Some business strategies are regimental, others more trial and error. Creating a social media strategy takes very much the latter route. You need to trial different techniques until you find the correct tones and topics that work across various platforms. Some people don’t see it as an important strategy to implement, based on the debate around whether social media works for B2B businesses or not. While that debate rages, our main focus at Innovation Enterprise is to create a strategy that would allow us to optimize our social media presence.
It’s funny how millennials consider themselves 'social media gurus,’ but no one seems able to define the audience persona of the various platforms. We found that the type of content people engaged with on Twitter didn’t ‘fly’ with our Facebook audience. The major task here was to map our current engagement on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and then form a strategy that combines all of them individually.
The first step, which turned out to be the focal piece of our social media strategy, was defining our business goals in relation to social media, and how we could measure these goals using social metrics. As a team, we developed 5 main business goals:
1. Brand Awareness – measured by social reach
2. Thought Leadership – measured by consumption
By UTM tracking, we can track the articles that are shared across the company, how much of the traffic is driven through social media and from which platform.
3. Word of Mouth – measured by shares, likes & retweets
4. Leads – measured by actions (filling out forms)
5. Sales – measured by conversions (tickets sales)
The next step was to audit all of our social profiles, collecting the base data, measuring a number of followers, tweets, shares, and likes. This process took a while, but fundamentally gave us a base point from which to measure off, and gave us a clear idea of what type of content got the highest engagement on each platform. Following this, the next key step was brand management and ensuring that each profile was consistent across the board, even if the content differed. This resulted in a complete brand guideline, being created for our company's Instagram account and for all images created on other platforms. To summarize these steps for future application, the marketing team at Innovation Enterprise:
- Created a spreadsheet of our social profiles
- Congregated all of the accounts that represented our brand
- Created a universal mission statement for each profile
- Ensured all accounts were brand consistent
- Centralized ownership of passwords
- Created a format for how new channels would be established and move forward
The final steps were the fun ones. We got together as a marketing team and discussed with each department what they considered the top tips to cracking the various social media platforms. By doing this, we were able to collaborate a ‘best practices’ list. This fits in with our idea that there is no one answer to social media - if one technique of tweeting doesn’t work, try a different one.
The key is, once you know your base point and your audience, all that’s left is finding the best way to engage with them.