Lizzie is our resident expert on social media channels, so we asked her to share some of her insight on how companies can modify their social media strategy to use the right channels more effectively and get their messages heard.
What are some of the key reasons why a company needs to include social media in its channel strategy?
Social media gives you an opportunity to reach a large audience you might not reach through traditional media. We’ve estimated through research that you can only reach 30 percent of the almost 1 million practicing HR professionals out there, but social significantly extends your reach. You can target better and get the right messages to the right people.
How can a company determine the right social media channels to focus on?
Today, there are going to be standard sites you should have some kind of company profile with, such as Facebook and LinkedIn. But even when you participate on a bunch of sites, you still need to focus your efforts. A lot of that will depend on the content library you have and the types of networks that best use that content. For example, networks like Facebook and Pinterest are more visual — you’ll want to have photos, illustrations and infographics to share. If you have lots of videos, you’ll want to focus on your YouTube channel. You’re utilizing all of them, but you’ll be focusing your efforts based on your content.
What should a
company be looking for to determine whether the performance in the channel is going well?
Beyond basic analytics, the real way you measure success is by having the business goals already defined before starting your social media strategy. The strategy is then built to support these goals and set up with custom benchmark data. When you measure things like impressions or reach, it has to be measured in the context of what you’re trying to accomplish.
What are some things companies can do to make sure their social media strategy stays flexible as sites change?
The main thing is to not be tied down to any certain platform. You’re opening up channels of communication, so you’ll be adapting your approach to support your business goals (that you’ve already defined). Just like with email marketing, if a platform dies, your email strategy doesn’t die, too — you just move it along.
You also need to get into a mindset of thinking about social media first, not last. That means that it’ll impact your content strategy — you may need more visual content for sharing or you might need to generate hashtags for following. It also means you really need to commit to using social media for all your communication — nothing is in a vacuum. Thinking about social media on the front end makes it easier to cut through the noise and target the audience you need to reach.
Lizzie Maldonado is the Senior Manager of Social Media at The Starr Conspiracy. As a storyteller, Lizzie translates a company’s marketing strategy into messages that compel customers to engage with that company’s brand.