Social media conceptIn our last Elements Of Social Media post we covered another three essential parts of the planning process. We talked budgets, schedules and integrating social into your overall marketing strategy. But now let’s move out of the planning stage and look at some key elements of social media marketing in action.

So in this post will look at which types of content to publish, how to create a community on social media and improving your strategy over time. Visual content makes its usual appearance, while social customer care and those all-important metrics will get your social media campaign off to the right start.

Visual content

Visual content gets the most engagement on a majority of networks and bags more likes, shares and comments than text-heavy alternatives. So visuals have a huge role to play in your strategy – with videos, infographics and images as key elements.

LinkedIn is the exception to the rule and the text-orientated network is a place for you to build authority in your industry with articles and professional contacts. While micro-content should be a prominent feature on more visual networks to grab attention.

Social customer care

Social media has risen as a new platform for customer service, where people can speak directly to brands and resolve issues. It can be a scary concept to wash your laundry in public, but transparency is a key theme in social media and showing your fans how much your care about customers is a chance to make a statement.

Social customer care also brings you and your customers closer together – a vital part of creating a social community where people want to be. Outside of your customer service efforts you want to include happy customers in the equation too. Encourage them to show how your brand pays a role in their lives with images and videos, while competitions are a great way to invite new members into the community.

Analyse, test and fine tune

As with every part of your digital marketing strategy it’s vital you measure and optimise your performance to get better results over time. If things could be going better you need to address issues and find a resolution. While things change quickly in this industry so you need to keep an eye on your metrics to make sure you don’t get left behind.

Social media also has this stigma about proving ROI and data is the only way to show business execs that your social efforts are profitable. It takes time and money to make social pay off, but the results aren’t clear unless you have the right numbers to prove it – so tools like Google Analytics are essential.