Too social for your own good? Creating a balanced social media strategy
Social media must now be considered one of marketing’s biggest tools, it has revolutionised the way marketers plan strategy, engage with consumers and manage brand image. It has seen the rise of user generated content to unprecedented levels, turned simple marketing campaigns into overnight viral hits and internationalised the potential reach of an organisation.
What once may have seemed like another marketing fad soon to be saturated, outdated and forgotten has in fact proved to be a long-standing, useful tool for marketers of all levels, and although the rise and fall of individual platforms is to an extent inevitable, it seems we are far from reaching the peak of social media as a marketing and communications tool.
So, with social media here to stay, how do you ensure that your social media marketing strategy is up to the job? How do you find a balance between being active in the social media spheres, but not torturing your customers with once-a-minute posts? How do you make sure the right message is getting through?
THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK
In much the same way as you proof read your latest publication before it goes to print, there’s no excuse for not being thorough and thoughtful before you Post, Tweet or Instagram. A major concern for many seeking to move their marketing onto social media is the perceived lack of control that comes with allowing multiple contributors and encouraging interaction with others. Yet with careful planning and a good strategy, it is possible to not only eliminate these risks but make social media work for you.
Entrepreneur.com has argued that thinking carefully about social media and creating content which is valuable is a great tip for succeeding on social media. They argue that simply creating content for its own sake and working hard to boost follower and retweet numbers is misguided energy, as it does not create ‘true value’ for consumers and will simply be lost among the noise.
One of social media’s greatest benefits is its ability to bend the rules, to lie outside of convention and offer a platform open for almost infinite creativity. With very little, if any, cost involved and the ability to create content quickly and simply, social media can offer brands the chance to really inject personality and flare into a campaign.
Some of the world’s biggest brands have taken the opportunity offered by social media to get creative with their marketing, with some fantastic results which demonstrate that with a little outside the box thinking and a good idea social media can be a fabulous outlet for generating brand awareness. Last Autumn Amazon took to Snapchat on Black Friday, one of the biggest sales frenzies of the commercial year, by sending daily deals to customers which disappeared within 10 seconds, attracting huge levels of excitement among customers which translated into record mobile-based sales.
PICK THE RIGHT PLATFORM
With so many to choose from, how do you pick the right platform for your business? Once again balance and planning are the answer, and although every business is different there are a few golden rules to follow.
Although it can sometimes seem sensible to stick to one platform so as to avoid confusion and over-exposure, more often than not one platform is simply not enough to generate a return on investment. By only using one platform you are automatically limiting the reach of your social media strategy, and it is important to understand that often some content is better placed on one platform than another.
According to an interview with media expert Cami Bird for Entrepreneur.com “each network offers a unique point of connection: Facebook’s statuses, wall posts, and pictures make it ‘the yearbook of social networks,’ while Twitter’s short format, rapid fire, newsy posts make it the place to be in the know about the here and now, and LinkedIn takes professional networking to a whole new level.” Creating content suitable for each platform is therefore crucial to creating a winning social media strategy, and can provide customers with a unique insight into different areas of your brand.