These are the top three questions we are frequently asked by clients when designing a social media strategy:
1. When is the best time to post?
2. Which channel should I use?
3. Is paid support really necessary?
Here are our answers, in short and in brief:
1. Best time to post?
When you have something to say! Focus less on the when and more on the story telling, however do take note about what is going on in your target audience’s world – you don’t want to be posting your product update in the middle of a World Cup final penalty shoot out as your content will get lost. Unless it will help win the shoot-out …
2. Which channel should I use? In short: the one that will resonate most with your audience.
Before we even start on the creative ideas, we work hard to get under the skin of our clients’ desired audience: find out who they are, what interests them, what they are talking about and what they want to see or know. The next step is to identify the best channels to be engaging with these audiences and then create roles for each of the channels, according to who you are trying to reach, the messaging and style. All of this will help create channel guidelines. For example, Facebook may be for hero content, Twitter for the short sharp news and Instagram could be the behind the scenes and glamour pics and reaction to calls to action etc.
Remember that it’s a huge turn-off seeing the same content on each channel. Don’t be lazy: re-purpose content and make it work for the specific channel audience.
By sticking to these roles, each channel can then develop its own tone of voice and the fan can choose the platforms that speak to them in their language or according to what suits their style or needs: a quick fix or deep dive, more formal or a chat.
3. Is paid support really necessary?
OK, a longer answer needed here. With In brief and in general with Facebook, you can invest in great content, but if you publish organically, sadly it just won’t get the traction. Instagram is a bit more forgiving, but future-proofing for further algorithm changes is our advice.
We caught up with our social media guru Charlotte Vida Stow of Under the Influence who shared with us her thoughts:
“It does depend on your platform choice, however by and large, if you are a brand or a business, paid support should be an integral part of your strategy from the very start. Due to the significant roll out of Facebook Zero, and what we are seeing now with Instagram as well with the decline of organic reach, paid has become an essential cog in any social media strategy.
“With Facebook, setting the objectives and agreeing the budget for the paid media is the first step: if you are planning a campaign, you need to know what the objectives are and work backwards from that. For example, if your objectives are awareness, engagement or conversions, you would essentially adapt your content formats accordingly and where possible, ensure that tracking is in place (i.e. a Facebook Pixel), to understand sales and other key metrics.
“Instagram has two strong options. There are the stories, which have the swipe up and click-through and which are much more of an immersive format and highly engaging. You can also have the in-feed paid ads as well with the different calls to actions e.g. learn more or sign up.
“Twitter: now the rule here isn’t as hard and fast in my book, as it very much depends on what role this channel is serving for your brand. Many brands use Twitter for its customer service function, rather than mass awareness. So, in this context at least, you can launch a twitter platform without paid media and it will still serve its purpose as a reactive, one-to-one customer engagement channel.”
So in short, if you are investing time in the channels, you should have the budget to support it.
One final quick answer from us. How to identify the audiences? You can do this through Facebook, however for the team AkzoNobel in the Volvo Ocean Race campaign on Facebook we worked with My Social Database who created custom audiences for each of the pillars in our campaign to ensure our content reached the right people, making team AkzoNobel the best performing team by engagement on Facebook – head and shoulders above all the other teams in the last race. Definitely worth the investment.
So once you’ve got these three (and a half) questions answered, it’s on to the storytelling. And that’s where the campaigns come alive.
To find out more, please contact Emily Caroe.