SOCIAL MEDIA

Extend your web presence.

Get connected. Multi‐channel communications are essential.

DISTRIBUTED PRESENCE

important phrase

Be where people congregate. Invite them over.

A website is part of your core web presence.

Social media is your distributed web presence.

Distributed Web Presence

Your distributed web presence provides Internet explorers many more opportunities for contact with your message than if you only have a core web site presence.

Social Media can create awareness and start engagements with potential customers. Social platforms give business organizations the ability to spread their message through word of mouth among customers and their friends.

Importance of a social strategy

Just like the web development process embarking on social media also takes time and planning. Establishing a thorough social media strategy is essential to make a positive influence on a company's web presence. The first part of developing a social media strategy is to answer a few questions.

Social Strategy Development –

  • Why do you think social media will help your business?
  • What are the objectives and goals for your social media presence?
  • What are you trying to accomplish? Increase brand awareness? Drive traffic to core website(s)?
  • What are some possible tactics that might achieve this?
  • How will you know it's working?

Understanding these important questions is crucial to success. Figuring out the reasons and goals for social media and then planning tactics and establishing how you will measure success, will guide the messages and content for social media posts and interactions.

INTERACTION

important phrase

A conversation is the best way to build loyalty.

Social presences are platforms for having a conversation. Good listeners are more effective market leaders.

Craft the voice and messages you want to send through social media posts to be consistent with your core site's branding and messaging while adapting the style and tone to be conversational and interactive.

Peer to peer referrals

peer to peer referrals

Social platforms are tools that allow companies to engage and strengthen relationships with its customers. Social media provides an easier access to reach potential new target audiences by engaging more directly with your existing customers and supporters and encouraging peer referrals.

PLATFORMS

important phrase

Not all platforms are created equal.

If your desired interactions are mostly business‐to‐business (B2B), your social media platform choices will be different than if your primary interactions are business‐to‐consumer (B2C).

Research your audience and which social sites they use most. Find communities and websites where your target audiences hang out such as blogs, media websites and traditional social media sites.

There are several social media brands that seem to dominate the discussion but sometimes there are niche social media platforms that may more closely fit your social content strategy.

Some of the most popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest all serve a slightly different purposes and should only be used if it fits with the company's goals and audience.

...

For instance, if your goal is to connect with other professionals in your industry, then LinkedIn might be a more important platform in your social media strategy. Instagram is a popular social platform, however, interesting imagery is not as relevant to your company's social engagement strategy.

SOCIAL CONTENT

important phrase

Content must be crafted for specific platforms.

Content variations across mediums

Content variations across mediums

Social platforms are designed so audiences can quickly absorb messages and spread the messages to others. Social media content should be short, concise and straightforward, requiring less effort to digest.

Engagement levels must match content levels. Social media viewers are usually on social platforms for recreational viewing. Don't make them do mental gymnastics to understand your message.

140 character Tweet

A web site viewer is probably more mentally engaged and looking for some specific information. The content can be more sophisticated as long as it gets the user efficiently to the information they are seeking.

It is important to understand the differences between the engagement levels of visitors to various online platforms when developing content.

CRAFT CONTENT SPECIFIC TO THE PLATFORM - All platforms come with a different set of rules. Whether it is a 140 character post sprinkled with relevant hashtags, a single image with a caption, a link, video or a page-length informational, the post content should fit within the confines of the platform.

BE VISUAL - Social Media caters itself to meaningful visuals that draw in users to certain posts. Text only post might get lost in the shuffle, so incorporating visuals, videos, infographics and icons can all help posts get more attention and interaction.

EFFECTIVE TITLES AND HEADERS - Headings and post titles give a first second indication of the post message. The title must grab the user's attention and draw them into the post content. If the audience is not impressed with the title then they won't waste their time taking in the rest of the post.

DON'TS - The post must be relevant and entertaining, do not just post simply to post something. Also too many posts can be overwhelming and have a negative effect. Making these two mistakes can alter people's perception of the company in a negative way.

CONSISTENCY

important phrase

Make sure your digital talkers are making sense and not just making noise.

One Voice

Social media profiles should have the same look and feel as the company website to keep the messaging consistent and familiar to customers. Brand identity should be reinforced by your social media strategy.

The voice of your content posted to social media sites should also match tone and style of the content of your core web presence. A link to the company website should always be present on social media pages to drive followers and friends of followers to the core website(s).

Social Media should be a daily practice.

Content posted on social media pages should be designed to be shared by followers and then seen by their friends, converting friends into new followers, further increasing exposure and visibility of the company, and increasing traffic to the organization's branded website.

Social media can help spark interest and engagement with the website. Information on the social media sites should be updated daily or weekly with new information to inspire engagement from customers. Social media is a good avenue to gain new customers as well as get previous customers to return to the site.

Develop an appropriate site governance strategy to achieve consistency between the core web site(s) and your social media presences. Formalize an overall web presence management plan for control of message, style, and timing. Include coordination with any other promotion efforts including email campaigns and web advertising. Set management roles and responsibilities for content creation, posting, and response/interaction duties, etc.

Create content ahead of time. Decide when to post on which social sites as well as how often to post. Schedule future posts, plan for responding to comments and interactions. Ideal posting frequency depends on the platform. Posts made at optimal times of the day are more likely to be seen and shared. The easiest way to be consistent is to use tools (many of which are free) to schedule your posts.

Branding consistency is also critical. Larger web presences may require a cross-platform corporate style guide to be developed to keep all content and web developers on the same page.

