- Why do I need a social media strategy?
- What should I think about when I post?
- How can I define my voice?
Using social media to market your business seems pretty straightforward. You just post, get the word out, and wait for new customers.
But there’s actually a lot more to it. Every single one of your posts should be part of a larger social media strategy. For example, let’s say there’s a new restaurant called Pete’s Paleo Pizza that sells gluten-free, dairy-free pizza.
Pete just set up some social media accounts to market his pizza and is eager to start posting and gaining new followers. But how can he make sure he’s actually helping his business when he posts?
Social Media is all about being, well, social. A hashtag encourages conversation, and being informative yet approachable builds follower loyalty. That gets you shares and reposts, which will help you get more followers. And that’s the power of social media.
Doing social media right is like hosting a successful dinner party. It’s your job to keep the chatter flowing and fun, while also creating a welcoming atmosphere.
Being a party host takes a solid plan, an open mind and close attention to the wants and needs of your guests. The same goes for running an effective social media account The 4 things you should pay attention to while doing social media are voice, content, timing, and conversation. Let’s explore all of them in more detail.
You should shape your voice and presence around your audience. To do this, you should get to know them.
What are their interests? Where do they live? What do they do? What places or other social media sites do they visit?
If you forget everything else, remember this: If you know your audience, you can find your voice. If you find your voice, you can reach your audience.
Think of your content as the furniture in your house. It should represent your taste, generate conversation, and keep a consistent style throughout.
Your content should also make people feel comfortable. Social media is all about getting your audience to communicate with you and feel good in your presence.
That means: Don’t use social media solely as a place to sell yourself or your product. Use it to tell your story, connect with your audience, and portray a feeling.
Take your audience behind the scenes of your business, share news and events, and post how-to’s and photos. Ask people for their opinions and acknowledge holidays, birthdays, and special occasions. All of this can help build customer loyalty.
There’s a fine line between engaging your audience and overloading them. That’s why timing is so important in social media.
Posting off-schedule or twice in a row is fine sometimes, but just make sure to keep a good balance [AKA cadence]. Don’t bombard your audience with content, but don’t go silent, either.
1 or 2 posts per platform each day should do it – at hours when your audience is more active, of course. For Pete, this might be in the morning, after his Paleos’ daily run, and at lunchtime, while they’re eating kale at their desks.
Finally, remember that the conversation isn’t all about you. Get to know your audience – they’re your focus group. Ask questions. Start discussions. Respond.
Feel free to give a little push with a call to action. This is a fancy term for telling your audience to do something… like asking them to submit relevant photos and stories or sending them to your website when you’re having a sale.
Yes, we used the “S” word, It’s okay to drive sales through your social media sometimes. But in order to do that, you’ve got to entertain your customers too.
The best thing about social media is that it lets you interact with almost anyone directly. Bloggers, experts, even celebrities are at your fingertips. Reach out to them to increase your presence. And when one of them writes about you, be sure to reshare their post and tag them.
Let’s see how General Electric (GE) used social media to transform their business.
GE used social media to change their brand from one that only meant “appliances” to one that brings innovation and technology to mind.
First, they defined their target audience: forward-thinking, innovative, and interested in health, transportation, and the infrastructure or their cities. To reach this audience, GE developed a playful yet educational voice.
For posts, GE used eye-catching images, videos, links, and questions. For example, they would share photos of their scientists working on robots, which showed both the technical and human sides of the company.
GE’s Content also always hits one of these topics:
- end benefits (how GE’s products have helped build a better world)
- the employees at GE, and success stories of how GE’s innovation has touched people’s lives.
By using a strong, consistent voice and by making their social media not solely about their products, GE’s content became the center of a new global conversation.
Now that you’ve learned what goes into a social media presence, you can start defining your voice.
- What’s your company name? (e.g. GI)
- Choose two adjectives that suit your business: (e.g. fun, health)
- What industry are you in? (e.g. food)
- Describe your target audience in two words: (e.g. health-conscious, fit)
- How do you want your target audience to see you? (e.g. As a friend / as a guide / as a teacher / as an expert)
Your tone of voice: We are GI. we are a fun and healthy name in the food industry. Our audience is health-conscious and fit. We speak to our audience as an expert
References: Google Webmasters, Think With Google, Google Primer