By Bob Hutchins
It’s not Facebook.
It’s not an expensive consultant.
It’s actually nothing to do at all with “social media,” as you probably think of it. Your predicament of choosing between the “Sierra” and “Valencia” filters on Instagram doesn’t come close to the bedrock where this issue rests.
No, the biggest thing your social media strategy needs in order to be effective has its origins way up the workflow and well before you settle down to Hootsuite – or whatever your publishing/management tool of choice is.
The #1 Ingredient of Your Social Media Strategy
Are you ready?
A compelling message.
There isn’t a budget big enough or a “guru” savvy enough to propel your social media strategy if you don’t have a compelling message. A little backstory: we’ve reached what some experts have termed the Content Saturation Index in many markets. CSI occurs when so much content has been created by businesses in a certain niche industry that becoming a valued creator – a creator whose content is actually consumed – is almost impossible.
Marcus Sheridan (see above for link) first wrote about CSI over two years ago. Now, midway through 2014, the saturation issue has gained a hold on even more industries. This doesn’t mean content marketing is dead or that you should simply give up if you can’t be the dominant voice. Rather, you have to work that much harder on creating your message.
How to Craft a Compelling Message
What follows are a few of my favorite tips on how to craft a compelling message. Before you sink another dollar or hour into your social media strategy, do yourself a favor, take a step back, and honestly evaluate your company’s message. This is deeper than a “CTA.” This is the core of who you are, what you do, and what you want for your customers/audience.
- Don’t feel limited to a single message for all occasions. It’s perfectly acceptable to have multiple messages, since you likely have multiple audiences, goals, products, etc. However, all of your messages should all be able to ring true simultaneously.
- Create a voice document for your brand. This is an absolutely necessary step, whether you’re working alone or with a diverse internal team.
- As George Bradt advises, “Depict the platform for change (why). Create a vision of a brighter future for your audience (what). Lay out a call to action (how).”
What do you think is the single most key, fundamental aspect to have in your social media strategy? Share your #1 in the comments below.