Back to basics

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By Consultant Georgi Wicks 

Because I spend my days producing and implementing in-depth social media strategies, I sometimes assume everyone knows the basics, they don’t, and I was reminded again recently.

So, to kick off 2016 my resolution is to stop assuming everyone knows what I talking about, and to start with the basics.

 

Social media strategy 101

My one rule of thumb around social media is – if you’re going to do it, do it well. If you’re under-resourced as it is, don’t attempt to open up a social media account for your business which realistically will lay dormant into the foreseeable future. Ensure you have the resources to populate and monitor it.

To be prepared (another resolution of mine), try creating a content calendar for the upcoming month. This doesn’t have to be extensive, just a brief rundown of the day and content to post will be sufficient. If you want to go one step further, you can schedule your posts for a specified day and time, that way, half your work is done in advance.

Also, always go with quality, not quantity. If you are resourced well enough to create, maintain and monitor a Facebook page then do it, and do it well. However, don’t bite off more than you can chew and open a Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn account just for the sake of having a presence. It cheapens your brand and ultimately you suffer. There is no shame in doing just one and doing it well. You know what that say about jacks of all trades – be a master instead.

For those of you looking at social media strategies for Facebook pages –  let’s say you’re  a small business – I recommend adopting a 70/20/10 ratio. This strategy has been my rule of thumb for years and can help guide you on how to promote your brand, goods and services at an optimum level.

 

70/20/10 posting ratio

70% of your Facebook content should be posted with a view to building awareness of your business and adding value to your brand. This should be relevant content to your business and what you offer. It should be valuable information for your audience. However, the golden rule is to not cross over into ‘salesly’ territory. These create the most engagement when they are fun. It can be industry-relevant tips or community events, or providing free infographs on trends you know, showing your experience and giving your genuine advice for free.

20% of your posts should be shared content. Be it others’ posts, ideas, articles or studies, ensuring the content you share is relevant to your business is almost as important as creating quality content yourself. This gives you the opportunity to align your brand with other well-known and trusted sources. Some examples could be sharing articles about legislative change that may affect your industry, sharing recently published studies or even a takeaway store sharing a local news article on a state-wide shortage of potato cakes.

10% – this is the bit you’ve been anxiously waiting for, 10% of your posts should directly promote your brand and business. I know this is a very small amount, considering in years past the majority of advertising and marketing budgets were funnelled into direct promotion. But the times they are a-changin’. You need to build your trust and reputation, more than promoting the upcoming sale on bananas or product endorsements. People are getting smart and are now exposed to a plethora of sales pitches, be it subtle of blaring in their faces. You need to understand this and move with the times, otherwise like the dinosaurs, you’ll be left behind.

 

Buyer beware

I do have to put a disclaimer here. Yes, this is a general recommendation. There is no such thing as a ‘one size fits all’ strategy. Every business is unique, as is their target market. In order to customise the broad-stroke strategies, I recommend analysing your data, drawing your own conclusions and customising your content to move with your trends. This is a good habit to get into. Social media is always changing, as are the attitudes of our target markets.

Now you have the template, go have some fun filling it in – just remember to take a step back now and then to make sure it looks as good from the outside as it does from within.

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