A sneak-peak into how social media managers establish which platforms to include in their online strategy.
Communications is like playing golf.
“How do you know which club to play ? Whether you are teeing off, putting, getting yourself out of a sandtrap or avoiding an obstacle, not all golf clubs are created equal, nor are the golfers."
Choosing a golf club that will do the job implies understanding your personal game, the peculiarities of the terrain, the distance involved, and the obstacles to avoid.
The choice of your communications content and channel implies that you know and understand your business objectives, your target audience, the market trends, and what past strategies did not work out.
I think of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Websites, LinkedIn, Podcasts as all different golf clubs. All these social media channels can get you going in the direction that you want but if you don't use the right club at the right time, you won't get the impact or results you wanted.
So how do you choose the most adapted social media channel?
1. Compile data on your current customers: (take into account age, location, time zone- the time is so important when you need to schedule your social ads to ensure optimal viewing). What about languages? Does your current content satisfy the language needs? If it's B2B you are after, look into company sizes, information about decision-makers in the purchase process.
2. Look to the website and social media analytics: Facebook analytics, Instagram analytics, use a social media listener to feel out your market Talkwalker, Hootsuite, brand watch, and obtain detailed stats, track, analyze, and respond to conversations about your brand and industry online.
3. Study the competition: identify who and where. Check out their websites, the lead generating tools used, the keywords, hashtags, and ads they are into. Where are they on social media? Who are their followers and who do they follow? What is their content all about? How often do they post? How is their follower base growing?
4. SWOT analysis of your current communication strategy: this is an oldie but a goodie. You need to know what are your strengths communicatively speaking, where are your weaknesses, how you can better invest and spearhead multimedia channels through new opportunities, and where you risk making mistakes along the way or get it wrong.
5. Bespoke content for different channels, coherent messaging, effective timing: Whether you are blogging, tweeting, updating your website or podcasting, keep the information coherent. Key messages are key messages no matter which channel you are using. Tailor those messages with videos, images, sound, words, and get creative across all channels you invest. Make sure you keep up with communicating. Nothing is worse than irregular communication. Even if you have amassed a lot of followers and support, you need to keep the market place invested so they keep coming back for more info, more surprises. Showcase what your audiences want to see. Not all audiences are created equal across all channels. Adapt the messaging according to them.
6. Protocol: Who can feed content, who can add-on? It is important to have a clear protocol concerning social media content amongst General Management and employees. Don't rely on the personal account of a Senior Manager or Communications Officer to relay your corporate information in their own personal manner. If they leave the company so does your content. Content should be strategized and organized into a calendar with a corporate tone, look & feel.
7. If you can't commit to regular and coherent communication, keep it simple. Don't burn your bridges by creating hashtags, twitter handles, websites, Instagram accounts, LinkedIn accounts that no one is feeding. It will do more harm than good.
So you see, choosing your channels means understanding what is going on around you, where you are and where you want to go. Just like golf. Knowledge is power.
Take control of your knowledge.