STRATEGY & PLANNING
The importance of Social Media Strategy
You have heard it everywhere and you will hear it again: social media strategy is key. Ok, great. But what so important about it? Well, the first thing is, without a clear strategy, it's pretty tricky to know what lies ahead in terms of emerging trends, technological progress, new social media features...
Take this for example: recently, Facebook rolled out a series of new changes in its algorithm that could clearly impact any brands social media efforts. Instagram also revealed that it was testing removing likes from private accounts in several countries before -potentially- going global with it.
Oh, and with users now shifting their trust from branded promotions to more genuine influencer-based content, there's a call striving for authenticity and transparency that no brand can escape.
Bottomline is, social media is changing quickly and it is vital to have a clear, defined social media strategy in order to be able to adapt to any changes in the digital landscape.
Set clear, reachable social goals
At Garçon! we know how a coherent social media strategy can positively impact your marketing goals. So we have laid down the first steps of defining your objectives, targets and message. Call it a check-list if you will, it's our own index of actionable key steps that we use with all our clients.
1. Define achievable goals/KPIs
2. Find your niche audience
3. Research competitors
4. Set your content pillars
5. Go live. Monitor. Optimize.
This (amazing) to-do list may seem quite straight forward but you'll be surprised at how few brands actually bother to go through these important questions: are you focusing more on building an engaged community or looking at increasing your fan base? What will be your ratio of curated vs. self-produced content? How will you assess if your content strategy is working?
1. Define achievable goals
Let's get started. But let's be real. What do you want to do in the next 6 months? Because growing your Instagram account to a million fans might be a tricky one. Social Media goals need to be in-line with your business goals, and need to be reachable.
Remember that we're in 2020, so all the amazing stories you have heard from 2012 are not true today. Boosting Facebook Ads like crazy won't get you anywhere now and you will just end up with empty likes. So start small, and make sure you can get there with your own budget and human resources. Here are a few examples of realistic objectives :
Develop a loyal community
Are your fans engaged or do they need a push? Think user-generated content (UGC) or teaming up with local, micro-influencers to promote your brand genuinely. Social media users are no fools and will spot any seemingly fake reviews. They usually put their trust and loyalty into brands that can show transparency and include customers as part of their content strategy.
It's not about quantity anymore, it's about quality. Spend time creating valuable content that your users will actually benefit from. Instead of reposting boring articles from obscure internet pages, curate striking visuals, show how your product is used through super-short videos and ask questions : your fans will be your first ambassadors and their feedback will be priceless. Post less. Post better.
Boost brand awareness
Forget about promotions, flash-sales, discounts and all of these desperate attempts to push products. Instead focus on content that show your personality, that are smooth and subtle, include humor (if you can!) and above all: place your fans experience before the sale. Tell your story, don't overdo it.
2. Find your niche audience
You might think you know exactly who should buy your products. But be very careful, there might be unexpected results.
Start with your core demographics.
One of the common pitfall is to try to target pretty much everyone from every demographics at the same time. But that's impossible and not worth the try. Bangkok is already home to nearly 10M social media users so you'll have to make choices when you want to reach out to them.
Find the right platform
Facebook might be the easy bet for its mass exposure but is it really worth investing when you're selling lifestyle cosmetics to an audience that averages the 20s? YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram all have their own specificities in the demographic they appeal to, so focus on 1 or perhaps 2 platforms maximum
Create specific content for each audience
So you have established that you'll go both for women over 35 on Facebook and under 22 on Instagram. Then create different content with different messages. Yeah, it's pretty time-consuming but it's the only way to be relevant. Instagram is more passive and emotion-based when Facebook requires more educational and in-depth content. So keep that mind before launching your next campaigns
3. Research competitors
We live in a fast-paced social media world where you'll only get the attention of your customers for a couple of very brief seconds. So you might wanna make them count.
Basically: don't be anywhere near your competitors and create content that clearly sets you apart. What's the point of promoting the same thing with a slightly different price ? At the end of the day, users will go for the brand that can really drive emotions and spark their interest. So spend time coming up with a message that will not let any reader indifferent.
You might think your competitors content suck, but does it really? The only real truth comes from social media users feedback and you might be surprised at what actually drive them. So track closely the content strategy laid down by other brands. One of the easiest way to do so is by tracking "pages to watch" in the "insights" section of your Facebook page.
4. Set your content pillars
Check how we grew Baia Baia community to 80K fans with a relevant content strategy
We can't say that enough but content is everything. Literally. And just because users don't spend time reading captions, the key is to be disruptive enough to catchy their attention.
Creating killer content pillars is basically how you will talk to your future customers, provoke their emotions and tease them on wanting to know more.
UGC - User Generated Content
People want to see other people. It's reassuring and it's rewarding to see that a brand values its own customers experiences rather that pushing promotional content. Spend time sourcing the web finding reposts and reviews from past clients and curate them to be at the core of your content strategy
No, we're not talking about these posts with +20 lines trying to explain you how cloud computing works. BORING. Be smart, be short and be on-point. Use "blog posts" on Facebook to create an in-depth storytelling, carousels on Instagram to provide a more detailed explanation of your products/services but always keep it short
Did you know that sometimes less is more? No need to always talk about you and your brand. People get it, you're great. So take this opportunity to create interesting content about your industry without necessarily linking back to you. Develop topical content, news, stories, that can be beneficial and elevating to your fans.
We're not talking about videos. We're talking about cool, short and shareable animations. Think GIFs, Stop Motions, Cinemagraphs... these great formats help you create a more elaborated storytelling while captivating your audience with original and out-of-the-box content.
Yep, that's the boring part. But it doesn't have to be. Monitoring the success of your social media strategy is actually pretty interesting and challenging. Often overlooked by marketers, results actually matter as they'll give you great insights on how to optimize your presence to get more traction.
How can I monitor success?
There are plenty of softwares that can help you with that, but Facebook, Instagram and even LinkedIn provide great (free) insights. Important metrics will vary depending on your objectives but you'll find everything from reach to engagement and community growth. At Garçon we use various analytics platforms, but our favorite is Whatagraph.
Out of your 10 posts, only 6 got past the 8% engagement rate mark. Why? What do these post have in common? Have you checked the posting hours? Or was that there was too much text on the visual? Perhaps you forgot to include a strong call to action? The point is to understand what made certain posts tank and optimize your next content calendar accordingly.
Our secret sauce is that every month we issue a short report with the top (and least) performing posts along with our key takeaways and recommendations. That way we always improve the performance of our content while staying on top of the latest social media trends.