Have you ever thought about building a significant social media strategy or plan that drives your business or personal brand’s narrative to the next level?
We all hear here and there about the importance of social media.
But how many of us have taken some action on all that social media noise?
The answer might be staggering.
The reason is that a lot of us have been told to do the following things:
- Get on every new social media platform that comes around
- Save your username by registering an account
- Try to spend more time on social media
- Promote your content every day
and, a lot of more of such things.
… I’d rather ignore what’s not right and focus on what could have gone right.
So, in this blog post, I’m going to share a 4-step process of building a social media strategy that helps you start off on the right foot, walks you through the process, and stops you from putting things off along the way.
Here are the four steps to building a social media strategy:
#1 – Spot the Right Faces
Social media is a crowded space. From hip hop artists to car mechanics, everyone is on board. You have to sift through the crowd and pave the way to reach the right people.
It doesn’t happen in a day or two. It’s a process; every process takes time. There is no shortcut to this, but of course, you need to test out strategies, change tactics, and keep moving forward.
In other words, you must have a buyer persona in mind that would lead to identifying the prospective audience. However, social media isn’t about selling the product, but rather about connecting with the people.
Followerwonk is a Twitter analytics tool from Moz. It helps Twitter users explore and grow the audience. ContentStudio does have the content promotion and analytics tools that help social media channels in engagement and growth.
This article also emphasizes on targeting the specific audience. The screenshot is taken from the Entrepreneur.com’s article about the target audience.
The next example shows that it’s extremely important to find out that about the audience in order to create a content vision for a brand.
In order to make this right, you should do the following things:
- Create an Ideal Audience in mind to make sure that you aren’t performing in front of an empty hall. Once you have a market segment to reach out to, it gets easier to strategize and put things into action.
- Find out the problem to solve it. To step on the right foot, you need to begin with solving their problem and providing them with a solution. Otherwise, if you start off with an offer, you’ll find yourself in the very same crowd where everyone is shouting and nobody can understand a thing.
- Prepare yourself to connect and build a relationship. The best way to move forward is connecting and building a relationship with them. It could be through a Facebook ad or writing a niche-based how-to tutorial. It just begins with a small action that you need to take to roll the dice. Put yourself in your prospective client’s shoe and imagine that what’s going wrong with their social media strategy.
The step one covers marking the right audience.
It may not happen in 3 weeks or 2 months.
The more you dig deeper, the more you recognize the opportunity.
If things go right, the very next things you might notice are:
- Increase in the engagement
- The number of followers grows
Once you’ve gone through this basic step; you’ll see an audience in front of you.
#2 – Choose the Best Social Media Platforms
To lay down a solid foundation of your social media strategy, you must opt a select number of social media platforms. Of course, you can’t be on a dozen social networks just because they exist. This is one of the biggest misconceptions among the social media users, especially who are new and trying the crush it.
Before you choose the social media platforms, take a look at these tips:
- Choose a social media platform according to your business type
- Find out where your prospective audience exists
- Take a look at the competitors’ social media (that where they hang out)
- Look at the content-form your audience may like to consume such as video, audio, or visuals
- Don’t overlook your strengths and skills, for example, if you’re good at videos, use YouTube
- Just opt two or three social media platforms that suit your brand
The team at ContentSparks seems to agree with me on the number of social media platforms to choose.
The ultimate goal isn’t to hop on to a social media network, instead, the purpose should be hanging out somewhere you belong to.
How to Choose it Exactly
If you aren’t sure what social media platform you should get on to, then read the following points, make notes, and then decide later on:
What kind of content would you like to create?
It starts off with your choice and then it comes down to the social media platform. For instance, if you’re good at creating infographics and images, you should be on Pinterest. In fact, if pictures make you happy, then the Instagram is best for you. You can’t win at YouTube if you passionate about Slideshare presentations.
It doesn’t have to be just one. You can choose a couple of platforms that resonate with you. It’s better to go with less number of platforms and stay consistent, though.
Does your audience hang out there?
You’ll find out a lot more once you join the platform, start exploring it, and put out content. There is always a chunk of the audience everywhere that finds your content interesting. Your intuition does have a little bit of role to play in predicting whether your audience exists there or not. Usually, the trends tell you everything that’s going on with the social media.
Does it suit your business?
You have to a 100% sure that you can scale your business using the chosen social media platform. Once you’ve figured out the type of content you can create and where your audience exists, don’t rush to creating content at once; take a moment to think whether or not your content ideas suit your audience. For example, if you’re a musician, you must be looking at YouTube and SoundCloud, instead of LinkedIn and Google+.
