By Mira Kuhar, Certificate Student Coordinator
So you want to bring your company or brand into the digital realm of social media, but where do you begin? How do you come up with a plan or a social media calendar if you’re not sure how to go about posting content? Just putting up posts, links and photos isn’t enough. You need engaging content that will excite consumers and grow trust with your brand.
You can begin doing this by defining your brand’s “voice.” Knowing how your brand will sound on social media is the first step in planning your over all social media strategy. Here are a few concepts to consider when starting this process:
1) Define your target audience
Knowing exactly who you’re promoting to is the most important thing when choosing your voice. By narrowing this down, you get a group that has specific interests, needs and social identities. This will allow you to create relevant content that connects with them in the most accurate way possible. For example, if your target audience is women in their mid 40s, you’re not going to post content with teenage lingo or links to men’s fashion items. These aren’t things that this demographic will likely connect with, and it would probably deter them from engaging with your brand and products.
2) Pick a platform
Although many brands will and should utilize all platforms, it’s important to consider who you’re promoting to and choose which platforms to focus on based on that information. Each social media platform is effective for different types of content and reaching different audiences. When you use Facebook, you can reach consumers of all ages, especially older adults. However, with a platform like Instagram, probably the majority of your followers will be younger. While your voice should stay consistent across all platforms, knowing how to use each social media site based on the users that are on it can improve how you engage with consumers of all ages.
3) Consider your content
Are you going to post mostly pictures? Videos? Will you use hashtags? Knowing the kind of content you want to post is extremely important when it comes to finding your voice. Many brands are known for the type of content they post. For example, Jimmy Johns on Twitter keeps it simple by using mostly text only and hashtags that relate to current events happening and trending topics. While on the other hand, IKEA’s social media strategy is heavily graphics-based because people purchase their products depending on how they look. Your content will differ depending on what you’re trying to promote, and it’s important to figure that out when deciding what your voice is going to sound like.
4) Create an end goal
Do you want people to buy your products? Are you just looking for some overall coverage and exposure? Define your overall goal in using social media. This will help create a voice that is the most effective and will resonate with consumers. Knowing the direction you want to take will keep things consistent and will help your brand get the most out of using social media.