Congratulations - you’ve nailed your objective, created your user personas and decided which social networks you’re going to use.
What you need to think about next is HOW you’re going to use them. After all, there is little point having shiny new company Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels if your posts just disappear into the dreaded ‘social media’ black hole.
And it’s all very well posting content every day for your overall business objective, but what if you have a specific, short term goal - to promote a new event or perhaps to highlight a new product through a competition? This is where one of our favourite parts of social media comes into play… strategy.
Here at Digital Mums, we teach our students to break down their strategy into three separate strands: overall social media strategy, the day-to-day running of platforms and, crucially, any time-limited campaigns they want to run. And all three of these apply to you and your business as well. Getting the right mix of these three elements is crucial in any social media activity and means you stay true to your brand objectives, troubleshoot any customer issues, prevent ‘content fatigue’… and also add a time-sensitive element to encourage more interaction and calls to action from your audience.
So here’s our lowdown to standing out on social...
STRAND 1: Social media strategy
This is essentially your long term business objectives covering all aspects of your business activity and goals. It’s different from the other two strands in that:
It’s not time limited - it applies over a long period unless there are significant changes to your business.
It doesn’t usually involve a hook of any kind (more of that later), although you’ll still use content and activity designed to motivate your target audience.
STRAND 2: Day-to-day running of your platforms
This is the actual ‘bread and butter’ element of your social media activity. You’ll be engaging with your target audience and key influencers (more on them in Week 7 of the series) as well as trouble shooting any customer complaints. This is crucial because:
- 66% of consumers expect a response on social media within an hour while 56% of consumers want a response within 30 minutes
- 72% of customers who post a complaint on Twitter expect a response within an hour.
It also means your audience won’t get bored of you, especially if you are running a competition - it could feel spammy or monotonous if you’re constantly promoting the prize or event. Mixing it up with fresh content through your day-to-day running means your platforms stay engaging and relevant.
So how much time should you spend on this day to day running? The Social Media Examiner’s Social Media Marketing Industry Report found more than 91% of marketers said they saw results after spending just 6 hours a week on social media. We recommend a little more time than this though to really make an impact. And this is just day-to-day activity as opposed to when you're in campaign mode:
Activity: Two posts per day. Supplement this with a weekly promoted post or ad.
Time spent: (including posts, engaging and content research) Around 4 hours a week minimum.
Activity: 10 tweets a day of content and a further 10 engaging with target audience.
Time spent: (including posts, engaging and content research) Around 5-6 hours a week minimum.
Activity: 1-2 posts per day Monday-Friday.
Time Spent: (including posts, engaging and content research): Around 4 hours a week minimum.
Activity: 1-2 posts a day.
Time spent: (including posts, engaging and content research): Around 5 hours a week minimum.
Activity: Create 20 great boards. Pin three times a day to 10 of those boards. Pin three times a week to the other 10.
Time spent: (including posts, engaging and content research) Around 5 hours per week minimum.
STRAND 3: Time-limited campaigns
These are specifically designed campaigns with a time limit (we usually suggest around eight weeks) that have very clear, short-term objectives. For example, promoting a new product or event, or perhaps hooked around a competition or giveaway.
Here at Digital Mums we have a tried-and-tested recipe for success when it comes to social media campaigns. Every social media campaign should have the following:
- a clear goal with short term objectives
- a specific target audience
- a compelling hook, for example a competition or giveaway
- a limited timeframe
- a budget and resources
- measurable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
We’ll go into more detail on KPIs in our next blog. For now, let’s focus on the hook. This is not a list of your business products or services. Instead it’s bait - a competition, giveaway or aspirational campaign - to lure your audience in.
Here are some possible ideas for creating a compelling hook:
Make it aspirational - link it to exclusive access, limited places for something, create a waiting list for a new product to generate demand.
Make it emotional - tug on people’s heart strings, perhaps by bringing in human interest stories.
Make it time-limited - perhaps a seasonal or holiday specific campaign.
Offer free or discounted experiences - financial incentives are a great hook for audiences, people love a bargain.
Make it shareable - but think about what people love to share on social media and what they might NOT want to share.
Create a catchy hashtag that motivates people and is easy to remember… ones that worked well for us at Digital Mums include #WorkThatWorks and #RealMumMoments.
Top tips from Digital Mums' Head of Marketing Richard Miranda
Keep your overall social media strategy in mind at all times - this will keep you on brand and on target when creating time-limited campaigns and in the day-to-day running of your social networks.
Be consistent in the day-to-day running of your platforms. Post a similar number of times, keep the same tone of voice and keep your content (both created and curated) relevant and on brand. And be the ‘social media good guy’ by responding to customer feedback and complaints as quickly as you can. If in doubt of how effective this can be, look no further than this great example from Virgin.
When creating your campaign, be careful not to create a strategy by mistake. If it’s something you could easily run for six months then that’s not a campaign. It should have a defined start and end so people relate it to a specific one-off campaign.