How To Create A Social Media Strategy
A social media strategy is a plan for everything you will do and achieve on social media. The strategy will guide what you do and will show you if you are succeeding or failing. The more specific a plan you create, the more effective it will be at helping you to run things smoothly. Keep your strategy concise. It shouldn’t be so broad or hard to achieve that it is impossible to measure or is unattainable.
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Set SMART Goals
The first stage of creating a great strategy is to set your objectives and goals. Without any goals, you can’t measure whether you’ve been successful, and can’t measure return on investment (ROI).
Each goal you set needs to be:
In short, they need to be SMART. A SMART goal will guide your actions and lead to real, measurable results.
Track Meaningful Metrics
There’s a lot of data to be tracked with social media, but it’s easy to get bogged down in vanity metrics like the number of followers and likes. These are easy to track but don’t prove much value on their own. Instead, it is more helpful to focus on metrics like engagement, click-through, and conversion rates.
You might want to track different goals for different networks. For example, if you use LinkedIn to drive website traffic, then you should measure click-throughs. If you use Instagram for brand awareness, track story views. If you run Facebook adverts, track cost-per-click. Measure for what you want to achieve.
Your social media goals should line up with your overall marketing aims. This makes it easier to show what the value of the work is, and convince stakeholders why social media is worthwhile.
Create Audience Personas
The key to good social media is knowing exactly who your audience is and what they want to see. Knowing this means you can create content that your audience will like, engage with, and share. This is also important if you want to turn followers into customers of your business.
Who is your target customer? You should know their:
- Average income
- Typical job title or industry
If you get to know this sort of information about your followers and customers, you will be better able to interact with them as real people with real wants and needs. You’ll know how best to reach them and engage with them on social media.
Never make assumptions. For example, you might think that only older people use Facebook now, whereas, the reality is there are still a lot of Millennials on the platform.
Social media analytics can give you a lot of useful information about who your followers are, as well as information about where they live and how they interact with your social media accounts. By gathering data, you can refine your strategy to better reach your target audience. All Twitter marketing tips rely on you having a good idea of who your audience is.
Conduct A Competitive Analysis
Competitive analysis means you can understand who your competitors are and what they’re doing well and aren’t doing well. You can get a good idea of what is expected in your industry, and set better targets for your own social channels. It can also help you to spot opportunities for your business.
Perhaps one of your competitors is nailing things on Twitter but hasn’t invested any time in their Instagram or LinkedIn. You can focus on the networks where your industry’s audience is underserved, rather than trying to compete with someone already dominating the network.
Use Social Media Listening
Social listening can also be used to watch what your competitors are doing. Search your competitor’s name, account handles, and relevant keywords on social media. Use this and you can see what they’re sharing and find out what others are saying about them.
As you do this, you might spot shifts in the way that channels are being used. You might notice a post or campaign that performs really well or performs really badly. Use this information to feedback into your own social media strategy.
Do A Social Media Audit
If you already have your social media channels set up, take a look at what you’ve done so far. Honestly answer these questions:
- What’s working and what isn’t?
- Who is engaging with you?
- Which networks are your target audience using?
- How does your presence on social media measure up to the competition?
You can use the answers to these questions, then you can start planning ways to improve.
Your audit will give you a clearer picture of the purpose that your different accounts serve. If you can’t work out what the purpose of a social account is, you might need to keep it. If you aren’t sure if you should keep an account, ask yourself:
- Is my audience on this platform?
- If they are, how are they using it?
- Can I use this account to help me reach my goals?
Look For Imposter Accounts
If you complete a social media audit, you may find fake accounts for your business or using the names of your products.
Imposter accounts can be harmful to your brand, and can also capture followers that ought to be yours. If you find imposter accounts, report them.
To help, you can try to get your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts verified so you can ensure that your fans know that your accounts are really you.
Decide Which Networks To Use
As you decide which networks you need to focus on, you should define a strategy for each one.
For example, short video content, like tutorials, works better on Snapchat and Instagram Stories, whereas Twitter works well for answering customer service queries, such as delivery issues.
Write out a mission statement for each network that you decide to use. One sentence is enough to keep you focused on the right goal. For example, your statement could be ‘We will use Twitter for customer support, in order to keep call volumes down’, or ‘We will use LinkedIn for promoting our company culture to help recruitment’.
If you can’t manage to create one simple mission statement for a channel, you probably don’t need it.
Set Up Your Profiles
When you know which social media networks will aid your goals and which ones you want to concentrate on, it’s time to create your profiles if you haven’t done so already. If you already have accounts, you can improve them to align with your new strategy.
To get started:
- Make sure you fill out all the profile fields
- Include keywords in your profile that people would use when searching for your business
- Use consistent branding, such as logos and images, across all your networks so it is easy for your different profiles to be recognized.
Always use high-quality images for your profile, and make sure that those images followed the recommended dimensions for each network.
With a proper social media strategy, you can get your networks right, plan content that will engage with and attract the right audience, and mean you’re never stuck for something to post. Strategy can boost engagement, convert followers into customers, and make sure that you’re targeting the right people. Stop wasting your time tweeting to nobody, or attracting the wrong audience on Facebook, and instead make your social media line up with your brand, company goals, and improve brand awareness and brand loyalty. When social media is done well, it can support most parts of the business, from marketing to recruitment.