From our first post, it’s clear that there are many factors driving organisations to adopt social media technology, including the ability to build the customer relationship and enable a new channel for marketing purposes. However, once organisations have decided to adopt social media technology for such purposes, a new question arises – what is the best strategy in doing so? Of course, organisations are able to create big social media campaigns, maintain a strong social media presence, or even do both! But what is the process in enabling organisations to select a particular strategy that is best suited to their needs? In this post, we develop a conceptual process for organisations to be able to select a suitable social media strategy to achieve their goals. Let’s take a look at this process below.
Step 1: Develop a social media strategy plan
Perhaps first and foremost, organisations should carefully plan out their social media strategy and plan. Several factors must be taken into consideration before selecting a particular strategy, regardless of the social media usage strategy. The below infographic identifies the key tasks that should be taken in order to develop a social media strategy.
Although the above provides a summary of the activities involved in developing a social media plan, there are additional key factors that need to be taken into consideration:
- The target audience – What are the key demographics of the target audience? For example, is the audience within a particular age range or of a particular gender?
- The social media channels of the target audience – What social media platforms does your audience use? For example, different demographics use different social media platforms
- The key message – What do you want your audience to know? This could be a new product or news related to your organisation
- Social media channels appropriate to the nature of the key message – What social media platform would be most suitable for communicating your message? For example, should I use a Facebook event, or a YouTube video to promote an event?
- Expected audience responses – What response do you expect from sharing your message on social media? For example, positive responses, audience self-reflection, or strong emotional responses.
Step 2: Do your research
After developing a well-formulated social media strategy plan, background research is required to understand current cultural issues to ensure that the organisation’s social media initiatives and the organisation, itself, will not be the subject to controversy. An unfortunate yet applicable example is the case of Victorian Taxi Association and its #YourTaxis Twitter campaign. Initiated in attempt to compete with the increasingly popular ride-sharing service, Uber, the organisation launched a social media campaign, via Twitter, inviting passengers to share their taxi experiences. Although the campaign was intended to promote positive customer experiences with the organisation, the campaign attracted an influx of predominantly negative experiences from customers and attracted unintended media attraction, damaging the organisation’s brand reputation. The resulting campaign failure was due to the lack of research done by the Victorian Taxi Association in understanding customers’ current perception of the organisation. As such, this just shows how important background research is!
Step 3: Assess the suitability of engagement strategies
After conducting background research, organisations are then able to assess which social media engagement strategy is most suited to their needs. The table below summarises two of the most common social media engagement strategies, social media campaigns, or regular social media presence, detailing their the benefits and risks and drawbacks, for each strategy.
In order to effectively decide which option is most suitable, organisations need to analyse their current position, both within the competitive market, as well as their capabilities, social media strategy and plan. While we’ve presented some key factors that need to be considered in selecting a suitable social media engagement strategy, alternative articles such as Forbes highlight other factors which may also need to be taken into consideration by organisations.
In this post, we’ve presented a general process of how organisations can determine how best to use social media platforms according to their needs. As a result of a successful execution of a social media strategy, such strategies inherently increase the organisational brand image, revenue, and their competitive position in the market.
Agree or disagree with us? Let us know what you think by commenting below!
Clapham, S., 2011,’How to understand your Facebook Insights Analytics to give your audience the content they want’, Parachute Digital, accessed 29 April 2016, <http://www.parachutedigitalmarketing.com.au/blog/data-web-analytics/how-to-understand-your-facebook-insights-analytics-to-give-your-audience-what-they-want/>
Cowie, T., 2015, ‘My cab driver fell asleep’: Taxi industry’s social media campaign backfires’, Sydney Morning Herald, accessed 26 March 2016, <http://www.smh.com.au/national/my-cab-driver-fell-asleep-taxi-industrys-social-media-campaign-backfires-20151109-gkuwis.html#ixzz48mo7hhC9>
LePage, E., 2015, ‘Social Media Campaign Strategy: What to do Before, After and During a Campaign’, Hootsuite, weblog, accessed 26 March 2016, <https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-campaign-strategy/>
Rampton, J., 2014, ‘25 Ways to Grow Your Social Media Presence’, Forbes, accessed 29 April 2016, <http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnrampton/2014/09/29/25-ways-to-grow-your-social-media-presence/#365e4f3a7512>