With so many social media channels, constantly evolving their feeds, how do you put together a social media strategy? Your social media channels are the best place to achieve online engagement, above your website and other online touch points. In order to create this engagement you need to focus on the type of content and how you publish it. This will vary for each platform but there is some common ground held by all the social networks and it is here that you can build your overall content and engagement strategy.
There are 12 questions that you should consider when forming your social media strategy and we will cover them all inn brief below:
Question 1: Who are your target audience?
Possibly the most important question when defining your strategy is who are you trying to speak to. Who are your customers and personal customers that you want to engage? The key here is to build personas relevant to you business and build your strategy around them.
Question 2 : What are the content preferences of your audience?
Once you have defined your personas you should be able to identify their preferences in terms of content and how they consume it. Do they prefer video, infographics, articles, short statuses. With so many options it is wise to utilise them all but with a bias towards the preferences of your key personas. This may well vary between social platforms.
Question 3 : What are your strategic business goals for your social media presence?
Do you want to sell? To engage? To build brand identity? Having a key strategic goal for your social platforms will define how you use them and the content you choose to publish on them. It is important to bear in mind the purpose of the social network you are using. If you are too sales heavy on twitter or facebook you are likely to lose followers very quickly.
Question 4 : Which content types should have priority?
Use of your key personas, content types and an analysis of what competitors are doing you should be able to define which topics and formats should take priority. Your social channels should have a key focus that followers are able to easily identify.
Question 5 : How do you differentiate your social channels from your other communication channels?
Your social channels main job should be to engage with your followers and convert them into customers and eventually brand advocates. It is therefore import to build up a loyal social following. To do this you need to show what additional value your social platforms offer that is not offered elsewhere. Early access to deals or special offers for social followers are some ways to offer value.
Question 6 : How do you integrate your social channels?
Your social channels can produce some really great content. Encouraging your followers to generate their own content can not only help populate your feed but can create great content to share across your website and e-marketing.
Question 7 : What should be the content frequency and editorial calendar?
This may vary depending on the platform you are using. Twitter for example has a very fast moving feed whilst LinkedIn is much slower, therefore several posts a day on Twitter would be fine whereas this would be seen as excessive on LinkedIn. The most important thing is to be regular. This should be defined by what you can maintain. Some content will be very quick to create others will take some time so establish an editorial calendar and plan in advance to ensure you have the content available when you need it.
Question 8: Where should you source content?
As stated in the last question, you need regular engaging content and this can be time consuming. You will need to decide whether this can be created in house or whether you would be better positioned to out source. There can also be a balance struck between creation and curation, and having suitable sources of content is important.
Question 9 : How do you manage publication and interaction?
Who will be in charge of your social networks and building brand engagement? Regular posting across your social networks is important but you also need to be timely in responding to interactions and engaging with followers. Will this be done by an internal resource or by an out of house team?
Question 10: Do you use software for managing the publishing process?
Depending on the number of social channels that you use, regular updating across them all can be very time consuming. Whilst this has the advantage of being able to tailor the content to the platform it can also prove a challenge. The use of tools such as hootsuite of buffer can save significant amounts of time, allowing the construction of just one post that is then automatically added to each of your social profiles.
Question 11: How do you track the business impact of social network activity?
Each of the platforms have built in analytics which are useful in reviewing their effectiveness. By tagging your posts you can have increased insight into each piece of content and how engaged your audience has been. If you are using a tool such a hootsuite, there are further analytics available to show which platform and content were most popular.
Question 12 : How do you optimise your social presence?
The use of analytics is only useful if it is then reviewed and acted upon. You should use the results from the insights to test, adapt and refine your content strategy.
These 12 questions are a really helpful way to optimise your use of social media. Building an effective strategy is time consuming and requires on going attention. If you would like more information on building an effective social media strategy contact us now.