While December was a spec on the horizon when we were all gaining momentum this summer, the end of the year is looming large.
At this point in any year, it is natural to look back on social media hits and misses and begin to build calendars and retool the social media strategy for 2020. Planning for the next year in social media can be fun. There are always new content and design trends to take advantage of, new platforms to investigate and interesting audience trends to take into account.
Before you begin plans to create the perfect TikTok with all of your coworkers in that weird, narrow back staircase, take a moment to reflect on your audience, goals and content to come up with a cohesive strategy.
Find and Evaluate Your Audience
In this ever-evolving social media landscape, your audience will move around based on interests, habits and platform offerings. Not only do social media platforms emerge and go offline with increasing frequency; popularity and sentiment toward platforms changes at an even more frenetic pace, based on everything from a draw to the new product on the block to news about a tech CEO that maddens the Tweeting masses. Year-end is a great time to take a look around and see where your audience is engaged, find out who is interacting with what content and research any new platforms or strategies that would have more impact.
Once you have an idea for the methods and platforms you are going to take on, use those tactics to bring your content strategy to life.
It’s mesmerizing, really.
Create a SMART Goal
It’s good to have smart goals. When it comes to social media strategy, it’s even better to have a SMART goal. Let’s break it down:
Specific — The more specific you can be with creating a goal, the easier it will be to clarify that goal with your team. From reach to clicks to purchases, anything valuable to your organization can be considered a specific goal. Once you have identified that goal, it’s time to move into action.
Measurable — How will you measure your success? If engagement is key to your success, determine either a number of increase in followers or percentage of increase of reach that would indicate success for your team.
Attainable — Is your goal attainable? Think in practical terms here. Make sure your team has the resources available – budget, manpower and technology among others – to be effective in creating a reasonable calendar and consistently posting goal-related content for your strategy.
Relevant — Is your goal relevant to your organization’s success – and is your content relevant to your goal? Keep relevancy in mind as you build out your content calendar.
Timely — Give your goal a timeline and a deadline. Do you want to double your Twitter follower numbers, grow sales by 25% in Q2 or increase Facebook reach in three months? Determine these elements early on in your process – and track them so your team can adjust midstream as your content rolls out to your audience.
Supercharge Your Content
Now that you have successfully located your audience and created a SMART goal, it’s time to create that content.
- Use original photography. If possible, crowdsource your photos to engage your audience in your content.
- Leverage trends and current events in your content and images. Trends can be as random as the latest viral meme, and as predictable as a major sporting event or movie launch. Incorporating them into you plans helps your posts gain a little ground in the social landscape.
- Find a balance between promotional content and storytelling / non-promotional content. Users want to see stories and updates from pages they follow, just as much as they do from friends and family.
- Use tags and branded hashtags (sparingly) to increase engagement. These elements are a simple way to give a shout-out to another organization, colleague or even a community member.
- And last, but not least – Keep it short, sweet and entertaining! Grab your reader’s attention with a compelling image or short video, then keep your copy short and focused. Use clear calls-to-action and links to engage your audience.
Creating and maintaining a solid social media strategy can feel like an untamable beast. By taking a concerted look at all facets of your strategy – audience, goals and content – you and your team can turn that beast into the snuggliest YouTube puppy.
Jenny Fischer, Digital Director
While Jenny prefers to meet up over a cup of coffee or pint of beer, she has a deep appreciation for all things digital – from the sometimes overwhelming social media landscape to simpler apps like Zoom – that have a handy way of bringing people together over any distance.