No, this isn’t an April Fools joke (
although this one is definitely one of my favorites so far EDIT: There’s a new favorite in town since Hamburger Helper dropped this fire mixtape) – I really believe these two steps can get you started on your way to social media success.
In a perfect world, you should now understand (or at least, be considering that) social media should always be approached as a lifestyle play. This form of digital marketing can be tricky, and once you understand that it should be approached carefully and methodically rather than throwing to see what sticks, you can begin to take the steps necessary to create a content strategy that works for you.
Luckily, I do this often and I’m a sucker for a good process so I’ve kind of done a lot of the work for you but before we get into how to identify and group your various pieces of content, let’s take our time to do things right. Social media has the innate ability to humanize your brand, find out how to use that to your advantage.
Below, I’ve outlined two of the most important steps that I take and go through each time I onboard a client here at my agency. This works for me, so it should work for you too, but feel free to modify it to your exact needs. When it comes to building my department at NCLUSIVE, I believe in true partnerships and unified working relationships. It’s important for us to define that voice and tone for our clients’ which helps us to create a cohesive social media strategy. To begin, I always start with the two steps below.
Step 1: Identify Your Goals
This might seem like an obvious first step but we have to start somewhere. A lot of people will often dive right into social media and digital marketing without first identifying what you wish to accomplish.
When it comes to social media, strategists such as myself are faced with an interesting conundrum. At the end of the day, most people expect (or want) social media to drive more sales or more leads. At the same time, social media isn’t the ideal platform to do so and to determine ROI can be incredibly difficult. At my agency, this is the first step, and we ask clients to rank the following options in order of importance:
- Sharing related content
- Showing off your brand’s personality
- Promoting events
- Announcing new products
- Gathering new names for your marketing or email databases
- Acquiring new customers
- Building and nurturing new and existing relationships
- Increasing traffic to your blog/website/landing pages
While I’m sure you can probably identify even more bullet points, we had to stop somewhere and I feel that this gives us plenty to work with. Obviously, all of these things are important, but prioritizing your goals allows us to focus on something and work towards it, bit by bit.
Step 2: Identify Your Brand’s Voice and Tone
Remember when I said earlier that social media has the awesome ability to humanize your brand? Of course you do, because you’re pretty awesome yourself! Humans have a personality, so your brand needs one too. Social media takes your brand a makes it human. As such, it’s important that you identify how you want your brand to sound online.
There are many ways you can go about identify this and working through it, but make sure you take the time to do so because it’s incredibly important. At NCLUSIVE, I’ve broken down this step into 4 different categories for clients to consider. These include PERSONA, TONE, LANGUAGE, and PURPOSE (sorry Biebs, I had it first).
Persona is basically what kind of person is your brand, and includes things like warm, friendly, inspiring, playful, authoritative, professional, sarcastic, or wise.
Tone summarizes how you want your brand to sound, such as personal, humble, clinical, honest, direct, scientific, appreciative, or edgy.
Language refers to the type of words used and includes traits such as complex, savvy, serious, simple, jargon-filled, fun, or whimsical.
Purpose refers to the reason for which you’re posting this content, and includes things like to engage, educate, inform, enable, entertain, delight, sell, or amplify.
There are obviously more that can be added to this list and feel free to do so but make sure that whatever you decide on, you stick with.
When forming a social media strategy from scratch, what are some of the things you consider? I’m anxious to hear how my plan stacks up with others. If you’ve got input, I’d love to hear it!