5 crucial elements for a winning social media presence

This article originally ran on PR Daily in June of 2017.

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No two social media marketing campaigns should be organized or managed in
the same way.

Every brand is different, with unique qualities and a specific demographic
to target, and there are dozens of tactics you can use to build a

Creating original posts, sharing material from your site, and sharingposts made by others are potential routes to success with plenty of overlap. On top of that, you
have varying approaches to tone, engagement and frequency, along with the
option of paid advertising—so there’s no single “correct” way to go about

However, some tactics are essential for any campaign and any organization
that wants to succeed. If you want your page to cultivate a large, active
following, follow these guidelines:

1. Brand development and consistency.
According to Deluxe, branding is one of the most valuable components of a company, responsible
for public perception of a company’s philosophy, tone, character, valuesand
commitment to customer service.

Without a solid, well-defined brand, customers will have a hard time
understanding what you’re about, and you won’t carry much appeal with your
specific target audience.

Create a brand that speaks to your customers specifically; for example, if
they’re family-oriented, make family values a top priority, or if they’re
youthful and energetic, try more casual, trendy messaging. Once you have
those brand standards in place, you must be consistent with them so your
audience has time to become familiar with you.

[RELATED: Learn social media secrets from TED, Microsoft, Starbucks and more at Amazon HQ.]

2. A/B testing.
As Instapage explains, A/B testing entails executing and comparing two similar yet distinct experimental
conditions. When you first start out in social media marketing, you won’t
have a reliable idea of which strategies work and which ones don’t; you may
have an inkling based on your prior experience, but you don’t have any hard

A/B testing takes two options (such as different content channels—like
video and image sets), and releases them under similar conditions, giving
you hard data to determine which is objectively better. Over time, A/B
testing can help you find the best of the best strategies to use—and
without it, you’ll be stuck with whatever your intuition comes up with.

3. Social media monitoring.
Sprout Social says this entails “tracking conversations around specific phrases, words or brands, and then
leveraging them to discover opportunities or create content for those
audiences.” It’s a way of learning what your customers are talking about
and what’s important to them.

With that information, you can build a better all-around strategy,
sculpting your content to appeal to people in those demographics. Specific
software exists to facilitate those monitoring efforts, or you can use
in-app searches to discover consumer interests.

4. Follower engagement.
It’s not enough to create and upload posts; you also have to help your
followers realize that they’re an
active and recognized part of your community.

You can do this through follower engagement, the practice of having
conversations and acknowledging your followers’ posts. This can be as
simple as responding to a user comment or as complex as having an ongoing
conversation with your followers.

Doing this makes each individual feel more engaged, and it’s attractive to
prospective followers who see how your brand responds to vocal followers.
If your followers feel unheard, they’re going to unfollow you, so this
strategy is crucial to success.

5. Measurement and analysis.
In addition to A/B testing, you should be measuring multiple metrics
related to your campaign: “likes,” shares, comments, post popularity, and
click-throughs and traffic patterns to your site.

Without this objective information, you’ll be flying blind, unable to gauge
the effectiveness of your campaign. You should also be able to tie these
metrics to a return on investment (ROI) figure, so keep track of how much
you’re spending on your campaign.

Shoehorning these strategies into your social media marketing campaign
isn’t enough to guarantee success. You must customize your campaign with
specific additions and changes to
suit your demographics and your bottom-line goals.

The more tailored your messages and activities are, the more you’ll
resonate with your target audience, and the faster you’ll build your
desired following.

Anna Johansson is a freelance writer, researcher and business
consultant. She also writes for Entrepreneur, The Huffington Post and
more. Follow her on

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