By: Bayshore Solutions Digital Marketing Team
In the early days of social media, many businesses just threw up a Facebook Fan Page, started posting and hoped for the best. Now, as social media continues to grow into a sophisticated means of reaching customers, developing a concrete strategy and plan of attack is crucial to make social media tools integral parts of your marketing plan. Here are some sage sentiments from military generals that highlight the steps to create a social media strategy for market domination:
Choose Your Weapons
“Make your plans to fit the circumstances.”
– General George S. Patton
Facebook. Twitter. YouTube. Foursquare. Google+. Instagram. LinkedIn. Tumblr. An endless array of options exist for you to connect with your customers. As you begin to formulate your social media strategy, keep in mind several important factors:
1) What resources do I have to effectively execute a social media strategy?
- Who do you have on staff to develop content?
- How much time can they commit to posting and monitoring?
2) What forms of social media will my customers be most responsive to?
- For example, do some research on your area before you decide to commit time to promote a Tumblr page. If Tumblr isn’t a popular medium for your industry, you could be wasting valuable resources that would be better served elsewhere.
3) What type of content are we already creating for the website and other mediums can we re-purpose on our social media?
- The key to choosing your mediums is to avoid overstretching yourself by having a presence on every form of social media in existence. It is best to choose a few where you can provide excellent content rather than have many that are rarely updated.
Determine Your Purpose
“The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it.”
– General Norman Schwarzkopf
What is the reason your business is present in social media?
Defining the purpose for your social media is vital for developing a consistent voice and style. Is your focus on providing hard news to your customers or is it to create and share fun and entertaining content? (It can be both.)
After you determine the overarching goals of your social media, take a look at each medium you plan to use and think about how you should use it. It might be better to use Twitter as a news medium while Facebook might be better for engaging your customers in conversation. Think about what works best for your situation.
Define Your Content
“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”
– Sun Tzu
Develop a content plan for each of your social media channels. Preparing this plan will help you be more consistent with your content marketing on a regular basis. With this basic framework of content in place, your customers will begin to expect certain types of content and help you assess what type of content is most engaging.
For example, a business that sells hats could develop a regular feature on Facebook called “Our Hats Around the World” and showcase fans of the brand wearing those hats in different locations around the world. This engages fans and encourages them to send in their photos wearing that particular hat and provides you with a regular source of content.
Plan Your Team-Work
“An army is a team. It lives, eats, sleeps, fights as a team.”
– General George S. Patton
With the numerous responsibilities you may have on a daily basis, expecting one person to provide ALL of the content for your social media can be a daunting task. Find a method that works best for your business. You can designate a member of your team to focus on being your community manager, or specific experts to specific social channels. Bayshore Solutions can also offer social media management services for your business to help you effectively use social media.
Assess, Adjust and Improve
“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, learning from failure.”
– General Colin Powell
As you engage with your customers on social media, it’s important to constantly re-evaluate your strategy based on the content that generates the most desired interaction. If you’re spending an hour of your time each week creating a weekly video for Facebook that is getting one or two likes each time, then perhaps it’s best to dedicate that time creating a different type of content. Listening to your customers is crucial to making the most of your social media presence.
Daunted by the idea of developing a robust social media strategy to grow your business? Contact us. Our team at Bayshore Solutions is ready to assist with an effective digital marketing plan for you!