In the time I’ve been working in the digital marketing industry, the best practices and tactics for the various social media channels have changed quite a bit. However, one thing has remained consistent: the importance of developing a social media marketing strategy has continued to grow. This includes creating a social media brand voice.
In my experience working with clients, I typically see social media marketing being viewed and executed as an afterthought. I mean, how long can it really take to throw together a post on Facebook? “As long as we post every so often, it’ll be fine, right? I’ll find an industry-related article and share the link.” …And that mindset is why we often see a disconnect between a company, its customers, and the successful social media presence we all hope to achieve.
Planning ahead will save you time and set you up for success, so here are 5 steps to developing your brand voice and social strategy.
5 Steps to Developing Your Social Media Brand Voice
Step 1: Deep dive into your own company.
Ask important questions that help you define the company, its goals, and its audience.
- Build personas around who purchases your product or service. Think about their pain points and why they’re looking to purchase.
- Look at your competitors and determine what makes you different. It could be the product offerings or even the overall experience a customer has with your company. And don’t forget to take a look at what competitors are doing on social media, too.
- Determine the overall tone of your brand – serious, playful, funny, laid back, etc. Some of this is dictated by your industry, but it’s important to know how you want to portray yourself in your marketing. This may slightly differ for each marketing channel too.
- Use the company brand guidelines to influence your brand voice and to incorporate the appropriate color palette and fonts on any graphics you create.
Step 2: Determine which social media platforms make the most sense for your audience and create the accounts/pages.
Look at your competitors and the platforms they currently utilize, and do some research on your industry. Decide on which platforms you’ll incorporate into your social media marketing strategy.
Make sure all the business information is accurate and up-to-date on each platform. Add a high-resolution logo as your main icon/profile image and add a correctly sized banner image.
Step 3: Develop a social media marketing strategy and content calendar.
When you lay out your content, you can look at the big picture of what you’re trying to achieve, take audience preferences into consideration, successfully leverage yourself against competitors, and flesh out details that otherwise might be skipped when you’re in a rush.
Be sure to look into best practices per platform for number of posts per week and accepted file types/sizes/formats. You can even find lists of content ideas by platform that will help generate ideas during your planning process. When relevant, incorporate the brand colors, fonts, and/or logo (in addition to using the brand voice) in the content you post.
Pro tip: use a Google Calendar to develop your content calendar. You can easily share this with managers and team members, plus it’s easily accessible from any device.
Step 4: Post your content (based on the content calendar), and respond to comments/messages within a few hours.
Responding promptly shows that you care about your customers, and it gives you the opportunity to quickly handle a disgruntled customer before they broadcast their issues out of frustration. There are a lot of articles detailing the best practices on handling negative comments or messages, but the most important thing is that you don’t ignore the negative feedback or fire back with an emotional, heated retort.
Step 5: Data. Data. Data. Use the analytics provided by each platform, along with Google Analytics, to track the performance of your social media marketing.
Use the data from these various platforms to determine your strategy moving forward each month. You’ll be able to see which of your posts resonated best with your audience, the days and times of day your followers are most active, and overall trends in the data and customer behavior. Google Analytics will help you connect your social media performance with your website performance to make sure your strategies are translating into actual conversions and ROI.
Social media has become a major marketing tool that is too often overlooked. Don’t make that mistake. Read up on best practices in social media marketing, familiarize yourself with the various social media channels, and make it a top priority to always have a strategic plan in place for successfully marketing your brand on social media.