Tuesday, April 29, 2014

5 steps for a sustainable social strategy

I’ve been keenly following Kellogg’s Special K in India and more so their Facebook page. Why? Because I thought their social strategy was really amazing. They had hit the spot in terms of understanding the pain point for most Indian women - weight management, AND had devised a strategy to be that friend to the Indian woman with custom meal plans, tips and just really being that online friend. They clearly spent lots in the offline world too - billboards, print ads the whole shabang (let’s not forget spending on Facebook as well) 
Their Facebook page specifically had thought through messaging, images and what was even more amazing was the engagement they were creating around it.
Today their ad popped up in my news feed and I clicked to see what they were up to. Surprise surprise - their last post was the 4th of august!! After all that hard work of creating an engaged community there was no plan or strategy to take this forward. They are still replying to posts on their page but are not producing any new content. They have directed traffic to their website but that’s no reason to stop your social conversations. All this left me with one thought.This was a campaign - the campaign had a goal, budget and a timeline and social media was thrown in with the campaign Or did they simply run out of content? (There is always the chance I could be wrong of course..)  And here in lies the importance of a content plan and planning out your social strategy.
So as a brand tiny, small, medium, big - whenever you choose to venture into social media and create a page or account for your brand here are 5 steps to help ensure the longevity of your brand on social media and ensures you don’t come to a grinding halt because of lack of content or a longer social strategy. 
1. Define your target audience
Put down on paper who the people you want to target are. Create an ideal profile for them - age, gender, country or city, competitive brands they might be interested in or larger interests that are connected to your product. 
2. List what you aim to achieve via the platform 
While social media is largely used for engagement a lot of brands have driven sales through these platforms. Some use it solely to manage customer support. Whatever it is, define what you want to achieve. 
3. Define your tone of voice
Define the tone of voice you want to take - are you going to be funny, or serious, irreverent or a bit of everything. It’s important to think about it and define it as this gives you clarity in the kind of content you share. 
4. Create Content Categories
Think of all the content you want to share on your page and put them into broad buckets - product, offline activities, broader interests related to your brand. When you are going into the details in your content plan this will help give you consistency. Eg- Home Decor brand would also look at - ideas of home decor from around the world, or DIY projects for the home, seasons latest trends etc. 
5. Create a Content Plan
This is one of the most important parts of your social media strategy. I use a simple excel sheet and put down a day & date calendar. Google has a ready to use social media calendar . Start by broadly defining what you will talk about each week. Once you have that plan set, work on each post. This helps you plan images you might need for a post, or ensuring supporting content you are creating is ready in time - like a blog. This also gives you a view of what you’re doing on each platform and helps maintain consistency in language, tone of voice and messaging. 
Deploying these 5 simple tips will help you ensure you have a long term social media strategy. It will also ensure you don’t run out of content and will help you prepare in advance to create content you will need. 

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