Your website is the go to authority for information about your business or organization for the inquiring public. The website does not only spread your message but also acts as an easily recognizable credible source of information. Another source of information is social media and if you manage your social media and website to work together this is a powerful combination.
Two voices or one?
Social media excels at driving conversations and interactions and allows you to meet your audience where they hang out. As a result of this social media can usually be a lot more casual than an official website. Even in this relaxed setting it is important to remember and use your brand voice though. By remembering your vision and core values on social media you can bring your message to a more casual setting while still remaining professional and consistent.
Wing it or be prepared?
While content for your website is usually well prepared and edited, on social media sites posts may be a lot more spontaneous. This is not a bad thing but you must be prepared to answer questions and respond to comments that may not always be flattering. This is where having a social media strategy helps with dealing with awkward situations. Having some policy for dealing with disgruntled customers or curious fans and followers allow you to know what is an acceptable response to avoid public embarrassment that may tarnish your brand.
How do I build my social media strategy?
The first thing you need to do when building your social media strategy is to outline your goals for your brand, business or organization on social media sites. Are you there to entertain, inform, interact or simply provide support for a product or service? This helps you to identify who your target audience is and allows you to tailor your messages to suit that specific group.
Once you know why you want to use social media sites and who you intend to address you need to figure out which social media sites you will use and who will have access to your social accounts. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and other social media websites all have features that cater best to specific niches. You should also ensure that only designated individuals have access to post on your behalf on social media sites and that these designated persons are aware of your goals as well as your brand message and voice.
After you have sorted out who will handle your social media accounts you need to decide on what you want to share and how frequently you want to post content on social media websites. Your schedule can be as specific down to the exact times of day to post or as general as a minimum number of posts in a week. When your content is relevant and your frequency of posting is what your audience expects you have a better chance of reaching more people.
The final part of building a social media strategy is to be flexible and adapt to changing environments. Unlike your website where you have total control of the content and structure of your message, social media websites are more unpredictable. You never know when the rules for using the site will change or exactly who will engage with you on these sites. It is important to keep abreast of developments and changes in best practices and new features of whichever social media sites you are using to get the most out of it. Using insights and studying statistics provided by these sites will help you to improve your social media strategy.
It is very common for a website and social media to work together to achieve a common business goal. Social media is a great way of raising brand awareness and drawing attention to the content of your website. When creating your social media strategy remember that it should complement your website and not compete against it.The message from either channel can affect how the other is perceived by your audience.