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Why You Shouldn’t Post to Social Media Without a Strategy

Why You Shouldn’t Post to Social Media Without a Strategy Blog Feature

August 22nd, 2014 min read

shutterstock_175817552At this point, we're no strangers to the important role social media plays in marketing.

When executed correctly, it serves as a valuable tool to help engage prospects, generate brand awareness, and drive traffic back to your website.

But the thing about proper social media execution is that it requires a bit of planning. 

Think you don't have time for that? You're already falling behind? You need to start posting today?

Think again.

Without a plan, you're putting your business at risk of making a mess of your reputation. 

The horror stories you've heard about social media mishaps aren't just tall tales, and overcoming them is far more time consuming than pausing to strategize before hand

So to ensure that your business is posting to social media with a purpose, we've defined 3 questions to ask before your start posting on behalf of your business. 

What's your purpose?

If you're on social media for the sole reason that everyone else you know is, it's obvious that you're not getting out of it what you could be

Your company's needs, not peer pressure, should determine how and why you use social media.

If you're looking to provide a higher level of customer service, you'll want to be sure that you're carefully monitoring the conversations going on around your product or service. If people are asking questions or providing feedback, you want to be sure that you have a plan in place for timely responses. 

If you're trying to drive traffic back to your website, you want to be sure that you're positioning your content as a solution to your buyer personas pain points. But before you can do this, you need to need focus on generating a following that is actually interested in the product or service that you offer. 

If you want to generate customer loyalty, consider the benefit of offering your followers a special deal or involve them in a contest. The more they feel acknowledged and included, the more likely they will be to engage with your brand in the future. 

What will your messaging look like?

When it comes to defining a unique tone for your business, it's less about what you say, and more about how you say it.

You see, a business' tone serves as a guide for all of the written content that they produce, including social media messaging. 

Before you publish 140 characters that don't align with your business' core values, it's important that you sit down and narrow your focus. A good starting point when looking to create a tone for you business is to define a list of words that define who you are and what you do. 

Is your business helpful? Funny? Innovative? Inspiring? Serious?

Generating a understanding of what you are and what you're not will make it easier to put forth a line of communication that makes sense for your business. 

Keep in mind that if multiple people are responsible for conveying your business' voice across different platforms, it's important that they're all well-versed. Any uncertainty can be eliminated by producing a "style guide" for reference. This resource should contain information on words or phrases to avoid, grammar considerations, and guidelines for the usage of humor. 

Something as simple as ensuring that everyone is on the same page when it comes to the usage of ebook, eBook, or e-book will contribute to your overall consistency. 

How often will you post?

"Do my customers even know I'm there?"

"Are my social posts annoying the people I am trying to reach?"

While I wish there was a magical universal answer to how often you should be posting to your social media accounts, there's not.

Frequency is heavily dependent on your buyer persona's social media usage habits. For example, if your ideal customer only follows 100 people on Twitter, it's likely that the 20 posts you scheduled yesterday appeared a little overwhelming in their stream

My advice here is to test, listen, and test again. 

Set aside one week where you post once an hour during your business hours, and another week where you post once every two hours. At the end of the two weeks, take a look at the engagement your posts received. If you feel that you need more data before you commit to a schedule, experiment with a different frequency. 

When you feel you have a strong understanding of when your posts receive the best engagement, put together a schedule. This is where a social media scheduling tool comes in handy. 

We've found that scheduling our social posts in advance helps us become more efficient, and frees up extra time for us to monitor engagement and get involved in social conversations. 

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