When tasked with creating a social media presence for a business or client, it’s essential to start with a plan and build from there. With any outward marketing effort, there are steps involved to ensure that the end product matches the goals of the business but also the identity and voice of the company in question. As a wise, green Jedi once said, “do or do not, there is no try.” Applies to social media…but only after you have a plan together.
Here’s five things to consider when building a brand’s social media footprint:
- Research, research, research: Before you jump into Facebook and start creating a page or bounce around ideas for a Twitter handle, you’ve got to research the subject matter. Dig around on the brand’s website. Ask questions to the decision makers. Investigate similar companies in the same space, different space, unrelated fields. Ask more follow up questions. Gather as much information as you possibly can before even entertaining the idea of what network profile you’ll create first. All too easy.
- Know The Voice… : After you’ve researched all you can and know everything about the brand in question and its marketing goals/aspirations, begin to get a handle on the social voice and how that might look. It’s important to note that brand voice in marketing materials, advertising and similar type messaging does not necessarily mean that’s what it should be on social. Identifying this and building a social voice that reflects careful planning and the above research will pay off in the long run.
- …And Your Audience: Equally as important as having a firm grasp on the brand identity and voice is knowing who you are trying to reach. Is the brand goal to get younger? More technology-based? More mobile? Less wordy? Understanding exactly who the brand is focused on from a marketing perspective dictates a number of things, including (but certainly not limited to) which social media networks it should even be present on. For instance, Facebook’s key demographic is a lot older than it was 10 years ago (duh).
- Goals, They Are Necessary: Goal-setting on social media can be an interesting challenge. What are you shooting for? Who are you battling against? What metrics matter? Well, taking time to determine all of this is imperative. Search your feelings. Not everyone understands/appreciates social media so being as clear as possible about what you’re trying to achieve helps paint the picture for its necessity. Then, when you reach these goals (however lofty they may be) you’ll be awarded with slightly more freedom than before try to new things and continue to up your social game. Benchmarking yourself against competitors is great and can be helpful, but don’t get stuck in that bubble. What is this brand trying to achieve through social media and how can these goals help with that?
- Get A Plan In Place: Taken care of the above? Checked all those boxes? Splendid. Now it’s time to pick that Twitter userna…no, not yet. You still need to get a plan together. Imagine the above four items are the wheels on the car. It’ll drive…but where are you going? Put a roadmap together for three months, six months, a year. Get that set up with campaigns, initiatives, activations along the way. Determine where all of this work is headed, where it fits with the greater marketing strategy and how it will kick ass on social. Then you will be ready.
Social media is more prevalent than ever and that trend isn’t stopping anytime soon. Building a rock-solid presence takes more than a few funny memes and a shoutout from Kim Kardashian (though the latter would certainly help). Get the foundation in place and build.
The social media circle is now complete.