Does the word strategy ever make you think about military maneuvers? Well, marketers may have borrowed the word from our fine military personnel, but the concept for social media marketing is far less intimidating than heavy artillery.
Before brands even begin to post on the various social media channels they all have one common need: a strategy that provides the right messaging to the right audience through the right channels. So if you know you need to get your brand a social media strategy and fast, the first step you will want to take is planning. Not a lofty task, right? Let’s break down strategy planning into manageable pieces.
Just like the military, a good plan sets off a good chance for success. To begin, you’ll need to start with a foundation of knowledge that helps you and your team build a great strategy. In other words, you need research. Let your inner nerd relish in the pounds of information you’ll need to review.
Not sure where to start digging? We always recommend starting with an audit of a brand's current social media channels in order to document any information gaps, content performance trends or needed channel updates (for example, maybe a new cover photo because the current one isn’t formatted correctly). Also take note of what your audience currently looks like on these channels using available analytics. Then note if that is on par with your goals, or if there is an emerging trend to watch.
Afterwards, we suggest looking to a brand’s competitors to see what their social media activity looks like. When analyzing this information, it’s important to look at the content and marketing strategies that these brands are employing, as well as how the audiences are reacting to the messages. Ask yourself: What does this brand do in comparison to our own? Are they successful with certain content? What makes them not so successful?
Next in the planning process, we recommend that brands identify the information and resources necessary to complete strategy completion. This is when we take the brand’s audit along with the competitor analysis and determine the holes and loose ends and how these can be filled or fixed.
To do so, we begin by determining with the client team what the brand’s marketing goals are for the year ahead. We have to keep in mind each goal’s benchmarks and measures as well so that we can prove progress. These typically align with what the brand is looking to accomplish with the social media strategy. Is the brand looking to increase awareness? Or is it trying to promote a specific service or product?
Answering these questions leads to the review phase of planning—the part where it’s best to analyze what’s been laid out so far and readjust the plan if need be. During this phase, it’s also a great idea to look at what team members will be helping execute the plan, as well as any processes that are in need of being set up to ensure success.
After researching and reviewing the above pieces, you’re one step closer to creating the strategy itself. With all of the knowledge you’ve uncovered, you’ll be better able to outline an editorial calendar with events, benchmarks and company-wide initiatives that can be considered for marketing opportunities.
Then you can chart goals, fine-tune audiences and desired outcomes to focus the strategic tactics and content on. With the planning portion is complete, the next step is to form creative executions, messaging and social media campaigns that relate to the audiences and achieve the goals.
But if it all seems just too overwhelming to tackle alone, we’ll help you prepare a social media strategy that’s fit for the military. Give us a call, send smoke signals or tweet us @thundertech. We won’t let you head into battle without the proper equipment.
Reach out to learn more about how thunder::tech can help your business not only succeed, but accelerate.