A social media strategy, which should always be aligned to the business objectives, forms the basis to plan, prioritise, execute, measure and optimise all social communications.
Social Media is now an essential channel to engage with your customers. As a minimum, it helps to shape your brand position, encourage a two-way dialogue and gauge customer satisfaction. Done really well, Social Media can build loyalty, provide international reach, drive web traffic, support SEO efforts, generate leads, gain customer insights, help with product development, provide a platform for thought-leadership and PR, and help to attract talent to your business. But to get this right, you'll need a well-thought-out strategy.
Joining the conversation on Social Media is no longer an option - your customers expect to see you there. And what you say, how you say it, who you say it to, and where you say it, will all directly impact your brand’s exposure and reputation.
To get a Social Media Strategy right, you’ll need a thorough understanding of the business vision to determine how social communications will support the business goals. You’ll also need to ensure the strategy works cohesively with the overall communications strategy, but more specifically the goals of the content strategy, SEO strategy, and PR Plan. And SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely) objectives should be in place to establish exactly what you want to achieve from being on Social Media.
If you're already dabbling with social media, then an audit of your current activity, before creating the strategy, is a really useful exercise. What’s currently working, or not working? Is there anything else you can do to optimise your current pages? Do you have control of all your pages? It’s useful to profile the current community surrounding each of the networks and evaluate the sentiment of their engagement.
Also look at what your competitors are getting right or wrong? What conversations are taking place on the competitor networks? What topics are creating a reaction?
Are your preferred networks appropriate for your identified audiences? Assuming you have created audience personas, you should always refer back to these to ensure you're focusing your efforts in the right places. And you should consider if your customers' needs, wants and interests adjust on different networks.
Now you have established the above, you're ready to start writing your strategy.
This is the fun part. Now that you have a strategy in place, you can be assured that all posts published on social media have a purpose. Anyone within the business (or third party agencies), who is managing the social pages, need to fully understand the social media strategy – they should also understand how it will support the SEO and Content Strategies and be aware of the keyword focus. Even more importantly, they should be completely versed in the company’s ‘tone of voice’ and have an understanding of how to balance the company tone with the need for including the identified ‘search terms’.
You’ll need to plan how to gather and create relevant and interesting content and produce a schedule, which should be flexible to allow for timely content. You’ll also need to decide, proportionately, how much content promotes your business vs. how much responds to the audience’s needs (i.e. inform, educate, entertain etc).
To measure the results of your social media activity, you’ll need to use social media analytics, either within each network individually, or via a third-party (at an additional cost) to track activity, growth and success. Listening tools are also a really useful way to understand your customer’s activity and sentiment. Google Analytics will help you to understand how much traffic is being referred to your website via social media networks and what content is successfully converting into revenue. Most importantly, you’ll need to regularly revisit the social media strategy to reflect insights and learnings.
Social Media is no longer treated as an after-thought for successful brands. It is now being embraced and executed with purpose. We help businesses to create successful social media strategies so they can convert social media content into actual results. We will work with you to understand your business and communications goals and turn this into a meaningful strategy that can be embraced and utilised by you and your team, according to the resources you have available. And if you need support to create personas, identify your keywords and provide guidance on how the social media strategy will support other digital communications, we can help with that too.
Tidal Marketing joined us when we were looking to grow our marketing and build our brand. With an existing, deep knowledge of the property market they were able to quickly add value and did a fantastic job of putting the foundations of our brand and marketing strategies in place.
Jon Notley, Co-Founder & CEO, Zero Deposit