We’ve written lots of posts about adding a variety of tactics to your social media strategy, and how it’s important to have that social media strategy. But a specific question continues to pop up, especially from people who are new to the world of social media marketing and social media community management.
Why do I need a strategy?
To be honest, you need a strategy for a few reasons…
You need a consistent voice.
Depending on how large your brand is, there might be more than one person managing your social presence. In order to make sure that your voice is consistent across all of your social platforms and community managers, you need to have a strategy in place. What should your tone be like? What is and isn’t okay for managers to post? Can they immediately respond to fans’ questions, or do they need to consult a customer service rep or PR manager first? By having a strategy in place, you can help answer a lot of questions before they’re even asked.
You need to know what kind of content to post to reach your targeted audience.
Certain content appeals to certain audiences, and you need to make sure that your content appeals to and engages your target audience. If you don’t have a strategy in place about what type of content to share, you’ll never get a conversation started with your audience. Keying in on what content really resonates with your audience will encourage them to engage with you while also keeping your brand top of mind. Having a strategy focused on that content will ensure it gets shared.
You need to know when to post content to reach that audience.
You also need to have strategy in place to help inform your social schedule. If your brand targets stay-at-home moms, but does most of its social posting when they can’t be online, your posts will never be seen and the engagement will never start. Having a strategy about when to reach out to your audience will help improve the chances that your content will be seen by the largest amount of people (also encouraging engagement).
Isn’t that common sense?
Perhaps. But common sense won’t necessarily tell you what content strategy will get the best response. Let’s say your brand is a software company targeting small business owners. Yes, the fact that you should be sharing small business-related content is “common sense,” but what SMB content does your audience most want to see? Is it news? Is it tips for keeping their business running smoothly? Is it inspirational business-related quotes from entrepreneurs? If you don’t share the specific type of content your fans are looking for, they won’t engage with you. This requires a little planning and a little trial and error on your part — not just an assumption.
But, if content is planned in advance, doesn’t that make it less spontaneous/engaging?
No. It actually gives you more freedom to respond to questions, comments and news as it pops up. All a social schedule does is put a little bit of order in your day. It keeps you from having to scramble for quality content to share and lets you dive deeper into conversations with your audience. If you happen to work for a business where messaging has to be approved before it goes out, it also makes it easier for managers, the PR team or the legal team to review and approve content ahead of time.
Now that you know why you need a strategy, work on developing yours with our social media marketing guides.