Let’s get straight to it… what is a social media strategy?
Put simply, it’s a plan for your online communications with your customers, stakeholders… basically your online audience. It should explore and outline your intent, goals and how you’re going to measure the impact.
But here’s the question…
Do you really need a social media strategy?
Can’t you just ‘post-as-you-go’?
In short- no you can’t rely on ‘posting as you go’. Not anymore. The ugly (but exciting) truth is that your customers, stakeholders and competitors are already active on social media and they have expectations that you are too. From a reputational perspective, you need to know what’s being said online in order to effectively manage your brand. Your social media strategy shouldn’t sit in isolation though, it should take direction from your overall business and comms plan to really deliver you results, giving you a consistent stream of key messages, posts and engagement and ensuring your platforms are working in harmony.
Here are some reasons why your organisation needs a coherent social strategy to propel your business in 2019.
1. Decisions are influenced by social media
It’s true- from products to services, social is the go-to place to check out a company and what they have to offer. More than that, all major social platforms have heavily invested in their advertising solutions so that you can target and personalise your messages better than ever. You can influence decisions by reaching the right people and the likes of Facebook ads can help you:
- Manage audience data and customise it
- Create campaigns and ads
- Build dashboards and run analytics to measure your success
2. Your competitors might have the advantage if you don’t
Customer behaviours have changed. They’re no longer passive- they can research, browse and make decisions 24 hours a day. This isn’t new information so you can bet your competitors already know this too. Having a strong and consistent approach to your social media is key to your online authority which is not only what your audience should receive- it’s what they now expect. The great thing about social is it can often give you a reliable platform for competitor analysis too.
3. You can use key influencers in your social networks to your advantage
If your social content plan is on point, then your audience should include some of your key stakeholders… also knows as your influencers. Get your messages right and they should be engaged and sharing your content. What’s better than you sharing your great content? Your audience promoting you for themselves. Make this happen with relevant, shareable content that pulls you apart from the rest.
4. More opportunities to tell your story
Each strategy, depending on your business, will vary. There will be some basics that are always included, such as target audience. Build on what you already know about your audience to maximise your reach. Do they use other social platforms? When are they most likely to engage with posts? What motivates them? Include tactics in your strategy to optimise your reach.
5. It’s a cost-effective way of marketing
Having a plan in place is beneficial for your company, especially in terms of time. Knowing what campaigns are coming up and having all of your content pre-planned and in one place is key. Social ads are also cost effective- budgets can be capped and easily tailored so you don’t have to worry about an over-spend.
6. Better search engine rankings
Requirements for SEO are always changing and it’s no longer just meta descriptions and title tags that bump you up the list. Google and other search engines calculate your ranking using your social media presence as a significant factor, making it even more important in a saturated market to have a great strategy.
7. It can help protect your brand
By not having a strategy in place, you’re handing the advantage over to your competitors to dominate the marketplace and to create a bigger brand presence for themselves over you.
With this, you are also exposing yourself. If you face a crisis, whether it be bad criticism or a social media frenzy, you need to be able to back yourself up and your strategy should support you with this.
Still unsure? We have an idea for you. Don’t stress about social- pop in for a coffee and a chat with us to find out more about how we can help your business in 2019. Or better still… DM us