Social media marketing can seem deceptively simple. After all, how hard can it be to post a couple things on Facebook, or take a few pictures for Instagram?

 

Related:The Social Media Time Suck: How to Pick Your Platforms

 

However, in order to be effective, social media marketing needs a strategy and carefully crafted posts to achieve your business goals. 

 

So, what does that look like in practice? There are several different forms your social media strategy can take and all depend on your goals.

 

A company looking to grow their social media following and increase engagement will need to approach social media in a different way from a business wanting to boost traffic to their website or generate leads. For example, start discussions that keep people on social media as opposed to sharing links to posts on your site.

 

The key is to decide on a specific goal and then craft your strategy. Here are some of the most important considerations when creating your social media strategy.

 

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One of the first things many businesses wonder about is which days and times are the most effective for posting on social media. The answer varies depending on your audience, as well as the platform you’re posting on. Stay-at-home moms will be on social media at different times from corporate executives, and people check Facebook at different times of day than they do Pinterest or LinkedIn.

 

In general, however, weekends tend to get the most engagement with weekdays getting more activity before and after work, as well as during lunchtime. Scheduling your posts in advance with a tool like Buffer or Hootsuite can make it easy to hit the right days and times with every post.

 

How Often to Post

Posting frequency is another common question businesses have about social media marketing. And once again, the answer is…it depends. Some audiences respond well to several posts a day, while others feel a couple posts each week are plenty. Some platforms lend themselves better to frequent posts, while others are geared more toward sporadic posts.

 

The key here is to choose a posting cadence and stick with it. Consistency is much more important than frequency in a posting schedule. Your audience needs to know what to expect from you to build that trust factor which leads to conversions.

 

What to Post About

The million-dollar question – what to post about? Again, it depends based on your target audience and your goals. But in general, the key to post topics lies in creating a balance between more promotional posts about your business and posts that add value to your audience’s feeds. In other words, you don’t want to overwhelm your audience with sales pitches for your product or service. Some promotion is necessary but if that’s all you focus on, no one will be interested in following you – except for the occasional deal or special.

 

Instead, it’s important to also post content of interest to your audience - content that is relevant to your business and your industry, but that doesn’t directly promote your company. Think how-to’s and tips, or updates on industry trends, for example.  This is the kind of content that turns people into followers, gets them coming back for more and can even make them brand advocates.

 

Social media marketing is anything but simple, but by creating a strategy based on your goals, and then deciding on the right posting cadence and topics grounded in that strategy, you can tap into its power for your brand.

 

Related article: The 4 C’s of Social Media to Grow Business (video)

Related article: The Top Social Media Sites You Should Consider for Advertising

 

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About Shama Hyder

Shama Hyder is a visionary strategist for the digital age, a web and TV personality, a bestselling author, and the award-winning CEO of The

Marketing Zen Group–a global online marketing and digital PR company. She has aptly been dubbed the “Zen Master of Marketing” by Entrepreneur Magazine and the “Millennial Master of the Universe” by FastCompany.com. Shama has also been honored at both the White House and The United Nations as one of the top 100 young entrepreneurs in the country. Shama has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the prestigious Technology Titan Emerging Company CEO award. She was named one of the “Top 25 Entrepreneurs under 25” by Business Week in 2009, one of the “Top 30 Under 30” Entrepreneurs in America in 2014 by Inc. Magazine, and to the Forbes “30 Under 30” list of movers and shakers for 2015.LinkedIn named Hyder one of its “Top Voices” in Marketing & Social Media. Her web show Shama TV was awarded the “Hermes Gold award for Educational Programming in Electronic Media” and most recently she was awarded the “Excellence in

 

Social Media Entrepreneurship” award for 2016 by Anokhi Media.

 

Web: www.shamahyder.com or Twitter: @Shama.

 

You can read more articles from Shama Hyder by clicking here

 

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