3 Must Have Elements of Every Social Media Strategy
Social media marketers are faced with a lot of resources these days, and must focus in order to be able to succeed. For the strategists who work with marketers, the primary task is to be able to pick and choose what is important to the business and what activities will net the most return on investment.
In this post we’ll look at the three most important elements for a social media strategy and explore the finer points of each pillar. We anticipate that such an approach with simplicity will decrease the overwhelm and increase the possibilities for productivity.
The core of a social media strategy lies in content. Content is what gets customers through the front door and interested in a business, and gives customers a chance to engage with them as well. With so much traffic on social media sites, it’s also important to be able to capture the attention of a customer through content, whether it is creating inspirational videos, uploading interesting photos, or writing intriguing status updates. Content also helps the business leave their mark on the Internet and guides passive searchers to their website or social media channels as well.
Before creating the content out right, it’s important to create a content calendar. Because social media can be chaotic, a content calendar can make time for seasonal and holiday preparations. Good content calendars can be created using word processing or spreadsheet software.
There are several ways to execute upon content, and these can all be done interchangeably. Let’s explore:
- Active Campaign – An active campaign is one that seeks to build upon something that the business is doing at the current time. This content tends to be timely and also anticipates the opportunity to build upon a revenue or sales goal. Often times active campaigns include posting multiple times a day with clear calls to action for engagement.
- Drip Content Campaign – A drip campaign is more under the radar but exists to keep the business in touch with their audience. A drip campaign like an active campaign posts everyday as well but is more focused on the message.
- Evergreen Content Campaign – Evergreen content is content that remains relevant despite the test of time. Posting evergreen content is a great reminder for the audience what a business does.
Once the business understands what type of content there is to place on their social media site, they can also use the right types of tools to execute. Great tools include platforms like HootSuite, BundlePost, and Buffer.
The second aspect of a social media strategy is engagement. Engagement is interaction with customers through social media channels and can be used in both sales and customer service roles. Since social media moves very quickly, it’s important that an engagement strategy involves quick (and thoughtful) replies so that prospective customers and current customers can see how good the business is at in getting back to people.
Social media engagement can be handled in several platforms as well where content is handled. HootSuite and Sprout Social are several of the same software platforms that can be used to keep in touch with customers.
Let’s look at some examples of engagement:
An aspect of engagement (and content) that is becoming more popular is social media advertising. As organic reach declines to near zero levels on Facebook more and more brands and businesses are opting to create ads to reach audiences. Advertising is one of the best ways to reach audiences because the demographic power is better than ever, allowing for very detailed targeting of audiences.
Twitter chats are a great way to reach the audience, creating content as well as a trending topic if the chat becomes popular enough. This is a great way to directly engage with an audience.
Webinars and Google Hangouts
Another popular way of reaching an audience is hosting a webinar or a Google Hangout on Air. With so many free webcasting tools, all a business needs is a laptop or phone and they can go from there. Webinars can also be archived for later and used as evergreen content.
Analytics and Metrics
The final area is analytics and metrics. Over the past few years, data gathering has become a big part of social media strategies and is also becoming critical to measuring social media effectiveness. As social media becomes more measurable due to advertising, it in turn also holds the entire team accountable since the marketing funnel can be measured on all levels. Likes, comments, and shares, which used to be the base of many social media measurements are no longer the default.
Let’s look at some examples of analytics and metrics:
One of the earliest types of analytics and measurement was influence, led by companies like Klout and Kred, which assigned a number to a brand that signified influence based on how much they posted and had engagement as a result. While the main measurement of social media success ought to be the profit and loss at the end of the day, influence was a great way to have fun with social media. Klout even gives (and continues to give) perks from brands to end users for being influential.
Built-in insights right in the platform offer a great way to find out your company’s analytics as well. These include things like Facebook Insights and Twitter Insights which show everything from base social media growth to clicks and shares on content. Insights can be downloaded for deeper analyzing and understanding how social media activities have been impactful.
One of the best (but sadly also most expensive) ways to find out analytics and metrics is doing competitive analysis. For businesses with a bit more money, tools like Radian 6 offer the opportunity to really look into the conversation and see what is impactful. For smaller businesses, tracking hashtags and competitors is one of the best methods of approach.
Crafting a well built social media strategy is difficult, but with time, effort, energy, and creativity any company can create one that is effective and reaches the best audience possible. These are our three major elements – if you’ve got any more, share yours below in the comments
Image attribution: Lead image: Multiple sources/Origin unknown