Understand your message and audience
All social media strategies can be broken down into 3 phases; planning, delivery and analysis/measurement. Although it can be tempting to get carried away with all of the social tools that are out there, try not to use tools for the sake of it.
The best tool for the planning phase is your brain and pen and paper. Define who your audience is, how and where you are going to communicate with them, and what the message you’re trying to interest them with is. It sounds basic, but still a large number of companies jump into social media without having those basic questions answered first.
We would highly recommend putting the time in to research your audiences, create audience personas and understand their interests, their purchase paths, triggers and pinch points.
Produce a content planner
Before selecting the delivery tools for your social media strategy, it is important to create a robust but fluid content planner and scheduler with content themes, dates and overlay with your audiences. This is the backbone to your success as you can plan assets to be created ahead of time.
Use tools like Feedly and Buzzsumo to add to this plan by constantly researching up-to-date topical content that will resonate with your audiences.
As content is the hardest, most time consuming aspect of your social activity, I would recommend that you always try and save interesting and relevant content on the go by bookmarking sites and articles when you come across them. Use these as inspiration to create your own content in order to stay current.
Use Evernote to store straight from the browser and add notes on why that content was relevant and to what audience.
Test the tools
It should only be at this stage, when your audiences, key messages and social content plans are in place, that you should then test the tools to find what works for you.
There are a vast amount of tools out there, and there is generally not a ‘one size fits all’ rule – what works for one company might not work for yours. Equally, what works for one social channel may not be the best for another.
It is therefore important to remember the purpose that each tool is serving so as to not get lost in the tools and the visualisation of information and real time mentions.
When it comes to social media delivery, some tools that you may wish to consider to make the process easier are:
- Meet Edgar
If you have a need for social customer service community management with a high volume of queries and a large in house team, then an investment in a heavy weight community management tool may be needed, like Conversocial.
Social strategy dos and don’ts
Don’t push the sales messages – social media shouldn’t be used purely as a platform to advertise.
Do have a budget in place for boosted and sponsored posts, and ensure you have target audiences set up within social media tools so that the right message is being consumed by the right audience at the right time.
Don’t be fooled by thinking you have to create a new brand personality for your social presence! Be led by your audience and be true to your core brand values.
Do empower your social media community manager with information and the power to resolve issues.
Don’t have a blanket approach to content across your social channels. Understand where your audience is and how they use and behave on each channel so that you can tailor your content accordingly.
Don’t post for posting’s sake. If you don’t have anything to say, save it for when you have quality content to post.
And perhaps most importantly, do make sure that you are measuring and marking up performance of your social media strategy to see what’s working and what needs adapting. Don’t be scared to make changes!
So that all sounds well and good but you need help in kick-starting your social strategy? Or perhaps you’ve implemented a strategy but it’s not achieving the results you desired? That’s where the Provoke team can help; don’t hesitate to get in touch!