Social Media Apps

DISTRIBUTED PRESENCE

important phrase

Be where people congregate. Invite them over.

A website is part of your core web presence.

Social media is your distributed web presence.

...

Your distributed web presence provides Internet explorers many more opportunities for contact with your message than if you only have a core web site presence.

Social Media can create awareness and start engagements with potential customers. Social platforms give business organizations the ability to spread their message through word of mouth among customers and their friends.

Importance of a social strategy

Just like the web development process embarking on social media also takes time and planning. Establishing a thorough social media strategy is essential to make a positive influence on a company's web presence. The first part of developing a social media strategy is to answer a few questions.

Social Strategy Development –

  • Why do you think social media will help your business?
  • What are the objectives and goals for your social media presence?
  • What are you trying to accomplish? Increase brand awareness? Drive traffic to core website(s)?
  • What are some possible tactics that might achieve this?
  • How will you know it's working?

Understanding these important questions is crucial to success. Figuring out the reasons and goals for social media and then planning tactics and establishing how you will measure success, will guide the messages and content for social media posts and interactions.

Interaction - two old men talking

INTERACTION

important phrase

A conversation is the best way to build loyalty.

Social presences are platforms for having a conversation. Good listeners are more effective market leaders.

Craft the voice and messages you want to send through social media posts to be consistent with your core site's branding and messaging while adapting the style and tone to be conversational and interactive.

Peer to peer referrals

...

Social platforms are tools that allow companies to engage and strengthen relationships with its customers. Social media provides an easier access to reach potential new target audiences by engaging more directly with your existing customers and supporters and encouraging peer referrals.

Social Platforms

PLATFORMS

important phrase

Not all platforms are created equal.

If your desired interactions are mostly business‐to‐business (B2B), your social media platform choices will be different than if your primary interactions are business‐to‐consumer (B2C).

Research your audience and which social sites they use most. Find communities and websites where your target audiences hang out such as blogs, media websites and traditional social media sites.

There are several social media brands that seem to dominate the discussion but sometimes there are niche social media platforms that may more closely fit your social content strategy.

Some of the most popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest all serve a slightly different purposes and should only be used if it fits with the company's goals and audience.

...

For instance, if your goal is to connect with other professionals in your industry, then LinkedIn might be a more important platform in your social media strategy. Instagram is a popular social platform, however, interesting imagery is not as relevant to your company's social engagement strategy.

Social Content - Jar of pencils

SOCIAL CONTENT

important phrase

Content must be crafted for specific platforms.

Content variations across mediums

Content Type- Social Platform

Social platforms are designed so audiences can quickly absorb messages and spread the messages to others. Social media content should be short, concise and straightforward, requiring less effort to digest.

Engagement levels must match content levels. Social media viewers are usually on social platforms for recreational viewing. Don't make them do mental gymnastics to understand your message.

140 Character Tweet

A web site viewer is probably more mentally engaged and looking for some specific information. The content can be more sophisticated as long as it gets the user efficiently to the information they are seeking.

It is important to understand the differences between the engagement levels of visitors to various online platforms when developing content.

CRAFT CONTENT SPECIFIC TO THE PLATFORM - All platforms come with a different set of rules. Whether it is a 140 character post sprinkled with relevant hashtags, a single image with a caption, a link, video or a page-length informational, the post content should fit within the confines of the platform.

BE VISUAL - Social Media caters itself to meaningful visuals that draw in users to certain posts. Text only post might get lost in the shuffle, so incorporating visuals, videos, infographics and icons can all help posts get more attention and interaction.

EFFECTIVE TITLES AND HEADERS - Headings and post titles give a first second indication of the post message. The title must grab the user's attention and draw them into the post content. If the audience is not impressed with the title then they won't waste their time taking in the rest of the post.

DON'TS - The post must be relevant and entertaining, do not just post simply to post something. Also too many posts can be overwhelming and have a negative effect. Making these two mistakes can alter people's perception of the company in a negative way.

Consistency - Facebook Likes Illustration

CONSISTENCY

important phrase

Make sure your digital talkers are making sense and not just making noise.

One Voice

Social media profiles should have the same look and feel as the company website to keep the messaging consistent and familiar to customers. Brand identity should be reinforced by your social media strategy.

The voice of your content posted to social media sites should also match tone and style of the content of your core web presence. A link to the company website should always be present on social media pages to drive followers and friends of followers to the core website(s).

Social Media should be a daily practice.

Content posted on social media pages should be designed to be shared by followers and then seen by their friends, converting friends into new followers, further increasing exposure and visibility of the company, and increasing traffic to the organization's branded website.

Social media can help spark interest and engagement with the website. Information on the social media sites should be updated daily or weekly with new information to inspire engagement from customers. Social media is a good avenue to gain new customers as well as get previous customers to return to the site.

Develop an appropriate site governance strategy to achieve consistency between the core web site(s) and your social media presences. Formalize an overall web presence management plan for control of message, style, and timing. Include coordination with any other promotion efforts including email campaigns and web advertising. Set management roles and responsibilities for content creation, posting, and response/interaction duties, etc.

Create content ahead of time. Decide when to post on which social sites as well as how often to post. Schedule future posts, plan for responding to comments and interactions. Ideal posting frequency depends on the platform. Posts made at optimal times of the day are more likely to be seen and shared. The easiest way to be consistent is to use tools (many of which are free) to schedule your posts.

Branding consistency is also critical. Larger web presences may require a cross-platform corporate style guide to be developed to keep all content and web developers on the same page.

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