Which Social Media Strategy Works for Your Brand?
When creating a social media strategy for your brand, you may be unsure if you should employ a proactive or reactive strategy. Proactive strategies allow you to be prepared so you don’t have to come up with content on the spot, while reactive strategies enable your brand to monitor brand mentions and interact with customers. So will a proactive or reactive strategy work better for your brand?
At Pinckney Marketing, we believe it is important to utilize both proactive and reactive strategies. We like to be prepared and organized, but also hop on a funny meme trend from time to time. And if the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that not everything can be planned in advance. Now, let’s take a look at what goes into each strategy and how you can leverage the preparedness of a proactive strategy while remaining current with a reactive strategy.
Proactive Social Media Strategies
One of the main benefits of a proactive social media strategy is the ability to prepare your social media materials in advance. This is how we proactively outline our social media strategy.
1. Create A Content Calendar
Creating a content calendar months in advance is a great way to outline content. In order to do so, you will need to make note of dates that are important and relevant to your brand. These relevant dates may include:
This may seem like an obvious one, but holidays affect almost every brand and industry. Since we know the date of holidays years in advance, we are able to start planning for them early and incorporating them into our content calendar. You will need to decide which holidays your brand is going to run promotions for, and create social media posts accordingly.
Adding National Days to your calendar can add some excitement to your social media content between major holidays. Which National Days are relevant will be different for every brand, so it is important to do a little bit of digging. For example, “National Beer Day” on April 7th can be integrated into a restaurant’s social strategy while “National Soccer Day” on July 28th can be tied into the strategy of a sporting goods store.
Taking a look at local events can also be useful for a brand’s content calendar, primarily for businesses that have physical locations. For example, if a local college’s graduation ceremony is coming up, local restaurants may want to promote on social media that they are accepting reservations for large parties. You can plan for these events by accessing the town or city calendar of where your business is located and adding the dates of these events to your brand’s social media content calendar. You may also want to check the calendars of institutions located in your town or city such as schools, concert venues, etc.
2. Schedule Posts In Advance
After creating your social media content calendar, the next step to a proactive strategy is to schedule the content to post automatically. Here at Pinckney Marketing, we use Sprout Social’s Publishing tool to schedule posts weeks in advance. Sprout Social allows you to enter the caption, insert a photo, and schedule the post to go out at a specific time down to the minute. This way, everything is squared away and you don’t have to worry about posting “Happy New Year” exactly at midnight during your NYE party. Simply schedule the post using Sprout’s scheduling feature and you’re good to go!
3. Social Listening
You need to be aware of the conversations surrounding your brand on social media even if you are not directly tagged. This is where social listening comes into play, which is defined by Sprout Social as “analyzing the conversations and trends happening not just around your brand, but around your industry as a whole, and using those insights to make better marketing decisions.”
This proactive strategy allows you to better understand your customers’ attitudes about certain sentiments and learn about their passions. However, not only can you learn from your customers, you can also benefit from monitoring your competitors. It is beneficial to listen to what your entire industry is discussing on social media, as you could contribute to the conversation or discover something that could add value to your brand. Sprout Social’s Social Listening tool makes it easy to monitor conversations surrounding your brand and topics that relate to your brand. This feature allows you to track keywords and trends that are relevant to your brand because the software creates reports surrounding your chosen topics.
Reactive Social Media Strategies
As much as you may want to be prepared and planned for your brand, social media moves quickly and the conversations are constantly changing. This is why it is beneficial to also employ a reactive strategy.
1. Breaking News and Trending Topics
When managing any brand’s social media account, it is vital to stay up to date on breaking news and cultural events. This is essential so that your brand doesn’t appear insensitive by posting your usual content during a significant or tragic event. Some of these events or news may warrant statements from your brand on social media and these will need to be created and posted after the occurrence. In order to employ an effective reactive strategy, you will need to stay up to date on news so that your brand can quickly respond using the correct brand voice and tone surrounding the subject matter.
Staying up to date with trends is also important if your brand plans to hop on funny meme trends or reference pop culture moments. Memes on social media are funny one day and old news the next, so it is important to stay up to date if your brand plans to utilize this strategy.
2. Social Monitoring
One of the most beneficial aspects of having a social media presence is that users can engage with your brand quickly and easily. It is important to monitor these brand mentions and messages so when a customer reaches out to your brand through social media you are able to respond back to them ASAP. According to Sprout Social, a brand’s average response time is 10 hours, but users actually expect a response within 4 hours. Customer engagements may come in the form of:
Customers may reach out to your brand on social media in order to ask for clarification about your product or service. You need to answer their question promptly or risk losing a potential customer. For example, if a prospective customer is interested in buying your product and has a question about it, they may send you a direct message on Instagram. If you take too long to answer their question, they may have chosen a different product to fulfill their need and therefore you missed out on a sale.
Customers may also utilize social media to notify you of a negative experience that they had with your brand. If a customer reaches out to share this with you, it is important to address their concern, apologize, and make it up to them. Do not simply delete or ignore all negative comments! A customer’s negative experience can be turned into a positive one through social media if the customer feels heard by the brand. You can show that you care about customers by responding promptly to negative complaints and offering helpful solutions.
It is always heartwarming when a customer comments or messages you about a positive experience with your brand. You should thank them for sharing their experience and let them know that you appreciate their support. To make them feel even more special, give them a follow on the brand social media account. You can also share their post to your brand’s page to add some user generated content to your feed. This may also encourage others to share their positive experiences with your brand on social media.
You may be worried that all of these customer engagements are a lot to keep track of. Here at Pinckney Marketing we utilize Sprout Social’s Smart Inbox feature which allows us to consolidate all of a brand’s social accounts into one inbox in order to quickly and easily monitor customer engagement.
Finding a Balance between Proactive and Reactive Strategies
It is important to achieve a balance and utilize proactive strategies wherever possible to prepare your brand and employ reactive strategies to engage and stay on top of current trends and news. The key is to find a balance that works for your brand and social media goals!
If you’re looking for more information on how Pinckney Marketing can help your brand improve your social media strategy, contact us for a strategy session.