How to create a social media strategy as a business leader

Here, Alex Packham of ContentCal explains how you should plan your social media strategy as a business leader.

Making the wise decision to bring your brand online should result in an increase in prospects, leads and sales – or at least it should do if done correctly.

Speaking at events, writing reports and deploying advertising campaigns are all, of course, great ways of building a brand and driving engagement.

However, as a business leader, a key way in which you can boost and elevate this activity is by sharing content via your personal social media accounts. With an educated and well-thought-out social media strategy, you can make a huge difference when it comes to contributing to company growth and increased revenue.

We’ve taken a look at some of the key places to begin when it comes to creating your own social media strategy.

Do your research

A great place to start is by taking a look at what other business leaders are doing, or even just those in a similar industry. Look for patterns in the tone of voice, the type of content they share (things like videos and gifs) and how often they are posting. Take note of how much engagement they receive on their content too, and try to get a sense of what works and what doesn’t.
While it is not recommended that you copy or steal the content or ideas of others, you should definitely be ‘keeping your enemies close’ as it were. Check on them regularly for trends and inspiration.

Know your audience

If there’s one thing you need to keep in mind at all times it’s your audience. You might begin this process with instant big and bright ideas about what you want your personal brand to say and show, but if it’s not something that your target market will go for then it’s essentially just a waste of your time.

Think about your social media use at work

If you haven’t carried out in-depth research on your ideal customer persona, then we suggest you get started on this pronto. From here, take a look at what your ideal customers are doing on social media. Who are they following, what content do they enjoy, where do they engage? Use this research to inform your efforts. Most importantly, take note of which social channels they are most active on and tailor your strategy to prioritise these channels.

Decide which social channel(s) to focus on

You may decide to start your own podcast or blog, but deciding what social channel to push your content out on is probably the biggest decision you need to make. Instagram is booming at the moment with lots of influencers posting regularly from the fashion and travel industry, while Twitter is more favourable for the news and financial industry.

LinkedIn is an amazing platform for entrepreneurs and professionals in particular. The site allows for networking, job seeking and sharing specialised information. One of the main features of LinkedIn is the ability to write articles to share on your page which gives you, as a business leader, the freedom to write whatever you want, whenever you want. It can be about your experiences, your knowledge in an area, or a professional opinion you would like to express.

Promo no-no

When you start thinking about how to create a social media strategy, whether this is for yourself or for your business, it’s easy to fall into the trap of creating promotional content only. But what you should really be striving for is 20 per cent promo content and 80 per cent other content. Your content should be inspiring, personable, and something that gives value to your following as a business leader within your industry.

Be honest now, would you really follow someone if all they talked about was how great their products or service were?

Beat the papers

A great way to aim for follower growth is to be the first to spread exciting news as soon as it breaks. Stay aware of industry events and create relevant content as soon as you get the scoop. If you’re consistently one of the first to be talking about news or events in the industry, then new followers will flock to your social channels to stay up-to-date.

If done well, you could even create a reputation as being a great source for incoming news.

Tread on trends

Carrying on from our last point, not only is it great to spread news as and when it breaks, but you should definitely be getting involved with trending content and topics in general. By getting involved with trends, you expose yourself and your company to more conversations and opportunities to be seen.

Be a planner

Making the most of your social media accounts will help you connect to your audience
Making the most of your social media accounts will help you connect to your audience

When it comes to your social media strategy, quality is important. And how you do achieve high quality content? By giving yourself time to think and prepare.

You should always be planning your content in advance, whether you’re preparing a week or a month at a time. While it’s fine to post the odd bit of ad hoc reactive content if you’re out and about at an event or suddenly have an idea spring to mind, the majority of your posts should be planned and created in advance.

Not only will planning your content ensure that your content themes are evenly spread out over the week or month, but it’ll stop your content becoming repetitive, boring and rushed, not to mention the amount of stress you’ll put yourself under if you plan to tackle it daily.

Therefore finding the right social media tool to plan your content is crucial. There are a number out there – they can help you master your social media content and simplify the content creation process as a whole to save you time as a business leader.

Alex Packham is CEO and founder of ContentCal.

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Anna Jordan

Anna is Senior Reporter, covering topics affecting SMEs such as grant funding, managing employees and the day-to-day running of a business.

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