Tips for developing a social media strategy
Many people and organisations will kick off social media activity without a clear vision of what they hope to achieve, this typically generates mediocre results. Social media needs to be approached in the same way as all other communication methods.
Follow these five steps to create your social media strategy:
1. Do your research
Do a SWOT analysis against the core business functions social media offers to identify your strengths and weaknesses online and the opportunities and threats social media activity presents for you.
Carry out a competitor analysis to consider how well your counterparts are doing online and identify what type of content audiences are responding to.
2. Fish where the fish are
The biggest mistake people make is to create a profile/page on social media just because other organisations are. Before you start you need to carry out an audit to discover which platform the audience you want to talk to are most active on.
Facebook may be the biggest social media platform but it doesn’t mean it is the most appropriate for you. For example if you want to engage with SMEs LinkedIn might be more effective.
You then need to identify the most influential players in your sector and consider how your audience consumes content and behaves online.
3. Be SMART about it
Make sure you develop online objectives that are SMART!
Your overall objectives will inform what you do in terms of:
- Who you want to connect with
- What content you share
- How you interact with people
- How often you need to interact with people
- How you want to influence people to act
4. Content is King, Engagement is Queen
Develop a social media policy to ensure brand consistency in terms of the language used, tone of voice as well as the type of content you share.
Content should vary according to the channels you are using and delivering content relevant to the audience using that platform. Don’t broadcast everything to everyone.
Use a content calendar to help manage relevant content, drive deadline dates, schedule resources and avoid clashes.
Remember social media is about telling a story and it is your opportunity to develop brand ambassadors to share it with their wider online community.
5. Revisit and Revise
Measurement is important. If you don’t measure against counterparts, you’re not measuring within your market. If you don’t measure against your objectives, you don’t know what success looks like.
The beauty of social media is that if things are not working and you are not getting the results you expected you can change your tactic and revise your approach. So be brave and test things out!