What Is A Social Media Strategy?
It is a brand-specific approach to engaging with its audiences online. A social media strategy should encompass a brand’s specific goals and objectives and provide a path to achieving them all with a clear structure.
How We Create Your Social Media Marketing Strategy
At Prohibition, we have a strict process on how we create a social media strategy, and it should be up to date. A strategy that is older than 12-months isn’t a strategy at all. A social strategy is also made up of lots of individuals channel strategies that come together to make one cohesive overarching programme of activity. To do this, we use a Prohibition 360.
The Prohibition 360 Strategy Overview
A Prohibition 360 report is a one-off social media audit and listening exercise to establish a strategic ‘line in the sand. Crucially, this exercise will allow a brand’s marketing team to spot the all-important gaps and opportunities when it comes to focusing on future social media and content marketing time and effort.
In brief, this exercise involves a comprehensive channel and content audit of all critical platforms that the associated brand is already active. For instance, it asks questions such as:
- Is what you are currently doing working?
- Where does it sit within the best practice?
- Are these the most relevant channels for your audience?
- What could you do differently or better?
This process also includes a detailed social media listening exercise, tracking at least six months of online conversations taking place on social networks, video and image sharing sites, online news sites, forums and blogs around key brand terms that are relevant to you and your sector.
Following this process, we will turn all of this data/information into genuine insight, and produce analysis and recommendations covering (but not limited to):
Platform and channel strategy – is your brand on the right channels for each audience and brand? Content and channel performance – is your current content working and to best practice? The Prohibition team will then decide with you on how it can be improved.
Step 1 – The Social Media Audit
What is a Social Media Audit?
A social media audit – is the precise breakdown of a brand’s social media pages. It can help you to take stock of what channels a brand occupies. It can determine how it is being talked about online and what its competitors are doing in similar spaces. It is a detailed process of reviewing your current activity, monitoring your performance against your set metrics and finding out what has worked and what has not. A robust social audit helps you identify the key areas that need improvement and also boost the activities that have been giving high returns.
A social media audit can also make use of a variety of relevant digital tools and technology like analytical apps, spreadsheets, goal-tracking tools and advertising performance monitoring programs. These can help you to carefully gauge your current standing with regards to your social media content. A social audit is taking a close examination of what you have done to date and what should be tweaked.
Why do you need a social audit?
Brands must have a social media audit performed to determine what they’re already doing online. For instance, is a brand wasting time and efforts chasing the wrong metrics? How well has the content performed and more importantly, what next steps can be taken to ensure that social media is serving as a productive channel for the overall digital strategy?
Understanding your performance
It’s essential to examine what a brand is already doing on social media and how successfully that is performing. Understanding the techniques and tactics that are currently being used helps us to provide further recommendations of what else can be done to engage best with a brand’s audience.
In a world where everyone is obsessed with getting a return on investment, understanding the performance of your social channels can help you secure more budget and increase sales of your business.
Understanding your competitor’s performance.
Understanding the competitors is vital in building a social media strategy – knowing what else your competitors are doing and how well or poorly that is performing allows you to have inside information of what audiences in similar spaces are engaging well with.
Defining your target audience
This is one of the most essential elements of any social media strategy. Understanding your audience, the demographics, what type of content they typically engage with etc. The beauty of social media is that you can tailor your content to individuals and target these individuals to make sure that that particular desired audience is engaging with your brand on a micro-level.
Defining your goals
As a brand, it is essential always to have your goals at the forefront of everything that you try to achieve, and goals for social media are no different.
What’s the reason you’re choosing to be on social media? Brand awareness? Increased revenue? Whatever the reason, it’s imperative to ensure that these goals are at the core of all content creation and social media output.
Understanding your objectives
After establishing clear goals for your social output, setting attainable objectives is the next important step. These can come in different forms, such as daily/weekly/monthly key performance indicators (KPIs). Depending on what you are looking to achieve from social media, these objectives can shift.
S.M.A.R.T. Goal Strategies
In business, every company in 2020 has had to work smart. However, in this context, S.M.A.R.T. goal strategies have five precise meanings, including:
- Relevant and
Defining such goals can be tough if you do not have the correct information. Smart goals form an essential part of every successful marketing strategy. You need to be precise about what you want to achieve to develop a plan that works. And setting such goals requires data and knowledge, which is precisely what your social media audit will have provided you.
Social media audits are capable of providing you with valuable information that can drive much better business decisions. For instance, if your target audience is interested in a particular media format such as video, you can set a goal to reach the highest number of views, and shares, for the next video campaign you post on social.
