The-Definitive-Guide-to-Social-Media-Strategy-full
By now, almost every business has some forms of social media presence. Social media is about the convergence of communication and information. It can be a very powerful tool if implemented correctly.

Social media is a critical component of digital marketing. According to a recent survey below, 46% of respondents plan to increase spend on social media for 2014.

StrongView-2014-Marketing-Spend-Plans-by-Program-Dec2013

Different businesses use social media for different purposes ranging from customer service, PR, lead generation, sales, establish authority influence to recruiting. When you start building your social media presence, it is important to identify clear objectives, customers, what to share and the person responsible for it.

Ask yourself the following questions:

Objective:

  1. What is the reason for your social media strategy?
  2. Establish clearly defined KPI to measure return in investment (ROI).
  3. Ensure the objectives are aligned with your corporate / business /marketing strategy.

 

Customer:

  1. Who is your Target Market/Customer?1. Detailed demographics & psychographics
  2. Who among them use social media?
  3. How do they use social media?

 

What to Share:

  1. What are you going to share with your Target Market? Examples could be webinars, newsletters, photos, stories, news, industry practices and tips.

 

Who is Responsible:

  1. It is important to decide who will implement the strategy on your behalf; it could be an agency or in-house. Social Media presence is a reflection of the brand and therefore who implements it is a key decision.

When you have clear answers to the above questions, you are ready to implement your social media strategy. Social media is a universal tool can be accessed by businesses of any size. For small businesses, it can become an important instrument to reach hundreds, thousands even millions of potential customers that would otherwise be unreachable through traditional media. For large corporates, social media is a perfect channel to reach individual customers and interact with them without any barriers.

 

Here are some examples of objectives:

Increase Sales

  1. Develop new business for new clients or new products
  2. Improve customer retention rate and increase sales to current clients
  3. Increase brand awareness in the market

Decrease Expenses

  1. Recruit new employees or add to your talent pipeline
  2. Create and manage a customer-related social media channel: if your customers are using social media and asking questions or requesting support through tweets.

Identifying the Target Market

  1. Survey for current clients and ask for demographic information in exchange for something of value to them.
  2. Manually research information
  3. Demographic information from Analytics Programs
  4. Analyze demographics of current social media followers (yours and your competitors)

Factors to consider:

Gender / Age / Languages Spoken / Location / Education / Profession / Interests related and not related to your product / Media Consumed / Social Media Channels they are most active on.

 

Auditing: Before deciding on specific content for your social media channels, it is important to do an overall auditing of your existing digital properties and social media channels.

 

Examples: Website, newsletters, events, ppc ads and traditional media advertising executions: include icons, urls or hashtags.

You would also need to compare everything you have with your competition to establish baseline metrics. Things like customer base, market share, website rank (Alexa.com) and the reach of social media.

 

Frequency: How often are you posting on each social media channel? Schedule your posts on when your audience are online. There are many tools out there that can help you see when your followers / audiences are online. Followerwonk is my favorite tool to see when my followers are online so I can plan my posts accordingly on each social media channel.
Voice: the tone of conversations on social media should be consistent across all channels/platforms. You could modify the tone for a more general acceptance by a broader range of the demographic or modify it to narrow the range. It all depends on who your audience is, and their expectations.

 

Engagement: What is the interaction between your social media posts and your followers?
Metrics: identity metrics that are important to your business. What is your ultimate goal? Then identify assist metrics that help reach that goal. For example, on the blog, it could be how many comments, how many social shares per post. For facebook, it could be how many people are talking about this. For twitter, it could be how many @mentions is your branding receiving…etc

 

Content Strategy: Content Strategy should incorporate both Unique and Curated and shared with different frequencies, in different ways on different platforms.

 

Goal: Become a channel that your targeted demographic group tunes in when engaging in social media. To find information important to them!

Sharing Only Relevant Information in a meaningful and engaging way helps:

  1. Establish further credibility and positive goodwill.
  2. Become a brand that is truly in synch with the consumer.
  3. Gain new website visits to build awareness.
  4. Promote dialogue with social media users.

Types of Content To Share:

  1. New product(s) / Campaign / Service Information
  2. New events or highlights from recent reviews
  3. Original blog post entries, which are targeted articles based on a category and/or keyword strategy
  4. YouTube videos from your channel customers or events or original creations by your company
  5. Photos of latest products, customers, events
  6. Conversations from other social media channels, answers to questions, surveys, survey results.
  7. Engagement questions or quotes
  8. Crowdsourcing content from customers, guest bloggers, photos, videos
  9. Third-party information relevant to customers. This is great for building thought leadership

Building Your Content Strategy starts with organizing your subject matter into Four Categories. You can have more. Ideally, four is a good number to start with and manage.

Rationalize content creation, curation, sharing. Use the rationalization process to create an editorial calendar.

Social media is a very powerful tool for any business seeking to reach their existing and potential customers.

It is important to treat it as an important and strategic component of your marketing and corporate strategy.

 

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