Your social media strategy might be stale if...

published on
October 3, 2019

To help you evaluate your social media marketing strategy, we asked our talented strategy team to put their heads together. The result is the following article, with five probing questions to jumpstart your thinking.

Are you struggling to understand the ROI of your social media platforms? You’re not alone. According to a recent study (Smart Insights 2017), “80% of companies online are under the impression that they deliver exceptional social media customer service, while only 8% of their customers say that they agree.”

This disconnect becomes even more striking when you consider that “71% of consumers who’ve had a positive social media experience with a brand are likely to recommend the brand.” (Fundera 2019) The implication is clear: if you’re feeling unsatisfied with your social media performance, it may be time to re-evaluate your strategy.  

With “3.499 billion active social media users” and new users popping up “every 6.4 seconds,” (Brandwatch 2019) social media is a golden opportunity for brands to reach consumers directly. The question is, are brands really seeing an impact from their strategies and engagement?

To measure the success of your social media, you need to look at all three legs of the social media marketing stool.

  • Owned Media: any asset or channel that you create, own, and/or control (e.g. Facebook business pages, white papers, original images)
  • Earned Media: owned media that others engage with voluntarily, also known as digital word-of-mouth (e.g. shares, likes, comments, mentions, PR activity)
  • Paid Media: marketing channels where you pay to promote your brand (e.g. display ads, Instagram ads, paid search, Google ads, Influencer Marketing)

However, with the rapid pace of change in technology and consumer behavior, strong foundations in these three areas are not enough. You need to build upon them constantly. To keep your social media marketing strategy on top of trends, it’s critical to stay up to date with research initiatives like competitive analyses and social listening.

Are You Meeting Your Original Objectives?

When you begin to evaluate your social media strategy, this is the key question to ask yourself. Because in the end, it’s all about better defining what success means to your brand. Here are some additional questions to ask:

  • If you have a social media marketing strategy in place, are you measuring your KPIs effectively?
  • What are you ultimately trying to achieve?
  • How do you measure/quantify milestones?
  • If you’re not reaching your goals, do you need to adjust them?
  • With algorithm shifts and changing trends, can your strategy flex to meet your business objectives?
  • Do you need to raise awareness of a new product?
  • Do you need to decrease a negative perception of your brand?
  • Do you need to generate new business for your agency?

How Well Do You Know Your Audience?

It’s possible that your brand’s target audience isn’t aligned with those who are actually looking at your content. If your audience is aligned, but you’re still not hitting the marks, your target’s needs may have shifted. In either case, it’s probably time to take a step back and build updated target profiles, so you can more effectively reach your consumers.

Consider evaluating (or re-evaluating) the following demographics and psychographics:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Education
  • Household income
  • Family size
  • Location
  • Other brands followed on social
  • Lifestyle (look for content themes from personal channel posts)
  • Interests (look at posts frequently engaged with on your accounts)

Are You Effectively Leveraging Your Social Channels?

While it’s tempting to create profiles on every top social media platform, that may not be what’s best for your brand. Rather than spreading yourself too thin, think about which channels are most effective for your particular situation. Are there channels that lend themselves to building a high-quality presence? Do they have the right features to showcase the content your audience wants? If your social platforms don’t align with your objectives, it could be a clue as to why your performance is low.

Does Your Content Strategy Need Adjusting?

In addition to refining your social target audience and your social platforms, it’s important to objectively evaluate what you say and how you say it. This is where owned media shines. To effectively revamp your social media marketing strategy, look closely at how you apply these two components:

  • Content mix: How much and what type of content are you creating? Maybe your social media is 25% infographics, 25% re-shared articles, and 50% original blog posts. Whatever your mix, it should align with your platform and overall social media goals.
  • Brand voice: How are you portraying your brand across social media? While your brand voice might change slightly with each social media platform, it should stay consistent across all of your owned media.

By the way, if your voice needs refining, check out our recent article on how to find your brand voice.  

Are Your KPIs Realistic?

Asking this question can be a difficult part of building out your social media marketing strategy, but it’s the best way to quantify your success. Too often, brands rely on KPIs to “prove” success. But success should be determined by more than just a number.

By analyzing your social KPIs on a month-by-month basis to identify the “why” of your performance, you’ll allow your content strategy to flex—and ultimately improve your performance. You’ll also end up with a better understanding of your strategy’s ROI as a whole.

As the social media industry continues to impact brands, encourage your business to make the most of it. But don’t forget to have fun along the way. Because at the end of the day, social media is one of the most rewarding ways to build strong relationships with your customers.

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