‘Strategery’ vs. Strategy: Content Strategy for Social Media
Next time you’re getting ready to hit auto-share: STOP! That’s an example of Social Media ‘Strategery,’ the political term coined after the 2000 presidential debate between George W. Bush and Al Gore. The term has come to mean any number of things, according to the Urban Dictionary. I consider strategery to be something that looks strategic, sounds strategic, but, on reflection, it is clear that it isn’t.
Too many people confuse “strategery” for strategy. If you have mindlessly contributed to the noise rather than adding value, you have created spam.
The ROI on Social Media is still unknown, although it is undoubtedly time consuming and costs money. Because the impact can be difficult to determine, whether the value outweighs the cost is something that each brand must determine. However, it is clear that the window of opportunity on loosey-goosey Social Media is quickly shutting.
From Stategery to Strategic
Social Media is just another communication vehicle joining direct mail, print advertising or pre-roll video spots. Like all marketing activities, Social Media must be driven by a strategy.
Creating a strategy for your brand’s Social Media efforts also ensures the brand is being reinforced — even if that brand is you.
Using Content Strategy
A great way to be strategic with Social Media is by creating a Content Strategy which will be executed using all of the tools available to the brand. i.e. — Content Strategy isn’t just limited to Social Media.
Your goal is to build a relationship with current customers and potential clients by providing them with information that will delight and inform them rather than trying to “sell” them.
Before you can execute your Content Strategy, you must:
- Establish the voice of the brand.
- Define what terms will be used to describe the brand itself and its product or services offerings.
- If you’re already doing Social and you haven’t done this, stop and do it now. If this isn’t consistent, you’re giving potential clients the ability to define your brand instead of you.
- It also enables competitors to more easily take away your customers.
- Determine who’s going to respond to customer complaints.
- Define the rules of engagement.
- Which department will generate what type of content on Social Media?
- Will it all be done by one group on behalf of all of the others? Or will all of the groups do it?
- Which group will handle this and what is the agreed upon verbiage?
Content is About Customers!
Once all of the departments are on the same page — and the roles and responsibilities have executive sign-off – it’s time to get strategic.
Many marketers seem to get confused about who their content is supposed to reach. Sometimes you see examples where it looks like marketers are simply talking to other marketers. This is common with IT Services Firms. Instead of remembering they are being hired by a company that doesn’t want to bother with IT, they instead focus on other geeks.
Have the following conversations and define:
- It’s always cheaper to keep your current customers than bring in new ones. What do you know about them? What makes them happy? What keeps them up at night?
- If you don’t know — ask. Social Media is a perfect platform on which to have that conversation.
- Is this different than your current customers? If that’s the case, understand what makes these new prospects tick.
- Don’t know?
- Look at current clients similar to your ideal customers. Call them on the phone. Do not email them; don’t send them a DM on Twitter. If possible, have a meeting in-person. End the conversation understanding what makes them happy and what keeps them up at night.
- Look at how competitors attract these folks. What type of information are they sharing? This can be a slippery slope, because you’re assuming your competitor is doing it right.,
Nearly every week a new mom-centric service launches, telling moms how to be better, make their kids perfect, etc. Marketers have tapped into the fact that moms are juggling tons of balls and looking for ways to get answers they trust as quickly as possible.
Brands that are providing moms with useful, legitimate information are then able to start to build a relationship which can lead to sales over time.
Your Content Strategy
Identify the areas of interest and fear that overlap between current customers and desired clients and spend most of your time there. Resources are limited — spend them wisely. That means your content strategy will be focused on delighting and informing current and ideal customers.
- Create original, unique content that includes photos, videos, text, inforgraphics, etc. in order engage interest.
- Curate content from other sources that will delight or help your current and ideal customers and is consistent with your brand. Ex: articles from industry sources and trade publications that may interest them.
- Even “related” information in the purchasing path may be appropriate. For instance, when someone is buying a car, they also need insurance. Eventually they’ll need new tires. Businesses that involve related products and services may be appreciated by your prospects. Your goal is to become a trusted source.
2 More Strategic Tips to Avoid Strategery
- Take social offline to reinforce your social media activities elsewhere
- If your brand targets teachers, consider sending them a fruit basket on the first day of school or on a Friday, and ask them to come participate in the conversation on their favorite social media site.
- Mail postcards wishing your target teachers a great first day of school and include the addresses of your social media sites.
- Control your traffic
- Everything needs to drive back to a platform owned and controlled by the brand.
- Limiting your activity only to a social media platform – which you don’t own or control – is social suicide. Get them back on your own turf.
Have fun. It always helps!
Rani Monson is a marketing technologist who runs RainMaking Marketing. The former Boy Scouts of America employee has never been camping. She’s also a certified yoga instructor who doesn’t teach.
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