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Social Media Strategy

When developing a killer Social Media Strategy for your clients or your own agency, there’s a whole lot more to consider than just which Instagram photo to post and when to post it. The most successful strategies out there all have some common threads; and we’re here to help uncover them. In this post, we’ll look at what you should be posting, exactly what steps to take to build and audit your social media strategy, and finally – we’ll take a dive into just how Cloud Campaign may be able to help you streamline the entire process, helping you take on the world of Social Media globally.

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There’s no denying that when it comes to Social Media, your content is King – so let’s start there. Here, we’ll break down content into three different categories; The Basics vs. The Meat vs. The Data-Driven Content. It’s imperative that you are able to encapsulate each of these three areas, as each will serve a unique purpose in your Social Media Strategy.

Let’s start with The Basics:

What does “Basic” Content look like? This is the essential information about your company or product; including links to your blog, your website, and advertisements to your products. You should be posting this content periodically to maintain a presence in the community and to build a sense of validity and trust with your followers. Afterall, you don’t just have an idea, you have a company – so, promote it!

How often should you be posting The Basics? We’ve heard it all before, but it’s true; social media success is all about consistency. Be sure to post a few times a week when your audience is most engaged to maintain a steady flow of traffic to your site. At Cloud Campaign, we post our essentials 3 times a week.  We have 4 links that get recycled with a new caption every time to keep it looking fresh.  As you begin adding more content and pages that you can share, ramp up the frequency. Believe it or not, large influencers post upwards of 40 times a day. 

Now, let’s dive into The Meat:

What does Meaty content look like? The majority of your content should be meaty and valuable.  This will vary depending on your industry and focus, but a common example would be your content marketing.  This is where you’re really providing value for your followers and are inducing them to share your page or content with friends. This is typically evergreen content, meaning it’s still relevant a week from now, 3 weeks from now, a couple months from now, and sometimes longer.  A common mistake made by many starting companies, is posting this great, meaty content only once.  A fraction of the followers see it and it rolls off the feed.  Which brings me to frequency.

How often should you be posting The Meat? Well, you spent hours creating this content, it’s the meat of your posts, and you want to make sure your followers see it.  Recycle it at increasing longer intervals to continuously attract new followers without spamming your current followers.  Use a new caption or message each time to make each new post more meaningful. We call this Dynamic Interval Scheduling, or DIS for short.  In most cases, we post the day we create the content, a week later, a month later, and then repeat every 3 months, each time posting with a new caption.

Last but not least, let’s take a look at Data-Driven Content:

This is the most important part of your campaign, and arguably the most difficult.  By engaging your audience when they’re already interested in a related topic, you can reach a state of virality where your product blows up overnight.  This is where you see thousands of shares on social media for a seemingly simple post.

What should Data Driven Content look like? The content needs to be specific to the trend or topic.  For example, if you’re a tech company, you may want to boast how your data is encrypted at rest, when data breaches are trending in the news. While it may seem simple, being the first to capitalize on this new topic can really move the needle for you company.  We love coming back to it because the organic reach was so tremendous simply due to the timing, but Oreo’s 2013 Super Bowl tweet is the perfect example.

And, how often should you share Data Driven content? It’s okay to post this content periodically, but you’ll likely only ever see a spike when you are reactive to trends.  It can be extremely hard to constantly track trends from numerous places (social media, news, search terms), but luckily there are tools to aid you, such as Cloud Campaign.

So, there you have it for content – but, how do you know if your content is producing the desired outcomes? This all boils down to your strategy. As a Marketing Agency, much of your strategy can depend on each individual client’s needs and budgets and you’ll want to be wary of that when creating content, but there are a few key components to an awesome Social Media Marketing Strategy that should never be missed! Whether you’re just starting out and building a social strategy from scratch or are rolling with the punches of an ever-changing digital world, this framework can help you set a foundation that will blow your clients’ businesses out of the water.

The 6 phases of this Social Media Strategy framework will give you the confidence to know that you’re ticking all the boxes:

Phase 1: A Review of Existing Online Presence

Chances are, your clients already have some kind of online presence – no matter how small that might be. The very first step in creating an awesome social media strategy will be to determine what already exists, and if there’s anything out there already that you can leverage in your marketing efforts. Use their current online presence to help determine who their most engaged audiences are, and where their ideal customers tend to congregate; do they see a lot of instagram traffic, or are they more prominent on Google? Are they seeing significant organic traffic, or has everything to date been paid? Really take the time to understand their current online presence, if any, because it can pay dividends in time and money for you in the long term.

