You’ve probably used the Five W’s before: Who, What, When, Where and Why. These are basic questions that should always be asked when gathering information. They are typically used in research, whether it is for journalism, police investigations, or that research paper you had to write sophomore year of college. They may be simple questions, but they constitute a formula for getting the complete story on a subject.
So how does this apply to social media? Simple: nowadays, social media is a necessary part of building a brand and an online audience. To create a successful and cohesive social media presence, you should ask the Five W’s.
WHO are you trying to reach?
Who is the audience for this page? Will it be geared specifically towards people who already use or are interested in your product/services? Is it for anyone in or interested in your industry? Once you know what the target audience will be, you can cater your posts to better engage and reach that audience.
WHAT is the purpose of this page?
This seems like an obvious question, but it’s an important one. What purpose does your page serve? Are you using it as a way to keep in touch with existing customers and build a community? Are you using social media as a way to increase your sales? Is it a resource for sharing industry knowledge? Make sure you know what the purpose of your page is, allowing you to maintain a consistent message.
WHEN will you be posting?
“When we remember to” is not a good answer. We recommended that companies maintain a consistent posting schedule. By setting a content schedule, you can ensure that social media is included in your daily routine.
WHERE is your content coming from?
There are many ways to post content on social media; text, photos, videos, articles, links, surveys; the list goes on and on. The list expands when you include the ability to share content generated by someone else. Determine if you want to share content only from or directly about your brand, or if you want to include relevant industry content. If you want to post outside content, figure out what ratio to maintain of content created in house and externally created content.
WHY should someone follow you?
This might be the most important question, and the most often overlooked. What is the main reason someone should follow you – what are they going to get out of it? On the inside looking out, you may think that everyone should follow your page! Every post should be getting thousands of interactions! Our product and services are amazing! And it’s not to say that they aren’t, but when building your social media presence and generating content for it, be sure to constantly ask yourself this: If you weren’t associated with the company, would you follow the page? Would you like or favorite that post? Would you recommend this page to friends and colleagues? If the answer is no, you might need to reevaluate.
Social media has developed into a major part of business strategy. The feeling of “it’s only Facebook” may still linger in the minds of some, but that attitude can mean leaving big opportunities on the table. Make sure you keep the Five W’s in mind when building your online presence to help make it the best it can be.