My framework for every solid social media strategy includes six M-words: mission, message, management, medium, metrics, and monitoring.
Every time I need to create a new strategy, I start here.
The rest of the book elaborates on these elements, and here is a snapshot of each.
What are the goals? It’s crucial to know the goals because they are the why.
Why is the brand or organization using social media channels?
I’m not referring to the company’s mission; the social media mission should differ from the mission of the entire organization.
Your social media mission (should you choose to accept it) is more like a mission James Bond or John Wick would take on – an assignment to meet a specific objective.
You need to know what your goals are in order to achieve them.
Your goals become your North Star when faced with decisions challenging your strategy.
Having clear goals gives you reason to say “No” to content or tactics that do not align with or support the objectives you’re trying to achieve by using social media.
If not, your content will lack focus, and if you don’t know why you’re using the platform, then your audience won’t know either.
Using social media just to be on the platforms is like being a hamster on a wheel doing a lot of work for no purpose or ever achieving anything. If you don’t know why you’re doing it, then why do it?
What are the stories you want to tell to support your goals?
We all know the importance and value of storytelling. It’s how you create an emotional connection with your audience.
It’s a way to show your audience you relate to their needs, concerns, and priorities.
No one wants to listen to anyone making a point, but people will stop to listen to a good story. Being consistent with your message is how you achieve your goals.
The marketing rule of seven states that customers need to be exposed to your brand at least seven times before they make a purchase.
A colleague I once worked with remarked that you, meaning employees working within the company, have to be sick of a message, like literally want to throw up if you have to hear the message one more time, before consumers even start to take notice of it.
Thus, your messages have to be constant, repetitive, and laser focused in order to reach your audiences. What stories are your social media feeds telling?
What are your processes and procedures?
It’s important to have a system when posting social media content, and it should be all written down.
There’s something about having processes and procedures written on paper that makes them feel more official and formal.
When you have a process document it helps to gain trust with leadership and stakeholders.
When they can see and understand the process it gives them a look underneath the hood and demystifies the process, and hopefully they’ll micromanage it less if that’s something you experience.
You don’t want to post content haphazardly. No matter how hard you try to prevent mistakes they will happen, and having a process minimizes those mistakes.
It also helps to minimize the severity of the mistakes. Having a process makes posting content more reliable.
What are your primary platforms?
It’s not the quantity of social media channels you’re active in but the quality of your content that matters. If the content is good, people will take notice.
Good content on any given channel can lead to earned media.
I’ve never seen an article published about an organization who’s active in the most number of platforms.
Virality doesn’t have anything to do with what platform it’s on and everything to do with the content itself.
I think too much importance gets placed on being on all of the platforms. If the content isn’t good there’s no point to being on any of them.
What numbers are you tracking?
At the end of the day data, even anecdotal data, is what tells you if what you’re doing is working.
It’s important to determine which metrics you plan to track before starting, which is why this is an essential part of the strategy.
Sometimes there’s a direct line between your goal and the metric you want to track. For instance, if growth is your goal you would track followers.
But chances are there’s more of a dotted line between your goal and the metric you want to study, it’s less obvious, like awareness or excitement around a new product launch.
In this case, you might record engagement on content promoting the new product, comments about the new product and the launch and the sentiment of the comments, and independent mentions of the product and the launch.
When you start tracking what you need from the beginning it’s easier than going back. Take screenshots of comments as you see them and record the numbers you need.
This way you’ll be ready to report on how the topic is doing on social at any moment and you’ll know early on if content is resonating or not with your audience.
Are you listening to your audience? They’ll reveal a lot if you pay attention to their interactions on social media.
They’ll give you feedback, their current emotional state, their needs, what they want to see more of on your channels.
While there can be a lot of noise in the comments, you will also find a wealth of information about how your community feels about you and your online relationship with them.
The process doesn’t end when you hit “Post.”
That’s when the community building part begins.
This extract is from Organic Social Media by Jenny Li Fowler ©2023 and is reproduced and adapted with permission from Kogan Page Ltd.
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