Now an essential business component, social media has moved well beyond a marketing curiosity. Business owners and C-level executives need to develop a viable social media strategy to stay competitive.
It is far too easy to fall in love with the latest social media platform, and trying to get “hits” or followers after doing so can be a frustrating waste of time. A good social media strategy goes beyond specific social outlets.
Here are a few questions you should ask yourself while implementing one:
What do you want to accomplish?
Why are you engaging in social media? Do you want to build brand awareness, make more sales, or increase customer loyalty? Not knowing your own intentions may result in an uninteresting digital voice that falls flat of any purpose.
How will you measure results?
In other words, what means success to you? The answer may be as simple as a correlation between your sales and number of followers. Answering this may also lead you to useful automation and tracking tools, like HootSuite or HubSpot.
Who is your audience?
If you’re going fishing, it’s nice to know where the fish are! Knowing who your audience is will not only help you to focus your message, but also determine what social media platforms you will use. Demographic and psychographic research may teach you that your favorite CEOs don’t care about cat pictures or Twitter, but spend the majority of their time making videos on Vine and Snapchatting their friend.
Who is your brand?
Seriously, who are they exactly? This is an exercise in humanizing your company and encouraging genuine engagement (a relationship) with consumers. Social media guru, Gary Vaynerchuk, likes to talk about the humanization of logos. He believes that consumers have a natural tendency to engage with brands the same way that they engage with friends. If you don’t give your brand a personality, however, it becomes nothing more than an advertisement.
Consumers are conditioned to ignore traditional advertising. They record TV shows and fast forward through commercials. They trash email not sent from someone they know. Social media can help you cut through all the noise and get a consumer’s attention, but it means doing more than treating your Twitter feed like a broadcast medium.
Once you have an answer to each of these questions, your path to success will be clear and easy, no matter the social media being used.