As we roll into Christmas and the New Year, our digital channels are working harder than ever. Working from home, or not working at all, has provided the perfect storm for consumers of all types to be online.
This article is focused on social media, but the same tactics can and should be applied across all of your digital brand touchpoints. Whether you are new to social media or have been using to build your brand for a while, we all need to take stock and synchronise your messages.
Social media goal: align your social media content strategy, your tactics, and everyday brand conversation with your business goals.
Building pillars to success
To be able to align your content across all mediums, you need to develop content pillars. We use content pillars to tell the story about who your brand is, what you stand for and to develop tone. Really, the content pillars are your storytelling framework. They are instrumental in aligning your overall brand message.
Just like with any construction, your framework is the base for what the complete project will look like.
If you can define this early in your social media, you will end up with an organised, refined look, that feels solid and will ultimately build trust with your audience.
Content pillars need to also appeal to your audience, and they can look very different across industries, products and services. Use detailed customer profiles to assess what will appeal to your ideal market and develop your pillars around this.
Having said that, if you are stuck, there are three content pillars that are relevant to any business.
How does your brand relate to everyday life? If you are a HR firm, your lifestyle reflection might be that your service frees up business owners’ time, by taking the burden of HR away, that allows them to have a life. For an activewear brand, your lifestyle pillar might be more environmental or practical. Imagine a beautiful image of someone hiking in a local national park.
This one is obvious. This is a closer look at what your product or service is, with good storytelling in the post and relevant hashtags. You must ensure that your brand messages are reflected accurately. If your company mission is to provide a cheap alternative or footwear, an expensive price tag will confuse the message
This where you get to show who you are and what you stand for. Think behind-the-scenes images, local collaborations and statements.
Applying these pillars are a great starting point to curating a social media account that will reflect a strong brand image.
You will have a clearer purpose and content will be organised.
How to align social posts with your business goals
Whether I am speaking with a CEO of a large organisation, a small business owner or a marketing manager, the goals of the business are usually pretty clear: increase revenue through more work, more sales, more customers.
How can this be achieved? By building a greater network.
So, how do you align these big picture goals with an Instagram account?
Aligning business goals, tactics and the channel starts with breaking down and defining what is achievable and how it supports the immediate task at hand.
When it comes to social media, usually the common business goals are awareness, reach and sales.
Here are some practical examples of how to align tactics with business goals.
1. Build awareness/pre-launch hype
You want to give away a teaser of information but not the whole picture.
An example could be a testimonial gathered during research: ‘This app changed the way I travel’, or ‘these [product] revolutionised my wardrobe’.
You can use bold imagery and craft a story around what is coming next.
If your business goal relates to increasing your reach, you want to be making a post that is designed to be shareable.
For example, something funny like a meme, a stunning image or words that resonate.
Another way to increase your reach is to collaborate with other brands. In a nutshell, have more than one non-competing brand in a photoshoot, and ensure everyone is tagged.
3. Increase sales
This post needs to showcase your product with a strong image and answer the ‘why’.
It will be boosted, so you want to make sure it catches attention.
Sales over social media is a topic in itself. I work mostly in the services industries, so sales could be considered a number or a metric.
One thing is for certain: we are living in a digital world, and digital PR, which includes your owned channels, is of high importance and will be well beyond 2020.
A lot of business still consider social media nothing more than a necessary evil, but by developing a plan that aligns with your business goals, you will get more out of your social media, and it will become a valuable tool for growth.