For many brands, social media can be placed at the bottom of the priority list when it comes to their marketing strategy. This can be due to a lack of resource, a lack of expertise or just straight up poor planning.
When utilised properly, social can be one of your most powerful tools for brand awareness, engagement and even sales. Pulling together an effective social strategy doesn’t take too much time – so here’s a quick and simple guide to get you started.
- Define your goals
Publishing content just for the sake of it is a waste of everyone’s time, it’s essential you establish what you want to gain from your social media activity and how it fits in with your wider digital strategy.
Before you start planning any social content, list out what you want to achieve. This can be a simple overarching brand awareness or sales-oriented KPI, but you should also sit back and think of each channel’s purpose as each will have a different strength and potentially different audience.
- Nail your targeting
It’s important to know who you’re talking to and how you can reach them before firing out content into the abyss.
Don’t stretch yourself too thin by feeling the need to have a presence across every major social channel for appearances sake. Focus on the spaces where your audience is most active and invest your time accordingly.
If you haven’t already, build personas to help align your strategy. Who are your typical audience, what do they like, what drives them, what will they respond to and where can you find them online?
- Check out your competition
As with any marketing channel, you should scope out what your competitors are up to on their social channels. Chances are, if they are doing a good job, then a lot of your work will be done for you.
Take note of what they are doing well, not so well and learn from what your shared audience responds to. Identify any potential gaps that you can exploit.
Don’t forget that ‘competition’ isn’t necessarily those competing in the same market as your brand. Look back at your audience personas and find which brands they are following and engaging with online, these are the competitors for your social space.
- Plan out your content
The hardest part of any social strategy is developing a regular stream of content to engage your audience. Once you have identified your KPIs and researched your audience, you should however be in a good place to create content pillars that categorise what types of content you can plan to populate your social channels.
Take stock of what content and creative assets you already have available to use, this will give you a head-start on what you’ll need going forward.
It’s often helpful to create a calendar to plan out content in advance where possible, particularly if you have multiple internal sign-off procedures in place. This can be in the form of a simple excel sheet, but it’s worth scoping out the various tools available that let you visualise your social posts for sign-off then auto-schedule from your chosen platforms.
However, be careful to avoid getting trapped in the world of automation. It might be temping as it saves time, but generic content sent out at the wrong time, to potentially the wrong people, isn’t really going to bring you any value whatsoever. Content should always be optimised to each channel, whether it be vertical video or the optimum image size to maximise visibility on the timeline.
- Measure, test and learn
Sending all that content out there doesn’t mean anything unless you review performance and learn from it.
Track metrics that matter to your brand. This might be reach and engagement, or it might be leads, web traffic and conversions. Identify what works best for your audience and use that to feed into your ongoing strategy.
When it comes to measuring social success, it’s important not to get too caught up in last-click performance. You might find that your social activity contributes to upper funnel activity and is more likely to assist as part of a multi-channel process. Buyer behaviour is not a linear journey, particularly when you’re reaching people scrolling through Insta on their lunch breaks.
- Don’t forget your engagement strategy
Social media isn’t just another broadcast channel. Commit to at least 15 mins a day to quickly like/share any positive interactions and then action any comments that might take a little longer to respond to. Obviously this can vary depending on the size of your brand, but if you are at the scale that requires a full-time customer service rep to cover community management then it’s just as important to not to lose the community side of things.
People are more likely to engage with and stay loyal to a brand that makes them feel valued. Taking a little bit of time out your day to give them a like or a cheeky reply can have some real gains in the long term.
At Disrupt, we specialise in creating thumb-stopping content for social that drives attention. Check out our showreel below.