6 things to consider when planning your social media strategy

We asked Peg Samuel, the founder of Social Diva Media to share her advice with the readers of Accent.

Anna Savina


David BelFord


Natasha Dzhola


Create video for Facebook and other platforms

Any sophisticated team should know this, but video is very important right now. When you’re doing video content for social media, it really comes down to what the viewer values. You should ask yourself: is the story compelling enough to take up 10 seconds, 30 seconds, or even a minute of my time? The main rule is that the video has to be valuable.

Now we are not just talking about videos in your newsfeed, but also about live broadcasting. Facebook Live and Instagram Live are more immersive than regular videos or photos . The video team can produce anything from a quick Q&A with the company’s CEO to Access Hollywood style polished interviews that look like a television show segment.

On another level, Facebook recently announced that they’re funding original video content similar to Netflix. I find it super exciting. Sometimes when people say that Facebook is losing popularity, I would ask: How many active users are there? If there’s billions of people, then your audience is there, right? It’s just a matter of making the most of this with your content. Facebook still brings the most traffic to digital publications.

Peg Samuel

With a background in media, fashion and wellbeing, Peg develops brands’ digital campaigns and social media marketing. She is also a professor at New York University and a top-selling author.

Experiment with Instagram

The issue with Instagram is that it has become more like publishing a magazine. People are producing shoots, editing the pictures and then having to schedule the posts. I think that Instagram ‘Stories’ are very similar to Facebook Live. It’s a different format, but it’s still raw and engaging. If you have a verified account, you can use stories to share links, which is great from a marketing standpoint as it’s hard to get people to click away from Instagram.

I think that their ‘stories’ are very similar to Facebook Live. It’s a different format, but it’s also raw and engaging

Speaking of Instagram ads, I think they’re still testing it out. That said, it takes a significant budget to test things out and assess the results. I like to go by research to help my clients, but for Instagram ads, I still don’t have much. However, I think producing commercials is 100% necessary. If you’ve got great content to share, then making ads is part of the mix.

Use Twitter wisely

Twitter is very polarized right now. In my opinion, there is not a lot of brand conversation. Twitter’s for people, not brands. But if you are using Twitter for a brand, it has to be well thought out. For me, customer service comes to mind. Often someone is complaining about an airline for example, so airlines have to be there to resolve issues before they become a mess. Depending on the company, there should be some customer service element set up. However, Twitter may not be important. It's a matter of knowing which platforms perform best for your type of company.

Twitter is also a great way to stay connected. I use it for breaking news as it still breaks there first.

Twitter is also a great way to stay connected. I use it for breaking news as it still breaks there first. I am often contacted through Twitter and this July, four different major outlets requested my advice on social media via Twitter. You have to be on it if you want to respond to people immediately. On a social level, I like how Twitter can engage with fans as a ‘second screen’. You could be at home watching something alone, but you don’t feel it because you are joined by other fans on the internet.

Work with social media influencers

I think when influencers are concerned, it goes back to what your audience values and which influencers you are picking. Working with thought leaders definitely works best in a couple of specific fields. For example, in the beauty industry, influencers give tips and review beauty products to a loyal audience that loves them for their great personality. For some brands this is a perfect match.

Bloggers can create engaging content by using the company’s products, without saying how great they are. You can work with huge YouTube stars or with ‘micro-influencers,’ and sometimes the micro-influencers can be more compelling for your clients.

In any case, there are agencies that’ll go between the company and the content creator. Or you can hire a specialist editorial team or content marketers, who will set up guidelines for bloggers. Once the guidelines are set and the product is handed over, the influencer will make their own content. You can’t hand over your own ad because it will just look like an ad.

Find some tools to create well-designed posts

Good design is as essential as creating and scheduling your content. I like to use Facebook Canvas because I’m not a Photoshop girl. It is so much easier to create announcements for events on Facebook Live, for example.  If you have all the branding prepared for an upcoming talk, these tools are great for getting the sizes and formats for the promotional images right. You have to keep thinking about your audience. Your content is probably interesting, but how can you make it more engaging to the person viewing it? How can you ensure that they read everything?

Analyze the results

There are hundreds of tools out there to help with analysis, including ones provided by the social media platforms themselves. It’s great to have a data person on the team because this role requires a different skill set to a creative director. If you don’t have a data person, you should pay attention to the amount of time readers are spending on your content as engagement is very important. For example, if a video is viewed 10,000 times but only for 8 seconds, has it really been viewed 10,000 times? The response is also very important — you should consider what people are saying and how they are engaging. When content is shared, even without a written response, it is still positive.