Whether you are an entrepreneur, a small business, or the communications director at a large corporation, you must have a solid social media strategy that sets you apart from the rest of your competition in your market. Designing an effective strategy is not hard, but there are four components that you must consider in order for it to be complete, and more importantly, successful.
Identify Your Objectives
Are you launching a new product? Do you want to increase brand visibility? Are you trying to increase traffic to your website? Do you want to encourage customer loyalty? Before you can design a strategy to meet your goals, you must know what those goals are and decide how to measure them.
Think S.M.A.R.T. when developing your objectives by making them Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-limited.
Know Your Audience
After you know what you want to do, identify who you want to reach. Again, be specific in pinpointing the customers or followers you wish to attract. Create an imaginary persona. Give them a name, a job (or industry), a specific income, likes and dislikes, hobbies, and anything else that helps clarify a precise demographic.
For you writers out there, it is sort of like developing your character for a story. Except… in this case we are identifying the personality and persona of the customer/client/buyer.
Choose the Social Platforms
All social media platforms were not created equal. They each have strengths and weaknesses. Some are related to what they do while others are associated with whom they reach. If you are marketing custom cakes, a visual platform such as Pinterest or Instagram is more likely to reach your target audience than Twitter. If you are a manufacturer shopping suppliers, LinkedIn is better at connecting business-to-business. Choose two to three platforms that meet your needs the best and focus your attention on those platforms. Learn all you can about those platforms and how to become a subject matter expert, yourself, on those platforms! Do not try to dominate every platform that exists unless you can devote all of your time to social media and one of your goals is truly to be the “end all” to ALL platforms. That would be an interesting “niche,” eh?
I’d love to hear about it when you reach that goal!
Build Quality Content
Design a plan that will demonstrate value to your intended audience. For clues about what works with a particular audience and what does not, check out your competition’s strategy for reaching that same demographic. Yeah, the demographic that you identified for your brand!
Photos should be of the highest quality. All written material should be grammatically correct and in the appropriate tone. The information should be uniform across all of your selected platforms. All interaction should be regular, fresh, and consistent with your overall message.
If you are hiring employees or contractors to create the content for you (whether blog content, social content, etc.), ensure that they match your tone and your message. Take some time to train them how to mimic and virtually become you (your brand). That time spent training them appropriately will be well worth the quality and the success, in the end!
Don’t waste your valuable time on sporadic and ineffective social media strategies. Use these four steps to develop an efficient delivery pattern that reaps the benefits of the broad influence which social media provides to you, in opportunity and access (and reach!). See, social media provides the platform(s). Now it is your time to hit it out of the ballpark, right? When you are done with that, come back and tell us your success story