For some, posting on social media is a no-brainer. You see something you like, you snap a picture of it, then you post it for the whole world to see. Well, in the marketing world, this should not be the case. You may be surprised to find that behind every company’s social media post is a great deal of intention and thought.
In fact, many companies have a very detailed social media strategy that covers everything from a detailed calendar of when and where to post to the types of posts and where they should be posted. In this article, we’re going to be taking a look at how to create an effective and foolproof social media strategy in just 9 easy steps.
Importance of Social Media
Before we jump into the steps, you may be wondering why you even need a social media strategy in the first place? Well…
For businesses, social media is quickly one of the most effective tools to reaching and connecting with your target audience. In our article on the eye-popping internet marketing stats, there are over 2.6 billion active monthly users on social media. And, there aren’t any signs of this figure slowing down.
Because of the sheer volume of people using the likes of Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tik-Tok, and more, it is more important than ever to utilize these platforms in a way that will give your company the edge on its competition.
1. Determine Your Goals
Before you even begin venturing into the world of social media, take a minute to think about your company and the reason why you want to engage with your customers and potential customers through social media. Ask yourself, What do I want to achieve out of this?
Do you want to create an online community of customers? Do you want a platform to share updates about upcoming products and events? Do you want to appeal to a fresh demographic?
Take the time to really think about and even jot down some goals of what you want to achieve by creating a social media strategy and boosting your social media presence.
2. Select your KPI’s
KPI’s, or key performance indicators, are essentially ways that you can measure how your social media presence is performing. There are a variety of KPI’s to choose from, but what is most important is that you choose one that directly correlates with your goal for utilizing social media.
Some key performance indicators include:
- Website Clicks
- Video Views
- Active Followers
- Engagement Rate
- People Reached
- Number of Followers
- And so much more…
As previously stated, the KPI that you select should directly correlate with the goal you created. For example, if your goal with using social media is to increase the traffic to your website, then the KPI you would select to measure your success would be website clicks from social media.
It’s as simple as that. Make a goal, and then determine how you will measure whether that goal is achieved or not.
3. Research Target Audience
This may be a little more difficult than you may think, but it is an incredibly important step in creating your social media strategy. There are many things to consider when learning about your target audience including:
- What type of social media platforms they use
- Who they are following and engaging with on the platforms
- When they are getting online and most active
Once you do these things and get a better understanding of your target audience, you can begin thinking about what type of content will appeal to them as well as when the best time to post will be.
4. Research Competitors
Take time to learn about your competitors. Take note of what social media forms they are utilizing, their level of activity, and community engagement.
You may even go as far as conducting a social media competitive analysis where you determine areas of growth or improvement on their part. To learn more about a social media competitive analysis, click here.
5. Select Forms of Social Media
Once you have researched your target audience and learned where they spend the majority of their time, it is time for you to decide what platforms you will utilize. Obviously, you will want to go where the target audience is, but if there is substantial engagement on a long list of different platforms, beware of spreading yourself too thin...
Like we said in our article on beginning your social media outreach, “It is better to master a few platforms and manage them properly than to leave your online presence spread out but unattended.” Similarly, one of our 9 best practices for building an effective online presence is to avoid ghosting your social media channels. Meaning, don’t sign up and create profiles and then completely ignore them. It does a lot more harm than good.
There are so many different forms of social media out there but here is a quick list of some of the top ones:
So, when it comes to selecting your forms of social media, quality always trumps quantity. By using your research on competitors and your target audience, try and pinpoint which forms of social media that they are using most frequently, and focus all of your attention there.
6. Make Content Guidelines
Coming back to your original goal, now you will need to think about the type of content that you intend to put out into the world that will help you meet that goal by creating specific guidelines.
Some questions to consider when making your guidelines include:
- Do I want to entertain or inform my audience?
- Do I want to emphasize visual or written content?
- If I want to focus on visual content, do I want it to be mostly videos or images?
- How will I engage with my audience?
- What will I do with negativity in the comments or on my page?
If you write out your ideal guidelines for social media, it will be a lot easier to outsource this task once you build a team. Everyone will be on the same understanding once the guidelines are in place and communicated.
7. Choose Your Software(s)
Some may deem this step unnecessary, but thanks to continual advancements in technology, there are many different softwares and programs that can help with your social media presence.
Whether it’s a calendar software that helps you keep track of when you should post on your different social media pages or an analytical software that helps you to better understand your pages, its engagements, and areas of strengths and weakness, it is definitely worth your time to investigate these types of investments.
8. Select a Team
As mentioned above, once you have an established social media strategy and set of guidelines, it may be time that you think about outsourcing some of the tasks by creating a social media team.
Making sure that posts are regularly scheduled and your social media presence is consistent, there will come a time when you need a team to keep track of things and create quality content. It can be quite time consuming doing it on your own, to say the least.
If you’re a smaller business, you may even consider hiring freelancers virtually through the many freelancing websites. This could be a cost-effective solution to try.
When creating a team, consider the following: content creator, writer, design, trend analysts, planners and organizers.
9. Monitor Growth and Performance
Whether you invest in an analytics software or not, it is absolutely crucial that you continuously monitor your growth, strengths, and weaknesses when it comes to social media. In all honesty, it would be a complete waste of time, effort, and resources to create a social media strategy, but to never evaluate how the strategy is going.
You may even realize through monitoring your growth and performance that you need to revisit and adjust some of the steps listed above. For example, if you are noticing that you want to increase traffic to your website, but your posts neglect to offer links or reference the website very often, you’ll either need to adjust your main goal or alter your content. Either way, it’s important to reflect back on the strategizing process from time to time to see if it is aligning with your actual posts and social media presence.
As your social media presence grows, you and your team should continually assess what content is getting the best reactions, where you are reaching the biggest audience, and how you can continue to grow and expand in the virtual world. This last step is so crucial in any person’s social media strategy to continued prosperity.
As you can see, these are 9 very easy steps to creating a social media strategy. Whether you are starting your own business or venturing into the world of influencers, it’s always important to create a strategy to give you focus for where you are headed and where you eventually want to be.
Social media will continue to change and evolve as technology continues to improve, and it simply isn’t going anywhere in terms of its importance in the marketing and business world. If anything, its importance will continue to grow.