Social media is an aspect of business that the majority of small business owners find themselves needing help. Combine that with the fact that most fail to plan or strategize before jumping into social and it’s no wonder this is an area of distress.
In part one of this article, we covered the initial steps for setting up a successful social plan of action. To recap, this focused on defining your goals, monitoring and listening, and choosing your platform. Picking up from where we left off, the next focus is content.
Creating a Content Plan
Your messaging matters, yet few take the time to really refine their message on social. While a transparent and candid voice is great, it’s best to have a tone and focus set for your brand’s social voice. This ensures that the messaging is congruent, matches the fundamentals and vision of the overall business itself, and represents it properly.
One way to develop this voice is to think of the three or four themes or categories that your social voice will focus on. One of these may be the focus on customer service, product innovation, interaction in a particular community – a few different aspects of what makes up the brand. Messages via social should fall under one of these categories. To give an example, Apple’s categories would include design, quality and innovation.
As a guideline, these categories can help determine if a message fits the brand – if a message doesn’t necessarily fall under one of the broad categories, then it may not be a good representation of the brand.
Using a calendar to focus on content frequency helps ensure posting regularity. While there should be some natural, real time discussion on your channels, scheduling content (such as how Facebook Pages now allows) is a smart way to keep the content flowing.
Tracking and Measuring
Just like any other type of marketing, the goal is to get optimal results, so tracking is a must. With social media, there are great metrics that can be recorded and easily seen, such as engagement (likes, comments, shares, re-tweets, etc.) and also views and clicks.
The best messaging is the most effective messaging. Test out re-using messages that get high engagement to see if it does again the next time you use it. Or slightly modify the message and try again. Often a post that gets a reaction will continually perform.
This one should be obvious – you need to be social on social. Interaction is a simple way of staying top-of-mind. With single click likes and re-tweets, this is really simple to do, but many brands neglect this step, unless users are interacting directly with them. Of course, you’ll always want to pay special attention and respond quickly to interaction meant directly for your brand. This is a way to cultivate and grow a relationship with your social tribe.
Rinse and Repeat
The social flow process is something that will be in a constant state of flux, always subject to change. As you continue to evolve your social presence, tactics will change accordingly, as long as you’re listening and paying attention to the response you get. And that is where you’ll get results on social media.