With nearly 3 billion people on social media, social presence is necessary for just about any organization in any industry, looking to promote brand visibility and foster engagement. Creating a social media strategy for your company can seem overwhelming, but there’s good news ahead! While every social media plan is unique based on target audience, each will always include four fundamental components. Consider these when developing a strategy, and you’ll be well on your way to building a strong social presence.
Do Your Research
Social media changes almost daily. Whether it’s an app update, new hashtags or a new application entirely, it’s essential to stay on top of social media to get the most out of it for your business. Before you even think about content, research the capabilities of each social media platform and how users on each platform consume messages. This will aid in developing creative content, targeted at the specific audience you’re trying to reach. Even once you’ve devised a successful social media strategy, continue to monitor daily trends. Stay up-to-date on trending hashtags and news to identify opportunities to jump in the conversation and gain visibility. An excellent way to do this is through newsjacking.
Now that you’ve done your research, use it to tailor content to each social media channel. Not only should the copy of your messages vary at least slightly, but the format of your messages should be specific to each platform you use. Platforms like Instagram and YouTube are meant to appeal to audiences visually, so the focus on message creation here should be centered around a great graphic, gif or video. Facebook and Twitter, while also allowing for visual components, are more geared toward word-driven content. Especially as you begin gaining followers across platforms, you’ll want to ensure they aren’t seeing the exact same post on every social media outlet. Variety is the spice of life!
Even after developing and executing a social media plan, the work doesn’t stop there. Constantly monitor your performance to ensure you’re achieving your goals. Invest in social media monitoring and analytics tools like Keyhole or Hootsuite, and use these programs to assess what is and isn’t working. It’s also important to note that tracking followers isn’t the only metric to use when assessing your social media strategy. Track engagement (likes, replies, retweets) with targeted publics as well as impressions (# of times your content is displayed) which measures brand awareness.
Personify Your Accounts
Finally, make sure you give your brand a face and a voice on social media. Don’t get so wrapped up in the technological aspect of your plan, that you forget you’re interacting with real individuals and companies who want to know you. Two things to consider to keep the human element in your social media strategy: personalize your messages and share your company’s culture.
Personalize messages when posting and responding on social media. Take the time to develop your company’s voice, and create messages consistent with how you want to be perceived. Are you quick-witted and friendly? Knowledgeable and helpful? Or something else?
Share your company’s culture by giving followers a glimpse into your work environment. Share images and thoughts from employees and their personal accounts to show possible leads what working with you might look like. Give a face to your posts, so that followers can see where and who your content is coming from.
Whether you’re just beginning to consider a social strategy or you have one already, go through each of these components and make sure they’re in the mix. Social media use is unavoidable in any industry, but further than that, it’s a helpful tool to connect with others and promote your business, so you should want to use it. Use it properly, and to its fullest capabilities, and it will drive your business forward and provide you with opportunities an old phonebook never could.