Our social media class had the privilege to listen to guest speaker, Zach Hesterberg. He is the CEO of SoZesty, a consulting agency that specializes in social media marketing. Hesterberg was also a former student at Quincy University.
Hesterberg spoke of his eight steps to developing a social media strategy. He used a metaphor of going to the gym is like social media. He spoke of the failing platform Twitter, identifying your audience, sharing across platforms and the biggest mistakes people make on social media. All were very interesting ideas on increasing your customers and brand through the usage of social media accounts in business.
His eight steps to developing a social media strategy started with step one, understanding your micro-goals. This involved the sales angle approach. It is your method of approach when looking to increase the number of followers, which in turn, increased the number of customers.
The second step was setting goals. He believed in setting high goals but be specific, and it should be something you can measure.
The third step was to characterize your target customer. This means to locate, understand and target your local customer. To increase your business you need to post relevant material that attracts and engages your target audience.
Fourth, you need to analyze your competition. Find out what they are doing to attract customers, but don’t focus on them for too very long or you’ll lose sight of your own vision for your company. See what works for them and infuse those ideas into your strategy.
The fifth step is to develop and establish your brand message. Understanding this is key, so moving forward you know what content is essential to post that will attract more customers.
In the sixth step start by choosing which platform is the best for your brand. Before doing so it is imperative that you research your target group. After you have established your target group, and what platform they frequently use, find out the intent of the platform itself.
Build your content posting strategy is the seventh step. You should schedule your posts and be consistent. A suggestion is to use websites that specialize in scheduling posts such as later.com. Remember to post original content and use visuals, a must have on posts are videos, pictures, and info-graphics. Through the use of analytics on each platform you will know if they are effective. If they’re not working, change the strategy.
His final step in developing a social media strategy, step eight, was to search out the best in paid advertising. Enlisting the best algorithms that are most relevant to your success. Ads are the best way to reach people, it virtually guarantees you’ll increase your viewers and create new customers.
Zach used the metaphor, “social media is going to the gym.” This means you have got to be there if this is going to work for you. Make the time to develop your strategy. Apply yourself, set your goals, remember, to actualize you must first visualize. If you want to build stronger muscles it doesn’t happen overnight, nor do your customers find you if you’re not engaging with them on a daily basis.
“Twitter is sinking,” Hesterberg said. Just like the Titanic, no one was listening to those who sounded the alarm, and by then it was too late. He believes this platform is not responding to the ever-changing needs of those individuals who are engaging on social media every day. Other platforms have listened and are providing those with the essentials they seek. They are reluctant to change and this is reflected in their stock values.
If you are looking to hit the bulls-eye with one shot, then don’t use a shotgun, too much buckshot flies everywhere. When you identify your target, that is, your audience, you should narrow down your message to make it more successful. Identify their wants and needs and leave the rest behind.
This same thought process is why you want to target those in your local vicinity. Accelerate your message towards those who are close enough to utilize your services. Don’t waste time sending messages across the country when the customers you seek are in your own backyard.
Hesterberg finds that most people who try to capitalize by using social media become too “salesy” and lose their followers. They often misuse the platforms that could bring them increased followers and customers. You don’t want to turn people off, there are too many options out there for the public. They will seek out another brand and in turn provide loyalty to your competition.
These methods have provided success for Hesterberg and the companies who utilize his services. Always stay on top of the trends, know who and where you target audience is and remember to engage them.