The Viral Media team at Slingshot SEO coordinates production and promotion of rich media. Because clients have differing social media goals, our team is constantly tweaking strategies to achieve the best results for every campaign. Most recently, we have been developing a more methodical and flexible social strategy that may work for all campaigns. It involves the customization of social messages and facilitates ongoing influencer identification. The main intent is to help brands find their “social voice” in a way that supports identified measureable business goals.
STEP 1: DEFINE YOUR SOCIAL VOICE
Knowing what to say and what not to say in the social sphere can be challenging for brands. Topography identifies messaging boundaries helping brands join the conversation naturally.
How to Build a Social Topography:
Identify three topic categories related to keywords, community and activity.
- The keywords category: Topics related to the brand’s business and what they wish to be known for.
- The community category: Topics important or interesting to your intended audience.
- The activity category: Topics expected to incite action or engagement, either virtually or in the real world.
A local university interested in increasing leads and promoting their music program may define the three categories as follows:
Keywords: Music, performance, etc.
Community: Local news, live local music festivals, local open mic nights, local artists, etc.
Activity: Casting call sign ups, sign up for tweet up with established musicians, register for a workshop with established alumni working in music business, volunteer for our music for kids after school program, etc.
STEP 2: MEASURE WITH CALLS TO ACTION
Use appropriate calls to action to break the privacy barrier with incoming social traffic. Allow me to walk you through my experience as a consumer engaging with calls to action.
STEP 3: IDENTIFY INFLUENCERS
Consider sending out an internal questionnaire to identify internal influencers and get their support without overlooking anyone within your company.
- Are you a part of any industry groups or communities?
- Do individuals within your social network care about our industry? (If yes, proceed to #3)
- Are your accounts on those networks non-offensive/PG13 or under? (If yes, proceed to #4)
- Would you be willing to share company posts from time to time using your personal social accounts at your own discretion? (If yes, proceed to #5)
- Please send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org with "Opt in" in the subject field including the social accounts you would prefer to use for the distribution of brand messages.
There are several ways to approach initial discovery of external influencers. Here is a step-by-step guide to one systematic approach.
- Determine external influencer qualifying criteria.
- Share content that is relevant to the topography
- Last activity within3 weeks
- Evidence of engaging with other people
- Evidence of sharing content with a PG13 threshold
- Surpass minimum number of social connections threshold (20 LinkedIn, 100 Twitter)
- Search for identified topography topics on social media channels and data analysis sites like Klout and Followerwonk to identify relevant profiles.
- Select the best profiles by exploring the digital footprint of initial discoveries.
- Use the external influencer criteria to further qualify the potential influencers before establishing and nurturing those relationships.
STEP 4: DEVELOP A POSTING SCHEDULE
The best time to post is determined by considering multiple factors.
- Industry specific groups engage on social platforms at different times. For instance, clothing retailers have the highest engagement on Thursdays as their target audience gets ready for weekend shopping.
- The posting trends of other industry professionals can help identify peak sharing times and engagement trends.
- Consider when your target audience is available for connecting on social media networks. Test different posting times and adjust posting behavior accordingly.
Additional tips are discussed in Todd Wasserman’s post: Sorry Marketers, You’re Doing Facebook Wrong.
Create a Social Content Calendar
Planning ahead helps you send out well-planned and targeted messages; but in the spirit of spontaneity, it’s important to allow the flexibility as breaking news and hot topics arise.
STEP 5: SET GOALS AND MEASURE
Congratulations! The bulk of the work has been done. Now it’s time to set up goals in Google analytics based on the calls to action identified for your predetermined social messages. Success metrics will depend on your business objectives and the calls to action you include in your social messages. Here are a few examples.
- Navigation path of visitors entering your site through social channels
- Time spent on page for true consumption
- Event tracking and page tracking to determine if the social audience engaged with your calls to action
- Site search results for a sense of different calls to action that your social audience may be seeking
Monitor the performance of your social strategy, map out performance results over time, and use the data to continuously improve your social strategy. Above all, remember that social strategy involves building community and adding value while achieving business objectives. I look forward to sharing my findings in the near future as this social strategy continues to evolve.