There are a number of reasons why you’d want to use social media in your business: to facilitate internal communications, improve customer service, extend recruitment, and enhance marketing are just a few examples. Different objectives dictate a different set of tactics and content. If your team uses Twitter as a marketing tool your content strategy will look a whole lot different than if they use it as a source of customer insight.
Even the ‘marketing’ category should be narrowed again, so that key messages are clear and defined. Perhaps you want simply to raise awareness about your new product, service, or business itself. In this case your content will focus on providing information, answering anticipated questions, and letting your readers get to know your personality (especially in the case of a new business start-up).
Along with raising awareness you might also need to establish your credibility or the efficacy of your product or service. In these cases your content demonstrates your knowledge, it educates your readers. In addition to writing your own articles you might also want to point to third-party research and social proof to help build your case.
Contrast the above strategies with those that might accompany a different objective. If I am hoping to increase sales to repeat buyers my content will draw upon relationship, community, experience, collaboration, camaraderie, and so on. I can even use jargon with this group because we have a common understanding, a shared history. My repeat buyers are already familiar with me, my company, the services, and processes. They already know, like, and trust me, so I’ll speak to this audience with a voice much different than in the first two examples. (If you’re using email to keep in touch with your customers and prospects – and I hope you are! – consider segmenting your list so that you can customize each message.)
Having clear objectives also means you’ll know what to measure in order to determine your return on investment. If you want to increase awareness, you can measure your followers, friends, views, connections, and the like. If you aim to raise your credibility, you could measure links to your blog and other articles, number of citations by others, requests to speak at events. And lastly, if increasing sales to repeat buyers was your objective, you would watch to see if purchases were made as a result of your social media activities (i.e., try to rule out coincidence).
Be clear about what you’re trying to do with social media, and your content strategy will follow. Does this make sense to you? Do your objectives guide your content? Let me know in the Comments section, below!If you aren't yet receiving these posts in your Inbox, subscribe here: