Three Tips for Developing a Social Strategy

Some call them social strategies, content plans, social content strategies - whatever you call it, the end goal is always to create a better social approach across the networks you choose to use (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) for your business. With a recent demand from my clients to take action, I've crafted three tips to keep in mind when developing your social strategy:

Look at the Bigger Picture

When creating a social strategy it can be easy to get wrapped up in the details. Like when a post should be timed for optimal engagement, or what type of content you should be posting on Facebook versus Twitter... but to have any great start you need to understand the bigger picture. What's your companies message? What do you want to convey? Who is going to be your voice? Whenever I start working on a client strategy, I read their blog, analyze their website content and reflect on notes from real conversations from managers to employees. Then I start drafting posts, seriously. One advantage of contracting outside of your company is your consultant will have a better fan/follower perspective. I dive into what I found interesting about the  company, and what as a customer I'd want to see more of. I draft hundreds of posts, some meeting the 156 character limit, others not so much, until my screen is laced with red squiggly lines from thinking faster than I can (correctly) type. While you might not use all the posts, you'll start to turn those creative wheels, find your flow, and your big picture.

Stay Relevant by Staying Consistent

While the statement is brain teaser, it's meant to get you thinking. The businesses I follow are consistent in their efforts, with the same voice (unless otherwise designated by a guest blogger or account takeover), their pictures all have the same feel and the posts fall in an order that seems organized but feels natural. These are the accounts that I continue to interact with, follow, share and return to on a regular bases. Take a look at some of your favorite websites, blogs or social accounts and then compare them to the ones that jump topics, read inconsistently and have graphics that look like an entry level design class found the effects panel on. Note the differences, and try to apply a set of guidelines to your business. While creating content isn't always easy following consistent, aesthetic guidelines will add some authenticity to your strategic plan.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

When working through a social strategy, it's easy to get lost in your own content plan. Some days you need to take a step back and see what others in your industry and beyond are up to. Take a look at their social posts, read their blogs and see who they are partnering up with. Sometimes you need a little inspiration, because let's be honest, that post you've been crafting for the last month is going nowhere. Being observant (without comparison) of trends, emerging concepts and other strategies will help create a foundation for your own and solidify the reason you stand behind it.