Defining a Social media strategy that works for you
Creating a bespoke social media strategy that is specially tailored to your brand and your audience is essential to its success. You cannot just have a generic strategy as this will achieve nothing – it is the reason developing a strategy can take several weeks. The key to ensuring it is tailored is a careful critical analysis of your data from all of the different data points such as social analytics, Google Analytics and of course, revenue.
Social Media Listening
What is Social Media Listening
Social media listening is the description of practice using an enterprise-level digital software program to monitor all open social media platforms (such as Twitter), blogs, forums, and news media mentions of how a brand or a topic is being discussed. It is a much more involved process than merely using the platforms themselves to listen to brand mentions. Social media listening gives you a more holistic feel for how your brand is being received.
Why is it listening important?
This is important to show how a brand is positioned in the industry online amongst its competitors and as a stand-alone brand.
- Is there any positive or negative sentiment?
- Are there daily mentions?
- Is there something controversial or exciting that keeps being discussed online that pertains to your brand or identity?
Knowing all of this can enable a brand to make the most informed decisions of the type of content it should be producing and the types of space it should be occupying. In short, it gives you a clear indication of what is right and what isn’t.
Better Customer Insights
Knowing what customers are looking for, what they’re discussing in relation to brand terms will provide essential insight in how to target most accurately. If you have used listening to hear what your customers have said about you and your competitors, you are clearly in a better position than a company that is marketing blind.
Understanding online conversations
Conversations online are constantly changing, but with social media listening, it’s simple to monitor the shift in the conversation about a brand or specific topic. Understanding the volume, sentiment and topic of discussion is imperative for a brand to either involve themselves directly or tailor accordingly.
Listening, learning and responding
Social media listening is a crucial tool in understanding online conversations – this is important in taking the next step of responding, or not responding, and learning what is changing in terms of brand mentions.
How we use social for content marketing
Social media is one of the best channels for content marketing as it serves as a pivotal platform to target specific audiences. However, content marketing can be much more involved than just social media, but social always plays a critical role in the distribution of a brand’s content.
Persona Analysis and Audience Insights
The effectiveness of your social media marketing strategy lies in your ability to convert the data you have into meaningful interpretations that enable you to make the right decisions.
All the precious data and insights you gather through your social media monitoring, and listening will have little purpose if you do not have the right analytical tools behind them. By carefully analysing and modelling your customer behaviour, Prohibition can provide you with the right set of insights that will make it easier to understand customer needs and design your content strategy accordingly. With our advanced tactics like Persona analysis and audience insights, we will help you produce adverts that are entirely relevant and relatable to your chosen target audience.
What Are Personas?
Before you get into any kind of campaign or social media ad promotions, you need to understand the target audience you are trying to attract with your next campaign. This calls for a representation of what you think is the ideal customer based on market research. By making use of social media conversations, lead generation statistics and existing customer data, you can build a semi-fictional buyer persona that embodies the ideal consumer you are trying to appeal to. The more detailed a persona you develop, the more effective your social campaigns will be.
How Do Personas Help?
Anything that helps you understand your customer better is a tool worth investing your time in. Buyer personas can be helpful in various stages of business activities starting from marketing, sales, product designing to service delivery. It is critical to any social campaign as it helps in developing more relevant content. You need to understand their specific interests and difficulties they face, to give you those added extra insights to power your future campaigns.
Personas are a perfect method to help you personalise your marketing efforts catering to different types of audiences. For instance, you may have to run the same campaign differently in different geographical locations as the cultural background and buyer preferences could vary.
Personas also help you keep track of a buyer’s life cycle stages and enable you to run highly targeted campaigns to these different age groups. Prohibition can provide detailed persona analysis as we have access to the world’s number one persona modelling tool.
Applying Best Practice
An ideal persona should be as detailed as it possibly can be. The numerous factors like consumer demographics, behaviour patterns, motivations, goals, brand loyalty and such must all be considered when you model a persona.
A detailed persona helps you channel your advertising efforts in the right direction and allows for efficient time management, strategising and resource allocation.
Here are some best practices followed at Prohibition to craft the ideal persona for any business.
- The persona should be based on real data from market research and insights gathered from the existing consumer base.
Smaller companies working in a niche would require lesser personas compared to large companies with a more general consumer audience.
