May 11, 2017

Questions to Consider When Developing Your Social Strategy

Let’s face it: social media is essentially “being online” these days. People don’t host their work on websites as much as feature them on Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. Even advertising has made subtle plays into all of these otherwise personal channels of content.

The social media landscape went from a non-threatening community pool 10 years ago to an ocean-sized enigma for businesses — and it is daunting. Facebook or Snapchat? LinkedIn or Twitter? Even for savvy marketers, the options can be overwhelming. We’ve put together a list of questions every business should consider before making the great ocean plunge.   

Ask Yourself “WHY”

It’s not enough to say “everyone else is doing it.” Ask why — why join, why this channel, why is this important and why now to help create tangible objectives and goals?

What Are Your Competitors Doing On Social?

You don’t want to be a copycat, but knowing how your direct competitors use social media can provide insight on how to set yourself apart from the pack.

Have You Audited Your Existing Social Channels?

Whether dealing with inherited legacy accounts or lackluster starts, taking a snapshot of your accounts is important for measuring growth. Audits lend perspective on if you’re on the right platforms or posting the right content. You’ll want to assess:

  • Which accounts you are on
  • How many followers are there per account
  • What is the current engagement rate
  • Types of posts being published
  • Frequency of posting
Where Are Your Target Audiences?

Where is your target audience spending their time online? An e-commerce business may explore different avenues than a consulting firm. Knowing where your people are online, when and what they are talking about, is critical.

What Are Your Internal Resources?

For jumping into the social ocean, you want to ensure you have the right gear to compete with the sharks. This means getting the right team in place, equipping them with the right tools and processes and establishing a dedicated budget to help give your content extra leverage. Consider:

  • Who will produce creative copy, graphics or photos?
  • Who will provide market research and monitoring?
  • Are there voice and tone guidelines to help direct your team?
  • Are there brand guidelines for graphics and photos?
What Are You Going to Say?

Always ask “why would this be important to a customer?” Next you need to know what type of content it takes to reach the people you want, be it videos, photos, tutorials or graphics. This will drive your strategy and resources.

Is There a Workflow?

From creation to publication — find out who is on point from start to finish. This can often include a writer, copy editor, social media manager and asset controller. By establishing a process, you reduce the chance for errors. How often you publish will depend greatly on resources but be sure you have enough of it to post on a regular cadence. Our best advice: set up a content or editorial calendar to help you plan out how your social engagement will jive with your marketing objectives.

Will Your Social Media Provide Customer Service?

Customer service requires going a step beyond posting and commenting. You should have a dedicated customer service team in place to handle every type of situation from friendly to hostile.

How Will You Measure Success?

Setting up your goals and ROI metrics ahead of time will allow you to benchmark your efforts and assess whether your efforts are worth the investment. These could include increased website traffic, brand awareness or lead generation to name a few.

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