Elephant in the room: effective social media strategy
Brands often have the tools they need to deliver innovative, next-generation content and communications strategies, yet they often overlook one key element in the content creation process: the work itself. Too many marketers aren’t ensuring that they and their teams are prepared to put the proper time in on pre- and post-campaign work before, during, and after projects to make sure they’re accomplishing the desired outcomes.
New technology and the rapid-fire changes that have engulfed the marketing landscape in recent years make it harder for marketers to do the basic stuff well: create content, test it, build it, and analyze it. For example, more than 90 percent of online consumers have reported being unable to find content that’s relevant to their interests and that they can trust—even among brands that have substantial marketing budgets.
However, marketers that take the time to work through the exercise of strategic content planning can save time, increase chances of successful marketing campaigns, and reduce waste—all while driving better returns. A marketing team that spends an hour planning out strategic content across every initiative, on a consistent basis, will likely increase the likelihood that its ideas will be implemented.
Which social media channels should marketers be using the most, and how often?
Social media has become an essential tool in most marketers' content creation arsenal. But whether marketers have access to a social media marketing expert or not, the proper use of these channels is crucial to achieving effective results.
Social media may seem like an infinite rabbit hole, but marketers should focus their energies on three types of social media channels: one-to-one and one-to-many.
If marketers focus on their audiences, they can tap into the power of the “social media” to deliver innovative content and campaigns that resonate with audiences. The rise of social media provides marketers a way to reach out directly to their customers—a so-called “reverse buyer’s market” that is more accessible than ever before.
Conversely, if marketers focus their efforts on companies and brands, social media can also serve as an excellent vehicle for delivering the right kind of content to the right audiences—creating a loop of mutual “social proof” that aligns content with audiences and vice versa.
One important caveat: the importance of reaching individual audiences can often overshadow the marketing benefit of having a strong, engaged company or brand. Brand marketers who think of themselves as “creators” of content—rather than marketers—will be far better positioned to understand and capitalize on their audiences' interests.
Many of today’s most successful social media campaigns started with great content, but as the campaign unfolded, it became clear that this content needed to be organized. It was difficult to find—and then share—that content when it was needed. That’s where organizational tools come in.
Social media management tools can act as virtual social assistants—everything from keeping teams on the same page about important brand initiatives, to ensuring that content is continually being managed and integrated across the various channels that your brand is using. In addition, they can help ensure that you’ve got the right resources in place to support your most strategic projects. These tools also allow for the sharing of knowledge and information across the organization.