Essential Concepts for Social Media Strategy: Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of our three-part series, which breaks down the foundational elements of a company’s social media strategy. In part 1 of this series, we broke down the importance of vision. This entailed research, targets, a mission statement, goals and a plan. Once you can clearly “see” where you want to go and how you’ll do so, it’s time to engage, engage, engage.

The key to getting your audience engaged is to remember that social media is “social.” Visualize this business-to-audience relationship as a person-to-person one, and make it as exciting as the real-life interactions you have every day. There’s a lot of good engagement advice out there, but what you want to do is stand out by taking interactions to the next level.

Be conversational. Keep your choice, style, and tone of words casual and it will make you more approachable and relatable.

Be creative. Amongst its many pros, social media serves as a way to entertain. So try to be creative by all means possible. This could be links, mentions, hashtags, photos, gifs, infographics, videos, etc. Screenshot_2015-07-16-16-02-57

Provide diverse content. While your followers come to you for a certain area of expertise, an easy way to show your realness is by posting about topics outside of that. Whether it’s current news, content from other industries, a throwback Thursday picture or behind-the-scenes pictures and videos of your company culture, show you care about more than just your bottom line.

Include a call-to-action. Aim to get a response out of people. This can be done by posing links to content in the form of a question. Another approach is to directly ask for a response with posts such as “Like if you’ve reached out to three prospective clients this week,” “What’s everyone doing this weekend?” or “Send us a photo that shows how unique your company is.”

Be responsive. Always respond to your followers and do so quickly. Not only when followers respond to something you post, but also to the posts of people you follow. Take a stroll down your feed and reply to people and join ongoing conversations. Don’t hesitate to go back-and-forth once you’re engaged in a conversation. Occasionally, you can even go to some of your followers’ profiles and post an original thought or question. And take note, whenever you do interact, don’t sound robotic or canned. Be human and add some life to what you say.

Return favors. Just like in real life, people enjoy sharing with each other on the web. For social media this means if someone follows you, then follow them back. If someone’s sharing your content, share theirs. It’s a good idea in general to share. It shows you’re not just all about your company.

Listen. That means tracking and taking in what your audience says and feels. Then use that insight to make the relationship stronger. You’ll also want to pay attention to what competitors and industry influencers are up to as well and leverage their activities for your own ideas. Hootsuite is a great tool to monitor everything in one place.

Experiment. Never let social media become the “same old.” If you’re bored, your followers might be too. So be daring. Here’s a few ideas you can test out:

  • Games
  • Contests
  • Promotions/giveaways
  • Q&A’s
  • Connecting with a social cause
  • Client/fan spotlights
  • Polls

Developing a relationship with your company’s social media audience does take effort, but is the key to utilizing the full potential of social media. Create a mindset where you seek to engage as often and creatively as possible and you’ll be well on your way toward a top-notch social media presence. So, let’s dive into a conversation right now. Tell us about your business’ social media strategy and how you can improve its engagement.

Be on the lookout for part 3 of the series where we’ll show a practical application of both vision and engagement.

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