Social media strategy - know who is watching and who is creating

Social media strategy - know who is watching and who is creating

We’ve been running a series of webinars this spring for our alumni. Simon Collister of We Are Social has just run a fab session for us on social media strategy. I thought it might be nice to share some of the things that I took away from his session.

Simon reminded us that, as with any comms activity or strategy, you need to start by thinking about who your audience is.

He told us that people can be categorised by their online behaviour but that most (approx 90%) fall into the Spectators category of monitoring what’s going on online rather than participating. Then there is the 9% of Commentators who assume a proactive role, those who engage with, comment on and share content.  And then we have the 1% of Creators who originate content.

Once you know what category your audience falls into you can decide on the best strategy to reach this group. If your audience mainly falls into the category of Spectator, for example, an interactive tool/platform probably isn’t going to the best channel to use.

You not only need to be clear about who it is you are targeting but your objectives too. Simon advised us to be clear about whether we wanted to Listen; Talk; Energize; Support or Embrace people. Each of these objectives involves different levels of engagement and types of activity; however, all should be linked to your business strategy and should help to inform this.

Simon also shared tips on how to go about listening using the “Boolean search” which essentially involves searching online using key words and combinations of key words to create search strings. (All looks and sounds very complicated but is really quite logical! Google “Boolean search” and you’ll find tons on the subject.)

Simon talked about the paid for and free social media monitoring and measurement tools out there that give both qualitative insight and qualitative data depending on your needs. He did say that contrary to popular folklore social media research can be costly, however. To date, computers still aren’t as good in all situations as a human. Sometimes it takes a human to understand and assign sentiment to words.

Following his presentation, Simon took questions from the floor. Asked what the next big thing in social media will be, he talked less of the gigantic leaps forward in tech that we’ve witnessed in recent years and more about improvements in what’s around, like the use of location based technology. He also envisaged organisations making even greater use of communities to help inform their strategies – and that social media would become integral to communication and business strategies rather than a bolt on.

Simon has kindly shared his slides from the webinar - find them on our Slideshare site (the ones from the session on social media for internal comms are also there).