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 only if a well-thought-out strategy is in place.
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. You need to have SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely) objectives in place to establish exactly what you want to achieve from being on Social Media.
An audit of your current activity is a really useful exercise (or at this stage, you need to create new profiles if you’re starting from scratch). 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. What are your competitors getting right or wrong? What conversations are taking place on the competitor networks? Refer to your online personas to ensure your networks are attracting your target audience. Are the chosen networks appropriate for your identified audiences? Are you focusing your efforts in the right places? Do your customer’s needs, wants and interests adjust on different networks?
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, who is managing the social pages, needs 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 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 your other digital communications, we can help with that too.
Tidal provided us with a clearly defined strategy for our new service that has guided the market launch and continues to be used across the business. They helped us define our tone of voice and key messaging for different stages of the buyer journey, which we are now using to help shape our marketing communications going forward.
Laura Warren, Digital Marketing Manager, MyLondonHome