Social media has become a slang term for a collection of apps and websites that now dominates consumer attention in society. That’s the opinion of many prominent social media experts and Sarah Parmenter couldn’t agree more. Social media moves fast, so Sarah advocates for strategic design. That doesn’t mean blasting “look at me!” across every network just because you can. Sarah dives into actionable takeaways for social media strategy for the busy business owner that isn’t a one size fits all approach.
Find what works for your brand to take your customer on a social media journey, the key to longevity in an ever-changing social media landscape.
Don’t call Sarah Parmenter a Social Media Expert, unless you want her to dislike you just a little. Sarah prefers the term Social Media Designer because it just fits better. And with over two decades as the owner of “You Know Who”, a British design studio, she knows a thing or two about design.
So many companies are still getting it wrong, Sarah says, because of a “look at what I’ve got” attitude when it comes to how we approach social media as brands. We have to start learning to take people on incredible storytelling journeys, by considering what customers have in common – shifting from “look at me” to “how can I help you.”
Quarterly Design Reviews – Review what’s working, and what isn’t, for your business and audience. Instead of blasting networks just because you think you should, or some expert told you to, find what works for your business and targets your customers. And don’t forget to check your personal bias at the door, just because you don’t like a platform doesn’t mean your audience doesn’t.
Be Strategic – Social media is very hard to keep up with, so once you’ve found the right network for your audience and business, design around that and strategically pursue the platforms that make sense. Don’t feel you like you have to post on every platform 3x a day just because everyone else is – find the frequency and rhythm that works for your target audience. Don’t post just because you can, post because you have something valuable to share with your audience.
Engagement – The onus is always on you to create engagement with your content. Exceptional storytelling while bringing value to users is exactly what Away luggage did by posting exquisite travel guides (on carefully chosen platforms) rather than focusing on the product they were selling; a strategy that gained social media traction and customers alike.
Nothing is ever set in stone, especially in the digital space. However, a good first step in your social media planning is setting up a Marketing Communication Plan (MarComm Plan) to establish what digital channels you are going to be using to communicate.
Timely reviews allow you to adjust and react to what works best for your brand and customers – finding the best fit for your company, what your audience is using, and adjusting as needed.
No one wants to hear someone talk about themselves all the time, and your customers are no different. Don’t blast your sales message, but find a way to tell your brand story, giving value to your followers