When it comes to communications, social media is clearly a vital tactic for companies and organizations to have in their toolbox. It supports brand awareness, assists with reputation management and offers a direct channel of communication with your “tribe” or audience.
According to the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), engaging in social media is the third most popular online activity. We also know from a report out of the Social Media Lab at Ryerson University, that 94 per cent of online Canadian adults have at least one social media account — and Facebook continues to dominate.
Where companies falter is by focusing on social media as a stand-alone strategy, rather than a component of a larger plan.
An integrated communications strategy is designed to look at all of the elements needed to present a strong message to your audience. Before you even get to social media, there are other areas to consider.
Who is your target audience? Determining who you are speaking to will help you refine both your message and your tactics to have a more solid impact. Read more about finding your people.
What are your key messages? What do you want your target audience to hear and remember? The visual identity of your company is important, but it’s the message and association with the brand that you want to stick.
What are your tactics? This is where social media comes to play. It’s one of many possible tactics to reach your audience, along with content development (e.g. blogs), websites, media relations, stakeholder relations, events…the list goes on.
Building social media into your larger strategy will allow you to be more strategic and effective with your outreach.
Campaigns need to spread across platforms. What you share on your social media accounts should be reflected on your website and in any traditional/digital outreach you do. Does everything have the same look and feel? Are the posts time to align with a significant announcement you have coming up?
Step back and look at the big picture and then determine where and how social media can help elevate your brand to the next level, in a strategic way.