Once you have found out where your target audience lives on social media, and set up social media profiles on the chosen networks, congratulations—you’re almost there! The next step is figuring out your engagement strategy.
To manage your time and resources efficiently, your strategy should require few resources and result in a far reach for your brand on social media. The best way to achieve this is to find a focus for each social media profile your business owns, and determine how this purpose fits into your social media strategy. You can start by creating a mission statement for each social media profile.
Doing so is important because it saves your business from two major social media mistakes: leaving a profile neglected, and automatically posting the same content across all your social channels—which increases the likelihood of your social media audience treating your social messaging as spam. In order to avoid that, you want each profile to serve its unique purpose.
Here is how you can identify a unique purpose and create a mission statement for each social media profile:
You should use all your social networks to engage with your current and potential customers. However, you can’t have always afford to concentrate your social media efforts on the same task—it puts you under the risk of ignoring other needs for your brand’s presence on social media. Specific features of each social media network lend themselves to do certain things better, whether it’s a benefit of visuals, as is the case with Instagram and Pinterest, or a well-defined nature of the network’s audience, such as LinkedIn.
After you identify the unique purpose of each social media profile managed by your business, see how each social network fits into your social media marketing plan by creating a mission statement. Your mission statement includes the description of each social media profile’s purpose, and how this purpose contributes to your business goals.
We will use (social network) for (purpose of this social network) in order to help (business goal).
Record your mission statement and make it accessible to everyone who is responsible for social media management in your business. Whenever you check the progress on your goals, or perform a social media audit, check if your performance on each of the social media profiles fits the mission statement. If you find that the performance on a social network fails to achieve the goals you have set, re-evaluate and update the mission statement.
Several social networks offer paid advertising options for businesses. Facebook Insights offers useful information about your social media following, so you can choose your target audience by age, gender, spoken language, and geographical location. The latter targeting dimension is especially powerful, particularly in cases where your business is looking to expand into a new region, or run a promotional campaign in one of the locations. You can choose to design your own Sponsored posts, or boost new or existing posts.
Sample mission statement: We will use Facebook for advertising to target a specific audience in order to help increase sales.
As per the unspoken rules of social media engagement, you should be interacting with customers on all of your company’s accounts. However, Twitter’s capability to respond to @mentions and direct messages in real-time lends itself to be your top tool for customer support. If your resources allow it, have a separate Help Twitter handle dedicated solely to your customer inquiries; if not, ensure that the person in charge of your business’s Twitter account is well-connected to the customer support team.
For social savvy customer support teams, applications like Zendesk help create support tickets out of Tweets received on the official Twitter account. You can use Zendesk for Hootsuite application to monitor several accounts, as well as mentions of your company, and assign Tweets that need attention to different team members for faster response times.
Sample mission statement: We will use Twitter for customer service in order to increase customer happiness and promote customer loyalty.
Since LinkedIn has established itself as the professional social network, use your company’s LinkedIn profile to connect with fellow experts in your field and keep an eye on your competitors. If your company has a blog, LinkedIn is also a great social network to help out your content marketing strategy, as young professionals turn to the professional network to gain industry advice. Use your LinkedIn profile to share industry knowledge through the network’s improved publishing functions.
The prevalent professional tone doesn’t mean you can’t justify being creative with your LinkedIn presence—just take a look at Mattel and Barbie’s official LinkedIn profile. As long as your social media profile is geared towards networking with other professionals in your field, connecting with the community, and promoting brand awareness, you can experiment with the rest of the parameters.
Sample mission statement: We will use LinkedIn for building our company’s professional network to help establish our brand as experts in the field.
Instagram has experienced an impressive spike in user growth over the last year, and the visual social network is not showing any signs of slowing down. In addition to the benefits of reaching out to younger audiences (almost ¾ of Instagram daily active users are teens), Instagram’s highly visual nature and more casual tone lets you share quirkier content on your Instagram profile.
Use your brand’s Instagram account to share videos and photos that offer a glimpse into your company culture. This can be anything from a “behind the scenes” look at the latest project or campaign you are working on, to a typical office scene that exemplifies your core values. You can also use Instagram to recognize outstanding employees, and tell the story of how this individual contributes to the success of your company—it’s important for your customers to know the faces behind the brand.
Sample mission statement: We will use Instagram for promoting and sharing our company culture to help with recruitment and employee happiness.
There are over 3.5 billion Google searches performed every day. Having a higher pagerank in Google search should always be a priority in your digital marketing plan, and the best way to achieve that is keeping your Google+ page active and up-to-date. Google favours Google+ content, especially if it has been optimized for the right keywords and offers valuable information for a wide audience. Educate yourself on the relationship between SEO, social media and content marketing.
Sample mission statement: We will use Google+ for boosting SEO value of our online content to help increase visibility.
Pinterest has gone a long way from the platform primarily used for foodies and wedding planners—this social network’s superpower is e-commerce. Shopify recently identified Pinterest as one of the leading platforms for social sales. It’s imperative that you get familiar with this virtual pinboard and the best practices of using your Pinterest profile for business. If you’re in the retail or restaurant business, use the network’s visual capabilities to create attractive Pins with your products. If your product is easier to describe with words than pictures, use another highly sharable medium on Pinterest—infographics. Not only will a well-designed infographic help establish you as a knowledgeable figure in the your field, it can also generate more sales from users who find the content useful and want to get to know your brand.
Sample mission statement: We will use Pinterest for sharing high-quality images to help promote our products and increase sales.
Let Hootsuite help you plan your social media strategy.