Why does a brand need a social media strategy before diving into a social media campaign?
For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to get healthier and lose weight. However, the only time I ever saw any results, was the one time I set forth an actual plan, a strategy, that included having an actual understanding of me, and what my weaknesses are, my areas of opportunities, my likes and dislikes, as well as having attainable goals, both short and long term. Any other time that I have tried to embark on a fitness adventure with no strategy, the adventure tends to end abruptly with close to no results.
Ever started a project, an activity, or even a hobby without a goal? Sure, you may have an idea of the outcome you wish to achieve, however, unless you have a good understanding of what your goal will be, it’s tough to measure your success, or stick to a plan. Whether you are looking to start a fitness plan, or garden, setting goals, even if they are small ones, is of the utmost importance. Positive Psychology goes as far as saying that setting goals helps trigger new behaviors and helps guide our focus and allow you to sustain momentum in the life of the project or task at hand. Setting goals helps us maintain motivation, helps our mental health, and the level of success both personally and professionally.
In the world of brands and social media, it works exactly the same way! A brand cannot simply rely on it’s name or popularity, to achieve their social media goals, without a well calculated and thought-out strategy. Marketing 101 taught us all about the AIDA funnel model, and the importance of awareness, interest, desire and action that goes into the sales process, but in the hyperconnected world of social media, marketers have looked even further into the digital marketing customer journey and have come to an understanding that the customer now goes through a whole lot more of an adventure when they are deciding to engage and ultimately buy a product or a service, a loop if you will. The Harvard Business Review agreed by saying that, “far from systematically narrowing their choices, today’s consumers take a much more iterative and less reductive journey”, by not only considering, evaluating, buying, and enjoying, but also advocating, and bonding with the brand.
A well-designed strategy social media strategy will be able to answer the following questions:
1. Why do you want to be on social media?
2. Who is your Target audience?
3. What are you going to share?
4. Where are you going to share?
5. When are you going to share?
Interwoven within the research needed to answer those questions, the marketer will take into consideration maintaining engagement and growing followship. However, if the year 2020 has taught us anything, it is also understanding that moving forward it will be a lot harder to do achieve those goals. Therefore, creating relationship-based social media marketing techniques is so important today. Developing relationships with followers and customers is essential and needs to be one of those goals we talked about in the beginning of this post. Sprout Social settles that there is nothing more important than ‘word-of-mouth marketing’. Establishing a solid foundation with your customers is a terrific way of keeping them happy about your brand. When you have customers that are enthusiastic about your brand, not only will they continue to shop with you, but they’ll tell their friends and family about you as well, and therefore advocating and bonding.
Video games, YouTube videos, and home-based niches are seeing a huge surge of places where audiences are spending their time during our current pandemic days. It is the job of the social media marketers to make certain that our audiences are found as they navigate different platforms. Video and live streaming is seeing a fourfold jump in traffic, messaging apps are being used by businesses, providing customer service through social media, and e-commerce through these platforms, are some of the most common trends being seen today, and they need to be considered in your strategy as potential places to find new and returning audiences. Having a solid strategy will allow you to find, through your research, what is the new, the up-and-coming, and what is working in the current market.
Failing to have a social media strategy before diving into a social media campaign can be detrimental! Social Media Today calls out some of the many ways a brand and business can hurt if a social media strategy is not developed, among those are: overpaying for your current digital advertising campaigns if using targeting methods like Google Adwords, over Facebook, losing customers and revenue, a disservice to the search engine optimization of your website, and missing out on some key tactics that can help keep your customers engaged, happy and continuing to do business with you. If these four are not good enough reasons, I honestly don’t know what else would be cause for worry.