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02 Jan / 2018

5 Key Elements Of Your Social Media Strategy

As the world becomes more and more connected digitally, it is no longer about if your company is on social media, but how are you getting the most out of what these platforms have to offer. This all comes down to recognizing the tools at hand, and optimizing your social media strategy to achieve the best possible results. Asking yourself these five questions will help to ensure you are effectively getting your brand message across to the people who matter most.

1. What is the story?

The first thing to think about when creating any form of content in your social media strategy is telling a story. Whether a Facebook post, an Instagram shot, or a Snapchat video, everything must resonate with your audience. The story can be a small piece of your brand message, an exciting event that has recently occurred, or some insights that you want to let your fan base know about. If it's a photo, you should let readers know the context of when and where it was taken. If the subject is laughing, tell them what made her laugh. This type of information contributes to your storyline and will in turn keep readers connected with your content and consequently your brand.

2. Is it Interesting, Beautiful, or Useful?

If your content is not one of these three things, chances are that no one is going to be interested in it. Interesting things will entice people to share them with their friends, and interesting can also include things that are unique, personally relevant, or special. Beautiful things are also widely shared, whether it be a work of art, music, or a story envoking emotions such as laughter. Finally, useful posts help to educate and inform users, such as "How-To" videos, or other pieces of information that can enhance the everyday lives of your followers.

3. Does your caption or headline grab attention?

The opening words of any post (with the exception of Twitter which is limited to just 148 characters) are the ones that are going to pull your audience in and make them want to read more. According to a blog article by Kissmetrics, 80% of people will read your headlines, but only 20% of them will continue to read the rest of your content. The caption should depict what the visual is about, and can use enticing language to spark curiosity. As master of advertising David Ogilvy writes in Confessions of an Advertising Man, " When you have written your headline, you have sent eighty cents out of your dollar".

4. Do you have a Call to Action?

This is an essential piece of every piece of content, because it drives your audience to either visit your website, buy your product, sign up for a newsletter, or subscribe to your blog or channel. Simply reading the content and continuing to scroll down the newsfeed means your reader has already moved on to other people's stories and messages. Facebook makes this extremely easy with call to action buttons which can be integrated into posts and videos. Never let a reader simply drop off of your content without encouraging them to stay connected with your brand across multiple platforms.

5. Are you Analyzing the Data?

It doesn't matter what you think is successful or not, you have to leave it to the numbers to gage the success of your posts and your overall strategy. At least once a week, open up the insights tool (both Facebook and Twitter offer these) and see which posts performed better than others. Did videos have a greater reach than links or photos? What was the key demographics which engaged with your content? Can you cater even more to this demographic for the future? Knowing and understanding your audience and how they react to your content will help to guide you to create perfectly tailored content for the future.

While there are many other pieces that make up a successful social media strategy, asking these five questions will start you off on the right foot. Always remember that social media differs from traditional advertising in that it is a two-way conversation. Rather than talking at your audience, you are encouraging conversation and interaction, which means that you have to provide content and material that is worth them taking the time to interact with. Oh, and on top of that, you have about 2 seconds to make your point before their attention is already lost to something else...

Source: Ogilvy, David. Confessions of an Advertising Man. Southbank Publishing: Harpended, 1987. pp. 121.