Humanizing the Divine (Part II): Social Media Strategy

The most important question to ask yourself when crafting a social media strategy is: what is the goal of your social media?

It sounds like a simple question but knowing the answer is essential to forming a cohesive message in your marketing and ensuring that you stay goal oriented. Some examples of social media goals can include reaching new users, getting more website visits, or getting visitors to a brick and mortar location. By deciding on a goal, each post and decision you make works towards a singular goal - and each post that you make should have a purpose beyond just the post. Each post should connect to a component of your marketing strategy.

For example, one of the goals as part of our marketing strategy for St. Stephen's is driving traffic to the new website. In order to facilitate this, we try and link to relevant landing pages on the website that expand or reinforce the information included in posts. By focusing our strategy and using these tips I'm about to tell you, we were able to grow St. Stephen's Facebook reach from 100 people per post to nearly 700 people per post - with an engagement increase of over 300%!

Tip #1: Let Your Brand Values Show

One of the most effective techniques I've seen in social media marketing is just to be genuine. Whether your market is new customers, parishioners, or subscribers, letting your brand show its values can be a great way to bring in new prospects. In any sort of advertising it is impossible to please everyone, but when people sense genuineness from a person or business, they're more inclined to become actual customers. Really think about what your brand is and what you represent, and make sure every part of your marketing is working to reinforce that image. Is your brand young and quirky? Wise and stable? Fun and a little unpredictable? Think of these characteristics and let them show through in your marketing. For St. Stephen's, their motto is "a family of Christ guided by love, acceptance, and care" and we work to make sure that those values are present in every piece of marketing that we release.

Tip #2: Become Involved

Using your social media presence as a force for good, either in your community or worldwide, can be an important way to reach new customers and get consumers to look at you as an active member of the community. Socially conscious consumers are always looking for brands that are a leader, so stepping up to help shows that you stand with your values - and in addition, is the right thing to do. Using social media to showcase other organizations, or show how your business has helped an organization with your services, can be a very effective tool in social media and advertising. Microsoft recently had an excellent campaign focusing on how their cloud technology helps non-profit Partners in Health save lives and save money. Socially conscious advertising and being a helpful member of your community is a fantastic way to increase your brand's appeal.

Tip #3: Video, Video, Video!

By now it is no secret: video is one of the most effective means in a marketer's arsenal for reaching customers. Especially if you're working with limited ad spend, video can be a great way to energize your base and maximize your viral marketing. Consumers respond to professional photographic and video content: with St. Stephen's, our average post reach was around 100 people per post. Our first video post organically reached over 2,500 people and received over 1,000 views - and all from a Facebook page with only 140 likes. By creating great and compelling video content, you can reach beyond your primary group of users and begin to expand your user-base, all without a dime of ad spend. If you want to read more on how video content can help your business, check out my articles on Five Reasons Your Local Business Needs Video Content and How Story Based Advertising Can Help Grow Your Business.

With these tips, you'll be on your way to increasing your social media presence and growing your business! Check back next time, where I'll be delving into the details of crafting video content for expanding brand identity.

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