- A buyer persona should also include negative personas that are mostly the audience you want to exclude from your promotions. These are the type of consumers who are unlikely to purchase from your business. By eliminating them, you get to focus on the precise audience, which presents a higher rate of conversion.
- Web forms should be carefully designed to capture important persona information.
- Your existing consumer database and sales data should also be used in your modelling.
- Reaching out to customers via social media channels and engaging with them can also be used to derive the information required to model a persona.
Understanding which platforms are right for your audience
This goes back to understanding your audience demographic and staying true to your overall brand message. Certain brands will thrive on Instagram, while others will be better suited for Twitter or Facebook, and some brands will perform strongly across all social channels. It is essential to know what your objective for each channel is, as this will help you decide how to choose your target audience.
Understanding Where to Post
Traditional Social Media
Traditional social media consists of all the core mainstream social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn etc. It is critical that you have a substantial presence in these platforms as they have the maximum reach and can deliver high-performance levels. This includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and LinkedIn – each channel performs differently and attracts different audiences for different reasons. Understanding the various social media channels and their purposes, will, in turn, help you to understand the channels that your brand will be best suited with.
Non-Traditional Social Media
Just because there are global brands that we all know doesn’t mean there aren’t hundreds of other social media platforms you haven’t heard of. This includes Reddit, Tik Tok, Telegram, WeChat and Snapchat – these are relevant for some brands, but not all, and are more niche in their content material.
Understanding What To Post and Where
It can take many years to build a reputation and 30 seconds to destroy it. You need to ensure your social media management is helping, not damaging your brand.
The level of engagement you aspire to get from your social content depends on its relevancy and the way it takes advantage of the platform you are using. Having an understanding of what works for a particular social platform is essential to become competent in social media marketing. Prohibition is proud to say that it has the right expertise and content creators to help you with identifying and generating the best content for the right platform to get your marketing strategy working brilliantly.
Here is how we understand the importance of the type of content and make the best use of it to give you the best results.
Posts are usually short content and can refer to both textual and multimedia content. Each platform has its restrictions on what can and cannot be posted. Posts need to understand these restrictions and come up with uniquely engaging and interesting content that can secure a good number of shares, likes and hopefully new follows. Any actionable reaction you expect from the audience must be specified clearly in the post. For instance, if you post a video calling for registration to a service, you should make a mention of it clearly in the video as well as the accompanying text with all the necessary information like related links.
Posts must be able to capture the attention of the viewer in a short period. Twitter has a restriction of a maximum of 280 characters, meaning you should be able to convey your message within these 280 characters effectively.
According to a Sprout social report, about 46% of users will unfollow you if they get promotional posts too often. This means that the timing between each post you make should also be optimal.
Blog marketing can be a powerful word of mouth marketing tactic for any business. Power bloggers and social influencers have been able to generate a solid reputation and organic growth by creating interesting and authentic blog content. Find ways to redirect your social posts to more detailed blogs you have on your website. For example, Prohibition’s managing director is a blogger in his own right listed in the U.K.’s Top Ten PR bloggers on his social media training blog.
Blogs can help users get a good understanding of what your company has to offer. It is imperative to understand that blogs must be written with the target audience in mind and should have valuable information to provide. You should always be looking to add some kind of extra value. Getting the attention span of a reader to plough through your articles can be difficult, and hence they should be written professionally and creatively as possible.
Blogs are also an excellent way through which you can pitch your services and provide link backs to your main e-commerce store or website. However, you need to make sure your blogs are optimised by hand.
Curated content is value-based content usually delivered by expert curators who provide useful information on a particular niche topic of interest. Talking all about your product and focusing too much on marketing and sales can often drive away any potential customers towards other channels. So you need to ensure you have quality content that proves useful to the reader. By filtering through other people’s engaging content and sharing the best news and information to your audience, you will be attracting more potential prospects.
Video content is the number one type of content on the Web in 2020, whether it is live or recorded video. Video is capable of driving more engagement than text-based posts and images together. Content with images drives 94% more views than content without and Facebook native videos get 97% more engagement than YouTube videos. A recent Hootsuite report found that video ads receive 19% more returns than non-video adverts.
Video content, when executed well, can help your post to become viral and bring you more attention online. You will have to pay attention to the length, quality, and idea behind your video contents.
Trends and Developments
Social media is a space that is always evolving. Keeping up with the latest trends and developments is necessary to stay ahead of the competition. But it is also essential to understand that just going with the hype and trying to copy content structure can do more harm than good. Finding the right balance requires a lot of experience and broad scoped thinking which you can find here at Prohibition.
