MOST EFFECTIVE SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGIES – With Examples
October 13, 2021
“In an ever more crowded social media landscape, it’s not enough to just be present in these spaces anymore. Your presence has to make a difference. That’s where social media strategy comes in” -Olusola Kish
Most of us engage with social media platforms every day. But how do you use social media to create your campaign and help spread your message or that of your company? I will be guiding you through this chapter on how you can create social media marketing campaignbut first, you will need to understand what social media is and what social media strategy is.
What is social media?
In the fifteen years since social media first emerged onto the internet, it has blossomed to become one of the most pervasive and important communication channels of the modern age. Used by billions worldwide, it provides a way for brands, politicians, entertainers, and individuals to connect with the public like never before. But it’s much more than a broadcast medium: social media also provides a vital opportunity for conversation, engagement, and relationship building. To make the most of social media, you need to think strategically: it’s not enough to just be present anymore.
Just a decade ago, the major social media platforms that we are so familiar with now were still in their infancy. Some had yet to be created. Simply being on the internet was enough for many companies.
Gradually, having a presence on social media became fashionable. However, many organizations struggled to understand the benefits and often delegated dealing with social media to the most junior staff. As a result of being treated as an optional, rather frivolous extra, social media activity frequently wasn’t deployed very effectively. A real missed opportunity.
Today, the impact of social media on business, society, entertainment, and politics is undeniable. Organizations of all sizes across many industries have brought social media into the heart of their marketing, communication, and customer support functions. But in an ever more crowded social media landscape, it is not enough to just be present in these spaces anymore. Your presence has to make a difference. That is where social media strategy comes in: you need to plan how to use social media to create impact.
What is a strategy?
“It’s much better to know what you’re doing before you start something, rather than making decisions during the process or journey”. -Olusola Kish
With social media, it’s equally important not to use it haphazardly or without any direction. Knowing where you want to go means you can avoid ending up somewhere unexpected or unpleasant.
Setting your objectives and metrics:
Just like a car journey without a route or destination, a social media campaign without an objective can be aimless and hard to execute. Most companies have an idea of what they would like to improve, increase or change. These are the objectives. They may also know how they would be able to measure or notice the difference. These are metrics. Both are crucially important elements of a social media campaign.
Planning the journey:
As well as thinking about your destination or goal, you also need to think and plan how you are going to get there. On any journey, your route and mode of transport, as well as what you take with you, need to be appropriate to help you reach the destination.
So, what is an effective social media strategy, and how can you create one?
Strategies have been used by businesses, individuals, and even armies for hundreds of years, though they might not have always been called that. Strategies are simply plans that work towards achieving a particular goal.
Online, a social media strategy is a summary of everything you plan to do and aim to achieve on social media over some time, usually a year or more.
Having a clear and well-understood social media strategy means that:
everyone involved understands the goals and activities
every activity, such as a tweet or link, helps to get closer to the desired goal
Plans can be adapted according to the resources available.
Creating the most effective social media strategies depends on whether there is already an overall marketing strategy in place. If there is, then the social media strategy should be able to adapt elements from that to ensure they are aligned.
The most effective social media strategies should include:
Audience insight – understanding who you are targeting and what their needs are.
Smart social media goals – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based which are aligned to the overall business goals of the platforms that meet a range of audience needs analysis of the current situation, competitors, opportunities, etc.
Clear guidance on the content strategy, including what to post and where.
Making the journey:
To achieve the goals of your social media strategy, the work implemented or activity is called a social media campaign. It might also be focused on a particular product, interim goal, or event, such as a launch.
How does a social media campaign work?
A social media campaign is a short-term burst of activity. It builds on the insight and goals in the social media strategy to deliver specific targeted actions, such as signing up to a newsletter, clicking on a video, or participating in a poll. It could last for anything between a few days and a couple of months. Confusingly, campaigns can be quite a strategy in focus. They also have outcomes that can be measured and they can influence their audience, either to do, feel or be aware of something.
Social media campaigns can support a variety of objectives:
Raising awareness of brand or product, but also of a specific issue, for example in the case of launching a new product.
Calling for action by asking the audience to do something, including click on the link to register, fundraising, asking for input to reach a particular target.
Boosting traffic by increasing the numbers of people visiting a clothing line website, which might also include sales online or offline.
Developing a connection with the audience through engagement.
What does an effective social media strategy look like?
“social media activity frequently was not deployed very effectively. A real missed opportunity.” -Olusola Kish
Here is an example for a real estate company:
In 2021 we will use various platforms and work towards several objectives. In the first quarter of the year, we’ll be running a social media campaign to help with the launch of a special edition of our best-selling beach fort 3-bedroom apartment.
Short daily videos on Instagram.
Co-ordinated activity on Twitter across several brands accounts around a particular theme.
A competition runs across platforms where users will submit name ideas using a hashtag.
We want to:
Increase our brand awareness.
Gain 10,000 new followers on our social media accounts.
Gain 3,000 customers.
Get over 50,000 mentions for the #Beachfront hashtag across platforms.
Which platforms should I use?
Different social media platforms can be used for different elements of a campaign, and to connect with audiences in a variety of ways.
Twitter: is a good platform for short-form, real-time, fast-moving conversational content with high interactivity.
Instagram: is a more visual platform, but can be effective for storytelling and connecting people with ideas, brands, and opportunities in attractive ways.
Facebook: is good for content sharing of various types, especially viral short-form content. It can also be effective for connecting with communities of interest and location.
The core elements to any social media campaign using the most effective social media strategies are:
Research: You should understand the current context, strategy, competitors.
Audience targeting: Who is this for? Are they already connected to the company somehow, including via social media? Is this a new audience specific to this campaign?
Content-type and format: Are there any platforms, formats, details of the content that can be adapted from other marketing activities? Will you need to generate new content for social media?
Determine the key messages: Stick to one consistent message and associated hashtags to avoid diluting the impact.
Measurement: Determine the metrics and benchmark, if needed. Set up campaign-specific measurement tracking.
Promotion: Think about how to remain visible to your audience in the crowded social media space.
Content scheduling and calendar: Think about when, where, and what will be released. Balance promotional activity with other activities happening within your social media strategy.
Engage with the audience: Listen to feedback, answer questions and engage in other ways as appropriate.
How do you create the most effective social media strategies? Did I miss out anything? Share with us in the comment section.