Social media is a very powerful tool that companies can utilize to connect with their audience and grow their business. But in order for social media use to be successful, a social media plan must be in place.
A social media plan must stem from a strategic analysis of your company and your social media efforts. Social media analysis must define your online goals, target market and competitors as well as assess your needs and the tools available that will best meet these needs.
You can conduct a social media analysis in 7 steps:
Step 1 – Set your social media goals
You must be clear about what your company wants to accomplish with your use of social media. Clearly defined business objectives is the cornerstone of any successful social media campaign. Some sample goals include increasing brand awareness, targeting new customers, increasing sales and providing customer support among others.
Step 2 – Define your target market
Any marketing strategy must include an analysis of one’s customers. Analyze your customer base and their demographics, including information such as age, gender, social status, education, attitude, beliefs and interests. Apart from these though, it is also essential to analyze their use of social media. How much of your customers use them? Which platforms do they use? How often do they use them and for which purpose?
Step 3 – Conduct a SWOT analysis
A SWOT Analysis is a useful tool to use to determine and understand your company’s Strengths and Weaknesses as well as discover available Opportunities you can exploit and Threats you should eliminate. Conducting a SWOT analysis will enable you to take a good look at your company, distinguish yourself and carve a niche wherein you can successfully compete.
Step 4 – Analyze your competitors
Knowing who your customers are and how they are using social media will help you develop a better competitive strategy. Aside from listing down your competitors, determine if they have social media presence or not.
If they do, analyze each of your competitors’ presence in each social media platform they use. Is their branding consistent across all platforms? How are they using each platform? Which types of content do they use and how often do they post? How much interaction is there on the posted content?
Do not forget to check your competitors’ website. See if social media buttons are prominently placed and if social sharing buttons are available on their blog posts, press releases, white papers, etc.
Step 5 – Outline your company’s available resources
You must assess the types of resources your company has that can be used to facilitate your social media efforts. Estimate how many hours a day you can afford to spend on social media and identify tools that you already have and key persons who you can put in charge of this. Conducting this analysis will help you determine whether there are certain investments to be made so that you can include them in your budget.
Step 6 – Critique your website
Your company website is like your home on the web. Determine whether it is optimized for social media and whether it offers ways for your visitors to interact, share and collaborate with you. Take a look at your website analytics to see if your social media networks are driving traffic to your site. What are the usual landing pages? How much traffic are you getting? This will help you determine how you can use social media more effectively to drive more traffic to your site.
Step 7 – Perform a social media audit
Conducting a social media audit will help you assess how well your current social media use works for you. There are many steps involved in conducting an efficient social media audit. To help you get organized, create a social media audit spreadsheet and use it to list down all your social networks, including information on the URL and the owner or specific users of the platform.
Aside from this, do some research on your social presence online and list those down too. Evaluate your use of each social media profile and see if branding is consistent in all platforms. Determine how well the social media tools you use are helping you amplify your messages and engage with your audience. More importantly, check how well they are contributing to achieving your business goals.
By taking these necessary steps, you will be able to determine how you should be using social media to get the highest possible return on your investment. Performing this social media analysis should help you develop a more effective social media strategy and a corresponding plan.
Author Bio –
Alleli Aspili is a Senior Specialist for Business Development in Infinit Outsourcing, Inc., an ISO-certified BPO company that caters inbound call center, finance and accounting and healthcare outsourcing to SMEs. Responsible for maintaining Infinit Datum online brand and content.