Many social media managers will be looking to improve and update their procedures at the start of the new year to make the most of their online marketing efforts and take advantage of the most recent trends and tools.

Over the next few weeks, we will be releasing several up-to-date guides to assist you in breaking down your strategy and re-aligning it with the most recent tools, suggestions, and systematic advancements.

Yes, that encompasses AI tools like ChatGPT and their potential integration into your workflow.

But before we get into that, let’s start at the beginning: what do you want to convey through the social media presence of your brand, and how are you working toward this goal with each post and update?

This first post in our “Planning for 2023” series discusses the importance of clearly defining a goal for a strategy. This is one way to break down your products and services into a more clearly defined brand purpose, which can then serve as a guide for your subsequent strategic approach.

Defining Your Brand’s: “Why” Now might come across as somewhat academic or even cliched. But it matters to know why your brand exists, what it aims to accomplish, and how it improves the lives of your customers.

Once you are aware of this, you will be able to build your content strategy around that fundamental objective. This will ensure that everything you post serves a purpose and that you will not just post the most recent memes or quotes at random in the hope of luring a few random customers into the crowd.

That can work in some situations, but if you build a deliberate, focused strategy, each update becomes another brick in your brand’s foundation, allowing you to constantly connect with people who share your mission. Additionally, those individuals are your target customers—those who will consistently return to your business.

if you can do it correctly.

One way to break down your brand’s purpose and create a strategy around a focused goal is with this method.

James Collins and Jeremy Porras, researchers at Harvard University, wrote a series of papers in 1996 about building your company’s vision. These papers were based on interviews with marketing leaders and their own experiences working with major brands like Nike and Disney. Their goal was to develop a fundamental framework for branding that would go beyond the simplest pitch to the market and delve deeper into a company’s purpose and the role it plays in the lives of its customers.

Collins and Porras state: “Core values and a core purpose that remain constant while their business strategies and practices endlessly adapt to a changing world are the hallmarks of companies that enjoy enduring success”.

To put it another way, the brands that have endured the most and built stronger connections with their customers have a clearly defined focus, even though trends and media may shift.

The following, taken from the report “Building Your Company’s Vision” by Collins and Porras, are, for instance, the core purpose statements of some of the most well-known brands worldwide:

You won’t necessarily find these in their marketing materials-
1. Nike- Of course, has its catchphrase, which is what most people would likely assume is their core statement.
2. 3M – To solve unsolved problems in an innovative way
3. Wal-Mart – To give ordinary people the chance to buy the same things as rich people
4. Walt Disney – To make people happy However, focusing on the reasons behind each company’s existence rather than its products or services produced these purpose points, also known as “north star” statements.

Additionally, once you are aware of each of their primary objectives, you will be able to identify them in all of their marketing and outreach whenever you come across them. So, how can you create a brand with the same kind of singular purpose statement?

“The Five Whys,” as Collins and Porras call it, is one approach.

You begin by making a statement such as “We provide X services” or “We make X products,” and then you ask, “Why is that important?” likewise, you respond to this inquiry. Then, in response to that response, you dig a little bit further by asking, “Why is that Important?” once more.

A sporting goods store, for instance, might operate in the following order-

“Why is that important?” we ask when we sell sporting goods:
1. “Why is that important?” because we allow people to participate in sports
2. Because sports are good for your health and improve your quality of life in several ways, “Why is that important?”
3. Because quality of life is everything, it allows us to live longer, be healthy, and be happy. “Why is that important?”
4. As a result of the common desire for healthy, long lives.

The idea is that after about five “whys,” you’ll be much closer to defining your brand’s true purpose, which could be something like this: This becomes the guiding principle for everything you share and communicate, aligning all of your outreach with this focus. “To facilitate happier, healthier lives in all that we do”.

According to Collins and Porras: ” Any business can use the five whys to frame their work in a more meaningful way. The opening statement of an asphalt and gravel business might be, ‘We make gravel and asphalt products’. After looking at a few of the reasons, one might conclude that making asphalt and gravel is important because the quality of the infrastructure affects people’s safety and experience in a big way; because it’s annoying and dangerous to drive on a rutted road; because 747s cannot land safely on runways constructed with substandard concrete or poor workmanship; because substandard buildings deteriorate over time and collapse during earthquakes. This purpose may emerge from such reflection: to make people’s lives better by making buildings made by humans better”.

It’s not about the products you sell; rather, it’s about why your company even exists. This can help you define your strategy and make sure that everyone in your team is on the same page. This is another important thing to think about because this not only helps build your brand externally but also internally.

As John Hall, Co CEO and Influence explains: “People are more likely to take emotional ownership of the work when they have a clear understanding of what they’re doing and why they’re doing it” according to the article.

This understanding is provided by your mission statement, and considering that several studies indicate that Gen Z employees in particular are seeking greater purpose in their careers and alignment with their own goals and passions, this one exercise may play a significant role in establishing your brand’s overall vision in all that you do.

The true purpose and mission statement of your brand may require some discussion and debate. However, it would be ideal if, through procedures like these, you could get closer to establishing a distinct objective you are aiming for. This objective would serve as a guide for your social media marketing process at each stage. It will eventually mean that every social update—every post, update, reel, TikTok, and tweet—will be guided by this one goal.

Don’t include anything if it doesn’t fit your brand’s mission. This is how you create your online brand identity!

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