Let's Talk Social Strategy

December 29th, 2016

Sarah Hechler

Social Media Manager

 

If you went fishing, would you blindly cast a line into any type of water without bait? Probably not… and you should treat social media like any other form of marketing for your business. Sadly, that is exactly what many companies miss the target on… investing in social media. You need to invest the time, the money and the effort behind a strong digital presence if you want your business to stay current and not get left behind. Did you know? Worldwide, there are over 1.79 billion monthly active Facebook users which is a 16% increase over last year. That is a lot of impressions out there waiting to be captured and turned into loyal customers, and you need strategy behind how you will tame the beast.

 

Define your brand

This may seem like a “no brainer” step but it is often overlooked by companies or social media managers. Not only does this build a compelling experience for your consumers, but you will drive customer loyalty. The first step for most objectives is collecting data… you need to get to know yourself and your brand. What is your main focus? Target audience? Primary product? Once you construct your brand’s blueprints, you can start to build the foundation. Here at Paradigm, our team has worked alongside many brands to design the very blueprints their brands are grown from, and we are more than happy to help you complete this critical step – the right way.

 

Create your voice

This step goes hand in hand with defining your brand. You need a voice, and often it helps to find a unique voice in todays dominated digital world. What kind of tone do you see your brand having? Is it conversational? Is it sarcastic? Is it going to vary depending on which platform you are posting? These are all questions you need to sit down and proactively construct a plan for, or you will be subject to appearing un-authentic or “fake”.

 

Choose your tools

I am a very large advocate for utilizing everything Social Media has to offer. However, I understand some brands have their limitations and certain tools may not prove effective but instead, waste company time. For example, an insurance company may utilize Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Google+ for their main platforms, while eliminating Instagram. However, a retail store would be putting themselves at a disadvantage if they did not use Instagram. I will leave you with one statistic while you choose your tools, “95% of Millennials expect brands to have a Facebook presence. 87% of Gen X’ers and 70% of ages 45-60 thinks brands should as well.” Once you have defined your brand and created your voice, you will know which platforms you want to engage with your customers on.

 

Get to know your audience

Before you start to develop content for your plan you need to figure out who you are targeting. This will dictate how you write your message and the way in which you deliver it. What age group are your consumers? Are they local or national? Does a certain gender score a higher percentage amongst your consumers? All these questions, and more can help you define your market and are crucial before you start pushing content to them.

 

Create content

Great, you have your blueprints, you’ve built your foundation, and you’ve dissected the tools and the audience you want to reach… now how do you go about creating quality content? If you are a small business, this may be a difficult step because you have to set aside either time to do it yourself or money to have an employee develop, all while never diverting from your brand’s foundation. Often times this is the first step for brands to dismiss or they don’t harness its importance. However, you will notice a remarkable difference in engagement when looking at a brand that has no focus on quality content, and one that does. This is another step where Paradigm can assist you with high quality product photos, videos, campaigns & more to set your brand apart and in the direction it needs.

 

 

Build a plan

So now you have completed a good framework for how you will handle your Social Media platforms, now it is time to sit down and build a plan. The best way to structure this plan is to construct a calendar for the entire year (events, sales, new product releases, holidays, etc.) and then focus on the details for the upcoming month. Once you have this erected, know that there is still a strong possibility of alteration to the plan. Especially with instances you can’t predict and need to address. So just know this, your plan is important to establish… but will remain fluid.

 

Implement

This goes without saying. Once you have worked so hard to develop a plan, you need to implement it. Whether that requires you to hire a Marketing agency or assign an internal employee the responsibilities to get it done, you need to invest (see I said it again!). This includes monthly scheduling, daily monitoring and a month end review. Which leads me into the next step.

 

Analyze

What good is a strategy if you don’t evaluate its success? Each Social Media platform has its own analytics tool available to you at any time. Whether you want to access each week, month or compare to prior years. Details on your audience, posting times, reach and engagement will help you discover whether you need to make alterations to your plan, add to it, or change it. This portion is often the most exciting for Social Media managers, because we get detailed information regarding who is interested in your content and your brand.

 

Re-evaluate

Your analytics will vary each month, and if they decrease that does not necessarily mean a bad thing. Analytics fluctuate, depending on what events you had going on that month, how much you spent on Facebook advertising and many more factors. You will want to monitor for extreme drops, or campaigns that failed to generate at least your average amount of impressions/engagement. Facebook is the greatest tool for analytics because they provide great details, but the three most important numbers to look at are, overall impressions, followers and post engagement.

Your blueprints are drawn, your foundation is built and the first floor is starting to form. What do you do now? Execute your plan and repeat steps #5-9, while keeping in mind Social Media is always changing and growing. What may be a silly social network for college kids can turn into a multi-billion dollar company that receives one in five page views in the United States. It is important to constantly research, and educate yourself on the new algorithms and trends hitting the socially digital world. And once you have a defined plan in place, it will be easier to manipulate as these changes occur and continue to build.

If you think you are in over your head, don’t hesitate to give us a call here at Paradigm Marketing & Creative. Our team excels at developing creative strategies for all of our clients, big or small and will be happy to assist you. Contact us today.