4 secret ingredients to a successful social media strategy
“Focus on how to be social, not how to do social.” – Jay BaerDeepanshu Gahlaut
When it comes to social media, there is no single recipe for success. Using social media to market your business seems pretty straightforward, you just tweet something and get a new customer or visitor to your website but there is actually more to it. It's not only about being more social, but, in fact, it’s more about encouraging, engaging and enlightening your community.
Social media is like hosting a dinner party, consider business as the host who creates an interactive, entertaining and fun environment for its guests.
Let's face it, a host’s job is not easy. It takes a good understanding of the needs of his/her guests, cheerfully greet them and quickly respond to them. The same goes for using social media for your business.
While there is not a single recipe for social media success but these four key ingredients (Voice, Content, Timing, Conversation) will help you create and sustain your social media presence.
You should shape your voice, tone, and presence around your audience. Voice is defined with your brand personality, for example, your brand can be lively, excited, positive or professional. It should not be confused with the tone which is a subset of your brand voice. The tone refines your voice based on several factors such as situation, your audience and social channel.
In order to determine, voice and tone for your brand you should know your audience and the channel you are posting on. Ask following questions:
1. Identity: Who are they?
2. Interest and Hobbies: What are their interests?
3. Geography: Where do they live, travel or work?
4. Work: What do they do?
5. Social Network: What social channel do they use?
6. Web Interest: What sites do they visit and share on their social media?
Consider social media as a dinner party. The food you are serving is the content. It should represent your audience's taste, engagement and consistent style throughout.
1. Use content to tell a story, something they can personally relate with.
2. Share news, trends, research, how-tos.
3. Post visuals such as photos, videos, GIFs that can grab your audience's attention and drive interest.
4. Reshare, retweet and repost others content as well to build your following and grow your brand.
5. Before posting, ask yourself, would my audience like this content and share on their feed?
Content is what defines your brand and help you grow and nourish relationships. Always remember that the entertaining, engaging and valuable content instantly get shared.
Timing is everything on social media. Isn't it?
And, the best timings to post is when your audience wants to see it, or most active. But there are several other things that should be considered to find out the best time to post on social media:
1. Your Audience: Who they are and where they are located?
2. Social Network: What social network you are using - Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc.
3. Your Voice and Tone: i.e. content you share on social media.
4. Objective: Your social media goals and business goals.
Always keep the balance in posting on social media. Be relevant and post enough content that your audience will like and share. Don't bombard your audience with content and don't go silent either.
Social media is a great channel that let businesses listen in on market trends, new opportunities, find new customers and proactively address their existing customer’s needs.
Conversation is what opens the door for businesses to interact with their audience and handle different conversation challenges (such as angry comment, troll, or a technical question) in a direct and responsive way.
1. Know your audience, their interest, geography, and work.
2. Ask questions to share their opinion with you. This is a great way to start a discussion.
3. Respond to comments, both positive and negative in a polite and consistent way that reflects your brand voice.
4. Always use a call to action in your post to let your audience engage. Tell them to click on a particular link, tell them so something such as submit their photos or a story.
If you use a strong and consistent voice and tone for your brand, you don't have to pretend what your business is actually not. This way social media can be a very rewarding channel for your business success.
Always remember, success in social media marketing requires a deep understanding of your audience needs and interests. Plus, there must be a clear advantage that motivates them to connect and engage with you.