Phase 2: Clearly Defined Goals

This is something that we all get better at with experience, and can feel somewhat like trial and error at first, but clearly defining the goals for your social media marketing strategy will help keep you on track, and help set clear expectations for your clients. Once you’ve established what their online presence currently looks like, you can estimate what it’ll take to scale up. Much of this will depend on components such as their current Net Promoter Score, their current following and social engagement, and how much money – if any – they are willing to funnel into growing their social channels.

Phase 3: Engaging Content

Unarguably THE most important component of your strategy will be to have a reliable pool of engaging content to pull from each day, or each week. Original content is often your best bet, but this can be costly and time consuming to collect. As part of developing your strategy, you’ll need to consider where you’ll be sourcing all of your great content, and if it will be you or your client that will be responsible for providing that. Additionally, consider the type of content that will work best for your goals; will video be the most successful content, or will you be relying on images and text? Lean in to the categories above, (The Basics, The Meat and The Data Driven Content), to be sure you’re mixing in all the right ingredients!

Phase 4: Create a Budget

Once you’ve determined the goals of your strategy and have figured out how content will be sources (and by who), it’s time to create a budget! If you plan to charge a monthly fee, be sure to factor in advertising costs and any outsourcing fees, if applicable (for example, video production or photography). Breaking down a budget can be unnerving starting out, as you may not be sure what to charge your clients; but fear not! We’ve created a tool to help with exactly this that you can find here, which is based entirely on averages that we see in the industry!

Phase 5: Platform Access & Information

After determining the content you’ll be posting, and having analyzed the best platforms for your client, it will be time to gain access to existing accounts or to create them from scratch; depending on where your client is at. There’s more to this than just blasting all content to all platforms, as platforms tend to have very specific types of content. Similarly, there may be certain times of the day that are best for posting on a given platform that may differ from another. Understanding and leveraging this will help you share content that is more likely to resonate with the right audience and the right time, and it may even go viral if you’re lucky!

Phase 6: Reporting & Analysis

Once you’ve defined your goals and have awesome content flying out to all the right platforms, you don’t just want to rest on your laurels! Reporting and analyzing everything that you put out there will be key for refining your strategy and improving it over time. Be sure that you have a system in place for storing this data, because in the weeks, months and years to come it will be incredibly useful to look back on what worked, and what didn’t. Additionally, you’ll want to keep your client looped into all the hard work that you’ve been doing – and reporting is the perfect way to do that!

And don’t forget – the world of social media is constantly evolving, which means over here at Cloud Campaign we are forever learning as much as we can, too! Thankfully, while this all may seem like a whole lot to remember, there are a number of tools out there that can ramp up your agency’s efficiency and ensure that you’re able to execute your Social Media Strategy seamlessly – all over the world!

This brings us to the final key piece of executing a top of the line Social Media Strategy; reaching audiences globally! Chances are, if you’re not a brick and mortar company, your customers are from around the globe.  Or at least some of your audience is.

This should be apparent looking at your Google Analytics data.  You’ll see traffic spike during odd hours, visitors will have different language preferences, and you’ll notice a wide array of IPs representing various regions around the world.

Over here at Cloud Campaign, most of our traffic is organic, and yet our San Francisco based software company is getting more than 40% of its traffic from countries other than the US.

So what does this mean?  It means other demographics are interested in what we offer and are potential customers, but we’ve been ignoring them on social media.

We’ve only been posting during our own business hours, missing out on a potentially much larger audience. BUT, we’re in luck – because by using a tool like Cloud Campaign to schedule social media posts throughout the night (PST), we can begin to reach a large portion of our audience that are based in the UK, India, and beyond.

Want to see how you can make your campaigns global using Cloud Campaign?

To begin, create a new schedule with your desired timezone selected.

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Then add some days and times to post in that local timezone.

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 If you already have content specific to that audience, add it to your new queue.  If not, find some content that will appeal to that specific audience that you’re trying to target.  This part is important. I’m trying to target marketers in London, so I’ll use the Content Recommendation Engine to find articles related to that.

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Fill up your queue, and don’t forget to use relevant hashtags to find new customers.

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You’re not done quite yet.  Don’t forget to track how these posts performed and make improvements on the campaign overtime.  Go over to your content library and select one of the items to see how it has performed.

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If the content item is trending down, consider removing it from the queue or trying other captions. If it’s still performing well, recycle it by adding it back to your queue and enabling ‘recycle’ from the edit menu.

Taking these steps will ensure that your strategy is working even while you’re not!

We hope you’ve enjoyed this post on Social Media Strategy; and maybe even picked up one or two hot tips! We’d love to hear your thoughts, so give us a shout out on social media and let us know! And as always, the team at Cloud Campaign are here to help you!

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