While it may seem easier to maintain the status quo and operate on autopilot, periodically revisiting and revamping your social media strategy is much more rewarding in the long term.
A social media strategy refresh enables marketers to refine content development and better engage target audiences. Dedicate time this spring to analyzing success, acknowledging areas for improvement, and brainstorming new ideas. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you get started.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Refreshing your social strategy doesn’t necessarily mean eliminating what has worked well in the past. On the contrary, it is an opportunity to expand on historically successful campaigns.
I like to think of it as a snowball effect, slowly integrating new ideas over time so your brand naturally picks up steam. Here are some suggestions to easily expand current efforts.
- Stretch your content. If you are already in the habit of taking photos and conducting interviews, consider adding video production to your repertoire. For a great example, take a look at Humans of New York. For years, the widespread response to photographer Brandon Stanton’s photos demonstrated the public had a strong appetite for his art. Though his initial success was in photographing people on the street and revealing intimate details about their lives, he is now expanding to a TV series on Facebook’s platform Watch.
- Find new areas of your business to highlight. From products and services to thought leadership, there are so many ways to share your brand’s subject matter expertise with customers. If you’ve solely focused on a handful of certain topics, consider creating new content that aligns with additional messaging pillars. Whether you introduce a new offering, highlight a corporate social responsibility partnership, or provide a new education series, the options are unlimited. In addition to providing more insight about your brand, sharing new messages also helps break up the monotony of your editorial calendar.
- Build meaningful communities. If you’ve had great success with Facebook and LinkedIn Pages, consider creating and managing group communities. As the CEO of Blu Mint Digital said, these groups have rich audiences that have direct interests with brand products and services.
- Instead of blindly following posts designed to make an instant sale, group members operate a little bit differently. Through regular conversation, members expect to build long term relationships with consumers and influencers over time.
- Your goal should be to foster a safe environment for engaging in meaningful discussions, sharing subject matter expertise, and developing these relationships.
- Once trust is gained and member needs and desires are clearly communicated, the door may open for you to privately pitch products and services that may be helpful to a fellow group member. Just like having a conversation with a social acquaintance in real life, be sure to keep tabs on the member’s reactions and responses to your efforts, adjusting your approach as needed.
If it is broken, get rid of it.
Just as it is important to recognize what works and do more of it, it’s equally essential to eliminate campaigns that have fallen flat.
Just because a strategy may work well on paper does not necessarily mean it will receive a positive response online. If your team is spinning its wheels trying to earn engagement without results, sometimes the best course of action is to stop. In these cases, feel free to put the idea on the backburner and revisit at a later date, or throw away the idea altogether. So much of social media is trial and error. As soon as you discover a failed experiment, it’s time to move on. Your time is much better spent on strategies that work.
Explore new customer service outlets
There is no denying that we live in an instant gratification society. Most customers operate on a short fuse, snapping their fingers for an immediate response. If up until this point you’ve manually responded to customer inquiries and complaints via social comments and messages, you may want to dip your toes into the waters of live chat and chatbots.
In addition to providing convenient customer service, embedding Facebook Messenger’s platform for live chat on your website is a great way to integrate your online presence.
How does it work? The customer chat plugin will automatically load recent chat history between the customer and your business, meaning recent interactions with your business will be streamlined across messenger.com, in the Messenger app, and in the customer chat plugin on your website.
This tactic is obviously a major undertaking that will impact your entire team. Add the following strategic to-dos to your agenda for your next group discussion:
- Determine if a live chat or chatbot strategy is right for your business.
- Research different chat technologies.
- Implement a chat strategy including a process for responding to chat requests on your site.
A refresh does not draw the line at analyzing the content your team is churning out. It is also a great time to seek opportunities for your whole team to learn new skills. Whether in real life or online, there are countless educational resources available throughout the year.
- Conferences: It may be challenging to scrap together budget for your team to attend a digital marketing conference, but these events are a greatway to boost morale, network, stay on top of current trends, and be inspired. It’s critically important to give your team a break from the daily grind and creatively reset. Plus, they’ll bring back insights, which will benefit everyone. For a variety of price points and descriptions, check out this list of conferences coming soon to a city near you.
- Online learning: If your budget is too limited, another way to stay current on the latest social marketing trends is by reading guides, case studies, and white papers, as well as watching webinars that educate on key topics. Many free resources are available on the web. Empower your team members to learn by providing time on a regular basis specifically for these exercises.
No matter if you eliminate or add ideas to your strategy, keep in mind that social media provides a natural platform to test what works best. As your brand evolves over time, your social approach will too.