A, B, C of Social Media

By Ricky Bugeja

Many think that starting out on Social Media is an easy thing and it is. It is the strategising and juggling it to keep the social media presences alive that make the task a little complicated.  The basic idea here is the social media is about community and a silent community is a dead (and hence useless community)!

If you’re serious about Social Media, the first task is recognising who the target user segment is and which are the favourite social media platforms used by this segment.Other important aspects involve understanding your segment in depth. If you have already used ‘personas’ to analyse your customers, now it’s the time to pull them back into the picture. Personas will help you realise how, when and why these customers use social media. This entails identifying the kind of lifestyle they lead, their common interests and possibly irritations.

Once you have this information at hand, you can then focus on making the right decisions about your main platform/s and secondary platform/s. For example, if you are in the B2B market, LinkedIn is better than Facebook to use and if you have a predominantly female following with ties to anything ‘artsy’ or ‘crafty’, then Pinterest needs to feature prominently in your plan. The second aspect that needs to be determined is  the tactics of your Social Media Operation – how frequently will you post, when will you post, what will you post, who will post…… Whilst many skimp on this step, this is a crucial step for a cohesive social media plan. Planning out what to post means preparing content according to a content calendar and that can include copywriting, photography, illustrations and even video. Naturally, it’s also very important to repurpose content and curate content from other sources as this improves your social media presence. Sharing the content on certain groups and replying back to comments and messages received on Social Media is also part of the  task and the time to respond is often an indication of how socially devoted you are!

Social media exercises are only lucrative if you manage to reach out to a segment and monetize it! This intrinsically means that one of the crucial tasks is making sure you are reaching out to possible fans. Getting your fans’ attention is very important but it is likewise important to elicit some kind of action, be that in the form of like, comment or share.

Like all other digital exercises, measurement is part of the game. Social Media platforms have their own analytics and it is useful to gauge the activity as the often turns into a learning experience.