Image by Yan Wong from Pixabay
Why Is It Essential to Develop a Social Media Strategy?
By Miriam Lopez-Arbour
If you are good at it, people are going to read it – Seth Godin, best selling author
I would like to start by making a distinction between content and strategy. You can publish content on your website, social media, blog or any other social media channel. Content strategy is analyzing your content, while social media is choosing the social media vehicle you will use to promote your program/initiative and creating a calendar of events to publish it. Consider the following steps to implement a social media strategy:
- Identify the audience
- What issue does it address
- Develop a strategy
About the audience
With the explosion of the internet, it is now possible to reach out to audiences around the globe. It is important to determine if your audience is local or international, will it be receptive and how your program or product support the client journey. Next, you need to analyze age demographics for example if your clients are very young, you might want to consider Snap Chat and Tik Tok. Equally important is to understand who your competitors are.
About the problem
Determine what is the problem and the solution you bring to the table. Say for example that you want to promote a Government program targeted to Canadian women-owned businesses interested in exporting. You would need to understand the Canadian ecosystem at the Federal and Provincial level and dive deep into the needs of this segment of clients. You would need to understand what are the barriers women-owned businesses face. Is it lack of funding? Is it lack of mentorship? Is it bias? Who are the key players in the field, in Government and private organizations and what are they doing in support of women-owned businesses. What is your value added?
To position yourself as a respected leader in whatever problem you are trying to solve, you are going to need to put the client at the center of your strategy, provide solutions, complement existing resources and understand your competition.
Developing a Strategy
Using women-owned businesses as an example, let us assume that you know your audience and you understand the needs of the community. You discover that there are several programs out there in support of women-owned businesses. However, there is a need for “portal” or a 1-800 # where Canadian women owned businesses can find out how the Government of Canada support women owned businesses. What steps would you take to develop a social media strategy and what social media strategies would you incorporate?
- Develop a website. Information must be organized, structured and labelled in a way that will serve users’ needs and help them achieve their tasks. Monitor touch points, how are you onboarding clients, how are they learning about you, raise curiosity
- Develop rich content and make it user-friendly. Content must be scalable to modern mobile devices, privacy concerns and inclusive of people with disabilities. Include testimonials and make information available in both official languages
- Build the social media plan to promote the launch of your website and prominently include the URL link, you can do this via E-mail marketing, think also of including traditional media such as television, radio and newspapers
- Websites are static, social media tools give you the opportunity to engage with your audience
- Ensure you have the Human Resources in support of the social media strategy
- Choose the platform that your clients use more regularly
- Be consistent regardless of the social media platform you use. Think of Google and Facebook, the websites look identical no matter where you are in the world
- Develop a calendar of events and use a scheduler such as Hootsuite, make sure the information you are promoting is updated across all platforms, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat
- Write a blog
- Design an award recognition program or a loyalty program
- Join organizations that promote diversity, inclusion and women entrepreneurship
- Develop a marketing campaign on International Women’s Day on March 8th
Here is an example of a video promoting diversity and inclusion and the Business Women in International Trade at Global Affairs Canada
To conclude, essential to a successful social media strategy is to understand your audience. Have a clear value proposition in plain language so that clients can easily understand what it is that you are offering. Be consistent in your message and branding. Lastly but most importantly, social media, if used appropriately and monitored, is an amazing tool in support of your marketing strategy. Spend the time and effort to determine what is the best social media platform for your initiative, program or product.
What is your favourite social media platform and why?
#social media #strategy #content #plan
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