By Sarah Robinson
This year has flown by, and as the New Year approaches, so do the deadlines for 2020 planning. If you’re getting started with building a social media game plan, consider these 5 tips that will help take your organization’s social media to the next level:
Identify Your Goals
Before you start posting away, identify your organization’s social media goals. Doing so will ensure your content fits with your brand. If you aren’t sure how to get started identifying your goals, use the SMART goal setting strategy:
Specific – You want your goal to pinpoint your objectives and create a way to measure success.
Measurable – You want to know how close you were to reaching your goal so that you can learn and improve.
Attainable – Set a goal that you can work toward, but be reasonable. If you set a goal that is out of reach, it can be frustrating and will lower morale.
Relevant – Your social media goal needs to coincide with your organization’s big-picture plans. How will building an audience or increasing web traffic help achieve those overall goals?
Timely – Set deadlines. This will help you stay on track and keep your organization accountable.
Identify Your Audience
By identifying your target demographic, you can save a lot of time and energy by only posting relevant content. Who are you trying to reach? Is it women in their 40’s with children who like sports? Is it men and women between the ages of 21-35 who are interested in politics? Know your audience in order to set parameters for how you are going to reach them.
Choose the Right Platform
Each social media platform serves a different purpose, and it’s best to choose a key few that will suit your organization’s needs.
Facebook: The world’s largest social media network is a one-stop shop, offering everything from content sharing to event scheduling and shopping. For businesses, it’s best for promoting their organization to current and potential clients.
Instagram: Restaurants, the hospitality industry, and companies with large catalogs benefit greatly from Instagram because it’s all about engaging images. No products or services to sell? Try posting pictures of why your business is unique. Is there a conference you’re attending or something fun going on in the office? Get creative!
Twitter: In the world of 140 characters or less, it’s easy to get lost in the array of tweets. Twitter allows businesses to promote themselves in a more conversational tone that fosters trust between the organization and its audience. It’s also great for promoting news and events.
LinkedIn: This is easily the most misunderstood platform. Everyone should use it, but in different ways. Companies can look at potential employees and join groups that relate to their company to answer questions, start conversations and demonstrate expertise (but don’t excessively pitch your products or services – instead, try posts related to your business and share some insight).
Successful social media pages need consistent schedules. Simply posting when you think about it won’t do much to increase engagement. Create a social media calendar, write your content ahead of time, and listen to your target audience.
Do It All Over Again
Once you get started, you will want to review your metrics to see what content is working and what’s not working. It’s easy to get discouraged when a post receives little to no engagement, but don’t stop posting! It may take some tweaking and time to find a strategy that lands with your audience.
NP Strategy Communications Specialist Sarah Robinson is an innovative storyteller with experience in social media strategy, issue advocacy and crisis communications. While attending the University of Southern Mississippi, she honed her craft by writing several specials that were published in the Hattiesburg Post. She also wrote for The Pursuit, a student-led public relations magazine. She was later awarded a PRAM Award of Excellence for her part in implementing a social media plan for a campus-wide anti-litter campaign. After graduating, Sarah moved to Charleston, SC where she worked with a political consulting and issue advocacy agency before joining the NP Strategy team.