[Podcast] Part 1: 5 Steps to Revive Your Social Media Strategy

Social media has become an integral part of modern-day marketing, and having a well-defined strategy is crucial for success. An important part of that strategy is defining your brand’s goals and setting clear and specific objectives that align with them. Equally as important is identifying your target audience. Erica Dudash, former retail marketing executive for Purple Mattress and American Eagle, discusses what steps marketers need to take to revive their social media strategies in our podcast.

[Podcast] Part 1: 5 Steps to Revive Your Social Media Strategy


Speakers

erica dudash
Speaker
Erica Dudash
Former Retail Marketing Executive
Purple Mattress & American Eagle Outfitters
Host
Luci Rainey
Former Marketing Executive
Comcast & PODS

*The following transcription has been adapted from Five Steps to Revive Your Social Media Strategy.

LUCI

Social media is always the hot topic and it shows up in so many different areas. It even hits politics with President Biden and his views on TikTok safety as of late.

It involves Wall Street with concerns about revenue on Facebook or other social media platforms, and how privacies are affecting their bottom line.

It touches everyone, everywhere, and in so many ways.

It’s today’s media, sometimes it’s how we get our news.

It’s how we communicate with our friends, our family, and for some people, their fans, and it can dominate. Bad news, can go viral and go viral fast. A new product can become hot, hotter, and then die faster than you can say Instagram.

But how do businesses keep up? Publish the right content, choose the right channels, push the right messages, and, more importantly, avoid the wrong ones.

It all comes down to a purposeful social media strategy. 

Today, we have Erica Dudash, who has held a number of executive positions in marketing at well-known brands like Purple Mattress and American Eagle to name a few, and has created social media strategies to drive growth in these very prominent brands. In some cases, to really help them emerge as the brand they are. Welcome, Erica.

ERICA

Hi. Thank you. Thank you, Luci. 

LUCI

We’re so excited to have you today and tell us a little bit about yourself and your background in marketing.

ERICA 

Yeah, sure. So, as Luci mentioned, I’ve worked for some pretty awesome brands, most recently with Purple and previous to that, American Eagle Outfitters, as well as Anthropology and Dick’s Sporting Goods. So, I have been in retail for a really long time and have worked on various things from marketing execution, when I first started my career, the whole way up to overarching large-scale brand positioning and total marketing strategy. Social media plays a big part in that it’s really grown, evolved, and come alive as I’ve been evolving my career as well.

LUCI

Yeah, we’re so excited to have you, especially knowing what you achieve with a brand turnaround at Purple, for example, Erica. Well, today, we’re going to be talking with Erica about five steps to revive your social media strategy.

Where Do Social Media Strategies Go Wrong?

You know, Erica, since we are talking about reviving a strategy, where’s somewhere that you have seen social strategies go wrong for a business?

ERICA

Yeah. So, if there’s one thing that we have to talk about is that you know, I think we tell our kids this, and holds true for brands as well, that once you put something out there, it’s out there. So being thoughtful about what you’re communicating and what you’re putting out is so important. I’ve seen brands make pretty big mistakes and as soon as you know, that mistake is out there, people jump on it and it explodes. 

We’ve all seen those things happen, where, you know, unfortunate, poor timing or poor strategies are poor targets happen on your social media feed and you leave the customer kind of scratching their head wondering, like, what were those people thinking, what were they doing? And it’s really unfortunate when those types of things happen because a lot of times it’s well-intentioned but it just goes awry. So, that’s why it’s really important to set a strong strategy and really be firm in developing those steps and having a process that supports that so that you can make sure that you’re not just, you know, throwing ineffective or inefficient creative out there and hoping it lands well with your customers.

LUCI

Yeah, I get it. And we know it’s so important to have a good strategy. So often, people are just creating content and publishing it, and it doesn’t really sit behind that strategy. 

So, let’s talk about number one: Define your Brand Goal. What purpose does social play in a brand’s goals? Is this paid social, organic, or both?

Step 1. Define Brand Goals

ERICA

Yeah, so I think it’s critically important for you as, you know, whatever your role is within the company, to understand that social is a support system, and it is also the voice of your brand. So, when you’re thinking about how you want to represent your brand, you need to have a really clear identity developed and understand what your brand goals are. What you want to put out to that community, what you want to put out to the public.

So, starting off first by defining those brand goals of who the brand is, and then pushing that for brand awareness. So, you want to make sure that you’re looking at the brand holistically and that you have mapped out already, what the brand stands for. And work on developing that brand awareness, and deciding whether it is only an awareness play, or if you’re developing content that is going to be around educating customers, driving and increasing traffic to your website, and creating leads on the site.

