Social is a buzz word that has been tossed around a lot in recent years. Clients are starting to understand that social is something that is worth getting into and investing in. Lines of communication are evolving and social is increasingly proving itself to be an extremely effective method of delivering a message.
So, now everyone wants a social strategy. Fair enough. But do we actually understand what social means?
Social networks like Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare, Tumblr et al. are nothing more than platforms; a medium for the message, a tool that we use to facilitate a flow of communication. These networks modify the way that we deliver a message. From restricting the message to only 140 characters, to offering you the option to customise how you consume information about your friends, family and colleagues.
However, it is easy to forget that these networks are just tools. In no way do or should they define your content, who receives it and how it is received. These social tools are there for you to manipulate to create the best environment through which your message will be delivered.
What is a social strategy?
The manipulation of these social tools is what you would call a social strategy. This involves studying audience behaviour and trends, to completely understand their likes, dislikes, and how they like to receive information. The second step is matching this data with your social tools. Find out the most effective combination. Think big and think broad. Don’t be afraid to colour outside the lines and integrate different tools in order to create a smooth-flowing, cohesive strategy.
Too many businesses are focussing their efforts on the tools and not strategy – creating static accounts and not making the effort to integrate the content. Campaigns like these tend to have very short life spans, with a low brand value in the long term. A carefully and intricately designed social strategy will do quite the opposite, offering long-term brand recognition and the potential to expand from an existing campaign into something bigger and better in the future.
How would you succinctly define a social strategy?