6 Essential Tips to Create Your 2015 Social Media Strategy

Table of Contents

    There really is no getting away from it, these days Social Media is no longer just an option for your business marketing, it is now an absolute necessary function – and not just for excellent customer service and content management. Last year we featured your Recipe to Social Media Success and have given a lot of great tips for managing your social media presence . However, without proper planning, a lot of time can be lost to the Social Media function. It is therefore very good practice to spend the time creating a robust Social Media Strategy. In this article, we look at some tips that will assist you in doing just that – and what perfect timing for the New Year too!

    1. Start with a Template

    Many companies offer free generic templates to get you started, but trolling through these can be as time-consuming as creating the strategy itself.  During my own search I happened across this great simple 10-point Social Media Strategy template from US Company Meritus Media Inc.

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    2. Research and Analyse your Audience

    The first four steps cover identifying, monitoring and listening to your stakeholders, and analysing this data. You will find some excellent tips for doing this in the ‘Social Media Examiners’ Social Media Marketing Industry Report which is a free PDF Download for you to keep. (Please note that the statistics quoted are based on US figures so for Australian statistics try here.)

    3. Set Goals and Identify and connect with Key Industry Influencers

    Once you have armed yourself with all the necessary facts and figures you can now set your SMART goals that align with your overall business strategy and identify the key influencers in your industry who can help spread your message. Of course, this will vary from Bloggers and Industry magazine editors to endorsing experts and anywhere between depending on your industry.

    Here is where you can start building your connections, follow these links for tips on Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter with a view to building relationships with the key influencers. Identify all the stakeholders that might influence discourse in the industry. Keep track of all content and responses relevant to your brand in anyway. Know what’s working and what isn’t, and use this information to inform your goals and content.

    4. Deciding on your Tools and Platforms

    Now that you know who your audience is and what they want, you can allocate your resources effectively. You can decide what platforms to use by understanding what is happening within your target demographic and how they are best engaged with.

    A good tip is to “lay out an editorial calendar with tactical application of the strategy”. In the next section we share with you a link to our content calendar template. Lay this out for a period of time that is relevant to your business cycle. The above infographic recommends a 6 month period, which can be a good starting point.

    5. It’s all about the Content, Baby

    When it comes to your Social Media Marketing Strategy, no truer words can be spoken, it is in fact all about good, relevant and/or interesting content. In this article from Built Visible, Richard Baxter discusses how content marketing supports every part of the marketing mix and is a key driver of demand generation.

    You need to develop a Content Marketing Strategy that hinges on great content creation. Writing, making videos, and producing pictures and infographics should all be part of your content creation. Often times outsourcing this task is helpful, alternatively you can hire those already skilled or train up your existing team. Remember that your branding should be kept consistent across all content.

    As previously mentioned, the White Chalk Road team have created and published this fantastic Content Calendar Template to help you with this; and for excellent advice on creating great content you can visit the following WCR articles on Content Marketing Strategy, How your Content Calendar can take your Blog down the road to success.

    6. Engaging with your Audience

    Remember that Social Media is ‘Social’ so you should be monitoring comments, likes & shares, re-tweets, etc and responding to these to engage with your audience. It is great practice to welcome new likers & followers, inviting them to visit your website for more information, and thanking them for their engagement.

    It is important to write the Rules of Engagement relevant to your company in to your Social Media Marketing Strategy. Although they are engaging publicly with a wide audience, marketers need to remember that they are communicating with individuals. While marketers should engage in the conversation and can lead it, they cannot control it. All engagement should be appropriate to your business culture and should be an extension of your brand image.

    By Caitriona Scully

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