Defining a Social Media Strategy
The following post is from Marielle De Blois M’16, founder of Crece, a summer 2015 hatchery business.
As entrepreneurs, we all know that it is vital to have an active role in social media. We’ve heard that marketing is no longer about having a monologue with our consumers, but it is now a two-sided conversation; however, with so many social media sites out there, it might be overwhelming trying to decide where to play and how to do it. Because of this, it is extremely important to have a Social Media Strategy before starting to play.
Below you can find some tips and recommendations for developing a Social Media Strategy.
- Decide your Objective. Social media is a means to an end. It is important to determine what you want to achieve through social media, for example, it could be to increase your brand’s awareness, to drive deeper consumer engagement, to tackle some of the brand’s trial barriers through direct communication, or to generate loyalty, among others. One important thing to remember is that social media should not be your entire digital plan. You will probably have a website, search, I-media, etc., and your social media plan should complement the rest of your digital plans.
- Determine where to Play. Each social channel plays a distinctive role, so depending on your objective, it is important to choose the channels that are in line with your strategy. Keep in mind that you have to customize the message to the network language and leverage the differences between them. Below are some examples of the roles some channels play in social media:
- Facebook: A brand in Facebook exchanges and contacts fans. It allows the brand to maintain a high awareness and have a direct conversation with its followers. It also serves as a loyalty tool through which the brand can maintain a personalized relationship with its followers.
- Twitter: A brand in Twitter says interesting information to its followers. It is a real time tool to react and to provide immediate answers. People connect to what’s most important for them, so it is vital to keep fresh and informative content.
- YouTube: A brand in YouTube entertains and informs. It is a great tool for emotionally engaging messages, as well as to demonstrate product superiority by sharing how your product works.
3. Choose what to say. Whether a message is a 140-character Tweet, a post on Facebook, or an inspiring video on YouTube, each action taken in social media revolves around content. It is important to keep the content entertaining, so it is recommended to have different types of content in order to have more variety and keep things interesting. Social content can be categorized in three categories:
- Create: This refers to creating content from scratch about your brand. It will usually be related to what your product offers to its customers.
- Curate: Content curation is about locating existing content that your customers will find useful and entertaining. You can curate content that references your brand or perhaps an issue that affects your customers. This is a good strategy to use if you don’t have the time/people to constantly create new content.
- Converse: This strategy refers to engaging in existing conversations. It could be conversations about your brand, issues related to your brand or even endorsements from third parties.
4. Define your Brand’s Personality. It is extremely important to maintain continuity with your brand. This will help customers remember the brand throughout time and establish a deeper connection. Your brand needs to have a clear online personality that you will use throughout all social channels. When defining a brand personality, you need to decide: a) Tone of voice, b) Conversation style, and c) Brand attributes (such as colors, shapes, letters, etc.).
These are just the initial steps in developing a social media strategy; however, social media is a dynamic world, so your strategy needs to be constantly changing with the new trends. It’s important to keep in mind that social media takes up a lot of time if you want to be successful, so if you are just starting out, it is better to start with one social channel and increase this as necessary/possible.