5 Reasons Your "Social Media Strategy" Sucks like a Hoover
by Travis McGinnis
You’ve spent months putting together a rock solid Social Media Strategy Document. You roll it out to the team. You’re pumped about implementing social media best practices. You’ve put together your strategy document because that’s what all the cool kids do these days. You want to be cool, right? “Social Media Strategy here I come,” you shout!
Yet, in all the hustle and bustle of putting together your strategy, you forgot the most important part! You need to be social, not do social.
Here are 5 ways your social media strategy misses the mark entirely.
1.) You View Social Media as a Chore
Something that has to be done in order to stay relevant in today’s business world. You’re right, but social media doesn’t have to be chore!
So you throw the young college-age employee on Facebook and tell them to post stuff. They’re young and hip; college kids know how to use social media, right? You give this employee a copy of the shiny new Social Media Strategy and tell them to follow it to the letter.
Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. all have their purpose, but first and foremost you need to be social. Another way to say that is to be likeable!
Post things that people care about. Be topical. Be timely. Be relevant. Not everything you post has to do with your business. It’s okay to offer social commentary on current events, to post funny cat videos, or to post celebrity gossip. Only if your strategy says it’s okay to do so, of course!
2.) Your “Strategy” Doesn’t Tie into Your Other Marketing Efforts
Many companies put their social media efforts on an island and let them run wild. This is wrong on so many levels! Your strategy should outline what happens when your company posts a new blog. What channels should it get shared on? How often should it get shared?
If you’re hosting a live event, you should create a Facebook event for it as well and invite your fan base.
When you change your traditional marketing message (such as radio, television or billboard) you should update the graphics on your social media outlets to match the new message. It’s all about consistency!
Your strategy should reflect how and when to do this.
3.) You Only Include Facebook
There are literally hundreds of social media sites out there. Most of these sites are for niche audiences, however it is short sided to only include Facebook in your strategy document. If you want to best reach your target audience (the next one on the list), then you best go where they are!
If you’re targeting businesses, then you better be on LinkedIn. If you’re in the interior design industry, then you better be on Houzz or Pinterest…or both! If you target teens, then why are you not on Snapchat?
Aside from the niche social media outlets, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest are all considered mainstream today. Your strategy should include, at the very least, Facebook, Twitter and either LinkedIn or Pinterest, pending on your target audience.
4.) You Left Out Your Target Audience
So many social media strategies only focus on how to handle negative comments from their users. This isn’t a strategy. It’s a policy. A good strategy document should outline your target persona, or personas if you have more than one.
This is arguably the most important part. Who are you actually talking to? Or, are you just talking at them? Defining your target audience isn’t as difficult as it sounds, but it’s more complicated than most people think. Your target audience is more than a demographic, such as “Females 18-34” or “Males 25-54.”
Your target audience is actually a persona. It is a fictional person whom you’re talking to when you post on social media.
5.) You Don’t Outline How to be Social on Social Media
This may seem obvious, but most companies don’t tell their employees what language to use on social media. So the voice their employees use is inconsistent. Your strategy document should provide a few examples for posts, word choice, grammar and punctuation. These tie back into your target audience from the 4th point above.
Shouldn’t we always use proper grammar and punctuation? If you’re a business targeting other businesses, then absolutely! However, if you’re a business-to-consumer brand targeting teens, then perhaps it would be wise to speak to them they way they use social media! You’ll be much more likely to build trust around your brand if you speak to your audience in their own language.
Bonus Tip: Use Klout
Klout is a social impact measurement tool. It allows you to see how much “Klout” your followers have. Why is this useful? It helps you prioritize your followers in order of their social klout. For example, if someone leaves a negative comment on your page, you can use Klout to gauge how much influence they might have on their respective social networks. If it’s high, you might want to make responding to them more urgent than if they had a low Klout score. Not to imply that you should not respond to negative comments publicly, but if you get one that’s from somebody with a lot of social klout, responding to them should be top priority instead of putting it off for a few hours.
Don’t Let your Social Media Strategy Suck like a Hoover
With these 5 tips, you can make a rock solid social media strategy document. If you have anything else to add to the list, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.