Ninamarie Jeffrey, Social Media Strategist
8 Tips for Creating a Social Media Strategy
Updated: Jul 15, 2020
Anyone can jump on a social media platform and start posting. Businesses have realized that they not only benefit from an active social media presence but could potentially lose customers without one. The fact of it is, social media has become an indicator of legitimacy for established businesses. But what is the best way to express yourself as a business - as a brand - on social media? Here’s a guide to get you started with establishing your brand presence on social:
Identify your message, offerings, and the WHY behind them When it comes to social media, it's best to start with a clear message before rushing into anything else. First, what problems does your product or service solve? WHY did you start your company in the first place? What drives your business—what is your WHY? Write down your overarching answer to who, what, and why. Polish it, so it becomes a concise 2-3 sentence explanation. Let this be the launching pad for your voice and content on social media. All content should remain consistent in communicating what you do (or what you offer), WHY you do it and who you are. The trick here is these main points should serve more as anchors for your content strategy as opposed to being main topics themselves. Around these anchor points you will plan and share educational content, and other stories, that relate to these topics and the audience interested in them.
Identify your audience Which people are you trying to reach? You may be trying to reach the whole world, while in fact, your best bet to reach an audience in our oversaturated world is to pare down the audience you have in mind. Ask yourself WHO exactly you want to reach through social. Who would most benefit from your information, from your products or service? Honing in on your audience is the difference between shaking hands with 100 strangers vs. making 30 lifelong friends. Your audience doesn’t need to be tiny unless your product or service is super niche. However, keep in mind that the more specific your audience is, the more effective your content will be—you will be able to zero in and offer more tailored content. Once you identify your main audience, you’ll have a much clearer idea of what you can be doing to reach them.
Solidify your brand’s voice Your brand’s voice may not necessarily be the same as your voice. Take time to have a brand brainstorming session. Get comfy and write down everything that comes to mind: What WORDS represent your brand? What COLORS express your brand? What STYLE suits your brand? What PHOTOS align with your brand? What is the overall VIBE of your brand? Other aspects to consider would be the video style, location, font, and anything else that comes to mind that distinguishes the voice of your brand both visually and contextually. Use this session to develop your brand voice. The key here is the consistency in the style of your voice: make it recognizable. A consistent style will help familiarize your audience with your brand and keep those who resonate with it coming back for more. The more honed in your brand voice is, the more loyal of a following you are likely to cultivate over time. One more thing to keep in mind here is the importance of being genuine. Just as you can feel when someone is putting on an act, so can your audience detect from you and your brand. Be sincere in your messaging to attract an authentic fanbase.
Get inspired A great way to get motivated is to get inspired. The best way to do this is to find other people and businesses with platforms that inspire you. Take time to follow their accounts and look through their posts. What is it that you like about them? Notice their content, pictures, and captions. Consider the subtle details and the overarching vibe or feeling you experience when consuming their content. Identify what is working for others and what aligns with your goals in your brand voice. Take notes!
Do your homework Similar to getting inspired, you’ll need to set aside time to do your research. Familiarize yourself with the different platforms social media has to offer. Don’t write off a platform because you aren’t sure how to use it. The world of social media is continuously changing, and you don’t want to be left in the past. Consider the audience you want to reach. If they are on a platform, you should be too. Next, seek out a couple social media experts you resonate with to follow for essential platform updates and tips. Depending on the industry you’re in, your research may need to include understanding the compliance standards your social media posts must meet legally. If you are in an industry with strict compliance rules, such as real estate or finance, your posts will need to meet the standards put out by your industry’s respective governing body. You can find those online by googling (respective governing body for your industry + social media guideline). Read through it once to fully understand compliance standards and make a list of everything you must add to your posts to comply.
Commit to a schedule If you wait until you feel the right moment to post something, chances are that you’ll be waiting a long time. To prevent this common problem, make yourself a schedule, and stick to it. Trust me, it’ll be that extra dose of discipline you need to get the job done. Decide how frequently you want to post. From there, choose which days you want to post and at what time of the day. Think of it like a meeting you have to attend. Add it to your calendar or set an alarm for it. Some people post as often as twice a day and others post just once a week. Pick a consistency that you can manage, striving to post as frequently as possible. The most important thing is just to get started. Having a schedule written down is your way to commit to your plan and hold yourself accountable.
Ditch the perfectionist monster Nothing kills posting motivation more than perfectionism! At a certain point, you have to tell your perfectionist side to hit the road on an extended road trip while you take control of your dreams and marketing destiny. Social media is a fast world that is overrun with content. You won’t be able to keep up if you’re editing your content over and over again. This is where you need to embrace your confidence and just post. Remember: if your content aligns with your brand voice, offers value to your audience, or insight into the WHY of your business, it's good to go! (Minding any compliance requirements)
Have fun ;) Billions of people flock to their social media accounts to connect with friends, grow or learn about their interests, have a good laugh and soak up new ideas. When you are having fun and being genuine, it will come through in your posts. After all, that’s what it’s for! If this feels impossible for you, consider tackling the psychological aspects of why you dread social media so much OR outsource it to someone who does enjoy it and spare yourself the misery.
Hopefully this inspires you to move forward on launching or focusing your social media presence! Leave any comments or questions below if you have them. Happy posting!