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How to Create a Social Media Strategy in 8 Steps

Developing a social media marketing strategy doesn’t have to be complicated. Below are eight steps to help you create an effective plan for your business.

social media strategy is a summary of whatever you want to do and achieve on social media. It will guide your actions and show whether you will succeed or fail.

Be concise and to the point. Don’t set unattainable, broad, or unmeasurable goals. The more particular your strategy is, the more effective it will be.

In this blog, you will find the eight steps to follow to ensure the success of your social media marketing strategy.

What Is Social Media Marketing (SMM)?

SMM uses social media networks to sell or promote a brand, product, or service. 

Social media marketing (SMM) helps companies:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Build engaged communities to sell their products and services
  • Promote their products and services to target audiences

What Is A Social Media Strategy?

social media strategy is a document/record that outlines your social media goals, the tactics you will utilize to achieve them, and the metrics to measure your progress.

Your social media marketing (SMM) strategy should also include a list of your existing and planned social media accounts and specific goals for each platform you operate on.

Finally, an excellent social media strategy should define the roles and responsibilities of your team and outline your reporting process.

How To Create A Social Media Marketing Strategy

Step 1. Choose Social Media Marketing Goals That Align With Business Objectives

Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals

The first step in creating a winning plan is to define your goals and objectives. Without objectives, you have no way of measuring success and return on investment (ROI). Each of your objectives must be :

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Related
  • Timeline

This is the structure of S.M.A.R.T. objectives. It will guide your actions and ensure that they lead to actual business results.

Below is an example of a S.M.A.R.T. goal:

“We will use Twitter for customer support and reduce the average response rate to under two hours by the end of the quarter.”

Track Meaningful Metrics

It’s easy to track meaningless metrics like followers and likes, but it’s hard to prove their value. Instead, focus on things like interaction, clicks, and conversion rates.

You may want to track different targets on different networks or the uses of each network.

For example, if you utilize LinkedIn to drive web traffic to your website, you will measure the number of clicks. If Instagram is about brand awareness, you might want to track the number of views of your Instagram stories. If you advertise on FacebookCPC (Cost per Click) is a standard measure of success.

Social media goals should be straightened with your overall marketing goals, making it easier to show the value of your work and gain your boss’s approval.

Step 2. Learn Everything You Can About Your Audience

Create Audience Personas

Recognizing your target market and what they want to see on social media is critical. This way, you can produce content that will be liked, commented on, and shared. This is also crucial if you want to turn your social media followers into customers for your business.

When it pertains to your target customer, you need to know things like:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Average income
  • Typical job or sector
  • Interests
  • etc.

Please get to know your fans, followers, and customers as real people with real needs, desires, and know-how to target and engage them on social media.

Gather Data

Do you think Facebook is a much better network to get to baby boomers than millennials? Don’t make assumptions. The numbers show that millennials still outnumber boomers on this platform.

Social media analytics can also provide helpful information about who your followers are, where they live and how they get in touch with your brand on social media. This insight allows you to refine your strategy and better target your audience.

Step 3. Know Your Competition

Likely, your competitors are already utilizing social media, which means you can learn from their behavior.

Conduct A Competitive Analysis

A competitor analysis will assist you in understanding who your competitors are and what they are doing well (or not so well). You’ll know what to expect in your industry, which will help you define your social media market.

It will also help you to take advantage of opportunities.

For example, you may find that your competitors are dominant on Facebook but have little focus on Twitter or Instagram. Instead of gaining fans from the dominant players, you may want to focus on networks that do not serve your audience well.

Use Social Media Listening

Another method to keep an eye on the competition is to listen to social media.

Look for your competitors’ company names, accounts, and other relevant keywords on social media. Find out what they are sharing and what others are saying about them.

As you monitor them, you may notice a change in how they use the channel. You may also find that a particular post or campaign has been a big success or failure.

Use this kind of information for your social media marketing strategy.

Step 4. Do A Social Media Audit

If you are already using social media, evaluate your past activities. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What works and what doesn’t?
  • What works and what doesn’t?
  • What networks does your target audience use?
  • How does your social media visibility compare to your competitors?

