Start your social strategy with a business overview. This is a general explanation of your company, structure, values, mission and offerings (products/services). It ensures anyone (your team and your audience alike) can pick up your document and have a clear understanding of who you are, what you want to achieve and how you will achieve it.
Plus, it’s helpful to refer to this later on in the strategy and allow you to hone who your company is, what services/products you offer and your future strategies can feed seamlessly into it.
Learning everything about your target audience is key to creating content that your followers will actually engage with and ultimately convert on. If you are already utilising social media channels you can gather data and audience insights from the platforms (or third party platforms if you’re using them), find demographic data from Google Analytics or you can use tools like Helix Personas.
Next, undertake a competitor analysis. This is an important part of your social media strategy to identify the competitive landscape, type of content/topics that is currently resonating or not and allows you to spot potential opportunities. Remember: just because your competitor is or isn’t doing something doesn’t mean you should follow. Allows testing and learning, trying new platforms, having fun with content and getting creative; you, and your data, know your audience better than anyone else.
You might already be familiar with SWOT (strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis, but in your social strategy be sure to apply it through a social media lens. If your brand currently exists on socials, this is the ideal time to undertake a social media audit and really dig into your results and insights. Look deeper than likes, too. Consider how many people are engaging, who is engaging and how they are engaging.
Each social media platform has features to report on metrics, results and insights. These certainly help you analyse your success and identify opportunities, BUT, it’s helpful to set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely) goals so you can track success long term. Likewise, identifying the metrics that will help you to report on these goals allows you to incorporate additional reporting software and tools if required.
It’s easy to get caught up in vanity metrics, so dig deep and focus on insights that align with your goals and strategy.
A core selling proposition is related to how your business stands apart from your competition, and is unrelated to your products and service. It’s the key benefit or reason that your customers keep coming back to your business.
Your core selling proposition will influence your overall messaging and the content you create and can ultimately sway your audience in the path to purchase.
In the same way, a vision and mission statement act as north stars for your business; a well-crafted positioning statement will prove to be a strong anchor for all your marketing communications and form brand awareness for the right reasons.
It might feel a little strange at first, but it helps to think of your brand as a person and give them a personality, a voice. Tone is what differentiates your brand’s voice. It’s what ‘they’ say, how they say it and what they don’t say. This goes from the broad, ‘X Brand is conversational, friendly and professional’, to more specific, ‘X Brand says **this word** but not **this word**’. If you don’t know where to start, work backwards; what has your brand become due to the team behind it? Are they representing your brand the way you want your brand to be? If so, work with them and hone in on the tone of voice that incorporates their voices. If not, work with them to start deciphering the ‘person’ you want your brand to be. Tone of voice (TOV) from a socials perspective ensures consistency and improves brand recall with your audience.
Your content pillar identifies the main themes at a top level for your social media content, these themes are then broken down further into topic clusters. For example, at Zimple our content pillars are:
And within each of these content pillars we have topics which look like this:
Diving further into each theme and topic you can then identify what types of content, posts, formats and even social platforms align.
Finally, an overview of the look and feel for your content is useful, this can include colours, formats, logos, photo styles and inspiration for you to refer to when creating your social content. In the future, this can be expanded into branding guidelines which will help to guide the design of content.