I love connecting with other people who've created resources and opportunity for those just starting out. Which is why I was so excited to meet Netta Dobbins, Co-Founder of Minorities in Media Connect (MiMConnect), a networking platform that provides multicultural professionals with a direct and influential community. This week, she schools us in social strategy, pulling from her experience with MiMConnect and her role as Social Strategist at Translation. Here's Netta.
A common misconception regarding social strategists is that we're only responsible for promoting products and amplifying brand recognition via social media. While this is indeed one aspect of our job, anybody can post an obnoxious amount of promotional posts per day. Spoiler alert: this tactic doesn’t work. But you knew that, right?
Successful strategists understand that in order to really resonate with your target audience and increase brand recognition and loyalty, it takes more. You must truly understand your client’s and/or brand’s mission, clearly understand their audience and create content that feels authentic to both.
Brands like Helper, Casper and Netflix have done exceptionally well at this. Not only are they able to push promotional content, but they’re able to do it with a voice that sounds similar to the things their audience would say or be interested in. They accomplish this in an array of ways, including remaining culturally relevant—i.e. Helper live tweeting during the 2017 Playoffs and Netflix live tweeting during the 2017 BET Awards—and posting content in a voice that isn’t so heavily branded. Think friend, not brand.
Whether you’re looking to create a new social strategy for a brand or revamp your own, here are three steps to help you along the way.
1) Identify your purpose
In Simon Sinek’s “Start With Why,” he discusses the difference between good brands and great brands. Companies that had a clear purpose were better perceived by their audience, leading to an increase in product sales and brand loyalty.
Your “why” is the reason behind doing what you do. With Minorities in Media Connect, our goal was to make media a more inclusive space. From there, we begin crafting events, creating social media conversations and building a community that's evolved around that mission.
Clearly establishing your purpose allows you to not only find your north star when posting social content, but also allows you to plan events, experiences and more that keep you aligned with your mission.
2) Identify your target audience
Congrats! You’ve accomplished the hardest part, but you shouldn’t start publishing on social media until you’ve clearly identified your target audience. Your next step is to do a little market research.
You’ll want to identify your audience beyond demographics. What do they do for fun? Where do they live? What cultural experiences do they value? Knowing this will help you craft fun, unique and timely content that won’t feel like the typical promoted posts and ads on your audience’s timeline.
If you don’t have the money to purchase social listening tools like Crimson Hexagon or CubeYou, a great way to analyze your audience is to use the free built in analytics tools on each platform. Twitter’s audience insights are extremely detailed and will reveal the top interests, lifestyle types and consumer behavior of your followers. While Facebook and Instagram don’t reveal as much data, you can create ads (or promoted posts) tailored to the audience you want to reach. This will help you distinguish what your audience is interested in and what content works for them. From there you can tailor your content to match.
3) Identify your tactics
You know your purpose. You understand your audience. Now what? It’s time to get to work!
This is the time to throw things at the wall (read: make educated guesses based on your research) and see what sticks. Don’t worry if your first post doesn’t get the hundreds of likes and shares you crave. I’d recommend starting with 2-3 social franchises,* and going through the trial and error process.
To make sure you’re being efficient, you'll want to figure out which metrics are most important to you, and always post content based on those metrics. At MiMConnect, our main focus is to increase recognition of our brand and grow our community. We accomplish this by making sure that we’re continually increasing how many people see our social posts. Although we may average 50-100 likes per post, our reach always extends to beyond 1,000 views. We also make sure that our content is highly shareable. The more people that share it, the greater our reach. For a deeper download on the importance of social media metrics, check out this Sprout article.
*Social franchises are content buckets that you post regularly. For Minorities in Media Connect, our best performing franchises are Millennial Mondays and Wisdom Wednesdays.
Now go be unstoppable,
About our Guest Pro
Netta Dobbins is the Co-Founder of Minorities in Media Connect, a Social Strategist at Translation and a freelance publicist. She spent 4+ years in the public relations industry, where she worked with clients like Clive Davis, Sony Legacy Artists, PBS, The National Museum of African American Music, The International Black Film Festival and more. She transitioned from the public relations world to pursue advertising in 2016 and has worked on a myriad of accounts including State Farm, Kaiser Permanente, Reebok, and NBA.
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