More than 2 billion people actively use social media each month – channels which are an ideal way to raise awareness of your brand to a large audience in a more personal way.
Here’s what you should consider to develop your strategy:
Where is your target market?
Firstly, you should look at where your audience is based, as different countries prefer different social media channels. Once you have identified your target market, consider what channels they actually use.
Each social network has different strengths and weaknesses and different audiences. We’ve looked at the top export destinations for UK SMEs: in the US, Germany and the Netherlands, Facebook is the most popular; in France, Viadeo tops the list; and in Spain they prefer Tuenti.
It’s also worth looking at rules and regulations in each country. For example, Facebook and Twitter are blocked in mainland China, so you might be better off targeting this market via more local channels QQ or Qzone.
Do some research to find out which networks are best suited to your customers and don’t just sign up to all of them.
What are other people doing?
Carry out a competitor analysis on each channel to see what they are doing well and where there are opportunities to get ahead. Perhaps you can use the same channels in a more innovative way, maybe there is an opportunity somewhere they don’t currently have a presence.
Take a look at other brands that are doing social media well for tips. Who is being creative or successful?
What’s your plan?
You need to publish the right content on the right channel for the right audience. We recommend putting together a content calendar based on the types of content you want to publish and where. Some social channels allow you to target your posts based on geographical location, which can be a great way to localise your content.
Have you considered paid social? Promoted posts can increase the visibility of your campaigns to a wider audience.
Make sure you know how much time and resource you have to dedicate to social media. You need to ensure that you have the capacity to listen to and engage with your audience, not just broadcast your message and hope it reaches someone.
Social media also involves analytics; you can test, track, measure and report to see what’s working and what isn’t. Many social media sites offer their own analytics, which can help you to make sense of how your audience is engaging with your social content and guide your content strategy.
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