Every day new social platforms come into existence, and social habits evolve and change. Staying ahead of the curve is a crucial skill Prohibition has been cultivating among our marketing teams to ensure our business partners are always able to make the best out of their marketing efforts.
Paid social media strategy
Understanding the role of organic vs paid social media
Organic social media is carefully curated content that best engages with your organic audience. Your organic audience is the audience that has grown naturally through brand acknowledgement, interest or niche. Paid social media is also carefully curated but is more like an advert in its messaging and appearance. Paid social media allows you to target particular audiences (channel dependent) to grow your overall following.
Different type of platform advertising?
Your overall social advertising campaign objectives and Facebook’s advertising objectives should be as closely aligned as possible. Creating adverts that are relevant and uninstructive to the audience’s overall experience on the platform should be the highest priority for you and tied into your overall bidding strategy.
The last step in your strategy stages is usually the paid stage and to hone in on what you do best. Make sure you learn best practices and continually test to make future campaigns more effective. Countless advertisers work with content, development, design and social media teams to launch ads. Depending on the platform, there are different benefits of advertising. For example, LinkedIn advertising can be very specifically tailored to an individual.
Facebook is an excellent place to get started with platform advertising. It enables you to run targeted ads and even allow for retargeting certain groups of audiences through Ads Manager.
Instagram also uses Facebook Ads Manager. It has specific features reserved for a business profile. Instagram also allows for shopping on its platform.
Twitter runs a very successful customizable ad platform that is more cost-effective when compared to contemporary platforms.
Snapchat ads have to be customised to suit the photo-sharing nature of the app. It caters to specific demographics of users and helps you get direct engagement with your audience with ease.
LinkedIn is a professional social network; hence it is more effective to run targeted ads that cater to a particular customer niche. About 65% of B2B companies have used LinkedIn ads to gain more customers.
Brands That Trust Us
Targeting based on interest and Remarketing
Retargeted ads help you narrow down your prospective buyers and thus increase your chances for better conversions. When a user exhibits an interest in your content or your products, running ads that are customised to suit their preferences will make sure you are appealing to the ideal buyer. Every platform has its own set of pixels to help you perform remarketing. Facebook leads the pack with its ads retargeting and Ads Interest Targeting research. These are specific advanced techniques in social media marketing that can ensure high success rates.
This is one of the main highlights of marketing on social media. Social media platforms such as Facebook can target your ads to particular audiences based on specific likes/dislikes/demographics.
How we are aligning your paid and organic strategies
By keeping your brand messaging the same across both paid and organic platforms and ensuring that both the paid and organic material works in tandem with your overall goals and objectives.
Essential Success Metrics / Analytics
This is the metric of how many people have come across your post. How many people have seen it and how many people it has gone out to?
This is the act of having your audience respond to your call-to-action whether that be click on this link to learn more, 50% off on x product, watch a video or purchase a product etc.
Engagement was the main KPI in 2016. It covers the number of likes, reactions, shares and comments. A higher engagement number usually leads to a higher conversion level too.
This is important as 46% (Sprout Social) of users will unfollow or mute a brand if there are too many promotional posts. Strive to create engaging content that is informative and gives your audience something more than just the feeling of an ad.
This is brand dependent, but we would recommend three posts a week per channel. Keep in mind that each channel is different and content should be tailored to reflect that.
This gives your brand access to social media listening tools that you may not usually have access too as well as expert insight on how to best improve your social media channels and overall strategy.
Get in touch with Prohibition PR and let us talk you through the next steps of how to best develop your social media marketing strategy for 2020 and beyond.
Yes! We offer specialised and brand-specific tailored social media training courses either for a half or full-day.
Influencer marketing is the practice of enlisting the help of either a macro or micro-influencer to market a product or launch to their followers. This is a useful tool to market a product and reach either more significant or more niche audiences through a respected industry voice.
This practice allows you to connect with your direct audience while also broadening your search for new followers by targeting other relevant demographics.
One that is attainable for your brand and reflects the overall goals that you have set for your company. This goal should be able to produce a result – whether it be brand awareness, increased revenue or higher audience engagement.
This again is dependent on the brand and the audiences that they attract. Firstly, we’d recommend checking your data to see when your audiences are primarily interacting with your posts. If there is no clear evidence on when your audiences are connecting consistently with your content, then we would recommend posting at a variety of times throughout the day, during business hours. Keep in mind when people are most likely looking at social media, on their lunch breaks, after dinner etc. and post around that.