There is constant platform change, evolving best practice, investment in content creation, customer service, community management, posting, scheduling, measurement and, sometimes, questionable return on your investment. All of which needs to be juggled alongside your day job.
I’ve been thinking more and more lately about how to maximise results, while minimising the time we spend on our social media marketing. The goal is to create content that people connect with, in a way that is sustainable – for us and for our business. There are never enough hours in the day, so focus is key.
So, how can you create a sustainable social media marketing plan? There is no single right answer, but here is some advice to start you thinking:
- Be consistent. To grow – your audience, engagement and sales – it is important to be consistent in your content creation. That does not mean posting daily, or even every second day. A lot of people now believe you can grow key social metrics by posting two to three times a week - as long as you show up consistently, in a way that is sustainable for you and your business. You also need to be consistent with the quality of your content and branding. Finally, be consistent with your outbound engagement. You need to invest time actively engaging with your audience, others in your niche, and across hashtags to build your engagement rate. This will result in more people seeing and interacting with your content.
- Focus on where your audience is. Should you be on TikTok? Well, is your target audience on TikTok? There are a ange of available platforms, some offering more growth than others, but your focus needs to be on investing time into platforms that your target market is using.
- If you're going to do anything, make it video. Instagram is sending a clear message that it is no longer a “photo-sharing app”. In a video posted to his Instagram account, Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, says the company is looking to lean into entertainment and video, after seeing the success of competitors like TikTok and YouTube. We don’t yet know what that will mean for businesses and content creators, but it is clear that video content will be prioritised. Right now, the best way to get organic reach on Instagram is by using Instagram reels. Consistently posting entertaining reels will improve engagement and introduce your brand to new consumers.
- Have a plan. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of spontaneity, but ad-hoc, last minute content creation isn’t efficient and doesn’t usually result in high performing content. Spend an hour each month planning your content framework and cross check it against your brand pillars, to ensure your content is building your brand identity and more likely to resonate with your target audience. Have some simple, measurable goals. Then batch create content, leveraging a content scheduling tool, such as Later.
Ultimately, we don’t own any social media platform and have little control over the changes that are rolled out by these companies. So, the aim should always be to get people off the platform and into your business, rather than focussing on building followers on a platform you don’t control. Social media is a tool at the top of your funnel to get seen and connect with your ideal consumers. Remember, it is just one part of your marketing toolbox.
Joanna Glover is Global Marketing Manager at Spring Creek Vintners and a guest columnist in The Social Place.