Is this, or was this you?
“That’s it. – Decision made.
We’re embarking on a social media journey.”
“We’re ready to do it – let’s go…”
So what happens next?
In some businesses, this is the beginning of a long, considered journey. For other businesses the journey goes a little bit like this…
“Everyone’s on Facebook right? We’ll set up a page on there.”
”Instagram’s where all the cool kids are right?”
“What’s that thing where people tweet? I remember – Twitter. Let’s set up an account.”
”TikTok? I don’t know what it is but let’s set it up anyway.”“I’m already on LinkedIn so that’s done already. I’ll do a google and see what else there is.”
Before you know it your business is on every platform going – Pinterest, Snapchat, YouTube, Clubhouse and the rest! But what’s the point of having all these profiles if you haven’t thought about how to use them or who you’re talking to?
We often find that at this point – it’s where it all stops. Few, if any, posts are made to fit the platforms. Why? Because, frankly, business owners or marketing managers who are unfamiliar with social media just don’t know what to say or where to start. There are a few questions that can help at this point, the answers to which will help you build a strategy. This strategy should, of course, be reviewed regularly.
Q1. WHY ARE WE ONLINE?
This could be as simple as needing to get traffic to your website or to increase brand awareness. Perhaps there has been a little bad press recently and you need to manage your reputation. Being online can help you find new opportunities – or even learn about the customers you have already. What is your reason – What is it you want to achieve? You need to set your social media marketing objectives.
Q2. WHAT IS OUR CORE MESSAGE?
What’s the focus – are you pushing a specific service or product? Perhaps there’s an offer you are trying to get people to sign up to for. Are you going to be promoting your free downloads or an event? If you were having a 121 conversation what would you want to communicate to that individual? Remember, social media should be a tool to amplify your messages so instead of talking 121, to 12many!
Q3. WHO ARE WE TALKING TO?
Take it back to basics – what’s your demographic? Remember the key word here is social. If you were standing in a room full of people who would you be trying to talk to? Is it the businessperson? Is it the student, or the family…? Defining your ideal client (or avatar, or persona – whatever term suits your situation best) should go beyond pure demographics!
Q4. HOW WOULD WE TALK TO THEM?
Choose your voice – we always ask our clients on a scale of 1-10 how fun are they. There are industries out there where humour is dry and infrequent. There are other industries where a bit of silliness hurts no one! Imagine you’re still in that room I mentioned, talking to your target market. How would you talk to them? What would your tone be?
Q5. WHERE DO WE ACTUALLY NEED TO BE?
Once you’ve answered questions 1 – 4. You should have the framework of a solid strategy. Take a look at where you have set up social media profiles. If you’ve identified ‘Yummy Mummies’, for example, then maybe LinkedIn isn’t going to be as much of a priority as Facebook or Twitter. If you’ve recognised that you are a B2B (business to business) company, perhaps Instagram isn’t quite right for you after all. Concentrate your efforts online by prioritising the platforms you need to be on. If you have a presence and you’re not going to use it – don’t just leave it dormant. There’s nothing worse than a Facebook page that was set up ‘way back when’; or a Twitter profile that never quite got set up fully and only ever sent that single first tweet.
When you decide to take the leap into the world of social media, you will have to accept that it is a fast moving, ever changing world. New exciting things will tempt you and you should investigate their value – Yes. But never forget to ask yourself to consider how it will fit into your online strategy.
So, my parting words….
Hang on to your hats! But hang on tighter to your strategy! Don’t get caught out by thinking ”Ooooh that’s shiny” every time a new social media platform or tool rears its head– trust me it’s easy to do! Even I do it – but then again it‘s my day job!