Ask Silver Bullet

Issue 28

"What is important when deciding to create a social media strategy?"

When figuring out how to create a social media strategy there are many elements which need to be considered, mainly whom you are targeting and why. Social media sites are currently at the forefront in our rapidly changing society with platforms being used by millions every day. They have therefore become one of the most influential tools of the 21st century, so having a Social Media strategy in place is not simply valuable, but actually almost essential. Promoting any company requires a marketing strategy, and whether this utilises PR, advertising or a digital marketing campaign, marketing is the key element that will help grow a business from a start-up enterprise into an established small company.

Involving social media in a marketing strategy is possibly the most cost effective way of building an online presence and developing a social media strategy is more than sending a few tweets here and Facebook posts there, but rather a successful strategy will address a target audience with specialised posts to exploit engagement. The great thing about these platforms is they create a trustworthy base for companies to engage with audiences in essence; social media is all about networking. Alongside building a rapport, there are multiple reasons why companies thrive off media planning similarly, just the act of developing a social media strategy enables a company to identify its goals and objectives by researching competitors and engaging with ideal customers. Moreover, social media sites can be used to influence an audience, a cost-effective way of promoting your brand leading to increased business success.

A social media strategy is generally used as a public relations and direct marketing tool to target a specific audience with the aim of growing customer commitment. In order to allow maximum engagement on social media, each site needs to be managed and monitored at regular intervals by reacting to conversations and engaging with your audience. Contrary to popular belief, controlling a social network within a specific sector is not easy but is achievable. Unlike personal social media accounts, views and beliefs have to be regulated, yet have to have interesting subject matter to engage the network. Social media will not generate a huge amount of sales instantly for a small business, but if these sites generate brand awareness and drive people on to a website, then they have achieved their aims and have justified the investment in them.

To understand how to create a social media strategy, organisation is key - you need to know which platforms are relevant to you and your company.

Jen Macdonald, Silver Bullet Marketing

However, to create a social media strategy which effectively contributes to a business’ reputation, it’s important to recognise that social networks are constantly updating. The first thing that needs to be considered is whom are you targeting, what this target audience are responding to and when. Only when this has been determined, can a strategic plan be developed to expand and influence your network. To understand how to create a social media strategy, organisation is key – you need to know which platforms are relevant to you and your company, whether this be Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, etc. Use online assistance tools – there are certain scheduling tools such as Hootsuite, which allows you to pre-write posts.

This helps the organisation of your strategy, but daily attention is still required for accounts to keep up with shifting trends. A great tool to assist with a strategy is the analytics found on most social media platforms with this you can understand your audience and perceive peak times of engagement in order to reach the largest number. Another important aspect of creating a social media strategy is to decide the tone and frequency of interaction a useful tip when using your social media accounts is to not overwhelm people with business talk. The whole point of social media sites is exactly that to be social it is not a business directory or your website, it is a way of engaging with people. You’re still promoting your company but, hopefully, subtly for example, with Twitter don’t tweet a business fact every 10 minutes because it will get missed and people will not engage, better to make your account playful with relevant information, add in business news or information when necessary. Your audience will believe you are more reliable and trustworthy if you come across with a personal touch rather than a corporation. Your social media strategy should reflect you as a company if your main USP’s are reliability and trustworthiness make your social media account just that.

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