If your company doesn’t use social media, then you are withering away faster than the plant I keep forgetting to water and move in and out of the sunlight in my office.
Just kidding, the situation isn’t that dramatic, but, you do need to make a change. You are missing out on important communication channels and closed deals if you don’t have a structured social strategy.
Here are a few pointers to get you going:
Decide what your purpose is
What do you want to convey in your social strategy, and to whom? Are you looking to be a thought leader, break into a new market, or just show the world you exist, and you have value to offer? No matter what, it’s important to have some big ideas as to why you are posting. If it’s not thoughtful or adding impact, your content will get lost in the noise.
Despite saying “show the world” three sentences ago, you don’t actually want to reach everyone. Determine your audience. This will help organize and focus your efforts. Just because you have a high number of impressions, or views, on your content, does not mean it’s necessarily going to lead the end-user to act or convert. Your content needs to get in front of the right people at the right time to be impactful, which brings me to my next suggestion.
Choose where you want to get social
Knowing your audience dictates what channels you should be on. If your audience isn’t on Instagram, don’t throw your efforts into that platform just because you think Instagram is hip and lots of people are on it. If “your people” are not on it, then you are wasting your time.
Keep in mind too that social platforms come and go. Remember Vine? Vine was short-lived, just like its six-second videos. Don’t feel like you need to be on every social platform – you’ll spread yourself too thin. Want to reach B2B prospects? Look at LinkedIn. Want to reach healthcare consumers? Facebook deserves attention.
A social media management tool will change your life. It’s incredibly helpful to be able to manage your content going out to various channels and multiple profiles on one single platform. Beyond satisfying my Type A organizational desires, it saves time, tracks analytics, and can have a variety of other features, depending on the tool chosen, and the plan within that.
Warning: don’t buy the flashiest tool with the dozens of features right away. Chances are, you don’t need the enterprise plan on the most expensive tool. Figure out what your needs are, and then find the tool and plan that fits your unique needs (including budget) so you’re not spending money on features that will just collect *virtual* dust.
Here’s a great comparison chart of many of the top tools and what features they have and don’t have. For example, personally, I love that CoSchedule connects to WordPress, but I don’t love the layout and feel of this tool. I love the ability to edit photo sizes in the Sprout Social tool, but dislike that there’s no template option. That’s why it’s critical to do research and determine what features are absolutely necessary for your social strategy, and what you can do without.
Content is still king, in fact it’s the entire royal court. If you are taking the time and putting in the effort to have a social strategy, the content produced better be worth it. When you put content out, people are trusting you with their time and believe they’ll receive value. Don’t take that for granted, because you never know who could be checking you out.
Adding sincere, authentic value is what will help you stand out. So, take time to develop some content. This could be a plethora of types – blog, video, graphic, curated post, podcast, a meme, and whatever else your creative mind can conjure up. Don’t forget; you can repurpose content. Turn a presentation into a white paper, write a blog about a case study, share a popular infographic every few months, etc.
Develop a cadence
Creating a routine is paramount for success. A consistent schedule brings your social to that next level of organization. Too many organizations don’t have a cadence strategy, and that’s how they end up having a lackadaisical social strategy. Maybe write blogs weekly and do a monthly newsletter. Start a podcast or video series and develop those every other week. Schedule curated posts for Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. It’s entirely up to you.
A routine can keep you accountable to a strategy, and having a cadence helps consistency. Like this article says, there is no one-size-fits-all or magic formula for how often to post on social media, but with testing, researching platforms, and analyzing your analytics, you can decide how frequent your company should post on social media. This in-depth article dives into helping you figure out how often you should post blogs, and provides data and examples. Furthermore, we did our own experiment with frequency of blog posts published, and here’s what we found.
Speaking of consistency…
Posting once in a blue moon (which by the way, is every 2.7 years!), simply won’t cut it. Any momentum built is crushed when you go too long without posting. You can’t expect to gain followers, spread awareness, or increase engagement when you treat your social media like the occasional diet you try for a couple of days and then abandon until next New Year’s Day. For example, if you decide to blog post up a new post at least 1-2 times per week.
Ok, so you already have a social strategy, and maybe you’re feeling stagnant and want to up your game. Get ultra-creative. Do a social media campaign to drive more results. Dabble with paid social media ads with interactive content or personalized messaging. Run a contest. Create and claim a hashtag. Host an event. Make a how-to or tutorial video. Develop a consistent voice like Wendy’s, whose social team studied the company’s advertising history closely to have a uniform voice for the brand identity. The opportunities are almost endless.