As a brand, you most likely have a Facebook page, an Instagram page and maybe even a Twitter or Pinterest account. But after a period of randomly uploading different types of content, you noticed this isn’t really getting you anywhere. You’re not seeing the results that you were expecting. That’s why you decided to develop a social media strategy. A strategy that gives some direction to your content and that will help you to achieve your targets.
When creating a social media strategy, there are multiple things to consider. In this article, I would like to point out 5 things that I think are getting increasingly important. Let’s have a look at what you should include in your social media strategy in 2018.
Personalised marketing is probably one of the biggest marketing trends of the moment. It means that you analyse your audience carefully in order to deliver more relevant messages. With all the data we have available these days, it makes it easier for marketers to understand their customers and their interest.
When we want to personalize our social media content, we can start by looking at our target audience. An easy way to gain a better understanding of who our potential customers might be is to develop personas. These personas shouldn’t only include demographics, occupation and interests, but it’s worth it to also think about their social media behaviour. What type of content do they prefer, who do they admire or what websites do they regularly visit. Make sure to focus on everything that could be related to your business, so you can incorporate this into your social media strategy.
Having developed these personas, you can cater your content directly to these fictional characters. When creating ad campaigns, Facebook gives you the option to target based on a variety of factors such as interests or behaviour. When you’re publishing your content organically, you should try to offer a healthy mix of posts targeted to your different personas.
Create thumb-stopping content
Valuable content is more important than ever. Even your neighbour’s business knows to invest in content marketing these days, with the results that almost every brand is releasing new content into the world on a daily basis. It gets cluttered and despite attempts from Facebook to filter out the irrelevant bits and pieces, we still get exposed to a high percentage of content we’re not really interested in.
We scroll through social media – or scam through – only investing a fraction of a second of our attention to each post. This will determine if we will find it relevant enough to stop our thumb and to give the posts a bit more of our precious time. As a brand, you want to stand out between these posts. Your piece of content should be the reason why people are stopping their thumb.
When we talk about valuable content, we talk about something your customers would actually be interested in. Again, this is where personas come in handy. But it also makes sense to look at what your competitors are doing. Try to think of where they come short, and what you could offer what hasn’t been done yet.
Align your strategy with your targets
A lot of social media strategies are not created in function of the targets you want to achieve. This might be because your social media manager isn’t communicating well with the head of your marketing team. Or maybe because you just focus on getting likes without thinking of the bigger picture.
When creating a strategy, the question that comes first is always: what do you want to achieve? If you want to create more brand awareness, your post should be in function of this. Create branded content, introduce your team, work with promotional videos. If conversions are your main target, make sure your links go to the correct landing pages, or that you run optimised ads for conversions.
If you create a social media strategy in function of your goals, it will be easier to track its results as well. You can verify your ROI to see if you should continue your investment and efforts. Or you can evaluate where you should adapt your strategy to stay on the right track.
Incorporate your brand story
Your brand story isn’t just your ‘About Us’-page. It’s the story about how you originated, what you stand for and what drives. It’s about how you’re different than your competitors and what makes you unique. This is the story that should be told on all your marketing channels, including your social media.
It might look hard to incorporate your brand story on Facebook or Instagram, but it helps if you clearly define your brand identity. This means the colour palette you use, the look and feel of your feed and the message you want to tell. It helps to create a consistent feed, where you build up content themes. Visual content is important and will be a huge benefit to your brand identity.
But it also the tone you use in your posts and the type of content. Let’s say you’re an online education platform. Then you want to offer a good mix of informational posts and educational content. You probably want to establish yourself as an authority and go for a more professional look and trustworthy tone-of-voice. Or maybe you’re a travel operator, in which case you might want to go for more inspirational content mixed with some promotional posts.
It’s hard to find the right mix of promotional content and entertaining of inspirational content targeted at your personas. 46% of users say they will unfollow a brand if their content is too promotional. But on the other hand, 41% of the users say they will stop following a brand if their content is not relevant.
Video content has become increasingly important in the past years, and this will only continue. Forbes projected that video will claim more than 80% of all web traffic by 2019. Additionally, 64% of people say is more likely to buy a product after watching a video about it. Let this be clear: video content has to be included in your social media strategy in 2018. In fact, it should probably be your most important type of content.
The videos we watch online shifted from minute long promotional videos to short and attention-grabbing videos. One minute should be enough, and you want to make that minute count. Big budgets aren’t necessary anymore, just your phone and a simple editing tool bring you a long way. It’s all about creativity and being original.
Another trend that is here to stay is live videos. Because of its low production costs and authentic feeling, more and more brands are investing in this type of content. Also here, it’s important to stay creative. Although it might be tempting to use these live videos to promote or introduce your products, it is a great way of just gaining more brand awareness and popularity too.
Live video of the Dutch team leaving for the Worldcup by Belgian radio station Studio Brussel
(Dutch team didn’t qualify)