According to The Guardian in this six degrees of separation article, we are a mere 6 introductions away from Madonna and the Dalai Lama. Imagine that!
We live in a small world wherein we are connected to literally everyone, thanks to social media. It has not only changed the way we share content, but also our understanding of the notion of privacy. Nowadays, everybody has access to your profile and can see how you are, what you do, and what you like - and you don’t always have control on what information they see.
We all need social media …
Running a company in this new era, where everyone and everything is linked, means that a social media presence is key to helping you create a unique personality for your brand. It is a great opportunity to become better known, get closer to your audience, and give your personas a better overall user experience. Everything you share will reflect who you are, and this is why you need a successful social media strategy.
The world of journalism has also changed. It’s really great to have access to platforms on which your newspaper’s content is shared in real time, meaning you can also interact in real time with your customers. According to Pew Research, since 2016 62% of the American population has been getting its news from social media. This means that bringing social platforms into your overall strategy has become a basic need for any newspaper.
People love to share their experiences on social media; consequently, they have come to expect the same exact thing from companies. Social platforms exist to build relationships and interact with others, and are therefore a great opportunity to make your audience feel important, and strengthen loyalty. Growing your business using social media is a matter of getting closer to your customer. It helps the company prove to its audience that it is not being ignored; rather, what the audience thinks and feels is of great importance to the company. It is a good way of expressing the values of your brand, as well as sharing quality content that develops your credibility.
But, here’s the problem - coming up with (and maintaining) a good social media content strategy is truly nothing less than an art.
… So let’s be SMART about it
Social media is the best place to create buzz around your brand. It’s imperative to plan your actions well ahead of time; develop a strategy that puts your persona at the center. Set goals. One of the most frequently used techniques to reach your planned goals is S.M.A.R.T.
S is for specific - define your goals clearly and specifically. M is for measurable - when you set your goals, think about the metrics which you will use to analyse your actions, later. A is for attainable - the goals you define must be real and possible. R is for relevance - the goal you have defined must be relevant to your global business goals. Don’t forget that everything you share is intended to build trust and credibility. And finally, T is for time - create deadlines for yourself to achieve your goals, rather than always saying “I’ll do it later” and then that never happening.
Here’s a few more tips: - Always see what your competitors are doing. You can learn very valuable things from them, whether their strategy is good or bad. - Choose the best social media platforms to share the message of your brand. Remember that each has its own language, and therefore you must learn to adapt to every platform. - Create a content plan and calendar, and use the appropriate tools to schedule your posts. Find and use statistics about the best time of day to speak to your audience and on which platform - here’s a guide to start with, but it’s always best to build on your own experience.
People on social media talk openly about what they want. This makes it easier for you to discover what your personas want and use it to your best advantage. If you know how to use the different platforms your customers are on, reaching them has never been easier.
The Bottom Line
Every effort put into improving content will come back to you, just like any other investment would; just don’t forget that the rest of your marketing plan (including the actual content!) must also be great in order to render good results.
All platforms change constantly. Keep yourself updated if you really want your enterprise to move forward and grow with its community. Don’t stress about sharing daily and at the peak times dictated by studies; you will find great advice online, but every audience is different. If at some point you realise that you are posting at the wrong times, or using an inappropriate tone of voice, it’s never too late to turn around and start over.
And here’s the real bottom line. If you don’t have something useful to share, then it’s best not to share anything at all. Relevance is key, and your audience will only be engaged if you content truly matters to it. Your readers’ personalities and the way they interact with your content is what matters; use this to guide the decisions you make in building and implementing your strategy. Everything that your users feel, share, comment, or like will be your feedback, and the motivation to continue in your efforts. A gesture as small as a Facebook like will already serve as an indication that your company is reaching its audience’s expectations.