Writing in the wild: A 2020 guide to social media strategy

By Anna Hayman-Arif

By Anna Hayman-Arif

Learn to navigate the social media strategy wilderness

It’s a jungle out there. I swear. 

 

Social media’s pitfalls are many – one wrong hashtag and you’re yesterday’s news. The dynamic and hypersonic online world waits for no person. It’s utterly unforgiving. Irrelevance is death. 

 

The good news? Following some social media strategy guidelines can help you navigate the social media wilderness, particularly around improving your content to appeal to your target audience. 

 

Here’s my 9 top social media strategy tips to get you through the thick of it and out the other side.

 

1.    Know your brand. Inside and out. Develop a statement that encapsulates what your brand is about. Do you know what you want to communicate to your ideal audience? If the answer to this is not crystal clear to you then your audience will not be receptive. People are savvy – they will pick up on a brand that is confused about itself and feel alienated. 

 

2.    Be clear about your end goal. You can’t start your jungle trek without a map. Neither can you measure your social media strategy if you don’t know what you wanted to achieve in the first place. Make your own goals measurable. Use online tools to gauge your success – HootsuiteGoogle AnalyticsBuzzsumo Ensure all goals are attainable – ask yourself can I actually make this happen?  Most important, keep relevant and aligned with your brand ethos or your content will suffer.

 

3.    Who’s your audience? Learn about them. Don’t assume anything, assumption is the mother of all horror stories. Don’t be lazy, do your research and the rewards will be vast. Your audience are giving you their precious time and you disrespect this at your peril. Find out what makes them tick. Why are they reading your brand’s content? What’s appealing about it? 

 

4.    Consistency is key. Make sure your tone is consistent across all content. Your brand voice needs to feel unified to capture and keep your audience’s interest – don’t disappoint them with content that jars with your brand’s values. While you’re at it, keep your logos, fonts and colours on brand too. 

 

5.    Laser focus your target. Use data to refine your strategy and target your audience more effectively. For example, a company called Jugnoo, (similar to Uber for auto-rikshaws in India), used Facebook Analytics to discover that 90% of their referrals came from 18-34 year old who used Android platforms. They fine-tuned their ads to target this group and saved 40%.

 

6.    Get inside your competitors’ heads. Crawl around in there and see what is actually going on with their brand and social media strategies. Can you out manoeuvrer them by making your content pop? With a little dissection and diligence your content will make theirs look staid and unappealing by comparison.  

 

7.    Be inspired. Read up on awesome social media campaigns and borrow from them. We all start from somewhere, none of us began brilliant. Use others’ examples to build and shape your social media presence into a true reflection of your brand and style. 

 

8.    Tap the goldmine. Your existing followers are a goldmine of information. Don’t be shy – ask them what they want to see from your brand. Ask them what they want to see less of. By tapping into this rich resource, you can mould your brand into what your ideal audience would like to see. But make sure you deliver – empty promises will translate into lost followers. And another word of caution – don’t lose sight of your brand’s original statement and ethos. Some tweaking and tailoring of your followers’ comments and opinions must happen to ensure the two are aligned. 

 

9.    Curate your content. Develop a range of hashtags to allow posters and readers to easily access information relating to your business. Creating an effective hashtag is deceptively simple – look herefor some pro tips.    

 

 

Social media is a fickle beast. What was trending on Tik Tok at 9am this morning may be old by lunchtime. Be flexible and dynamic – keep evaluating and adjusting your content and strategies and you’ll master it in no time. 

 

The jungle awaits you. 

About the author

Anna Hayman-Arif is a poet and writer. She lives to write and believes that kindness should be a mandatory quality for all humans. Anna’s work has been published in Deakin University’s Wordly magazine, Cordite, Meniscus and in Verandah. She has performed her poetry at Writers Victoria. In a past life Anna was an English teacher who talked way too much. When she is not writing Anna can be found talking nonsense to one of her three cats and dog or feeding her family of magpies.

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