Social Media (SM) strategy has become critical to businesses of all sizes as a prominent part of marketing. While lots of businesses spend time on SM, not all have a strategy or plan to measure if they are getting an return on investment (ROI) for their efforts. Here are four social media strategies you can implement to create a more engaging, active community.
- Education Strategy– enriching your target market’s knowledge with information and resources for them to better understand you.
- Entertainment Strategy – You create fun, sticky and memorable content that allows them to associate the image of message to your brand or business
- Engagement Strategy – Your purpose is to engage the community by recognizing their presence, contributions and inputs
- Empowerment Strategy – A space and role is created and provided to your target community to play an active role in what you are doing.
To quickly get started, choose one of the four ‘E’ strategies from the list above. Tailor the strategy to the size of your organization and resources available. When starting out, choose one strategy, focus on it, track and measure it, and once it is successful and can be automated, focus on the next strategy.
Develop a Formal Process
The best way to create a process is to jump in and focus on refining later. Don’t worry about formal steps; take action. After a couple days or weeks, take a step back and look at the process that you go through to implement the strategy. Start by writing down each of the steps, detailing all of the sub-steps taken. Once all of the steps have been written down, begin to look for ways in which they can be eliminated or automated, reducing the total number of steps. The goal of this analysis is to have a final process that is easy to follow and that another employee can take on. The written guide becomes their back-check tool. The formal process or guidebook should be reviewed every six months, at minimum, to ensure that the strategy is still relevant.
Once the strategy is being executed and results are meeting expectations, hand it off to a team member and begin the next strategy.
Implement the Social Media Strategy Slowly Online
The norm online is to build fast and continually adapt and change. While this approach works with certain aspect of the web, your organizations’s social media strategy should allow for a slower build up over time. Once you have your strategy and have identified your market, you will need a fleet of platforms to leverage your brand to share your message.
Different types of platforms include the following:
- Networking Tools – blogs, micro-blogs, social networks
- Collaboration Tools – Wikis, social news, social bookmarking
- Multimedia Tools – videos, podcasts, images, interactive content
- Entertainment Tools – virtual worlds, online gaming
Take the time to strategically think through the different platforms you want your organization and brand to participate in. As your organization grows, hire others to help manage different social media profiles. Too many platforms at once can be overwhelming and ultimately lead to poor results.
The most important platform to your organization is your official website. This is the heart of your organization online. Every platform that is used to share your brand’s message should be linking back to your website with a strong Call To Action (CTA).
Tip: Always Track and Measure the Strategy
With all strategies, they should be formulated to allow for tracking and measuring. The data collected will guide you as you refine the strategy, finding what works best and what to discontinue. Without data, your efforts will go unnoticed and your ROI cannot be determined.