A social media strategy is your roadmap for how – and why – your business wants to communicate with customers on channels, from Facebook and LinkedIn to Instagram and TikTok. It’s digging a bit deeper into which channels are best suited to your brand, what content you should feature, who you are targeting, and how you should be speaking to these clients. It’s looking at what your competitors are doing and how you can stand out in a very cluttered environment.
That’s great, if you do, but often start-ups and even established businesses don’t take the time to flesh out their brand blueprint. We are talking things like what are your brand values – the purpose of your business beyond making a profit? What is your value proposition – the specific benefits (value) you bring to customers that no-one else does? What is your brand personality? Your tone of voice? What is the ‘you’ in a nutshell?
You may have a version of this information that needs a bit of dusting off. Why? Because social media is so different from traditional media. What worked for print advertising or direct marketing might not be true of social media. The people who hang out on LinkedIn are not the same gang as TikTok’s. The how, why and when of social media interaction is constantly changing. And that’s really exciting!
Social media can be incredibly targeted. You can do custom audience targeting with your social media adverts, specifying certain areas, demographics, interests and online behaviours (specific pages they have visited on your website – with the help of a Facebook pixel). Your social media strategy can help you narrow down exactly who you should be targeting to make the most sales, tailored to individual products or services. Your success is immediately measurable by the number of clicks you are getting – visits to your website, conversions – online sales or lead generation, etc.
According to a Hubspot report, 71% of consumers are more likely to make purchases based on social media referrals. Different social media channels fulfill different roles in this journey – Facebook, for example, is better suited to promotions while Instagram is better for visual inspiration or exploring product features. It’s important to consider how you can use social media to educate, engage, and convert your customers.
Social media success can be clearly measured – beyond just getting likes and follows. A strategy will help you put clear metrics and objectives in place, so you’re not wasting your money on blindly posting here, there, and everywhere without knowing what works and what doesn’t.
It helps to narrow down some sample posts and a tone of voice description to ensure that your posts are always consistent and tailored to the channel. Like people, social media channels have different personalities. LinkedIn is the work buddy, Instagram the cool friend and Twitter the opinionated older brother – always drawing you into some sort of debate.
Creating buying personas helps you to visualise your customers as fictional characters, so you can get into their heads and speak in a language that appeals to them. This doesn’t come easily to everyone so you may need some copywriting help here.
When you gather the information that informs a social media strategy – competitor analysis, review your brand positioning, create a tone of voice, content pillars, brand personas, sample content and metrics – this information can be passed on to any content producer or social media manager you work with in future. No more reinventing the wheel each time.
What’s more, when you start to see what content works and what doesn’t, you’ll learn more about your business in the process and you’ll come up with content that you can reuse in other places – like email newsletters, sales materials and your web FAQ.