When embarking on a social media strategy, classic planning principles still apply, so having an audience-centric approach will allow you to create the best customer experience.
Setting commercial objectives and relevant measurements in advance will allow you to gauge what success looks like and how that compares with other marketing channels and tactics.
Our ethos is that businesses need to design from purpose through to profit. Therefore, brand and commercial objectives need to be connected via a solid social approach.
Over 90% of marketers state that social media is important to their brand and whether a presence exists, needs to be focussed, re-energised or scaled; our straightforward approach works through from insight to action to ensure maximum effectiveness and consistency.
The Pretty Pragmatic Social System
At the core of any sound social approach is a situational analysis which includes foundational research using social media tools. This is essential for assessing the opportunity and determining the best strategy to deliver against business objectives.
Once this is carried out (and it needn’t take long), it then supports:
1. Insights (green section):
Insights form the base of a sound social strategy. Starting with the audience to define personas and behaviour traits, through to category and reviewing competitors, before defining how that transfers into behaviour and trends in social channels.
Relevant reach is key, so care needs to be taken when considering channels and their etiquette for audiences. Whilst Facebook and Twitter top the subscriber volumes, 30% of Millennials state that Instagram is their second social media channel of choice. 94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to post content, and sales people frequently state that LinkedIn is best for appointment setting.
2. Framework (yellow section):
Creating a framework that defines the way you engage and why – from tone and behaviour to regularity and topics that deliver the highest impact – is critical for successful interactions. Some of the core components of a comprehensive framework are as follows:
The tone of action can be reflected through a clear social media mission statement where the purpose of interactions in social media (and the respective channels) can be stated.
Communications cadence is required to set the frequency and content ratios.
Editorial calendars should guide topics as well as take into account what’s trending in the industry and within your relevant conversations.
3. Guidance (blue section):
Using public platforms can be daunting for wider teams – what could they suggest and how should they get involved? These elements make it clear and easy to maximise participation and consistency across the business to sustain focus on key business objectives.
Providing messaging examples makes editing and personalising messages easier for teams. These should be built around best practices to maximise effectiveness. For example, tweets containing 110 characters or less receive 17% higher engagement.
Mapped content with clear call to actions (where necessary) helps to feed these content-hungry channels. Buyer journey maps and persona understanding allow more accurate guidance to drive relevant and effective communications.
Leading on from the guidelines; rules of engagement need to be clear in terms of SLAs, crisis management, escalation processes, promotional content, influencer engagement and scheduling posts – all of which need to be well-documented and adhered to.
4. Activation (pink section):
Activation means having the right content created, the right people aligned, and the right channels managed and promoted to deliver success.
Content types for social media vary in term of effectiveness. Again this really depends on the audience and channel. For example, list posts perform well in terms of shares on LinkedIn, gaining 22.45% social media traction. There are also gender nuances with research indicating females are more likely to share content that makes them appear intelligent, compared to men who wanted to appear funny. Frequently content and messaging already exists within the organisation that can be repositioned and reformatted to fuel your social content engine.
Ensuring all the right people are aligned and understand their role in the social system is important for a cohesive, results orientated approach. Bring together brand marketers, service operations, sales teams, executives and PR to ensure everyone understands their role and a consistent approach and presence is in place.
Finally, channel management ensures real-time, daily and ongoing engagement and responsiveness from brands. Posting previews, pre-approved content and ongoing collaboration ensure these channels are on brand and on purpose.