Social Media Strategy and Planning / Digital Marketing


 How to Prepare Digital Marketing Strategy!! 

 Without a proper social media strategy, yoursocial media efforts will not fructify. 

 In this article , I will tell you how to make social media strategy and planning in 6 steps. 

Social media strategy refers to the step-by-step methodological approach to achieve a certain objective using social media.

 No.1 step is listening. 

“Most people do not listen with an intentto understand; they listen with an intent to reply." 

These lines by Stephen. R. Covey applies to life as well as social media. An active cross-platform and holistic listening is the key to success. 

It means listening across all platforms andlistening not just about your brand but also the category. 

You can get wonderful insights from listening. For example, Kissan Ketchup on analysing thevoice of the customer, the company found that consumers, in general judge the quality of ketchup based on the quality of tomatoes it is made from.

 They thought that ketchup is made from pumpkin and other cheap ingredients. In addition to that, people also thought that the better the quality of tomatoes, lesser is the need to add artificial ingredients to enhance it's taste, colour and quality.

 The Kissanpur campaign was born out of this listening exercise. the company tweaked it's ketchup bottle abit to accomodate tomato seeds in every bottle. 

Further a farmland named Kissanpur was created and all the customers, specially mothers along with young children were encouraged to sowthese seeds and grow tomato plants. 

Also, everyone was encouraged to interactand share their progress through FB page, then we were asked to bring grown tomatoes to an offline event and customised recipes were taken like chilli garlic or sweet  sour. 

Customer names were put on the bottle. Basically, the message was that this ketchup is made from the tomatoes you grew. 

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No.2 step in digital marketing strategy is Goal Setting.

 From listening, marketers can understand the positive and negative sentiments prevailing about their brand in the market. 

The goal should be to streng then the positive sentiment and reduce negative sentiment. 

Also, goal setting may involve brand re-positioningor creating more buzz. The third step is Strategize. 

The strategy consists of three main parts—
(i)Content Strategy, 
(ii) Target Group, and 

Then it's about Content Strategy. Marketeer must decide whether one wants to create images or video or text content, whether the marketeer wants to create case studiesor eBooks or blogs or info graphics or podcasts. 

While creating content, the focus should beon 3 Cs – Company, Competition and Customer.

Company should make content that is in line with brand story and vision, it should make content that is unique and hence different from competition and make content which resonates with consumer. 

Second part in strategy is Target Group. The target group can be divided into three categories: 

Customers – Now, what content will resonatewith customers. It would be product benefits or delivery orafter sale service or warranty or say unique selling proposition (USP). 

Another segment is Opinion leaders – Theyare more sophisticated, they are more interested in future, so, the content which will appealto them is industry insights, forecast, projections, R&D, Pilot tests or previews.

 The third target segment is Public – Socontent that will appeal to them is very different from the content that will appeal to customers or opinion leaders. 

They will probably be more interested in company's CSR, it's Vision, Purpose, Brand story, any awards, culture or financial statements. 

No 3. The third part of strategy is Platform. 

Different target groups are present in different concentrations on various social media platforms.

 It is essential to reach out to the chosen target group on the right platform for maximum effectiveness.

 For example, if the target audience is opinion leaders, Twitter may be the platform of choice;

 if the target audience is general public,Facebook may be the apt choice;

 and for a B2B company targeting customers, Linkedin may be more relevant. 

Moreover, the mode of the audience in various platforms is also an important factor to be considered. 

For example, an investor might be active on both Facebook and LinkedIn but in general, people are more entertainment-oriented on Facebook and business-oriented on LinkedIn, thus the chance of conversion of a post, targetedat attracting investments maybe higher on LinkedIn than on Facebook. 

No. 4   The social media strategyis Implementation. 

Planning only solves half the problem, itis implementation which is the key to success. 

In the case of social media, implementationconsists of two parts—
(i) Timely posts, and
 (ii) Reaction checks.

 Timely Posts, you must use Analytics to identify the right time to post. Content should be scheduled at regular intervals. This activity can be better done with thehelp of scheduling tools. 

The most commonly used tools are—
(i) Buffer,and 
(ii) TweetDeck.

 Social media posts can simply be scheduled with the help of a calendar which can have basic details like theme of the post or the person or the team responsible, post title, submission date or posting date and time and link to post etc. You should prepare a sample calendar. 

Reaction Check means before the post becomes very big and viral, you should check how people are reacting to the post. 

An example for this is a post done by OLA,Ola ran an ad campaign, "Too expensive to take girlfriend out on a date?"

 this video faced huge backlash on twitter as the audience perceived it to demeaning the independence of women. 

Ola cabs was quick to respond and immediately took off the ad and hence could minimise the damage caused. 

The 5th step in the planning cycle is Measurement. 

A good approach would be to define the measurement metrics right at the beginning while deciding the campaign goals.

 campaign will be considered a success if the target of meeting a certain goal is achieved. 

Its good to be specific about goals like achieve100 shares on FB or get survey form filled by 1000 users instead of saying the goal isto increase reach or get survey forms filled.

 Some of the most widely used social mediametrics are:
 (i) Engagement Rate, and
 (ii) Economic Value per use. 

Engagement rate is the weighted sum of likes,comments, and shares as a percentage of reach.

 Economic value per visit is total value of conversions divided by number of leads. 

The 6th step in social media planning cycleis Improve.

 The results should be measured and comparedwith the goals and if shortfall is found in achievement, the next focus should be on restructuring the strategy to meet the goals. 

If the goals are met, then, the listeningexercise should be repeated to establish new goals and a new campaign to meet these goals.

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