The ABCs of Social Media ,Platform Strategy

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From MySpace to Tik-Tok, the social media landscape has a history of fast change, with new platforms entering the marketplace just as quickly as others leave (RIP Vine). Many social media managers, CMOs, and small business owners often feel pressured to take advantage of the hottest trending channel or risk being a late-mover.

But an ineffective social media platform strategy can be costly, demanding, and downright exhausting.

With so many social platforms and evolving digital marketing trends, where do you even start developing an effective social media channel plan that’s still agile enough to maximize future growth opportunities? Just remember your ABCs.

Here are the top 3 considerations for building your social media platform strategy.

A is for Audience.
Where is your target audience already most active and engaged online? To answer this question, use your existing audience personas and social platform demographic data to develop a fact-based channel plan.

For example, if you have an eCommerce brand that appeals to customers under 35, consider Instagram as part of your social media mix. If you’re targeting 18 to 24-year-olds partial to bite-sized video content, Tik-Tok might be your frontrunner. And if you’re a B2B organization that would benefit from engaging with working professionals and taking part in a broader industry conversation, LinkedIn could be your primary platform.

Understanding who your ideal customer is and where to meet them where they’re already consuming social content will help you drive social ROI now and identify potential growth opportunities in the future.

B is for Bandwidth.
Social media has become one of the most effective digital marketing tools, but having a brand page is very different from maintaining an active and profitable online community. When identifying your core social media platforms, it’s important to (honestly!) decide how many channels you can manage at once.

When you need some extra support, here’s an easy breakdown of what a simplified social media team looks like:

  • The Social Media Manager develops strategy, generates content calendars, and oversees content creation, scheduling, and approvals.
  • The Copywriter is responsible for crafting post captions and supplying text for graphics. Sometimes, they’ll implement your hashtag strategy, too.
  • The Graphic Designer creates and curates all social media graphics and imagery using brand standards to ensure a consistent visual identity.

Whether you’re a One Person Show or one of many savvy social media marketers on your team, remember that you do not need to be everywhere at once! Choose 2-4 strategic platforms , set social media goals that translate into real business value, and identify how each team member will contribute to these objectives–then continue on your way to social media marketing success. ✔️

C is for Content.
With the who, what, and where settled, next, you need to figure out what you’re going to say.

Each social channel has a preferred format (or two) for sharing and consuming content, and each one has its own set of strengths and weaknesses, too. As a social media marketer, it’s your job to understand how this platform nuance should inform your channel strategy.

Here are a few common content pillars for some of the most popular social media sites:

  • Facebook: Linked content, like blogs, company or product news, brand marketing, local marketing, including community events and sponsorships, Live video
  • Instagram: Product imagery, carousel (aka “swipe”) posts, social graphics (e.g., Did You Know?, FAQs, Q&A, quotes), User Generated-Content, Behind-the-Scenes or “A Day in the Life,” employee stories or “spotlights”
  • Twitter: Real-time updates and breaking news, customer information and service, media and news, events, including sponsorships, peer or influencer retweets
  • YouTube: Utilitarian videos (e.g., How-To, Instructional, Steps), experiential marketing, customer stories or testimonials, text-based instructional videos, meet the team
  • LinkedIn: Industry news, company updates, employee milestones, press and media, original company data, customer success stories
  • Tik-Tok:Trends or #HashtagChallenges, Before and After, Tips and Tricks

When developing your social media platform strategy, your ABCs – Audience, Bandwidth, and Content – will help you find your audience, establish realistic social goals, and generate platform-optimized content. And who knows, with a smart, data-driven channel plan in place, you may even start looking forward to the next time someone starts a question with, “Should we be on…”