Remember when everyone thought social media sites were just these newfangled forums that had little-to-no utility for individuals beyond the adolescent and college-age years? Fast-forward more than a decade later and Facebook has more than 1 billion users, Twitter is the go-to source for immediate news updates, and the new kid on the block, Snapchat, has gone public. These sites that were once considered irrelevant to business success have now assumed a place at the very center of the marketing industry.
90% of people aged 18-29 use social media.
Most organizations use social media in some form or another, but not every company operates with a defined social media strategy. This lack of strategy is a sure plan for disaster. Why? Because social media accounts are among your brand’s most visible assets. Having a best practices policy in place will allow you to guide the formulation of your online presence.
How to Develop a Social Media Strategy
Social media plans will differ from company to company. The good news is that there are certain factors and processes that will remain the same during the development of your social strategy.
4 Common Factors in Creating a Social Media Strategy:
1. Choosing the platforms that work for your brand – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
2. Choosing the platforms your audience uses
3. Leveraging internal marketing resources
4. Following brand guidelines
The creation of a social media strategy starts with your company’s “pie in the sky” goals. These are the one you want to reach over the next few months or years. Common goals include:
- Increasing public awareness of your company
- Growing a particular vertical
- Breaking into a new market
- Supporting sales
- Improving customer service
- Boosting revenue
Once these goals are laid out, it’s time to begin assessing how different social media platforms can play a role in the achievement of those goals. These assessments should include careful consideration of the content your company would like to post on each respective platform. Although each platform will be used in pursuit of a common goal, your approach will vary from platform to platform. The best way to track these variations is with an organized content calendar.
A strategy is a plan, or more specifically, a collection of plans. As we all know, the best plans are those that focus on goals. This is especially true when it comes to creating your social media strategy. However, there’s a key concept to keep in mind when you’re building your strategy:
Define your objective with measurable goals.
The Key Ingredients In Your Social Media Strategy
In any given company, social media often exists in a space between sales and marketing. That means businesses aren’t always certain what their social media presence should achieve. This quandary often results in months of tepid social output that does nothing to strengthen your brand, attract new customers or drive revenue. Regardless of whether you use social media for sales, marketing or a mixture of the two, it’s critical to establish measurable objectives for your social media strategy.
Building a social media strategy requires that you ask probing questions into your business, your customers and your goals.
- Which platforms do your ideal customers use?
- Why should your brand be on Facebook?
- How will a content development schedule benefit your revenue stream?
Social media is a product of the technology industry, which makes it inherently susceptible to the rapid changes and shifts of the day. To cope with this ever-shifting landscape your strategy needs to be flexible enough to accommodate change but not so flimsy that it lacks focus.
Keep your brand goals at the center of your social media strategy and you’ll be well on your way to managing a successful, profitable online brand presence.