Are you a Socialite or a Social Heavy?
How to create the perfect Social Media Strategy in 6 easy steps
Whether you’ve had a go at social media in the past and it didn’t work for you or you are dipping your toe into the social waters for the first time: a social media strategy is key to unlocking a new audience to your brand.
Step 1: Learn from the Past
If you have previously tried your hand at social and didn’t hit the heights hoped for (or it’s just time to shake things up) you should conduct a complete audit of your social media accounts. This should entail finding all your accounts and logins; critiquing the posts for branding and messaging; taking note of what’s working and not working.
Step 2: Rhyme and Reason
Why you are doing this at all? How does it fit in the overall business strategy? This should be the first question asked and answered. An oft cited example in many B2B and B2C organisations building a social following is a top of the funnel process about building awareness around the brand in question and driving 2nd tier referrals. Then following on from answering the initial questions you must then create goals for your strategy. I have written about it before and I’ll write more times in the future but whether you are planning on running a marathon or setting up a social strategy SMART goals are essential (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely). Let’s say you are driving users to your website or a specific page your goal might be to have 50 hits on your landing page each week from each targeted social media platform – or you may be building brand awareness, in which case, your goal might be linked to new followers We will aim to increase our Facebook following to 15,000 by June.
“…or you may be building brand awareness, in which case, your goal might be linked to new followers ‘We will aim to increase our Facebook following to 15,000 by June’.”
Step 3: Who are these followers?
Creating targeted personas is a critical step in your social media strategy so much so that some people put this step before goal setting – especially seeing as S in SMART stands for specific your goals might look something like “I want 50 likes a week of persona A” and if you did the characterisation before the goal setting you would know that persona A is a female in her 50s with children thinking about retirement and keeping her well-off lifestyle. It’s a chicken/egg scenario for me because your goals will take on the form of the personas even if not specifically mentioned at the goal setting stage.
Also, be very clear about what the role of followers will be in terms of your business plan.
Step 4: Keeping up with the Joneses
Look at who is doing social well. It’s your industry so you already know who your main competitors are and grade them on their performance set a benchmark for yourself. Another area to scope out good social form is using your previous steps research of the personas – find out what content and who they are engaging with – take note. You will hopefully find this quite educational and inspiring as to how and what great content you will curate. Make sure to not only look at the great stuff but take note of the little things like times of day that people are engaging and language they are using. Also look out for things that are missing this may be things that don’t work or it could be your niche.
Step 5: Plan A
All this planning leads to, you guessed it, another plan… it’s time for your content plan & calendar
Frequency, Content creators/owners, types of content. All these things need to be decided on. Remember social is a selling tool but a different type rather than salesman propping the door open with their foot it’s an open forum where you are giving a talk about the importance of your area of expertise. So, don’t ram the sell and offers constantly down your follower’s throats or they won’t be followers for long. Instead educate and inform your audience, answer questions, share content from followers or other great sources, drive people to your site. And then make great offers (in fact, sometimes even social specific). Many marketers like to use the 80/20 rules i.e. offers/sell should make up 20% of your posts. But you will figure out what the right balance is in the next step.
Step 6: Lather, Rinse, Repeat… Always Repeat
The lather is putting the content out there for all to see; the rinsing, or seeing what came out in the wash, is reviewing the response to the content in relation to the goals and make note of successes and failures; and repeat is the whole process over again implementing the tweaks needed from the review in the previous step. Audiences tastes are always changing so this is a contestant process.
There your have it… easy as ABC… of course, if you want some more help/have any questions drop me a line @ firstname.lastname@example.org.