Christina DesMarais mentioned some of the recommendations of Corbett Drummey, the CEO of Chicago-based Popular Pays in her article. Take a look at the comparison of how audience normally responds on either platform.
This example does show that choosing the right social platform is crucial to your social media campaign. It points out the difference between Instagram and YouTube. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should completely ignore the YouTube platform. In fact, it gives you the awareness that what to expect when you get there on either platform.
The takeaway is rather simple. Don’t dwell on the past that you haven’t started off before competitors or you have already been late. Instead, take action, choose the right social media platforms, and communicate with people.
#3 – Engage to Deliver Value
Once you’ve established your presence on social media, which means you have figured out the audience to target and the social media platforms to use, then start delivering value.
If you’re not delivering value:
- Followers may start to drop
- People won’t respond to your content
- Most of the audience would forget you within a few weeks
- You don’t get to build a connection with the audience
- Your interaction drops off on social media
It reminded of a book called Give and Take, written by Adam Grant. He differentiated the impact, success, and fulfillment of the givers and takers with dozens of examples throughout the book.
There are five essential elements of engaging the audience to deliver value on social media. Let’s take a look:
1) – How informed is the audience about the engagement? Are you trying to communicate out of the blue or you’ve informed the audience about the content that they might see? The point is, whether it’s a Facebook live or twitter chat, the audience should be up-to-date with the plan.
2) – Do they know where you hang out most of the times? It’s imperative to have a connection so that they know where they can find you whenever there is a possibility of interaction. Moreover, the platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are popular for social media updates, but it still depends on the brand that what platforms it prefers.
3) – What do they expect to receive from you? It’s important to have a clear communication channel to help guide the audience about the service or product. If the followers aren’t sure that what you do; they’re likely to unfollow at some point or may not interact with you ever. So, you can to use your cover picture, display picture, bio, and URL to explain that what your company does.
4) – What value are you bringing to the table? It matters a lot to the audience that how, where, and when you’re helping them. A lot of companies like Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Buffer use their official blogs alongside their social media channels to help, engage, and deliver value to the audience. Every brand is different, so is their strength. Use whatever social platforms, content type, and resources you’ve chosen to get the job done.
5) – How are they responding to your stuff? It’s important to understand that whether your content, efforts, and strategies are helping the audience or not. There could be different metrics to find that out. For instance, growing followers and engagement could be a point to note down. Check your Facebook mentions, Twitter Interactions, and Instagram comments to find out what’s happening at a glance.
#4 – Analyze the Feedback
When you’ve started delivering value to the audience, the job doesn’t finish there. In fact, the next phase begins at this point. The idea is that you must have a system in place through which you could analyze the performance of your social media activity.
Let’s cut to the chase and see three things you can do to sync with the social media results and analyze that what’s going on:
I. Pay attention to the comments: One of the important aspects of feedback is that you get to hear what others think about your work. However, it could blow things off sometimes, but most of the times, you get to hear encouraging and positive things, which ultimately help you get better at your craft. If you haven’t activated your blog comments yet, you should do it right away, or if you haven’t paid attention to your comments on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram, then you should start doing it now. If you aren’t getting comments at all, then you must encourage people to comment and leave their feedback underneath your content.
II. Look at the shareability: People share content on social media if they feel connected with you or they extremely like what they just consumed or they want to help others. The more they share, the better. If people are sharing your content; continue creating that type of content. On the flip side, if they aren’t sharing, then try to understand the problem. Try to use ContentStudio’s discovery for finding the popular keywords and popular content on social media.
III. Assess the relationship building: Analyze the relations both qualitatively and quantitatively. For example, if a blog post gets ranked high in the search engine, not only you get to see lots of visitors, but you also see social shares and comments. Thus, it leads to relationship building.
This blog post is going to help if you’re about to build social media strategy of your brand. It does sound an in-depth piece of content—which looks scary—but once you start reading it, you feel comfortable.
The purpose was to go deep inside and pull out the basics that could help even the beginners.
If you weren’t sure about your brand’s social media strategy, all you need is to navigate through the blog post to find out basic steps of igniting the process of social engagement.
Social media isn’t about sharing your blog post over and over again, but rather a medium to build connections with strangers across the globe that seem interesting in your work, words, or wisdom.
One of the takeaways of this blog post is to start PAYING ATTENTION to your brand’s strength and how you can use it to help others. It could give the brand a stage to connect, engage, and sell to the audiences that you won’t be able to reach otherwise.
What else would you like to add to this topic?
A lot of readers would appreciate your feedback. Feel free to drop your comments below.