Hi, blog readers! This is Rachel, the summer 2014 Digital Media Intern at i76 Solutions. I’m studying Communication Arts and Business Administration at a small school in New England. My career interests range from professional crocheter to marketing maven, and I eagerly accepted a position at a digital marketing agency to try my hand at the seemingly more realistic of these two dreams.
Let me tell you, time has FLOWN by. How is it almost August?! My time at i76 has been marked by various fun and exciting projects (like this drone); however, my main task is to grow and maintain an interested audience across our social media channels. It has been quite the learning experience. Contrary to popular belief, we millennials a.k.a. “social media experts” do not know the first thing about strategy or how to successfully target an audience. If you’re reading this blog post I’m guessing you might be in the same boat. Today I’ll be sharing with you my newfound knowledge about crafting a social media strategy for success.
First, stop whatever you’re doing. If you’re already present on social media without a clear strategy or if you’re a novice looking to jump into the social ocean, take a step back. It’s always better to look before you leap and, in this case, ask yourself a few questions before taking the plunge.
– Who are you?
– What distinguishes you?
– What is your voice?
– Who is your target audience?
– What platforms do they frequent?
– What are they interested in?
– Who do they listen to?
– Who are the influencers in your niche?
– How can you associate with them?
– What conversations can you join?
Once you have a clear grasp of your social media goals, you should think about content. Don’t post just to post—add value to your followers’ newsfeeds by creating conversations or adding to relevant and interesting threads. I love this part of social strategy because I love to read. When I was younger I used to say I wanted to work somewhere where my only job was to read and, honestly, sometimes I feel like that is what it takes to be a good social media manager. I scour news sites and news feeds for ideas daily, posting relevant news stories in real-time and bookmarking ideas for later. My taskbar might look insane with the number of bookmarks I have, but it’s always better to have content to fall back on when you’re feeling not-so-creative or need to plan ahead.
Then, make a schedule outlining posting frequencies for each platform. Different sources contradict each other, but the general consensus says:
– Facebook user engagement is highest Wednesdays around 3 PM, peak hours on weekday afternoons
– Twitter user engagement is highest Monday – Thursdays 9 – 3 PM
– Instagram receives high user engagement daily since it’s a mobile app, but a high percentage of people post on Thursdays (#tbt for the win)
– LinkedIn user engagement is highest early mornings before work, or early evenings right after work
Keep on track with your schedule but don’t be afraid to get ‘crazy’ and post something outside of it.
Once you have identified your goal, your content type, and schedule, start making an appearance on the web. A common mistake for people to make is to assume that others will discover their web presence and flock to their golden content—wrong! Half the time people won’t even know you’re there; you have to give some to get some. Start following local outlets, influencers, and people who might be interested in your content. See something interesting in your news feed? Thank the outlet who posted it or ask a question in response.
A few miscellaneous things to remember:
– Starting low or from scratch is not a disadvantage! This is a prime time to experiment and see what works for your organization. Play around with different styles of content or scheduling without the risk of losing too many followers if things go awry.
– Don’t feel like you need to jump on the bandwagon and be present on every social platform known to man. If it doesn’t make sense for your organization, don’t use it. Better to experience success on one platform than to be invisible on several.
Social media for business is a learned skill and one that must be practiced and honed on a regular basis. I hope that these brief insights will help you correct or create a social media strategy for success. Questions? Fill out the form below and we’d be happy to chat with you. We #THINKandDO and hope you will too!
P.S. if you’re not following us on social media after reading this post… you should be.