So, define those brand goals and make sure that you are following the right steps to push each of those tenants kind of forward.

LUCI

Yeah, that’s great.

I’ve seen things, too, where brands leverage employee engagement, for example, in social and to really promote their own brand and culture.

Is this typically part of your brand goal? Or do you see that as a separate part, or a different kind of social, say, that maybe HR would own, or another area of the company?

ERICA

Well, I’m a pretty strong believer that everything should filter through your marketing and your social team. I think that you want to collaborate with your HR team, or you want to collaborate with the different areas of focus. So maybe you’re doing a product story, you want to collaborate with your merchants. But I do think it should be kind of a hub and spoke kind of approach where the social team and the marketing team is that hub, and then they’re reaching out to the other components of the company, whether it be human resources or product, to get those pieces of information. 

But, you want everything to filter through a central hub so that you’re making sure that the brand is ticked and tied, and everything is tied together and coming together nicely, and going through that presentation of the brand filter. Is this on brand? Does this make sense for our brand? Are we presenting ourselves how we truly are, and how we want to be seen in the public? So, typically, I would recommend that it go through the marketing and social team.

LUCI

That’s great.

Would you say that, you know, each type of social has its purpose, or does it blend? So is organic say more for educating customers? And paid is more for leads and traffic? Or do you think, you know, they really support one another and intermingle?

ERICA

They support one another. But I think that’s also where it’s critically important to think about your content and how you’re putting it out there. So, you may be doing more brand awareness and educating in your organic social, maybe on Facebook, or Instagram, and then lean more heavily into paid for traffic and leads. But, that consistent story and that brand goal, they may have slightly different approaches, but they should all still be the same.

So, they are slightly separate, but they all tie in together, and they collaborate and work together and communicate together.

Step 2. Identify Your Target Audience

LUCI

Great, so let’s go to number two: Identify Your Target Audience.

You know, Erica, I mean why is this important? Where do you start? I mean, isn’t social meant to be for anyone and everyone? Is it, you know having a target sounds more like direct marketing.

So I thought social is really kind of more for everyone, and you let it grow on its own and, you know, kind of take its own path in life, for example.

If you’re thinking more about organic, for example, I mean, how do you identify your target audience? You know, where do you get started? Why is this important?

ERICA

Yeah, so understanding your target audience and identifying it is critical to your social strategy. It’s so important.  There are a lot of misconceptions out there, that social is, like, you know, me, just sitting on my phone, willy nilly, being excited about what I’m going to post, and taking a cool picture. But, if you really want your social to be effective, you need to hone in and focus on the data. The data is such a critical component. And so, when I say data ad, that’s your audience targeting.

And, there’s so much information that brands can learn from the audiences that they’re currently talking to, who they’re going after, who they want to engage with, and the things that motivate their customers currently.

So, developing strategies around that target audience is going to be really important. So, if you start to think about someone, you know, think back to old school marketing, like customer journey mapping, and thinking about a customer that’s just learning about your brand, and starting to become aware that the brand even exists.

You want to talk to that customer in a different way. You’re introducing your brand. You’re dating, you’re not getting married, you’re not living in. You’re dating that customer at this point in time. So, when you start to think about the content that you’re showing them, that is targeted content that is varied by their stage in their journey, where they are, and how they’re evolving.

Once they start to be more interested in the brand, maybe you start to move on to move away from that kind of awareness type of creative and content and move into considerations. So they’re starting to consider the brand where they’re starting to consider more, or making a purchase or learning about the brand and getting educated on what’s important about the brand.

So, that’s a different audience. So you want to be targeted in the content that you’re sharing with them. Your frequency may change at that point in time because you know that they’re more interested in the brand, and then the next stage would be moving into something that is conversion. And that’s a completely different audience, a completely different mindset from a completely different subset.

So, you are going to have some strategies that are broader, and that are more awareness, then maybe that some of the general posting that you’re doing on your Facebook feed or your Instagram feed. But then as you get more sophisticated and start to learn about the people engaging with you, you want to be much more targeted. So, it’s very important for brands to understand those data elements of the audiences that are out there, and how to actively seek different audiences.

LUCI

That’s great. Yeah, our sponsor here of Movers & Shakers is Porch Group Media, and actually, they specialize in curating special audiences tied to movers to homeowners, and everything in between. And social is actually, I think, one of their places where they can really lean in to help you create and curate that audience. So, we agree here. That audience piece, you know, is so important overall. And investing in it, like you mentioned, you know, having the right data structures, and models, and whatnot, or the right, in this case, like, with Porch Group Media, the right type of agency, to really support that audience creation.


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