August 27, 2014/0 Comments/in Content marketing, marketing /by Jacqui Honeywood
social media strategy
Imagine your brand new *insert your dream car here* has just turned up in your driveway.
Filled with and excitement that takes your breath away you slip in behind the wheel and note the coolness of the leather-clad seat. You turn the key and goosebumps cover your flesh as you newest investment purrs to life. As you pull out of your driveway your breath catches in your throat at the sound of a car horn blaring nearby. Very nearby.
In the rearview mirror you see that the car horn was directed at you. The irate driver seemed to be yelling obscenities but you can’t quite pick the language. Suddenly you find yourself in an unfamiliar street, in an unfamiliar town. The street signs make no sense because they’re in a different language. You don’t know where you’re going or which direction to even start. All you know is that you wanted to take your shiny, gorgeous car for a drive but you don’t know where you’re going or how you’re going to get there……
Social media marketing is very similar. You have this great product or service but without taking the time to get to know where you want to go, how you plan to get there, who you plan to speak to along the way and even what kind of language to use, chances are you’ll struggle to leave the driveway. Your plans of showing your shiny new wheels off all but foiled.
So rather than letting your new car sit idle and leaving your business social platforms languishing, here’s 4 key things to include in your business social media strategy to ensure you get the most out of your digital marketing (and get your car out of the driveway).
Where are you heading?
This seems like a simple enough question but many people jump into the digital marketing of their business without having a single clue of what they’re trying to achieve. Be very clear about the goals of your digital marketing strategy, be specific about your targets, time-limit them, review, rinse then repeat. If you do nothing else, this is one thing you should have clearly articulated within your social media strategy. It not only gives you clear direction, it provides you with benchmarks (even loose ones) to determine whether you’re on the right track or not. Setting objectives as part of your social media strategy is like setting a destination for where you plan to drive your brand new *insert dream car here*.
Who are your targeting?
When I ask this question I often get the answer, well anyone can use my product, so ‘anyone’ can my target market. Nope, wrong answer. Think about your perfect client. The one that’s easy to work with, causes minimal dramas and you actually like working with/selling to. What gender, age, family status and other demographic do they fit into? Which social platforms (if any) do they hang out on and what days and times are they likely to be there? Heck, what sport, food, entertainment or other relevant daily stuff do they like that can help you tap into that source. Answer these questions so you know who, how, when and where you should be ‘talking’ on social media to attract and retain those most valuable potential customers. Who is your audience??
What is everyone else doing?
So many business owners see competition as dangerous. A threat. And in some cases that can be true. However when it comes to digital marketing, competition can be a good thing. Whilst we don’t condone copying; taking a moment to research and learn from your competitors can provide you with valuable information and help you direct your own marketing efforts. What’s working for them? What’s falling flat? How can you do the good stuff that they do but with a different tact? What’s your point of difference – what makes you unique? Look, listen, listen, listen and learn. Then adjust your strategy accordingly.
What are you going to talk about?
It’s one thing being at the right place and using the right voice but it’s another thing finding the right things to talk about. Your content. Your business social marketing efforts should not revolve around self-promotion. In fact, if you think about your social media platforms from a user perspective, in most cases your audience won’t want to be ‘sold to’. They’ll want content that’s interesting, useful, inspiring, humorous, resourceful or something that gives them something. They want content that solves their problems and answers their questions. Don’t get me wrong, as a business we still have a bottom line whether that be to sell, promote, brand or whatever. If you work within the 80-20 rule – that is 80% non-self-promotional content and 20% promotional stuff then you’re less likely to annoy your followers and have them leave in droves. Create, curate and share content that’s true to your brand and industry but relevant to your audience too. Put yourself in their shoes – what would keep you coming back to your Facebook page?
Setting a social media strategy for your business isn’t exactly rocket science. In fact much of this is common sense and fits well within your business planning. Take the time to consider where you want to go – start with the end in mind, how you plan to get there, who you need to speak with and what those conversations will consist of. Whilst this is far from an exhaustive list of inclusions for your social media strategy, it well and truly gives you a good start and some level of structure to your online marketing efforts.
So rather than letting your brand new car sit in the driveway and rust or risk driving up the wrong street and coming to an unhappy ending (oh that sounds more dramatic than intended) it’s time to start thinking strategically about your digital marketing and start planning on how to get yourself to exactly where you want to go in your new car and your business.
What other factors have you taken into consideration when setting your social media strategy?
If you’d like help setting your business social media strategy don’t hesitate to contact us for an obligation-free chat!