Posting for the sake of posting has long been a thing of the past: SMM is a strategy, patterns and very specific goals. How to take into account all the subtleties and not forget anything? The Saint Digital team has assembled an algorithm of 10 basic blocks - use it!
Input data from the client
In the beginning there was a word, and then a client brief grew out of it. The development of any strategy begins with the fact that you communicate with the client for a long time, trying to find out what he needs and what he wants from the mysterious "s-em-em".
What should be in the brief?
Brand description - brand platform, brand book;
Detailed product information (SKU) - from specifications to marketing information;
Target audience portrait - insights, hypotheses, analytics;
Goals - why does a brand initially need to launch social networks;
Current presence in social networks - what you are happy with and what you don't like;
Expectations from the new SMM strategy - what the client wants to change, what to achieve.
Ideally, you have a form with these questions that the client fills out. Then you look through it, look for what is missing and "add" - ask additional questions. This is the foundation of the whole strategy: take the time for it. The more information you have about the client and the product, the more accurately the strategy will match the client's expectations and solve his pain.
The more specific the goal, the higher the likelihood that SMM will actually help achieve results. Therefore, your goal should be SMART:
Specific - specific;
Measurable - measurable;
Attainable - attainable;
Relevant - relevant, beneficial;
Time-bound - bound to time.
Often a client wants everything at once: a million subscribers, hundreds of comments, and that all this comes from potential customers. Separate pain: "let's publish our press release" and love for indicators that are already irrelevant in 2020 - likes and subscribers.
Why is it a bad goal to increase the number of people in the community by 100,000 in six months? Specific and measurable, time-bound - yes, but irrelevant. You can overtake as many bots or spoilers as you like, or living people, but not from the target audience - and the goal will seem to be fulfilled. Only the brand has no use for it.
Here are some examples of good goals:
Drive traffic to the site;
Increase account engagement;
Create an active community around the business;
Track reputation and correct it.
Have you decided on a goal? Translate it into numbers. For example: more comments are needed = growth of ERR by 2 times relative to the current one within six months. Or: we want everyone to know about us = analysis of the capacity of the target audience and the coverage of the AC by% of this number with a certain frequency.
The next step is to set tasks that will help you achieve your goal. For example: we want more comments, which means we need to add more posts to the content plans that provoke discussion, use game mechanics and relevant interactions.
Before setting the task, ask yourself: "Where will this lead?" This is generally a good question for all subsequent blocks - constantly ask yourself if it is true what you are doing is helping to achieve your goal.
Before setting a task, ask yourself: "Where will this lead?" This is generally a good question.
Big idea is a global idea that the brand is trying to convey to the audience not only with its posts, but also with its products. This is the essence of all broadcast content in a few words, the verbal concentrate of the entire strategy. An example is the Snickers and their "You are not you when you are hungry". Big idea may already exist for the brand and be expressed in their slogan, but you can offer your own - a new and bright one, which will complement the existing idea for the period of cooperation with you.
Creates an emotional connection with the audience;
Penetrates across any cultural boundaries, is understandable for the entire Central Asia;
Versatile and can be streamed across all media platforms.
Target audience and Tone of voice
If the SMM strategist does not understand the target audience of the brand, a significant part of the content will be "passed". Each post and each picture should serve not only the goals of the client, but also the interests of the target audience. The clearer her portrait, the easier it is to work with her.
What you need to know about your audience:
Who are your people? (sotsdem characteristics: age, gender, salary, city of residence);
What kind of pain does a brand or product cover for these people: making money, eating delicious food, eliminating boredom?
What content do they prefer: entertaining, educational, whatever?
How do they consume content: love videos, stories, longreads?
What platforms do they prefer: Facebook, Instagram, or maybe Tik Tok?
Why does an audience need your content: keep it healthy, follow the news, laugh and relax?
The list of questions, of course, is not complete: the more detailed the description is, the better. It is also good to learn the insights of the target audience about the product in order to understand how people use the product, what emotions it evokes, what flaws it has, etc. It is important to speak the same language with the audience.
By the way, about this: a separate place in the strategy is occupied by Tone of voice - how the brand communicates with
clients. ToV must be respected in everything: both on banners and on pages in social networks. It should work for you and make it easier for you to communicate with your audience. Remember, ToV is the opposite of professional jargon. You must be close and understandable to your target audience.
Without quality analytics, there is a risk of creating beautiful content that doesn't work. Analytics will help you understand how the brand differs from the rest, do you know trends and new formats that are popular in the niche. The insights you get at this stage are critical to building your content strategy. There are 2 main areas of work:
What are the competitors doing?
You can't go anywhere without competitive analysis. Explore the best in the market, see what colleagues are doing abroad. Based on 5-8 competitors, make a comparison table: sites, number of posts, topics, interesting finds, ER / ERR. The same should be done with local brands.
