Evolution of Communicating a Message
Social Media. It’s the new wave of communication when it comes to companies and their prospects. Face-to-face communication is almost obsolete ever since sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, popped up on our computers and smartphones.
When working for a company back in the day, you knew basic – look the consumer in the eye, be polite, smile, have a stern handshake, laugh at their corny jokes, etc. But now with this new rumble of communication dominating our world, how do we know we are communicating to the best of our ability?
Two words. Strategic Planning. Making sure companies’ messages make an impact on it’s viewers and consumers are crucial. So, it is essential that we plan out our social media messages, ads, and promotions accordingly to make sure we are communicating effectively. This is also known as creating a Social Media Marketing Strategy.
How to Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy
1. Be SMART when choosing your goals!
Before even creating a social media profile, you need to figure out what your goals and purpose of the social media site you want to see. Do you want to reach a goal amount on a fundraiser? Do you want to see a product increase in sales by a certain percentage? Do you want increase testing and awareness of a certain disease by what percentage?
Your company’s goals and objectives need to be S.M.A.R.T. – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. This will helps set a layout for what you want to see be accomplished with your messages. Having goals that meet the S.M.A.R.T. criteria will help you achieve your mission efficiently and effectively.
After a certain time period you can see whether your goals were met or not. If they were… great job, but there is always room to kick it up a notch and for improvement. If you didn’t…you need to adjust and change your methods. Take a look at what worked and what didn’t… then see how you can alter it for better results during the next marking period.
2. Who do you think you’re talking to?
I cannot stress enough how important it is to know who you’re talking to when it comes to creating your messages. Every demographic- age, gender, location, religion, species etc. – processes a message differently. Know your audience like they’re your best friend!
Your audience reflects: the tone of your message, the medium your message is being presented as, the times your messages are posted, the outline and images that help your message come alive, and well… basically everything else it takes to put a message together.
Think of it this way. You are working with Wounded Warrior Project on a social media marketing campaign. Their purpose is to raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the need of injured service members and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. You would not use the same methods and approach as a March of Dimes campaign, who’s mission is improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.
Each page and posts on the two organizations are going to look and sound completely different due to the difference in audience. Think of it as a concert- people go to Madison Square Garden all the time to see a show, but the show is going to be different if Eric Clapton performs compared to if Taylor Swift performs… due to the audience they are entertaining.
3. Creativity Leads to Curiosity!
Since every company and competitor out there is using social media, you need to make sure your pages stand out. Having unique features on your profiles and pages are essential to grabbing the eye of the public. Adding that creative spice to your sites will make your site sizzle with interest.
American Cancer Society was promoting their cause to fight cancer and donate to the cause using the King of Rock-and-Roll, Mr. Elvis Presley. Posting a vintage picture of Elvis holding one of their posters promoting their mission, was a creative way to grab some likes and the attention of their followers.
I can’t think of anyone else perfect to endorse a company other than the King himself!
4. Save the Date
Timing is everything. Just as a company wants their commercial to be seen during the Super Bowl due to the high viewer content, you need to know when the most viewers are scrolling down their news feed so your message can be seen by as many as possible.
There are many features that can help you schedule posts on each social media site, to help your company get as much views and attention as possible. Planning your posts ahead can help promote consistency, time-sensitive content, gets more followers involved, and helps you build an archive to keep track of past posts.
Different sites have different rush hours of traffic when it comes to their followers viewing content. Planning sites that can help you manage your posts include: Latergram, Hootsuite, Buffer, and Crowdfire. These make it confident to preview and upload your messages and campaigns at a specific time that works best for your audience.
5. Translating Health Literacy
When it comes to communication health topics, it is essential to talk on a level that followers, viewers, and supports can understand. When explaining explaining health topics such as diseases and treatments- a mediator needs to translate from the language of a doctor to the language of an everyday average Joe. This is also known as health literacy.
It is important that organization’s maintain a high level of health literacy. If they post statuses and captions with information that none of their followers will understand, then it is a waste of a message- goals will not be achieved. Training the organization’s team, using plain language, and promoting community resources are ways your organizaiton can improve health literacy.
6. Don’t just hear, listen.
Paying attention to your followers feedback, recommendations, questions, and concerns are a sign that we are communicating effectively. It is important as an organization to act upon what our followers are requesting.
Posting personal stories of avid supporters and followers, direct messaging followers, and following similar pages that your followers keep track on are ways to let them know you are paying attention.
Maintaining strategies that engage followers will help those followers stay and will invite more followers to your page. If you show you care, they will care back.
The Final Send-Off
Now that you have the essentials to plan your perfect social media marketing plan, go try it! See what strategies work best for you and what approach helps your company’s goals become successful. Look up the organizations that catch your eyes and passion and set that as an example for your brand and message.
With the skills, passion, a strategy, and a plan, you can market the perfect campaign on social media that will end up breaking the internet.