Did you know that internet users spend four times more time on Facebook than they do on Google?
The power of social media–for both individuals and organizations–is undeniable and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. If you don’t have a strategy, however, then it doesn’t matter who or what you are–you’re missing out utilizing platforms to their full potential.
Make the most of your efforts by building a basic social media strategy:
1.) Define Your Purpose with a Statement
Why are you venturing into social media? Most organizations skip over this step. All they know is that everyone else is on social media and that they should be too.
Your purpose could be as simple as, “Sharing relevant updates about our brand with our audiences.” This can include sharing news or blog posts from your website, special deals and offers and making a two-way communication connection with your audience. This is probably the most common purpose that organizations have for being on social media. What’s most important is consciously knowing this.
Make sure you formalize your purpose with a statement. It will make the rest of your strategy easier.
2.) Research Your Audience
Besides utilizing your brand’s voice in content, you should do the proper research to discover several insights about your audience:
- What platforms are they on?
- When are they on?
- What content do they prefer to see? What does that content look like?
Without these considerations in mind you run the risk of missing the mark on any number of levels. For instance, you might have knock-out content, but no one will see it because you post it at the wrong time. Or you post at the right time, but the content makes your audience cringe.
Use what you learn to optimize content, and have the discipline to do this each and every time your open your digital mouth to communicate.
3.) Get Your Team on the Same Page
Your social media team should have a defined hierarchy.
You may be small enough that only one person handles research, content cultivation, scheduling and monitoring. If that’s the case then make sure that they are respected with those responsibilities. Encourage employees to contribute to these steps, but make sure that at the end of the day the social media manager is the sole scheduler of content. Organizations get into trouble when every employee has the administrative abilities to post at any time. In fact, a lot of social media bloopers are caused this way.
If you’re a larger organization, again, make sure the team has order. If you have a team member at each stage of production and management then be sure to have a copywriter who is checking for brand consistency before content goes live. This often includes an editorial process at first, but eventually the team will get into a rhythm.
4.) Document Your Strategy
A purpose statement guides your strategy, audience research fuels your content and your team produces your content and manages operations.
Put your document into a strategy. Include your purpose statement, your research insights and the team with contact information. Finally, determine:
- How do you measure success?
- In traffic to your website?
- In sales leads?
- A frequency for posting content
- How many days a week?
- How many times a day?
- What times during the day?
- A growth strategy
- What will you do to grow your following?
- How much money are you willing to spend on growing your audience?
- What is your policy for disgruntled customers?
- How will you diffuse the situation?
- What is your policy for live-event posting?
5.) Stick to Your Plan
Carry it out consistently.
6.) Evaluate Success
Take time to measure your results based on how you defined success earlier. Are you reaching your goals? Why? Why not? If you’re missing the mark then it may be time to do some further research.
This is the basic foundation of a social media strategy. Once you get these set up, your ability to be creative and accomplish measurable goals will only continue to build.