Social Media Strategy for 2020
It’s the new year and, as a marketer, you know what that means…time to get fired up about a new 2020 social media plan!
What? You don’t have a social media strategy? Don’t worry, we’ve got some practical steps in this blog to help you get started. But FYI, this is your long-view plan, a fundamental framework for making your social media efforts consistent, valuable, and reflective of your brand’s best. It’s an invitation to be thoughtful about how and why you’re using social. Only by planning effectively can you execute effectively.
Let’s dive in!
1. Start with your audience’s needs and beliefs
You’ve been posting all the right messaging: talking up the value of your products or services, offering polls and conversation starters, responding to questions and comments, and just trying to be as friendly as possible. But you don’t seem to be moving the needle in any substantial way. Some comments now and then, a few shares, a retweet or two.
Your audience is out there and they may be tuning in. But to create a social strategy that builds momentum, start with your audience’s needs, and how your product or service can solve those needs, all the while keeping their beliefs and values top of mind.
Let’s take an example:
The new year is always the right time to inspire people to get healthier. Home exercise equipment company Tonal offers AI-enhanced systems that customize individual workouts. Their customers are willing to invest in their fitness so Tonal’s value messaging is about being strong, being bold, and taking action.
TRX is suggesting something similar—be a better, more active version of yourself—but it’s motivating customers through a more aspirational and egalitarian message. The hashtag #TRXforANYBODY sums this up nicely.
These value messages are overt and inspiring for a reason: people need to be motivated to exercise. Values can be communicated in a number of ways, however, such as using a customer story of how someone overcame a problem.
The point is to communicate your brand’s values and showcase the benefits of your products or services, by focusing on how they solve the needs of your audience. By following this mantra, you’ll stop creating messaging that doesn’t inspire or speak to real needs. Instead, you’ll give your audience what they crave.
2. Create topic “buckets” and fill them with messages
Once you’ve figured out your audiences and their needs, list out your themes (or topic buckets) and then fill those buckets with appropriate messages.
Here’s a simple way to start filling in your social posts:
Create your brand statement. Let’s say you are starting your business as a financial services provider. Write out your brand’s value statement: start by collecting words that reflect your values. Using those themes, tell your potential clients who you are.
Focus on your customers’ needs and why you are singularly able to help. You only need a couple of points that help highlight your value. You don’t need to show you’ve broken the mold, you just need to suggest your value is higher than your competition’s.
Build awareness by offering valuable information. Educate potential customers about the circumstances that may require your work. Present testimonials from people who have benefited from your services.
3. Consistency is key
It’s oh-so-important to be consistent with your social strategy. And it’s probably the hardest part!
Even when it feels excruciating to put out one more post or design one more image, don’t leave your followers hanging. They’ve put their trust in you and your business, so keep offering them the value they desire.
While social media is a real-time opportunity to engage with your true believers, it takes time. Keep up your strategy through the year (or five—your business will still be alive then, right?) and set some goals.
Ding! Ding! Did we just say goals? You couldn’t have a strong social strategy without them. It’s especially important to outline your milestones so you aren’t seesawing between strategies, churning out half-baked content that doesn’t fortify your brand or communicate with your audience.
4. Determine simple long term, and short term, content goals.
Set one-month, three-month, and six-month milestones for what you’re creating and how.
Whether you decide to create a campaign from user-generated content, an influencer campaign, or an ad campaign to drive traffic to your website, give yourself plenty of time to execute and don’t scrimp on the details.
Two to three simple goals that help build awareness of your business are better than a dozen goals that get half done. Focus on a few steps each week that will end with a repository of posts, videos, or an ad campaign through which you can continue to build a new audience.
And if you need help with focusing, we’ve got a how-to on managing your marketing in a sane, healthy way.
5. Ask for help
Feel overwhelmed? You’re probably juggling a lot of projects these days; it’s easy to skip the planning phase and just dive into your ideas.
However, planning gives you clarity and clarity is a huge asset in decision making (especially when you need to say no to your boss’s new idea). So take the time you need.
Or, seek some marketing support to provide you with a strategy and some expert messaging. Starting a relationship now will give you peace of mind when you need someone to pick up the slack.
Finally, there’s no better time than now, so get fired up and start planning. You’ll feel so good after planning out your social strategy, you’ll probably churn out a dozen extra post ideas just because your mind is clear and your spirit is free.
This is your year to boost your brand’s social media presence, feel confident about your work, and drive results. Have fun and good luck!