Any good community (or social media) manager will tell you that keeping up with algorithm updates, new channels and user behavior is a full-time job.
Throughout my relatively short career in social media, I’ve written blogs about:
- A new social channel that focuses on images rather than words
- How to write brand messages in 140 characters or less
- The definition of a hashtag holiday
- Content that disappears in 24 hours
- The rise and fall of a six-second video channel
- The fine line between relevancy and privacy.
Keeping up with an ever-changing industry is a whirlwind that can be both exciting and challenging.
While the space consistently buzzes with noise, I have found that a sound social amplification strategy will provide you with a roadmap towards your goals despite any road blocks that get in your way or flashy new objects that threaten to steer you in their direction.
The three keys to developing a sound strategy? Audience. Content. Channels.
Start by thinking beyond the demo. Don’t answer the question “Who is my target audience?” with just an age range and a list of top markets. Take time to understand what matters to them. Ask questions like, what are their behaviors, interests and motivations? Who do they look up to, and what are their challenges? How do they consume content? How are they interacting with brands currently?
As you understand your audience, you will likely form multiple segments that make up your entire target.
For example, let’s say your target is “millennials.” According to the Pew Research Center, that generation is anyone born between 1981 and 1996. In 2019, they are people between the ages of 23 to 38. I think we can all agree what motivates and challenges a 23-year-old is very different than what motivates and challenges a 38-year-old. If you create smaller audiences that have commonalities beyond their generation, your messages will better resonate.
Unlike a national television campaign, social media enables marketers to quickly and easily deliver different messages to different audiences. Based on the brand and the campaign, messages may be differentiated with various lines of copy but the same visual, or completely distinctive creative, including different copy and visuals for each segment. Either way, small tweaks or big changes that address the audience’s needs or interests will make your social content more relevant to everyone in your target audience.
Now it’s time to determine where to distribute your message – a decision that should be made after considering both your defined audiences and your creative content. It’s important to use channels that will best reach your audiences and best serve the creative units.
For example, if your content is a video, you’ll want to choose channels that optimize video –Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. If your content is focused on driving traffic to a lead gen landing page, you’ll want to consider channels that show the highest amount of referral traffic –Facebook and LinkedIn. If you’re creating content for an event, you’ll want to consider real-time channels – Instagram Stories and Twitter.
It’s equally as important to identify where your audience is spending time on social media so you can rule out any channels that might serve the content well but won’t effectively reach your audience.
Once your social amplification program is turned on, the final step is to monitor and optimize. Analyze which audience segments you’re best able to reach, which ones are most engaged, and which ones are converting to sales. Evaluate which content is performing the best and which channels are moving you closer to your campaign goals and business objectives. Identify what’s working and turn up the volume on those people, messages and channels.
Like us, you’re going to love the sound of a more meaningful connection with your consumers.