Be honest: sort out all the weaknesses, find the strengths. In the future, you should work with this material, you should have a good understanding of what works and what doesn't. SWOT is a good idea to use when brand identity is not clear.
Content strategy and UGC
This is a voluminous block: what we are talking about with the audience, how often and in what formats. A universal answer to the question "How much content should there be?" does not exist: you need to look at the activity of the audience, KPIs are achieved or broken with such a posting. Content plans with strict fixed categories are a bit outdated, but there are many rough schemes for distributing different types of content: how many educational posts, entertainment posts should there be, etc. Here are some examples: What should be mentioned in a content strategy?
Social networks and posting volume: write where you will post posts and in what quantities;
Visual Identity: Explain why you are offering colors, graphics and fonts, and how the logo will be used. Demonstrate visually how the design will support brand values;
Communication strategy: tell us in what tone you will communicate with the target audience, how you plan to involve it and create a community around the brand;
Examples of publications: add 2-3 posts with static, 1 - with animation. It is important to show the variety of mechanics, pay special attention to Stories and the general appearance of the feed;
UGC: how we will motivate people to generate content themselves. The more user-generated content, the more loyal the brand is. But here, too, there should be its own concept and its own framework;
Moderation: how we will respond to comments and how often. According to Sprout research, the optimal response time to a comment is 4 hours. But in practice, this is all 10 hours, during which the target audience is already losing interest. Explain to the client how you are going to solve this problem.
Remember: you are doing content not for yourself or for the client, but for the target audience. Therefore, you do not need to confuse your preferences with what will really appeal to people who subscribe to the brand's social networks.
Here we show the client what future social media ads might look like, explaining why we use some tools and ignore others. Here are 5 main things to think about in advance:
Ecosystem of the Republic of Kazakhstan. This is a visual diagram from which the client will understand which block of work is responsible for what, what are the optional and main directions in promotion. The easiest way is to design the ecosystem of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the form of infographics.
Targeting. We will tell you how much we spend on each social network. It would be good to indicate here that advertising may not be successful the first time; tests of creatives and selection of the most relevant audience are needed. We explain the goals of each format separately: ads with a button will increase engagement, carousels will lead to the store, etc.
Crops. Show an example of creativity and explain the principle by which you will select sites for crops. It is best to provide a few links to communities for clarity;
Opinion leaders. We need not only a list of bloggers who will potentially agree to cooperation, but also examples of formats: photos, videos, stories, live broadcasts. You can take screenshots from the accounts of the same bloggers if they have already placed ads in the required format;
Special projects. These can be collaborations, large-scale contests, one-time launches for several bloggers. Specificity is needed here: write down the mechanics clearly, explain what makes your proposal unique. Show in rough numbers how your creative plan will help you get closer to the goal you set at the beginning.
KPIs, budgets and timings
If KPIs, timing and budgets are in harmony, the project will be easy and enjoyable to work on. KPI is primarily about dynamics, indicators should track real progress. Remember: KPIs must match your goals! Therefore, the set of metrics for different brands can and should be different. In this case, you will have to come to terms: likes and subscribers will not go anywhere from the reports yet, although they already say little about what. Here are some more relevant metrics:
Coverage. The number of unique users who saw your post are now in
more important than any other metric. Social media algorithms are constantly changing, and coverage shows whether you are making content into a void;
Clicks. By tracking clicks, you can understand what makes people curious and motivates them to buy a product. Clicks on links show if your marketing funnel is working.
Involvement. This is the total number of interactions with the content divided by the number of posts and community members and multiplied by 100%. You can also calculate the engagement from the average reach, for one post or one day. This metric helps to track the audience's reaction to the content and adjust the topics of posts and the rubricator in general;
Feedback. The metric is not about numbers, but about reputation. It's always best to dig deeper and find out what people have to say about a brand, how much positive and negative. Track comments, mentions, hashtags.
A good strategy that will help you achieve KPIs takes time and money. When you've done the tremendous job of creating a strategy, make sure it's realistic to do it within budget. Be honest with yourself and the client. Describe why tasks take so much time and resources. And also - the more precisely the timing is spelled out, the fewer questions you will have in the future.
The final, but not the last, block. Check that your proposed SMM plan is consistent:
the strategy fits into the brand positioning;
the tasks set serve a common goal;
completing tasks fits into the budget;
content and promotion are interconnected;
metrics track the real progress of the strategy.
Developing an SMM strategy is one of the most difficult tasks in marketing, as it requires the ability to see the whole picture and look a little into the future. This is important because no matter how great the strategy is, you will most likely need to adjust it. For example, when you get to know the target audience better and their reaction to content. Set achievable goals, lay a good analytical foundation and choose a capacious and powerful Big idea - and it will be easier for you to change in order to achieve the desired result.