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HOW TO CREATE A COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGY THAT WORKS

Jacqui McCallum, Blue Budgie CommunicationsLove it or loathe it, Social Media is where you’ll find your audience. But where are they and how do you cut through the noise to grab their attention?

We asked Social Media Communications expert, Jacqui McCallum of Blue Budgie to help us out.

Here’s a crazy statistic for you – nearly a quarter of the world’s population uses social media. Just let that sink in for a couple of seconds. That’s over two billion people.

In this current climate of heavy social media use, it pays for your business to have a presence. But how do we find our audience among over two billion people? We asked our social media communications expert, Jacqui McCallum of Blue Budgie, to answer that question and a few more.

What is a Communications Strategy?
It’s about having a planned approach to your social media activity. A good communications strategy aligns with your business goals and works towards your main objectives rather than being an afterthought.

How does it help?
Many people upload content to social media without a purpose. For example, without a strategy, you might be creating a lot of content for Instagram when in reality most of your conversions are coming from Facebook. By studying the data and developing a strategy, you can make your resources work smarter not harder.

What does a strategy look like?
It can be one page or five pages; a word doc, a spreadsheet or a powerpoint presentation – anything that works for you. Whatever format you choose, it’s important to include the following elements:

  • Goals and objective
  • Key messages
  • Audience and their behaviours and preference
  • Recommendations
  • Tools and platforms
  • Budget
  • Timeline
  • Evaluation

In particular, a process of evaluation is key to a successful strategy; monitoring your results will keep it all on track. It’s not something you set and forget – a strategy is an evolving document that will change as your business grows.

How do I find an audience?
Base your strategy on the value proposition offered to your audience. Ask yourself what problem your business is solving. Then ask what type of people will benefit from your product or service.

Here’s an example. One of my clients is a construction company specialising in renovations in Melbourne’s Inner West. After some research, we found the people making decisions about house renovations were predominantly new mothers wanting more space for their growing families.

Normally, you wouldn’t expect builders to sit down and have a cup of tea with a new mum, but it’s become very effective! They also target social content to new mums and build a social media relationship with them.

When is best to post?
Again, this comes down to understanding your audience. There are many preconceived ideas about when to post on social media. The received wisdom is to post at 8pm, but it’s not always effective.

For example, I worked with a company that sells lactation biscuits. We found that the best time to post was around 2.00am, when new mums were breastfeeding their babies. By posting relevant content at this time, we got a spike in engagement.

What are the top three things I need to know?
1. A strategy isn’t scary! – it only has to be a one-pager or whatever works for you
2. Understand your audience – it’s all about knowing how you can add value.
3. Make authentic connections online – be yourself and your engagement will grow.

Creating an evolving strategy that’s directly targeted to your audience is the best way to cut through the social media noise. Give it a go and you’ll be much closer to finding your niche among the 2 billion social media users out there.

 

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