October 23, 2017
In a world where brands are expected to be on social (and spend a lot of money there, too) a sound strategy has never been more important. It’s the difference between reaching the right people, with the right content, at the right time — and broadcasting yet another branded message that’s all too easy to ignore. If you’re not sure what to do first, or you’ve gone through this before and need a little gut check, here are three must-haves to get your social strategy started.
Think of an audit like any good, foundational research — grounded in data and shaped by insights. Or like a map. You can’t get to a great social presence if you don’t know where to start (or how far you have to go). The audit phase generally includes an overview of competitors and existing social channels, audience information (age, gender, etc.) and current content performance. In short: what your competitors are doing, what you’re doing, what’s working and what’s not. A good social strategy should always start here.
When it comes to what you say versus how you say it, both are important, but it’s best to define the latter first. And unlike the audit phase, tone and voice is highly conceptual. Let’s start with an example using four words from a recent exercise: confident, inspiring, passionate and polished. These words are meant to be both honest and aspirational, grounded in the brand and what it stands for, but idealistic in how you want it to sound. You might not hit all four words with every post, but they should be a guiding light for everything you say on social.
Just like tone and voice should be a guide for everything you say on social, content pillars should be a guide for everything you do. They should be your top priorities based on three things: what sets you apart, what’s valuable for your audience and how you want to position the brand. Let’s take a high-end, hand-made shoe brand, for example. This brand might go with “how it’s made” because hand-crafting shoes is pretty cool — but also “fashion” because it wants to be a thought leader in that space. At the end of the day, every idea should align with at least one of your content pillars, from evergreen topics to #FashionWeek and everywhere in between.