You may not have a content strategy for your personal Instagram account, but it doesn’t really matter much. Your business social media accounts are different – they need a defined purpose, strategy, and messaging to ensure they’re doing what you need them to do: build your business.
We all know people are talking about our companies and brands online whether we like it or not, and that if we’re not owning or at least influencing the conversation, someone else is. The question now is why you want to participate, how you’ll engage your audience, and on which platforms: in other words, your social media strategy.
So how do you go about creating a strategy? First, articulate why your organization wants to be on social media, and what it hopes to gain. Do you want to build awareness with potential customers? Recruit prospective employees or students? Generate new leads? Choose 1-3 goals and keep them in mind. They’re the foundation of your strategy.
Once you know the why, you need to figure out who your target audience is. Are they HR professionals, prospective college students, or retail management experts? Whoever you’re trying to reach, do your research. Develop a firm understanding of them and what exactly they look for when they go on social media. Go a step further by creating audience personas to keep on hand as reference for keeping your feed on-message.
The next step is figuring out the type of content you will publish. The best way to approach this is to determine what your target audience is looking for. What kind of content can you provide that is beneficial to them? Will they respond best to playful memes, inspiring quotes, or serious business tips? It’s important to inject personality and energy into your content, but remember, this is about what interests your audience, not just you. Social media is a conversation, not a lecture.
Once you’ve established who you want to converse with, and through what type of content, research which social media platforms are the best vehicle. For short, snappy commentary, try Twitter. But if you’re into long-form blogging with photographs, you could experiment with Instagram or Facebook. Resources are limited, so resist the temptation to create a presence on every single platform. Pick 2 or 3 and execute them really well. You can always branch out later.
Although it’s often overlooked, the date and time of posts is one of the most important aspects of a social media strategy. There are lots of statistics about the best time to post, but think about your specific audience, and look at your own analytics to find out what’s working best. Most platforms have their own reports for you to study, but you can also go through a third-party app such as Sprout Social or Hootsuite. Another method is to research important events or holidays that your target audience pays attention to. Scheduling posts around occasions like these will surely boost engagement.
A long time ago, Laurence J. Peter said “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll probably end up somewhere else.” That’s more relevant today than it ever was. With so many social media users these days, it’s absolutely critical to have a successful strategy if you want to stand out among the crowd.
Still feeling overwhelmed by the vast sea of social? Get in touch for a custom social media strategy for your organization!
But it’ll feel more like play. We’re ready to start something inspired and innovative for your brand today.
Sanger & Eby
501 Chestnut St.
Cincinnati, OH 45203
Director, Client Engagement