If your business is on social media, then you need a great strategy and foundation for creating impactful connections with your audience.
A great social media strategy can make or break your brand online, acting as a playbook for you to be able to really niche down on what type of content is going to make the biggest impact with the audience that you are trying to influence. This isn’t just about knowing your audience, although that is a very important part of it— but it is really about understanding how your business is going to stand out and what you’re going to stand for.
BONUS: To give you a solid starting ground, we created a free template for you to build your own social media strategy.
Read on for the 6 components every social media strategy needs, and check out our recorded webinar below on the topic.
The outline for a really great social media strategy all starts with determining a solid purpose. We always want to start with your“why” to give you the clearest direction. Ask yourself these questions:
What is my purpose as a company? Am I here to provide a service to an underserved community? Am I offering a product that is superior to others on the market, whether that is in quality or in price? Am I here to make a positive impact by bringing joy into consumers lives in a very stressful world?
Why am I on social media? What is my brand bringing to the table? I always like to think of being on social media as bringing value to your audience. What value add are you bringing to your audiences’ newsfeed that they are going to care about?
How is this medium going to help me achieve my goals?
It’s really important to have a clear understanding of what success looks like, specifically for your business. Not all social media goals are created equal for every business, so it is really important to understand how social media plays into your overall marketing efforts, and really set your expectations of what social media is going to bring to the table.
As you can see above, you have your marketing goals (awareness, engagement, etc.) and then you have the social KPIs that are going to correlate with each of those goals. If your business is really looking to own share of voice among your competition, then volume of mentions and sentiment of mentions are going to be a much more impactful and important KPI for you to measure as opposed to followers or likes on a post. However, if you are looking to maintain top of mind awareness and grow your brand presence, then reach and impressions are going to be the KPI‘s that are going to help you measure success.
Take some time to think about what your marketing objectives are and how social media fits into that to determine which KPIs are going to make the biggest impact for you.
Do you know who your ideal customer is? Bring them to life with personas. These profiles are important because they help you personalize exactly who you are trying to talk to. Of course, there are thousands of variations or people, and no two audience members are the same. But there are going to be similarities, especially when it comes to interests frustrations and motivations.
When you think about why a consumer is going to try a new product or try a new service, it usually has to do with a frustration that is forcing them to move forward, or a motivation that is pulling them forward. And the best mix is going to be when there’s a combination of both, along with an interest your audience has in what you have to offer. All-in-all, this information helps you get clear on how to communicate most effectively with your audience through your social content.
Next up, you’ll need to get clear on your brand voice and tone. Your voice is your personality. Your tone is your mood. An example of this is if you call your sister, and then your doctor’s office. your personality doesn’t change, but your tone and how you are speaking to those two people are going to be very different. Tone is more about the difference that you are going to be speaking on the different platforms. For example, LinkedIn is a much more professional, B2B (business to business) space, where Twitter is more of a casual conversation platform.
Take a look at this chart and select five of the characteristics that describe your brand voice. What are the traits and adjectives that you would use to describe your business?
Then you need to identify your brand tone. Take a look at tonalities on opposite spectrums, and pick one to two tones per platform that you are on.
An example of this is if you are more funny and casual on Twitter but you are more straightforward and informal on Instagram— even though your personality isn’t going to change, your tone will vary.
The reason that we have different tones by platform is because we are connecting with people at different times of their day. We know that someone on Twitter is aimlessly scrolling through their feed and trying to catch up on the most recent information as quickly as possible, where we know that on Instagram it’s a little slower people are reading captions they are looking at visuals, but they are also aren’t likely to be listening to their audio. These behavioral differences are really where tone makes the biggest difference, because it meets people at the mood that they’re at and expecting to be at on the platform.
Content mix is your custom topic blend for your specific business. This is where working with a social media strategist (like Social HQ!) can help elevate and refine your focus.
To start, consider your value— what do you have to offer, whether that is services or industry news, or advice, or motivation?
Then consider your audience— what does your audience care about? Are they more interested in finding an escape of their day and be entertained? Or are they on a health journey and they’re looking for resources and motivation? Think back to your personas and what their interests, motivations and frustrations are in order to help guide you.
With that information, choose your mix of 5 to 7 content categories that you will revolve your content around. These content categories should be broad enough where you can create multiple pieces of content within them, but niche enough where it really defines what content you and your brand will be known for.
Have you ever had a favorite brand on social media that you follow, and you love them because you know that you’re going to be inspired? Or that you’re going to walk away with really good tangible tips? That comes from a solid strategy that they have created in order to be known for those types of content, something that your brand can also practice with your audience and your content mix.
Platforms are one of the last things that I look at for brands and clients because it is imperative to know your brand and audience well before deciding which platforms make the most sense for them. Here is a little bit deeper of a dive into what the audience of each platform entails:
These are just some of the different platforms that you can choose from if you are just getting started. Consider 1 to 2 platforms that are going to make the most sense considering your audience persona, content mix, purpose, goals, and voice and tone.
If you are already active on social media, use this data to make sure that you are on the right platform, and consider adding any other platforms that you would like to test out and build an audience on.
Now with all this information, what do you do with a strategy?
Use this play book to guide your content creation throughout the year.
Set your metric goals and benchmark metrics.
Work on fostering your relationships with your audience online on the platforms that you have selected, using the content mix that you know is going to make an impact.
I recommend reviewing your strategy regularly, and updating it as needed each quarter. It’s important to go live and adjust along the way as needed by new information, products or services that you’re offering. This initial strategy and layout should give you the tools that you need to be effective and move forward in your business.
What platform mix are you considering for your business? Let us know in the comments below, or shoot us a message if you’ ever need any help with building out your businesses’ strategy.
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I’m passionate about creating a space on the internet for brands to drive positive change for their audience. Whether it’s providing entertainment, education, or inspiration, I believe that brands have an obligation to their customers to invest socially in the loyalty that they seek from their buyers. And like any good relationship, it’s a two-way street.
That’s what I love about social. I mean, when’s the last time a billboard responded to your question?