If you approach social media as just a series of checklist items to complete, your business won’t profit from it. Good social media strategy requires planning. With your team, brainstorm how best to gain and wield influence on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn — starting right here:
Question: Who Is Your Audience?
If you have an established business, you should already have a good idea of who you are trying to reach. If you’re working with a startup, develop a laser-targeted ideal customer, but know that as the business grows it may pivot. So don’t ignore important information about who responds to your posts.
Consider your audience as specifically as possible. If you are trying to reach other businesses, who at those businesses are you trying to reach? Someone in HR? Someone with IT purchasing power? The CEO? If you’re marketing a product to consumers, consider the subdivisions of your market. Are you trying to reach people in a certain area or with particular tastes or affiliations?
Approach 1: Choose platforms
Now that you’ve established who your audience is, it’s time to determine where your audience spends time online. And, where are potential fans and followers looking for you?
Depending on your business, you may want to lean on some platforms more than others. As a professional network, LinkedIn is well-suited to promoting business events and sharing links relevant to particular business communities. Pinterest and Facebook are both great places to post visual content and encourage followers to share it. Twitter’s concise format makes it a great place to blast out links and news, and to engage the many journalists, news outlets and brands that use the site.
All of these platforms may be useful to your business, but that doesn’t mean the type of content you share on each should be the same, or that you are reaching the same section of your audience on each one. Pay attention to analytics and regularly revise your schedule based on what content performs well, and on what channels.
Approach 2: Engage with Social Media Influencers
What people and media outlets wield influence with your audience? Who are the experts in your field?
For example, this interview with Onalee Smith, the marketing assistant for the best-selling young adult series, Divergent, showcases key tactics in successful social media strategy. Onalee knows her audience — it’s clear when she mentions seeking out fan art and fan conversations. This makes sense for a series of hit YA novels — it’s a very specific type of engagement, and the Divergent team has recognized it. Within the community of young Divergent fans, fan artists may wield more sway than journalists.
Most businesses probably aren’t dealing with fan art, but the principle is the same. Just like you would pitch to journalists who cover your field in traditional media, you want to reach out to those on social media who your audience follows, likes and retweets.
Once you’ve got a handle on your social media strategy, improve your blogger outreach.