When navigating your way to a successful social media strategy, it’s hard not to draw comparisons to Game of Thrones as you vie for more market share and brand loyalty. It can be an epic uphill struggle, but here’s how you can get started.
Social media strategy
Social media is one of the strongest marketing tools to connect your business with your customers. It’s a great way to research your customers through their interactions with your brand and content, not to mention build brand loyalty. Having a company page or profile is also free to set-up and manage so it’s perfect for any business on a budget.
Why you need a game plan
Most businesses will have some kind of social presence already, but may have difficulty building a following or getting customers to better-interact with the brand. Just like GoT, you need to treat social media as an alliance; a partnership with those platforms that will best represent and promote your brand. Here’s how to get started.
Assess your business, customers and competition
Tyrion Lannister is the SWOT master. He knows how to play to his Strengths, is well-aware of his Weaknesses, takes full advantage of Opportunities, and protects himself and loved ones from any number of Threats. He also knows his market, how to influence people, who his enemies are and how to get people on his side.
Some questions to ask yourself:
- What is your business good at/why do customers choose you?
- What advantage/s do you have over your competitors?
- Where is your business vulnerable and how can you reduce this?
- Are there any broader social, environmental, economic or political influences that are currently in play or could possibly affect your business down the track?
Customer and competitor analysis
Questions to help you:
- Who are your customers? Look at demographics, interests, geolocation, buyer behaviour.
- Who are your competitors? What advantages do they have over your business?
- What are your competitors doing on social media? Who’s doing it right and who’s doing it wrong?
Research social networks
Lord Varys, the Master of Whispers, is always several steps ahead because he keeps informed of changing trends, opportunities and threats. He thinks outside the square and has the foresight to identify those players who could help the realm and who could hinder it. He is never complacent and always pounces on an opportunity when it presents itself.
Make use of online resources
Of course, your business isn’t likely to have hundreds of informants on-hand to consistently tell you the latest news and trends with social media. That’s OK, there are still plenty of online marketing and social media resources out there that can help you. Sites like HubSpot, Kissmetrics and MarketingProfs are good places to start. And of course, signing up to these networks and experiencing each of these yourself is a great way of telling which ones are right for your business.
Determine which networks will be the right fit
As you explore your options, think about the results of your SWOT, customer and competitor analysis. What have you learnt from the research you’ve done on social media trends and how each platform performs?
Much like a GoT wedding, if you use a social network that is ill-suited to your business, it could end up causing more harm than good. You’re going to spend a decent amount of time building your following, sourcing/creating content and also monitoring your pages/profiles, so you need to make sure the platforms you choose are the right fit.
Consider alternative platforms
It’s important to note that you don’t have to be on Facebook just because “everyone else is”. It may have the largest number of users worldwide, but it may not necessarily be the right platform from which to do your marketing.
You may find alternative platforms are better suited to what you’re trying to achieve. For example:
- LinkedIn is a good option if you’re marketing B2B
- Twitter is excellent for sharing short updates frequently and capturing new leads through relevant hashtags
- Pinterest is a good platform if your market is female-skewed and you have a lot of visually-appealing content
- Instagram is fantastic for sharing photos
- And then you also have the likes of YouTube, Tumblr, Vine, SnapChat, Vimeo, Yelp…the list goes on.
Just like all other avenues of marketing, social media marketing is about getting your targeting right.
Create a shortlist based on your findings. Being selective with the number of platforms you choose is also important because you don’t want to spread your resources too thin. Think about how much time you can dedicate each day to social media activity and that will give you a good idea of how many platforms your business can manage.
If you are worried about managing your time juggling multiple networks, you can consider a gradual roll-out to other (relevant) platforms as you get the hang of things and learn how your customers like to interact with your brand.
This is the approach Daenerys Targaryen takes: she conquers one city at a time and remains in the city for a period to maintain order and ensure the city doesn’t return to its old ways. With this tactic, she can better-manage her limited resources (Army of Unsullied, Dothraki and Counsellors) and also build her following through brand presence and active listening.
Need a hand with your social media?
Our team at Orion can help boost your business’s social media presence. From formulating a social media strategy, planning and executing campaigns, to day-to-day management of your business’ social channels, anything you need in the social realm, we’re here to help!