By Will Hockin,
In part one of this guide, we looked at how to get your social strategy started. Beginning with setting some SMART goals and giving your actions on social media a purpose. Then moving on to social media audits and finding your perfect audience. Now we’re going to look at how you build a strategy for those points.
Now we know what targets we’re aiming for, we need to figure our what our ammunition is and how we’re going to deploy it. Keep reading and find out how to get your social strategy up and running!
A Competitive Social Analysis
A social media focused competitor analysis will be incredibly useful for your strategy. This will help you to identify what the current market looks like, who the big players are, what they’re doing well and what they’re missing.
There’s no point in just ripping off the best accounts (you’ll get found out pretty quickly) but having a look at what sort of content and posting style works well for them can be a good start for you. And if there are any glaring gaps in their strategy, then that’s perfect for you to exploit.
Blindly imitating Innocent Drinks, for example, won't get you anywhere, but you should definitely learn from them. Your social media feeds (regardless of the platform) shouldn’t just be relentless marketing messaging. Show off your brand’s personality, include some humour if it’s appropriate. Social media is about people interacting, so do some of that!
Make Sure You’re Listening
Social Listening – what is it? Basically you’re monitoring social media channels for mentions of your brand, your competitors, your product or any other related terms. What you’re looking for here is what people are saying about you and what they’re talking about.
Why does it matter? Well, first off it’s a fantastic piece of market research that will help you to position your brand online. Secondly, its one of the most important factors in forming your content strategy and deciding what to post.
If your social listening helps you clock on to some recurring pain points that customers in your industry are having, then you’ve got your first content idea. Address that pain point. Targeted and specific content that responds to the needs of your audience will give you huge bumps in effectiveness.
Building Your Content Strategy
So now you’ve figured out what your social media goals are, what your current situation is, where your target audience is and what they’re talking about, as well as what your competitors are doing, you’re ready to think about your content strategy.
All of the previous points we have touched upon will influence this in some way. Once you know who you’re posting for, you’ll know better what content you need. If you’re a B2B business operating primarily on LinkedIn a blog, or whitepaper may be more appropriate, and if you’re a B2C business whose target demographic is teenagers then Instagram video would be ideal.
Your content strategy is very much horses for courses. However, when you’re thinking about your content, you’d be silly to ignore the power of video in the current market. A whopping 90% of online shoppers said video influenced their purchasing decision. That’s a lot of potential customers.
Get Your Timings Right
Posting when your target audience is active is absolutely critical to your work on social media. Most people’s feeds are so busy these days that it can be incredibly difficult to get noticed, get your timings wrong and your posts are likely to get buried underneath memes and videos of Gordon Ramsay.
Each social media platform will give you insights on when your audience is most active, as well as when your posts are most effective – so make sure you’re paying attention. There’s been plenty written about the best times of day to post for which platform, such as lunchtime posts midweek for Instagram, so that’s a great place to start.
It’s also worth bearing in mind here when you or your team will be available to respond to any queries. If you’re putting a post out in the evening that is designed to draw comments and engagement, then will there be somebody in the office to respond? Social media is a place for you to interact with consumers after all.
In Conclusion: Keep Learning
A really thorough social strategy will be a bit of a moveable feast. As you track your progress towards your goals you’ll find some things that are working really well, and others that are dead in the water. Keep monitoring, keep adjusting, and keep learning. Your social strategy should look different 6 months on from when it was first written. The world of social media is incredibly fast moving and you and your strategy need to be too.
Goal setting is the perfect place to start – and everything you plan or do from that point on should be helping you work towards them. Otherwise, what’s the point? Find your audience, find out what they want, then figure out how and when to give it to them. That may be oversimplifying a tad, but there’s nothing overly complex here, just a bit of research and creative thinking!
Don’t expect that you’ll get it all right on the first try either – this is a learning process as much as it is a business need. There is only so much that best practises can tell you about what, when and where you should be posting as your audience will be unique to you. Hopefully this guide will help – best of luck!If you’d like some help sorting your social media strategy out, why not get in touch with our expert team? They’d be happy to help. Give us a call on 0333 335 0425.