In this day and age, the digital times we live in, no entity whether big or small can survive without Social Media. They can be a powerful tool, a leverage for impact, your step into someone’s life you would have never encountered.
But Social Media is more than just a Facebook page. It takes more than just a Twitter account and your occasional Tweet when a news report is out, you have to get a message out urgently or, well, you just thought it was time to tweet again. Especially if your are trying to raise your profile, gain more supporters and get yourself known you should be prepared to invest a significant amount of time and resources.
Here are six essentials that will help you build your Social Media strategy and unlock their true potential:
1. Build your story
In our fast paced lives and a world full of information it is not enough to get people wondering. In fact, wondering is not at all what you should be aiming at. No one neither has the time to wonder what you are trying to say nor do they have fun doing it. People are spoilt for clear messages. So know your story, sharpen it and be clear! And have it ready to be out there.
It might actually take you a while to sharpen that brand identity. Many fail here thinking a vague idea might just be as good and it will come with time. But knowing exactly what you stand for, setting key values and qualities is the basis for everything else to come. And most of all: BE AUTHENTIC! Try to be the best version of yourself instead of a second best version of someone else.
So, in this list of essentials, number 1 ist truly the first step that needs to be accomplished.
2. Know your audience
Whether it is by locality, age or interests find out what the main traits of your target group are. Build a profile of your typical user, maybe using the personas method where you actually envision that person going over and using your site. This will also help you clear your website from things that might have been a great idea to have on there in theory but certainly are of no use to your real target audience. Once you have an idea who your target group is, try to put together specific topics they are interested in.
3. Use the right channels
Not every Social Media platform is the right one for you. In fact, when you go through the process of building your strategy you will most probably decide against some of them. Your main criteria for choosing the right channels: All your energy and efforts should be going into those platforms that are used by your target audience.
4. Embed in your platforms
Once you’ve decided on your platforms and you set up your profiles, don’t forget to integrate them in your site. Many fail here thinking that your supports will actually search for you on Facebook etc. Having Social Media Buttons on your main frontpage, blog or article pages or single projects pages will take you a long way.
5. Track, report, learn
Every Social Media platforms offers insights on how your fans, followers and friends are interacting with you and how the information you are offering is being re-used via shares, re-tweets etc. There is also more extensive information on your users: age groups, gender proportions, even location. While these figures are interesting per se, they are also most valuable for polishing your Social Media strategy. Try to build on these insights by studying them frequently. If your aim is for interactions with your brand, you should be pulling off more of these tweets and posts that were able to gain lots of traction. If you are looking for conversion – actual visits on your websites – try for engaging and inspiring contents with some form of incentive for your supporters to click on.
A successful Social Media strategy needs to be exactly that: strategic. It all starts with building your story being authentic and clear about it, knowing the people you are reaching out to and knowing where and how to interact with them.