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Any freelancer knows that when you decide to venture on your own in any capacity—part-time or full-time—you must be a jack of all trades. Clients will have different goals, needs, and proficiency levels when it comes to different PR tactics and the biggest enigma for them is often social media.

Why is social media so elusive anyway? Social media is one of those mediums and practices that is literally changing every single moment. It’s fleeting in that a tweet, a post, or a comment can be seen and then forgotten, but can also be heard around the world if it’s particularly popular or goes “viral”. What resonates one day or one moment, might not the next. And, it moves and changes SO FAST.

Overall, social media is really about engagement and brand awareness. With the right strategy, that can translate into excellent value for your business. Despite how complicated it may seem, there are some best practices that always ring true for social media and we’ve rounded up six considerations for a rock solid social media strategy:

  1. Pick and choose your social media channels and use them to your advantage. Different platforms have different audiences and preferred content formats (think: native content – see tip #5), and therefore require a different strategy (if one at all!). So be sure your company goals align to the platforms you’re using. If you’re trying to reach an older generation, you may not look at TiKTok, but instead invest in Facebook. No need to feel pressure to have representation across all channels (though it is always a good idea to reserve your username so others don’t!) if that audience isn’t your target.
  1. Set goals and be S.M.A.R.T. “Whatever gets measured, must get done” is one of my favorite quotes and I know that whatever I write down as a goal, I must accomplish. Social media is no different. As you set each goal, whatever amount that number may be, keep in mind that each goal should be: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Bound. To learn more about setting S.M.A.R.T. goals check out this great post.

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  1. Hold yourself and your team accountable for posting to social media. Social media can be an easy thing to push to the wayside or put off to another day. However, one of the main keys to creating and maintaining a social media presence is consistency and staying top of mind. To truly be successful at social media, plan it out and post often (not just when you need a boost in traffic or conversion – by then, it’s too late!). A good rule of thumb is to plan out your evergreen content two weeks at a time to help ensure you have a good content mix and coverage. Then you can add relevant, timely content as it happens.
  1. Mind your metrics and adjust as needed. If your social media activity isn’t aligned to your overall goals, you won’t achieve what your business needs to grow. And the only way you’ll know that is through measurement. Track metrics to see how your campaigns have grown or not grown and to see what is working versus what isn’t. Be sure to check that your content aligns to complete engagement, click-through, and conversion rates. One great metric to watch is your referral traffic to see if visitors are coming to your site through social media and if they’re converting.
  1. Post native content for better engagement. Social platforms are created in a way that makes the content experience more rich if it’s posted directly on the platform it’s sourced on versus another site. This is why native content is important. Native content is content published directly to a social media network (vs. linking to content, for instance). If that’s confusing, consider this example: LinkedIn will rank an article published on LinkedIn Pulse much higher than the same exact content posted on your own domain or blog. The end-user experience, therefore, will be better because it’s all staying on one platform. Because of this, the social platform is more likely to rank the piece higher, keeping it top of mind over content sourced outside of the platform. Higher ranking + better experience = more eyeballs on your content. You wouldn’t use this strategy on FB or Instagram. You would choose strategies that work well for those audiences – because they are different audiences.
  1. Keep your followers close, your competition closer. Check up on your competition and parse through their follower list to find users that also fit your ideal customer profile. It’s also a good way to keep tabs on what your competition is doing well and not so well. Consider using a competitive analysis program to “listen” on social media. Social media listening is tracking what those online are saying about your specific niche and can help inform your social media and overall content strategy.

Social media is constantly changing and moving fast. The best part is, changes and evolution of strategy can often be reflected on social networks immediately—no design or approval bottlenecks need get in the way. Don’t be afraid to make changes to your strategies to reflect new goals or ideas.

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