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Unfollow the leader: Rethinking social media strategy

by Diego Wyatt November 1, 2021
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In the wake of pandemic-spurred content consumption, it may be time to reconsider how you’re using social media.

How it started: Brands avoided leaning into social media to tap into a wider audience, seeing it as novel, ephemeral and unnecessary.

How it’s going: Successful brands leverage social media strategy to disrupt the marketplace, differentiate themselves with creative and drive awareness and conversions.

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Almost half a billion users joined social media within the past year, taking the global total to over 4.2 billion. Let that sink in.

At any given point in time, social media hosts billions that can react in real-time, share sentiment and have your content or products at their fingertips. Translation: The demand is there.

But how are you positioning your brand to cut through the static and reach your target audience authentically and unforgettably? How are you demonstrating value? How are you crafting materials that will stop people mid-scroll or keep them watching after three seconds?

Since its inception, social media has become less about building connections and more about consuming content. And that’s where solid social media strategy comes into play.

Social media strategy outlines “social media goals, the tactics you will use to achieve them and the metrics you will track to measure your progress,” according to Hootsuite’s Christina Newberry and Evan LePage. For most startups and non-legacy brands, this way of thinking is built into the org’s DNA. But for others, it’s forcing marketers to reset the way they learn from and grow audiences.

(Double) tapping in

Social media strategy bolsters brand awareness, fosters engaged communities and allows organizations to measure the efficacy of messaging, creative collateral and positioning, among other benefits.

But all social media strategy isn’t created equally.

The 4 non-negotiables:
  1. Know what you want. Whether you’re just diving in or have experience under your belt, you’ll want to define clear objectives from the outset. Are you hoping to build brand awareness? Define a tone and voice that resonates with global audiences? Drive increased conversions for new products? Or D., All of the above? Start with the ‘why’ and move forward with confidence.
  2. Find your tribe. Who’s your current audience? Who’s your aspirational audience? Are they the same? Knowing what you want to accomplish is meaningless unless you’ve decided who you’d like to activate.
  3. Understand the landscape. What are your competitors doing better than you? How can you add value to an already noisy marketplace? Take stock of what seems to be resonating with your target audience(s) and what misses the mark.
  4. Measure your successes—and failures. Establishing key performance indicators (KPIs) is essential in creating and maintaining an effective social media strategy and establishing what success looks like.

Shift happens

The way people consume and engage in content evolves from day to day—and sometimes multiple times within the same day. Staying aware of how the habits and needs of your audience change is integral to maintaining an effective strategy. And lessons learned can be applied to new projects down the line.

As you’re reviewing metrics and KPIs and doing retrospectives at predetermined milestones, leave room for iteration. Think of it as identifying ways to improve and activate a larger audience.

The multidisciplinary One North team meets you where you’re at in this process. We bring together content strategy, data strategy, CX strategy and brand strategy to help you move forward without fear. Let us help you leverage social media to execute your business goals and answer your biggest brand questions.

 

Photo Credit: Jehyun Sung | Unsplash

Diego Wyatt is a Senior Brand Strategist at One North. He uses his storytelling chops, social media savvy and passion for analytics to craft and curate compelling content, inform brand decisions and disrupt the social media landscape to help clients achieve their business goals.

Most unusual job: Morgue attendant for an Atlanta-area hospital

Favorite move quote: “The things you own end up owning you.” From Fight Club

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