Taking the first plunge into a strategic social media initiative can be complicated. Sure, it seems easy enough to tweet every once in a while. But it’s just as easy to become one of the millions of abandoned Twitter handles when you realize it’s a little more complicated than 140 characters.
A lot of organizations want to come out swinging, content-first. Content is important and can ultimately bring in leads and facilitate engagement when done correctly. But understanding the fundamental characteristics that make social media so valuable will lead to content that pays off.
Try using a step-by-step approach to master social-media strategy. Remember Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs from freshman psychology? It’s like that. Understand the base and you are prepared to take on the next step. By the time you reach the top, you are well on your way to a sound social media engagement strategy.
True Digital’s social media engagement hierarchy starts with understanding how to interact on varying social media networks and finishes with creating, distributing and talking about meaningful content you created.
In the coming weeks, we will take an in-depth look at each of these steps. For now, here’s a quick overview:
This may be old hat for some, but all too often, we advice clients that automatic cross-posting between Facebook and Twitter is not ideal for either audience. This is one the many rules in the language of social media. How can you have meaningful conversations if you’re speaking different languages?
Social media has created the opportunity for complete, unbridled two-way communication benefiting marketers and consumers. While Facebook and Twitter aren’t always the ideal sounding board we expect, there no reason we shouldn’t be encouraging conversation whenever possible and engaging users who reach out to us.
You know the language and how to talk. Now, how often should you speak? Understanding when your audience wants to engage can be one of the most difficult steps in outlining your social media strategy – mostly, because it’s different for every audience and every brand. Then, you have to marry their expectations with your ability to provide fresh content.
Developing a tone that connects with your audience in social is an ongoing process and it certainly can’t be done before taken some time to listen to when and how they talk in social venues. You may have endless market research on your target audience, but all those charts and graphs are no substitute for real conversations with real people.
By now, you know a lot about your social audience. While you may already have content you’ve been sharing, you should have a laundry list for new idea by the time you make it to this point. More importantly, your efforts to this point are likely reaping rewards. That means you should be ready to allocate more resources to social media, and original content is a great supplement for and new social media strategy initiatives.
Author: Tyler Norris [Google+]