With so much focus on building effective social media strategy, the idea of actually being social is getting lost. It is essential that your strategy focuses on “being” social rather than “doing” social media. Potential clients and customers will notice a difference in a company that works at engaging them over simply providing content.
The process of building an effective social media strategy can be broken down into eight fundamental steps:
Create a Social Media Team
Listen to your Audience and Competitors
Narrow your Focus
Analyze your Target Market
Humanize your Brand
Choose your Platforms
Your company’s social media strategy should be embraced and managed by a team in your organization. Since social affects all segments of your business and brand, it makes good sense to involve many of your employees in the process of building and maintaining a successful social media campaign.
Make sure to listen to what your audience needs and wants, and compare what venues and methods your competitors are using for their social media strategies. A lot can be learned by listening and in this age of social media the art of listening can’t be left to the wayside. Paying attention to your target market will broaden your scope, allowing you to provide them with relevant content, and enhance your reach.
Rather than using social media to achieve all of your business goals, narrow your focus to one or two measurable goals to strive for. Are you looking to inspire brand loyalty? Are you looking to gain qualified leads? Determine your focus and build your content around it.
By setting measurable goals, you can develop a set of metrics that will determine the success or weakness in your social media efforts. If you set a target number of followers for example, you can measure your progress in given time periods. Find ways to measure your return on investment in your social media marketing work.
Analyze and define your target market by studying their demographics, buying habits and social media activity. Learn who will be your best potential clients and customers and understand what they need or want.
What is the one characteristic of your company that will inspire passion? Passion is not inspired by a product or service, nor their features and benefits. Passion is inspired by reaching the heart of your audience. Think of Disney and their theme of “magic.” Find what will evoke a passionate response in your target audience.
In order to engage your audience you must develop a strategy to humanize your brand. In order to be successful your brand must create an emotional response in your audience and this will not happen if you stick to a strict corporate identity. How can you humanize your brand so your audience will engage?
Once you have completed the previous seven steps, you will have a clearly defined plan for your social media goals and a plan for content. Now you should select which platforms you will use to deliver your message and engage your audience. As you go through the various channels, ask yourself if they are the right places for your audience to find you, and will they deliver on the goals you have set. Narrow down your choices so you will maximize your reach yet be able to maintain them effectively.
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