Social media is not a strategy

The question of whether you should be ‘doing social media’ is — although out-dated — also misguided, because it leads to a thinking that social media is a strategy. It’s not! The strategy needs to exist within the ways in which we communicate, not be the channels through which we communicate.

Commonly, people decide to invest in a social media or digital media resource, they choose which platforms to work within, and start on the content treadmill — one without a power off button. This is when the battle becomes merely finding something to share daily, just to be present, be seen, to be ‘doing social media’.

And then six months later people claim that it simply doesn’t work or it’s not worth the effort.

Firstly, there’s nothing wrong with posting daily, sharing content that doesn’t always provide earth-shattering revelations for your audience, or cutting edge news. In fact there’s plenty of evidence that suggests that doing this is quite effective in terms of key numbers within the platforms.

But unless there is a plan for the business right up front, about where you want it to go, what messages will help you get it there, and how social media can play a role and be used effectively to build and grow towards this goal, then you are potentially wasting the opportunities that social media can offer.

To be clear: this is not an article about how often you should post, or whether you should post videos or photos, or how long your videos should be. This is purely about what is in the videos, what is in the photos, what is in the blogs and what are these things communicating about your brand or business.

This is also not a cautionary tale about posting something that goes viral for the wrong reasons and brings your business to its knees, gets you banned from YouTube or opens up the flood gates for abuse, negative reviews or an online witch hunt.

It’s simply asking the question: how is this content communicating a message that is moving your business towards the objectives you have laid out for it? Is this piece of content helping to communicate your expertise in a particular area, is it communicating that you are a diverse and inclusive group, is it saying that you deliver an effective service on time and your customers are happy about that? Or, is it saying nothing, or worse, that you’ve run out of things to say, so you’re just saying anything.

Whatever the goals are, whatever you want to be known for, this needs to be at the core of all of your communication efforts. Therefore, it needs to be central to the videos you share, the images you post and the people whose attention you really try to get a hold of. When you think about social media in this way, it changes the way you look at the content you’re creating and sharing, and also it changes how you pursue the outcomes that really matter. So if you find yourself asking the question, what should we post today, ask instead, what are our business or branding goals and what content will help us to communicate that.

If you’re looking for a business that knows how to get the most out of your communications efforts, contact Hook Media at info@hookmedia.com.au.

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