Behind the Scenes Look at Social Media Strategy Building
“So basically you get to play on Facebook and Instagram all day?”
This is the typical response I receive when I say that I work as the Social Media Coordinator of a Non-Profit. While an outsider might think that social media is merely a bunch of noise and opinion, what I’ve come to learn in this field is that social is driven by more than emotion. Social requires a constant view of the larger picture and a lot of behind the scenes work. In fact, as with anything, I have found that any level of success within social media weighs heavily on having great organizational skills and a clear strategy.
Strategy and Quantifiable Goals
Now, I don’t consider myself a social media guru by any standards, but I’ve found what I’m about to share to be very helpful in my own daily interaction with multiple social networks. With so many networks out there: Facebook, Instagram, Google Plus, Twitter, and YouTube just to name a few, it can be hard to create just one message that fits for every audience. In fact, doing so may limit the possible company growth you can gain by participating in the social media world. While most companies have an overall social media strategy or quantifiable goal in place, it is much harder to clearly identify the role each individual network can play in this overall strategy. In other words, it may be beneficial to have an overall strategy that your business agrees upon and then create individual network strategies as steps for how to accomplish the overall goal.
However, before you can really talk about individual social network strategy, you need to be able to work within each medium or network and be able to identify the valuable data you can use to shape your content and advance towards your company’s overall goal or bottom line for social.
One of the most commonly used tools for social media organization is Hootsuite. This interface allows multiple social networks or mediums to be controlled in one central location and has a variety of different account plans to fit your specific social needs.
Once you login in to all your social networks on the Hootsuite interface, you can create an organization plan with tabs for each individual network, and then organize that network with streams. Streams allow you to search for specific hashtags, questions, and more pertinent information in ways that make sense to you. For the means of this article I decided to organize my tabs by social network and my streams by anything pertaining to just that network. For example, if you were a donut shop called “Let’s Eat Doughnuts” you could organize your social media and have something like:
Tab: @letseatdoughnuts (Twitter)
Streams within that tab (click “add stream” and select Twitter):
- Search result for #letseatdoughnuts: this helps you keep an up-to-date eye on who is interacting with your business as a whole
- Keyword results for a promotion of a new store in San Diego: #letseatdoughnutsSD
- Search results for questions about doughnuts: doughnuts (space) ?
While there are many ways to organize your tabs, and a long list of available streams to create, by starting your journey in social media with a method in which to organize your networks you will have a larger understanding of what that networks audience is looking for and interacting with.
Having a method to organize and search for content relevant to each network of your business will allow you to move into implementing a social media strategy for the network that is effective and audience-friendly.
Strategy Building Questions
- Who is your audience/followers for this medium?
- What does this audience seem to value? Are they Millennial’s that want to come alongside the company and participate, or are they craving just the facts and not the call to action?
- What content can your company produce/ share/ that will come in line with this specific audience?
- What trends are happening within this network as a whole that your company can plug in to and yet still stay relevant to your audience? i.e. popular hashtags, social movements etc.