Ways to Create a Social Media Strategy That Works

Your business is growing and it's time to create a social media plan. It's no longer an option to have a business and not be active on social media. But where do you begin?

Have a goal (or three)
Sure, everyone wants more likes but this goal should extend beyond that. Are you an artist looking to sell more artwork? If you're a nonprofit, maybe you'd like to receive more donations. Are you working with an animal rescue group? Posting photos on Facebook would help more dogs find their forever homes. Write down your goals and think about how you'd like to utilize social media to achieve them.

Know your audience
Think of your typical customer and which platforms they're on. Are they active millennials? Then it's probably important to be on Instagram. Maybe your target market is retired and on Facebook to keep up with their grandchildren's photos. How will you reach your audience? Photos always do well to engage your audience. Working in higher education, it was always fascinating to see how many more "likes" a photo of campus received than a news story. A post that created nostalgia, such as asking for advice for a first year student, also did well. Once you know your audience, it'll be easier to pick the platforms that work best to reach your customers. Start with two and grow from there. My personal favorites include Facebook and Instagram.
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Develop a schedule and track your analytics
I used to work at a place where there were three of us who alternated days we'd post on Facebook but I think it's usually best to have one dedicated social media expert. When I worked at Bard College, I was the social media person in the office, which meant that I could develop my own calendar. I tracked how well each post did based on the time of day and type of content, and was able to be flexible and change as needed. I partnered with the College's social media coordinator to exchange content; you don't have to be constantly creating new content. Share a story that relates to your business from another company or publication.  

Once you know these three pillars of a successful social media strategy, it's easier to come up with exciting content that your followers will want to read and share with their friends. If you have a business, people are already talking about you on social media. Don't you want to join the conversation?

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