Secrets to delivering on short-term performance and long-term value.
This isn’t a typical “how-to” blog post about social media.
There are enough how-to’s and tutorials out there. Just search “how to build a social media strategy” and Google delivers 94,000,000 results. If you’re reading this, we’ve probably read the same tips.
And it’s all mostly the same basic stuff.
- Define goals and metrics
- Identify your audience
- Choose the right platforms
- Audit your competitors
- Define a content plan
- Set a media budget
- Target, execute, learn and improve
To be clear, those things are all extremely important if you’re going to develop a successful brand presence on social media. But it’s all process, not strategy. What brands that struggle on social really lack is a unifying strategy that sets a vision and delivers unique value to the right audiences. And if you’re reading this, my hunch is that’s what you really want.
The Big Social Strategy Any Brand Can Execute
Whether the goal is to drive sales, generate leads or build brand affinity, I believe there is a single strategy that can deliver both short-term performance and long-term value for brands.
The Strategy: Deliver value and build community every day with the people you care about most in the places where they are most likely to engage.
Let’s analyze that statement because the words are important.
“Deliver value . . .” This is the most often confused or ignored element of social media by brands. This isn’t about your offer, your service or your product. This is about how you will earn attention, engage and build trust. Value creation is the heart of every strong social media strategy. To create value, identify how you will uniquely entertain, inspire or inform your audience consistently.
“ . . . and build community . . .” I’m not talking about amassing followers. This is about caring about the people who pay attention to your stories, click on your posts or tune in to the podcast. Social media should be social, and brands that win find authentic ways to build connections with the people who follow them.
“ . . . every single day . . .” Yes, every day. Social isn’t an overnight play. It’s a long-term effort that rewards consistency and persistence. This is about showing up, engaging your followers, creating new content, paying attention to what’s rising on the platform. Social isn’t a set it and forget it thing.
“ . . . with the people . . .” Know your audience. This isn’t about demographics. This is about getting into the heart, mind, soul, pains, anxieties, fears, hopes and dreams of the people you want to connect to your brand. Get in their heads and hearts before you win their wallets.
“ . . . you care about most . . .” Don’t be everything to everyone. Know your target audience (who’s most likely to be your ideal customer) and create content that resonates with them. Speak their language, capitalize on memes, etc.
“ . . . in the places where they are most likely to engage.” Your brand doesn’t have to be everywhere—just the channels where your ideal customers are the most likely to be engaged. It’s important that you prioritize content your brand can consistently execute.
This becomes real when the strategy is specified for your brand. For example, “We will (what’s the value you will bring) and build community with (the specific people you want to attract) every day via (the platforms and mediums that you choose).”
Spend time defining that statement and you’ll have an effective social strategy.
Brands must seize the opportunity social media presents to drive performance and build brand affinity. With 91% of brands reporting that their social media marketing budgets will increase in the next three years, chances are strong that your competition is ramping up their social efforts as well. The brands that win are the ones who understand their customers, deliver unique value to them consistently and get better with every single post.
Read more about our social media services to learn how we can help you implement a social strategy: