Social media strategy takes a lot of people for loop. In a world where so many have deemed themselves social media experts because they've used Facebook or Instagram, it's easy to see why too! I mean, you know how to post on social media so you totally have your strategy under lock, right?! Maybe, but as an avid DIYer myself in many parts of my life I can attest to eventually hitting a wall in terms of how far my skills take me. So today, I'm bringing in some expert advice (oh hey that's me! 🙋🏼) to give you the rundown of the key components and aspects of social media strategy and management.
Defining Your Purpose
First things first, what are you trying to accomplish?! It sounds simple, but so many people are just tied up with the idea that their social media accounts need to be active that they are just posting to post. What do you really want to accomplish though? This is the time to define what you're trying to do, who you're trying to reach and what your key action points are. Usually, your objectives will fall into a few categories:
Growing your communities and increasing the reach of your brand
Increasing engagement within your community
Attracting partnerships with influencers or new business opportunities
Once you've zeroed in on your focus, you can then scale your efforts on the following 3 components to fit your needs.
Content is king... we've all heard it and that's true. The content you're putting out on your social media channels is important, but there's so much more to the social media puzzle. When you're focusing on your strategy, it is one of the first things I suggest tackling though. The two most important parts of your content strategy are consistency and quality content. Sounds simple right?! The important part is to decide how often you will be posting and then spend your time on creating quality content that is tied back to your purpose.
You'll also want to keep the following things in mind when developing your content:
High-quality imagery that sets the tone for your branding
Thoughtful captions that reflect your brand's personality and provide value
Clear call-to-actions tying back to your purpose
There are two places I see people struggle with on this end, starting with maintaining a consistent schedule. A lot of people, while they have things to post, don't plan ahead for their messaging and end up posting on the fly. By planning ahead of time -- we like to plan our client content calendars on a weekly basis -- you have time to get very strategic in the images and messaging you're presenting. Cohesion is a really important part of your strategy which is why planning ahead will help your brand. The other piggybacks off of the cohesive issue... strategic messaging! Most understand that posting regularly on social media is important, but if you're just posting to post then it won't have much impact on your bottom line. That being said, consistently pushing sales messaging isn't always the best tactic either. It's about developing a story around your key purposes and highlighting different aspects of your brand and personality to drive interest. If your content strategy is one of your big concerns at the moment, we have another blog post dedicated exactly to that!
Social Networking and Follower Strategy
Next up, engagement! One of the most important parts of social media management is your engagement! Yet, because it's not as sexy of a topic, it doesn't get as much attention. Creating amazing content is great, but if no one is actually seeing it then it doesn't do much good! While social media is always evolving, one strategy that will always prove successful is engagement, engagement, ENGAGEMENT!
With ever-changing algorithms on the platforms, engagement and follower strategy are two of the most important things you can focus on for organic growth and increased the visibility of your accounts. So what does this really mean? This means actively logging into your accounts and engaging with those you are following, with influencers, and others interested in similar topics. Yeah, it might not be a glamorous part of managing social media accounts, but holy moly is it important! It is also the number one thing people tend to skimp on.
Why? Well, staying on top of your feed, seeking out others, and leaving genuine comments on others' posts is time-consuming! And oh yeah, remember that not glamorous part? This is actually one of the top reasons our clients decide to partner up with us, behind getting direction on their content, because hiii it takes the most amount of time when it comes to your strategy. And when we're talking engagement, we don't mean liking a post here or there.. or using spammy comment or like bots... We're talking, organic, drive real relationships engagement. Believe me when I say, this is the most important part of actually achieving your goals through social media. No matter what your purpose is, engagement is going to be a huge part of getting you there. So if there's one thing you need to make time for if you're managing yourself, it's this! Even if that means you have to cut back on some of the content you're producing to find the time.
How do you connect with the people you want to reach though? That's where having the help of a social media strategist and manager can really help out. It's all about monitoring key conversations, key influencers and being an active voice across the board. You can do this by monitoring specific hashtags, tapping into new people to follow by similar accounts, or using the explore option. The key is to dedicate different time slots throughout the day that you can focus on engaging on social media. Leaving authentic comments and starting conversations with others is our favorite plan of attack. Depending on your situation, your time may vary but even 10 mins here and 10 minutes there throughout the day can really help.
Depending on the size of your community this will play a different role for your brand. Community management is all about replying to comments/questions on your accounts. As your community grows the amount of time you spend on social networking and community management will probably switch off a little. When you're focused on really growing your accounts, you may spend more time on the social networking side of things seeking out new accounts. Then when you have a little more of a substantial audience, that time may then shift to actually managing your own community and replying to engagements on your content. In fact, when we've worked with pages with hundreds of thousands of followers and Facebook fans most of or our days were actually spent on this component. It will really depend on the size of your audience and how active engagement is.
No matter the size of your audience, community management is an important factor of your strategy that will allow you to show your audience you care and answer questions. Social media should be just that, social! So make sure to keep up with comments and questions on your account so that your audience feels some love.
To find success on social media it's all about integrating all of these components. One truly can't be successful without the other. Remember to be strategic, consistent, and thoughtful! Being adaptable and paying attention to what others are responding to is also very important. Finding success on social media is a marathon, not a sprint, so take the time to really develop your strategy and keep to it! We're always just a shout away if you need some help getting there too!