Your audience should be at the heart of everything you do on social media. The best way to integrate this into your everyday social media is to start at the foundations by building an audience-driven social media strategy!
How COVID-19 Has Influenced Social Media Strategy
The Coronavirus pandemic has radically changed ‘normal’ working life, from homeschooling to social distancing and working remotely. The effect on organisations is no different.
Organisations have had to adjust to the reduced face-to-face contact with customers, as well as work on shifting priorities and focus on ethical actions to get them through; no one wants to put out hardcore sales messages during a global crisis.
Many organisations have had to completely change their ad messaging, reach more customers through social media, focus on shifting product demand and be generally more empathetic to what their audience is experiencing right now.
By creating an audience-focused social media strategy, you’ll be better equipped to reassure, engage and delight your audience.
Key Trends for Social Media
The move towards a more audience-driven social media strategy is backed up by the shifting expectations of your audience, as well as the social media platforms themselves. For example, both audience engagement and platform algorithms are indicating that genuine, authentic content is more beneficial than paid media.
Some other social media trends to consider are:
- Influencing Influencers: With social media algorithms stifling an organisation’s reach, it can be hard to reach everyone in your audience. Getting relevant influencers to share your content means your message is amplified to both your existing audience, as well as people that may not be part of your audience yet.
- Thought Leadership: Creating content that positions yourself as a trusted expert leading the conversation means that customers will think of you when they are ready to buy.
- Personalisation: In a world of information overload and noisy news feeds, personalising the message to your audience is the only way you’re going to get noticed.
Social Media Strategy Planning Model
Planning an audience-focused social media strategy involves some key steps: setting your objectives, doing your research and segmenting your audience, gathering your insights, building the strategy, and measuring the outcomes.
This model can be applied to building strategies for your customers, for your brand, or even for internal communications.
1. Setting Objectives
Any strategy you build will need a clear objective to work towards. You need to understand what the success of this social media strategy will look like: do you want to increase sales, broaden your audience reach or just get more engagement?
Social media is a great tool for measuring engagement, as most platforms offer detailed insights and analytics into your organisation’s performance.
2. Conducting Research & Segmentation
To help you achieve your newly-set objectives, you need to ensure you give yourself every chance of success by researching your audience on social media so that you can effectively segment them.
Your research data can take many forms, including qualitative and quantitative, as well as claimed and observed:
- Qualitative: Asking your social media audience open-ended questions to get detailed responses.
- Quantitative: Analysing the performance metrics from your social media channels.
- Claimed: What your audience claims are the answer to your question. This can often be misleading if the person unknowingly gives the wrong answer or wanting to give a socially-acceptable answer.
- Observed: Data that you can see for yourself, such as software that tracks a user.
Tools like Google Trends can show you what topics are currently crucial to your audience that you can then create content around. Social media analytics can help you to gain a deeper understanding of your audience themselves. This can include profiling followers, what time of day to post, and which social channels are most effective for your objectives.
There are many ways that you can segment your audience for more tailored content. These can include demographics, geography, behaviour, value, attitudinal, needs, business/career demographics.
Demographics used to be the go-to way to segment audiences, but that is no longer the case. In modern times, demographics are becoming much less predictive of the behaviour of your audience. Instead, more and more organisations are using behavioural data, which is more accessible from digital channels and more predictive, to target the right people with the right content.
3. Using Your Insight
Using this research and your segmented audiences, you can now start to understand why people behave the way they do, and how you can influence this on social media. This is also beneficial for overcoming the various logical and emotional barriers that your audience may have when it comes to converting into a customer.
4. Building Your Strategy
Armed with your knowledge and understanding of your audience, it’s time to start building your social media strategy. To develop a comprehensive, foolproof strategy, you should follow these 12 critical strategy-planning steps.
Planning Your Content
The content you publish on social media should be engaging, shareable and authoritative, with a clear call to action that reflects your organisation’s brand. The best type of content that you can create is evergreen, meaning it stays relevant for an extended period. You can also create content around events you are running or leading up to product launches to warm up your audience and get them engaged.
Don’t be afraid to revisit old content that you have created and share it again; it may reach people that never saw it the first time!
5. Measuring and Evaluating
The cornerstone of any effective strategy is to continually evaluate to improve your performance. Don’t waste your time measuring everything to do with social media; hone in on the metrics that will inform you whether you are successfully moving toward your objectives.
Despite many organisations having to adapt their strategy for COVID-19, being audience-driven on social media is the only way to keep your audience engaged. Want more insights and examples? Check out the full recording of the webinar and let us know what you think @SoCrowd!