PART 2: 12 Steps to a flawless social media strategy
This is the second part of a longer piece. If you haven't read the first four steps, start here.
5. Tone of voice
One of the best pieces of advice for anyone managing social media is to try to use an authentic tone for your posts. Your social profiles will reflect your company, so your tone of voice should have consistency across the different platforms, while still taking into account the need to adjust the specifics to the platform. For example, if your followers on Twitter are more expert than your Facebook followers, you might include more technical language on Twitter.
Netflix is currently one of the most notable corporate accounts in terms of social media tone of voice. For years they have maintained an irreverent tone of voice that their fans respond well to. If you don’t follow them on Twitter and everything else I recommend going to take a look.
6. Visual Identity
“Photos on Facebook, for example, generate 53% more likes than a text-based post”
Now, it’s time to define your visual presence. If you are like me, you probably started with this step because it's one of the more creative bits. If you are lucky enough to have a design team accessible for your social media production, then take advantage of it!
Decide whether you want your social media to stay 100% in line with the visual identity lined up on your website, or if you are willing to have a bit more lee-way with your social media posts. One thing we recommend, however, is taking the time to have a visual plan. Whether it be using a custom photo for each post, graphics, etc. having a consistent look for your company related posts will help create a universe around your brand. Groupe Renault has done a great job creating a social media universe that is inspired by their brand:
Groupe Renault Facebook
Their presence on social media isn’t overwhelmingly ‘Groupe Renault’ and yet the visual has echos that remind us of the brand. They reuse the same colors, they maintain a consistent font family, and yet the content on Social Media probably wouldn’t be used for their website.
To learn more about how visuals and custom photos can help your social media strategy check out this article.
7. Content Strategy
Each platform is going to need to be tackled individually because while posting 4 times a day on Twitter is acceptable, you’ll probably annoy all of your followers away if you do the same thing on Instagram. So your Twitter strategy is not going to look identical to your Facebook strategy.
With that in mind, remember when we asked you to outline why you are launching these profiles? Do you want to introduce the brand, drive traffic to your blog or generate leads? We are going to use these categories to define our content.
Here’s an example breakdown from Hootsuite:
- 50 percent of content will drive traffic back to your blog
25 percent of content will be curated from other sources
20 percent of content will support enterprise goals (selling, lead generation, etc.)
5 percent of content will be about HR and company culture
Creating a calendar is essential for single social media managers and large teams alike. Maintaining a calendar lets you prepare for upcoming seasonal events, prepare longer forms posts, maintain campaign rhythm, etc. If you have a system where one person is writing the posts and someone else is validating and yet another person is posting (Don’t believe me that this happens? I have done every part of this food chain, so you know it’s real!) then a Google spreadsheet showing exactly where you are in the approval process is essential. If ‘Google Docs’ isn’t your thing, think about creating a shared Trello board or Asana list.
Whatever your organizational tool of choice, use your calendar to take a global look at your upcoming posts and make sure they correspond with your business goals.
Now that you are ready to start publishing posts, know that there are lots of ways you can schedule posts ahead of time. As of August 2019, you can schedule posts on Facebook and Instagram through the Creator Studio available directly on the platform. Additionally, companies like AgoraPulse, Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, and SproutSocial all provide free and paid scheduling platforms, where you can post to most of your accounts at the same time.
Setting up a moderation policy can help your community manager react to crisis situations more effectively, especially in situations that arise out of office hours or on weekends. The golden rule of customer service, however, is to get users with service complaints off of public channels and to get them to contact the service line. But definitely, don’t just delete everything. For a great use case of what NOT to do, check out this article.
In your moderation policy, be sure to outline when the community manager ought to respond, when they ought to block and when they ought to ban users. This too, like everything else, should be outlined by platform.
There are plenty of social media management tools out there that provide additional tracking (like the photo from SproutSocial below), and each platform provides its own analysis of your posts. Twitter, for example, will show you how many new followers you gained per month, your best tweet, your best new follower, etc. It’s under the Statistics tab on the profile. To learn more about different tracking techniques, check out this article.
Even with all of this planning, at the end of the day, some ideas are going to work and some are not. By analyzing your KPIs you can adjust the ongoing strategy for the future. Just like benchmarking, adjusting your plan should be a regular activity, and it is not something to neglect. As you develop your fans, your technique and your voice will become more and more defined and you’ll be on your way to social media success.