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Social strategy • August 2016

Social 101: tips and tricks for a better strategy

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Social 101: tips and tricks for a better strategy

Rational
This article was contributed by

Social media is a everywhere. Almost everyone uses it. From trendy foodies posting photos of their lunch, to eager business development execs sharing wins on LinkedIn. Everybody has a reason for engaging. But, when it comes to brands, “reason” just isn’t enough. They need a purposeful strategy. For brands, social is an opportunity to establish meaningful relationships, communicate authenticity and add real business value. But even in today’s digital age, it’s fairly common to see brands and marketers jumping on the social media train without an established strategy for engagement. So for today’s blog, we thought we would throw it back to basics. Because without a strong foundation, no strategy can be set up for success.

Here are 3 key social 101 tips for building a better strategy:

1. Channels

Tip: Don’t forget that each channel is unique. One-size-fits-all is never going to be effective.

Always begin by developing designated channel strategies. This requires understanding the strengths and “personalities” of each channel. For example, Twitter is ideal for sharing thought leadership, connecting with influencers, and driving traffic to key brand pages. Instagram, on the other hand, is best used for crisp, engaging imagery and photography. Linking out from Instagram isn’t a great experience for users on the Instagram platform, so if traffic is your main goal – this channel might not be for you!

From a strategic perspective, not every channel is going to make sense for every brand. First evaluate your business goals, understand the capabilities of each channel, and then create strategies that adhere to both.

2. Audience

Tip: Audience is everything. You might have stellar content, but if it’s not geared toward what your readers want to see – it’s guaranteed to flop.

The foundation of social strategy begins and ends with an understanding of your audience. Your content only works when users are responding to it. So it’s vital to put your reader at the center of your strategy.

At Rational, we engage social listening experts to track, monitor, and analyze difference audience segments. This approach gives us key insight into who these people are, so we can understand and predict their behavior. We learn where they like to engage, and what they want. We get to know their likes and dislikes. And then we translate these insights directly into strategy and content production. It all stems back to the audience.

3. Content

Tip: Fresh content is key—don’t be too predictable.

Consistency is key when developing a well-structured social media strategy. But with consistency comes the danger of stagnant content. It’s easy to fall into a rhythm when adhering to a strict social calendar. It might seem like a positive when your content becomes second nature, but like with anything else, users lose interest. And if they get bored they’ll stop engaging with your content.

Monitor, monitor, monitor. Understand what’s working and where to optimize. And then refresh your content strategies based on those findings. Always keep in mind that you should be regularly switching it up—and testing as you go.

In conclusion: a moving metaphor

A great social strategy is a glacier. Its outer shell and foundation are solid, but underneath, it is constantly evolving—shedding and picking up pieces as it passes through. And a glacier can’t be ignored. As it forges its way forward it leaves an unmistakable impact on its landscape (your audience).

The key concept here is change—embrace it. When you let your social strategy shift along with your audience’s needs and channel preferences, you’re setting your brand up for social success.