Wangari Kamande is a Research Analyst at Social Media Group.
As a research analyst, I often find that I hold the foundational pieces to what would help set the stage for solid strategy development. The information that I gather while conducting the background work to understand a client’s business, their needs, resources, target audience and goals is extremely valuable. This rich information makes it extremely necessary that a researcher be fully engaged in laying the foundational pieces of the strategy development process.
How does research set the foundation for a sound social media strategy?
- Understanding the client’s business and social media objectives (e.g., business activities, marketing activities, social media and marketing goals, how activities are being measured for success). This broad understanding will help filter into doing a deeper analysis into the following;
- Audience analysis – Understanding who is talking about the brand or who a brand is looking to engage with in the social-sphere, where they are participating in social, what is their current opinion of the brand or other brands where feasible and their social media usage patterns.
- Content Analysis – Evaluation of content somewhat overlaps with the audience analysis especially in respect to analysing what people are saying and the sentiment of their social conversations. However, in addition to the user generated information there is another piece of the content mix that is significantly valuable and that includes the resources and information that a brand has in its marketing communications, PR and advertising tool set – all the traditional marketing pieces that can be leveraged and optimised for social media use and engagement.
The three broad categories above feed into the development of the following:
- Content Strategy – Developing and executing a content strategy that resonates with the target audience
- Engagement Strategy – Developing and executing an engagement strategy that appeals and drives a response with the target audience
- Positioning Strategy – Having a clear understanding the target audience makes it easy for brands position themselves as the go to source in a specific niche / industry
- Listening Strategy – Brands can then tune their listening and customer / client service strategy so that they can effectively serve the needs of their customers / clients.
- Measurement – Identify metrics or key performance indicators that will help measure success. If the objective is to gain awareness, then metrics such as increased engagement, social media mentions, Facebook likes and comments, Twitter followers, retweets (just to name a few) will be indicators. However, if selling is the main objective, click rates, social e-commerce, sales and conversion rates are suitable metrics.
How are you using research to build your brand’s social media strategy?