BLOG POST BY SARAH MALCOLM, CHIEF DIGITAL STRATEGIST AT THE NEWS FUNNEL
Need a cheat sheet to social media success? Create a social media strategy! A well-written strategy is a roadmap leading to an A+ in lead generation and an engaged audience. Without an end goal and directions to get there, becoming lost in amongst the social media cacophony is a real concern.
Clear end goal
The hallmark of any strategy, social media or not, is a clearly defined vision of where you want to end up. What will your social media campaigning produce? The end goal must be measurable with numbers; otherwise it’s an empty promise. Everything in your social media strategy is defined by the goal. The techniques, platforms, and post timing depend on clear objectives.
A defined audience
It's not enough to say your audience is real estate agents. Pretend the customer is your best friend. You know what they like and dislike, what's driving them crazy, and where they go online. Marketers refer to this detailed information as a buyer persona. A real estate agent or service provider could have one or more buyer personas depending on the audience. For each buyer, the social media strategy should detail who they are and what problems to solve with the content.
Platforms with a purpose
Someone once asked us to name all the social networks we could in three minutes. We reached 18. To use that many social platforms for marketing would be insane for any company of any size. Your social media strategy should identify a handful of platforms you will use, why you will use them, and how you will use them. Note which platforms are your primary social networks and which will be secondary social networks with a reduced posting schedule.
Defined brand voice
All social content should align with the brand’s voice. In the strategy detail your Brand's personality characteristics. Are you professorial or more casual? Should your brand voice be an industry advocate? If you have multiple people working your content strategy, consider creating a social media persona as you would a buyer persona.
Defined human roles
Especially for social media strategies managed by multiple people, the document must delineate who is responsible for what. Besides noting who manages which social media networks, make sure to define who will handle any social media crisis and who monitors networks for customer feedback.
Clear posting schedule
A social media strategy must include the posting schedule for each chosen social media network. This posting schedule should take into account the frequency and notes ideal days and times based on your chosen audience and past metrics. Include the types of content shared (blog, infographic, curated), how it will be shared, and who’s in charge of making sure the content is published.
Key performance indicators
Circling back to the need to have a goal, each social media strategy needs to identify the key performance indicators that will measure the strategy’s effectiveness. Key performance indicators vary according to the goal, but generally should not include factors such as the number of followers. Better KPI’s measure the number of click-throughs a campaign generates or the number of new newsletter subscribers.
For more advice on how to craft a results-driven killer social media strategy, see The Content Funnel.