At the end 2019, more than half of business leaders reported a lack of confidence about how to align business goals to social media strategy (2019 Sprout Social Index). This goes for most social media marketers, too. So many platforms, posts, and moving parts. The sheer volume of content that social media demands can be disorienting. How do we make sure that every bit of effort we’re putting into social media is aligned for maximum impact?
Without a sound content and social media strategy, the only sure thing is that we’re generating massive amounts of waste: Lackluster results and opportunity cost from spending too much time on things that don’t generate business growth.
Companies that harness the following nine elements are transforming their social media into a brand-building machine for faster growth, greater engagement, and a better bottom line.
1. Strategic Alignment
When your social media content strategy, tactics, and every day programming are aligned with your business goals, you can budget properly and build a much more efficient marketing machine. The platforms you’re on, your organic social media content strategy, and performance tactics should all be working together for systematic growth, conversion, and loyalty marketing.
2. Content Pillars
A storytelling framework for social media that helps to accomplish the above. Brands that succeed with business-growing social media have clearly defined content pillars. They lean on them to help them grow, convert, and retain customers systematically over time.
Defined as the attribution of a personal nature or human characteristic to something nonhuman, or the representation of an abstract quality in human form. This is about bringing your brand to life in a way that enables it to BE the relationship between brand and customer, at scale. Companies that do this successfully enjoy a steady increase in customer values over time.
4. Sticky Content
Sticky content gets more people to engage with your content. It is produced with the sole purpose of garnering greater brand reach. The goal is not to sell more product immediately. But to drive greater awareness and facilitate invaluable connections with your community by using humor, disruption, shared experience or vision. To be meaningful from a business growth standpoint, sticky content must tap into your brand personality with relevance and relatability to your market.
5. Look and Feel
Successful companies think of this as their brand identity or visual identity. On social, it’s challenging to maintain a cohesive look and feel as we scale to upwards of hundreds or thousands of pieces of content and so you need a visual strategy that extends from your brand identity but that’s social-specific. If you want to increase your social growth rate, this is something to take seriously.
6. Paid Social Framework
Your paid social program (goals, platforms, tactics, budget) should be developed in direct support of your business goals. Have a strong point of view on which platforms and tactics will best drive brand growth, engagement, and website traffic. Operate within that framework for consistency and success.
For example, we’ve supported a 40% YOY increase for one of our client’s e-comm sales with this framework: We use value and interest-based blogs to pull in new audiences and drive website traffic from Facebook. Then we retarget the audiences that have consumed that lifestyle content with product content on both Facebook and Instagram.
7. Earned Content
One of three types of content every brand must plan for in order to grow predictably (the others are owned and paid). “Earned” is the free coverage you get when people engage with or share your content. It’s how you get the most out of your time invested in owned and money invested in paid. One way to improve your earned content game is to develop partnerships with other brands and influencers.
8. Email Integration
Use email to drive social growth (and vice versa). Create a closed-loop environment for your customers to ensure that your engagement efforts have the highest probability of reaching them. We’re calling this “email” integration, but really this is about integrating all of your digital channels to achieve maximum growth.
9. Measurement Model
Successful social media programs assign Key Performance Indicators (KPI) to their efforts. Knowing your benchmarks so that you can monitor performance and understand if your efforts are successful is mission critical. We have an entire module dedicated to social media KPI’s and how to measure and use them inside of Strong Brand Social. This module alone is invaluable for the business leader, but the entire 9 lesson bundle is available now for only $37.
We have so many more ideas to help you reach your community, but this is today’s dose. With these 9 elements as your guide, you can build a high-performance, sustainable social media marketing program that your community will reward you for.
If you have questions, ask away!