Social media has been causing a lot of excitement in businesses across the world for some time now. But like all communications channel with your stakeholders audience, use of social media needs a framework. If you fail to plan your social media activity, you are guaranteed to not get what you want out of it.
So, what should your framework be? Here is one that I have developed and should be able to apply to most businesses – hope it helps!
Your first step should be to spend some time listening to how people are using social media. This could involve seeing what your competitors are doing or seeing if you or your products are being mentioned on social media. It might even be as simple as setting up a Google Alert for your keywords to see where the mentions are and whether they are of positive or negative sentiment. If this feels a bit overwhelming, don’t worry, there are some great free tools out there to help you!
Good quality content is what separates excellent social media users from the rest. Before you start, you should work out what the most appropriate tone of voice is – should it be conversational or formal? There is a good chance to get some testing in here too – what is the best time to send your posts out, and how often per day. Also, what type of content are you going to share – questions, articles, pictures, video – it all depends on your market, so do your home-work!
3) Reach Out:
Many businesses miss the point of social media and use it as a channel for outbound one-way communications – but it is called social for a reason, right? So get building relationships! Once you have developed your target audience, start to reach out to them. Endorse their content by sharing it, answer their questions and before you know it, you will be networking from your computer.
4) Keep Learning:
This should be an obvious point! One of the many benefits of social media (and other digital marketing activity) is that you can measure your success very accurately, and normally in real time. So, track how effective your social media is. If a message didn’t engage people, why not? If a message was a success, was this due to the quality of the content or the time of day that it was sent?
Perhaps the most important part! You should include metrics which are reflective of your business. Don’t be tempted to just measure the number of Twitter followers, understand what impact the size of the audience has on your communications. Beware of vanity measures – if it’s not going to contribute towards your business success, you don’t want to keep doing it!
That should be enough to get you started and to introduce some strategy into a communications channel which can seem very tactical and short-term.
Do you have any tips for social media strategy? Leave a comment and let me know!