The Strategy Behind Social Media
November 8, 2022
As 2023 approaches and many of us begin planning for the new year, it’s more important now than ever to include social media strategies in your communications program.
Social media can be a powerful tool, but just like any aspect of your organization’s communication plan, it requires time and thoughtful creativity to manage successfully.
After managing over a dozen social media channels with over 100,000 combined followers, I’ve learned a few things that may help bring your company’s social media presence to the next level.
Post with a Purpose
The first thing you need to ask before brainstorming content is, “What is my goal?” Is it to generate awareness of your brand, encourage followers to buy your product or build your credibility?
The more you can clearly define your purpose, the easier it is to craft posts that will help you achieve related objectives.
For example, if your goal is to generate awareness about a new product, consider results from Sprout Social’s latest Index, which states that 66% of consumers report short-form videos of two minutes or less to be the most engaging type of social media content in 2022.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to increase sales, consider posting a gallery or “carousel” of images, and include a link that encourages customers to view your page and purchase your product.
Social media content is limited only by your creativity and imagination, which may be overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. Clear goals can help you form a plan of attack.
Understand the Algorithm
Less is better when it comes to social media content. If you are concise, the algorithms will reward you.
You should rarely be pushing the limit on character count. When you are writing copy for social media, a good rule of thumb is to write the draft and then try cutting it in half – see how few words you can use to get your message across. The algorithms that determine which content makes it to you typically reward shorter posts, and less “wordy” content also tends to be perceived as more organic and natural.
Algorithms also differ by platform. On Instagram, for example, carousels with videos perform better than posts with a single image. Viewers are generally more likely to stop scrolling and engage with these types of posts.
Although the algorithms are ever-changing, taking advantage of how they operate is key to gaining followers and boosting your reach. Consider researching the specifics of how Facebook, Twitter and Instagram algorithms operate to master your content and boost your engagement rate.
Nothing will deter prospective followers quicker than a dormant account. To many social media users, profile activity is an indicator of how highly a company prioritizes customer or stakeholder communications.
If you rarely post updates, your page will never secure the views or followers you desire. Chances are good you may be unfollowed.
On the other hand, excessive posting can also be a turn off. Too many posts per day could be perceived as “spammy.” Of course, there are exceptions, such as a product launch or big event, where it could be appropriate to post multiple times.
One or two posts per day is widely accepted as the “right” amount, although for the greatest impact, you should do what is most feasible to maintain consistency. At Curley & Pynn, we strive to post two to three updates per week.
Create a content calendar to help plan the schedule for your posts at least one month in advance. This will keep you accountable and let you easily visualize where you may have “dead periods” with no posts.
Remember to Look in the Mirror
Social media is like fashion; it’s ever-changing and evolves constantly. What’s trendy one year may quickly go out of style the next. The QR code’s rapid decline in popularity, followed by its triumphant return during the pandemic, is a great example.
It’s crucial to review and reflect on your content choices regularly, and assess whether your approach is still relevant.
There’s no greater tool to help with this than social media analytics. Analytics indicate which type of content is working and which is not working. Most social media platforms offer free insights and analytics tracking tools to help you see how well your posts perform in terms of impressions, engagements, link clicks, etc.
If you make time to analyze these results, you’re likely to identify patterns. Apply these learnings to more quickly build a loyal follower base.
Have a Plan Ready for Times of Crisis
As one of my colleagues, Sarah Kelliher, points out, it’s always in your best interest to have a crisis communications plan at the ready, and social media is no exception.
Social media can be a helpful tool when communicating in times of crisis. If you already have a crisis communications plan in place, set aside time during your next review to add a section specifically covering social media. Which channels will you use to communicate with your target audience? Who should draft and approve the posts before they’re published? These are just a few of the questions that should be addressed.
If you need a boost on social media, we would be happy to offer tailored guidance. Let us help take your social media strategy to the next level.