What is Best Way to Join Social Media: Create a Pre-Strategy!!!
In order to join social media, creating a pre-strategy that is unique and works for you, will really create a foundation for success. It it is imperative to understand that social media is an evolving global technological environment that is constantly changing. Therefore, as you design a plan, it might need to be revised as changes occur.
The following points and examples will help you create a successful pre-strategy for social media.
- I believe the first step is to understand the social media landscape. The same way that social media started with multiple internet applications built on the Web 2.0 where User Generated Content was created and exchanged, now social media is about sharing, increasing engagement and loyalty, and developing influence. Today, social media is not defined as a website, emails, or instant messaging but moving towards creating meaning of the data and its context; especially that it needs to be relevant and on the right social network as stated by Clicks “Content is King, But Context is Queen”. In addition, Gary Vayneurchuk, entrepreneur and internet personality, gives great advice on how important is context for your audience in the following video.
- Based on the REALLY framework created by Leila Samii, Ph.D., you should be constantly looking at your social media through the following steps: Research, Engagement, Analysis, Listening, Learning and Your Brand. First, it is imperative to spend the necessary time researching and defining your industry, target audience, and influencers to then engage and connect with them. Then, analyzing the social media channels that you used to see if what you are doing is meeting your goals and objectives by sending the right message about your brand. Finally, it is not anymore just about social listening but it is more important to listen and learn about your target audiences’ wants. One great example, is how a very successful podcast, npr Ted Radio Hour that I personally enjoy listening, is now providing new content every week without re-posting past podcasts. This desire was communicated by the audience and they listened.
- Determine what platforms your target audience is using so you can create the right content and start engaging. For example, always thinking about your customers in terms of the consumer life cycle journey, will help you define which platforms your target audience are using through the different steps. You need to decide in what channels you need to have a presence so your consumers can have access to your brand when doing research and also if you want them to keep buying and recommending your product. For example, you can choose different channels like a website, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
- Understand that social networks are classified and not all serve the same purpose. Take the time to understand the ecosystem and choose the appropriate platforms when planning your strategy. All active participants in social media have different types of social behaviors, so it is important to understand them because they all can be an influence to your brand. For example, some people might be very active just reading or liking every single post and not necessarily commenting; as in the Target post shown below.
- Keep your message consistent, tell a story utilizing some type of visuals that are attractive with a respectful language and creates an emotional connection. For example, Chick-Fil-A is great at putting great images, as shown below, about their healthy menu. This keep it consistent in their message when they are trying to differentiate themselves as choosing ingredients that are healthy.
As a concluding note, joining social media should be carefully planned and once you are part of it, you should think like a Journalist, as said by Jeff Barrett, a Forbes Top 50 Social Media Influencer.