Remember the story you told at your in-laws’ Thanksgiving dinner table that ended in awkward silence and a scowl from grandma? We’ve all been there. Yet, somehow, when you tell the same story to a room full of your friends, it always ends in roaring applause. You’re telling the same story, in the same way, each time, so why are the outcomes so vastly different? It’s simple, you need to read the room.
The same concept applies to social media marketing. If you want your target audience to react positively to your posts, you need to humanize your message – meet them where they are. That means understanding the subtle nuances of the room (platform) where you’re communicating. Know your audience, what they’re doing at the moment, and most importantly, why in the world they should care about what you’re saying.
Step 1: Conduct an Audit
First, it’s important to note that it’s never too late to salvage a social media account that’s been neglected or mishandled. The first step towards success starts with reading your rooms, more formally known as conducting an audit.
An effective audit will dive deep into your entire social media ecosystem and unearth what’s worked and what hasn’t. It uncovers where your audience is, who they are and how they consume information. The result of an audit will be a blueprint of data that you can use to influence your entire social media strategy moving forward.
Step 2: Draft a Playbook
After conducting your audit, you’ll start to notice differences in how your content has performed across your different social media platforms. You may notice that your case studies perform great on LinkedIn, but seem to be ignored on Instagram. To turn this around, you’ll need to transform the data you gained from your audit into something tangible that you can follow – a social media playbook.
Your playbook will combine all the newfound knowledge from your audit into an easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide for your specific social media channels. This will give your company a unified strategy for handling social media that can be followed at scale.
The key to any successful social media playbook and corresponding strategy is to create guidelines that are rooted in data but stay true to the tone and voice of your brand. This will allow you to provide value to your target audience while ensuring that your message is received as honest and thoughtful – on a human level. Your playbook should include guidelines for the best and most appropriate messaging and tone of voice to reach your target audience – and platforms where they are most likely to visit and engage.
Step 3: Report, Adjust, Repeat
Although your initial audit yielded heaps of helpful data and your social media playbook is brimming with a well-thought-out strategy, you’ll need to be ready to adapt to the constantly changing world of social media.
Attentions shift, technologies evolve and audiences jump from platform to platform like a contestant on The Bachelor. To keep up, you’ll need to communicate with your audiences and regularly keep an eye on how your accounts are performing.
For instance, conduct monthly audits of your accounts, report on your findings and adjust your strategy accordingly. If you tried something new last month and your engagement dwindled, reference your most recent audit and refocus your strategy to utilize more content that your audience has shown they value. Experimenting on social media is important, but try not to veer off your existing content strategy too quickly and pay close attention to your audience’s feedback and engagement each time you try something new. On the other hand, if something you did last month resonated well with your audience, keep at it and see if it continues to help build engagement.
Most importantly, remember to be honest with your audience. Ask them questions and respond to their concerns. Communicate with them on a human level and you’ll be amazed at what they’ll tell you.
Let Frederick Swanston help create a social media strategy that connects with your consumers and adds value to your brand experience. Contact us here.