Once you have gathered this information, you can start thinking about how you can improve.

An audit needs to give you a clear picture of the purpose of each social media account. If the purpose of the account is unclear, consider whether it’s worth keeping it.

Ask yourself the following inquiries when making your decision:

  1. Is my audience here?
  2. If so, how are they utilizing this platform?
  3. Can I utilize this account to achieve my goals?

By asking yourself these tough inquiries, you can keep your strategy focused.

Look For Impostor Accounts

During the verification process, you can detect fake accounts that use your company name or the names of your products.

These scammers can damage your brand, and it doesn’t matter if they gain followers; that should be yours.

Report them.

It’s worth checking your FacebookTwitterand Instagram accounts so your fans can be sure they’re dealing with the real you.

Step 5. Set Up Accounts And Improve Profiles

Decide Which Networks To Use

In addition to deciding which social networks to utilize, you must define your strategy for each network.

Examples: “We will use Twitter for customer service to keep the volume of emails and calls down.”

Another example is: “We’ll use LinkedIn to promote and share our company culture to help with recruitment and advocacy among employees.”

If you don’t have a particular mission statement for a particular social media channel, it’s worth asking yourself if it’s worth it.

Set Up Your Profiles

Once you have picked the network you want to focus on, it is time to set up your profile. You can also improve your existing profile to suit your strategy.

  • Fill in all the profile fields.
  • Include the keywords that people would utilize to search for your business
  • Make sure you have consistent branding on your network (logo, images, etc.) to make your profile easily recognizable.

Step 6. Find Inspiration

While your brand needs to be unique, you can still draw inspiration from other companies excelling on social media.

Social Media Success Stories

These can usually be found in the business section of social networking sites.

Case studies can provide valuable insights you can apply to your social media plans.

Award-Winning Accounts And Campaigns

You can also look at the Facebook and Shorty Awards winners to see examples of brands at the top of social media.

Your Favorite Brands On Social Media

Who do you want to follow on social media? What do they do that gets people to engage and share their content?

National Geographic, for example, is one of the best on Instagram, combining stunning images with compelling captions.

Then there’s Shopify. The e-commerce brand uses Facebook to sell itself, showcasing customer stories and case studies.

And Glossier is an excellent example of superior customer service on Twitter. They use their 280 characters to answer questions and solve problems quickly.

Ask Your Followers

Consumers can also find inspiration in social media.

What are your target customers talking about online? How can you get to know their wants and needs?

If you have existing social channels, you can also ask your followers what they want from you. Just make sure you do what they ask and provide it.

Step 7. Create A Social Media Content Calendar

Of course, sharing quality content is essential, but it’s equally important to plan when to share it for maximum impact.

Your social media content calendar should also consider your time interacting with your audience. (but should also take into account spontaneous interactions).

Set Your Posting Schedule

Your social media content calendar must include the dates and times you post content to each channel. This calendar includes both daily posts and content for your social media campaigns. It’s the best place to plan all your social media activities, from sharing images and links to blog posts and videos.

Determine The Right Content Mix

Make sure your content calendar and strategy reflect your mission to each social media profile so that everything you post helps support your business goals.

You may choose to:

  • 50% of your content will drive traffic to your website.
  • 25% of your content will come from other sources.
  • 20% of your content will support your lead generation goals (newsletter signups, ebook downloads, etc.).
  • 5% of the content will relate to your company culture.

Including these different post types in your content calendar ensures that you maintain the right mix.

If you are beginning from scratch and are not sure what types of content to publish, try the 80-20 rule:

  • 80% of your posts should inform, educate or entertain your audience.
  • 20 % can directly promote your brand.

You can also use the one-third rule for social media content marketing:

  • One-third of your content promotes your business, converts readers, and generates profits.
  • One-third of your content features ideas and stories from thought leaders in your industry or like-minded businesses.
  • One-third of your content is personal interactions with your audience.

Step 8. Evaluate And Adjust Your Strategy

Your social media strategy is a widely important document for your firm, and you can’t assume you’ll get it right the first time. As you begin to execute your plan and track your results, you may find that some strategies don’t work as well as you expected, while others work even better.

Look At Performance Metrics

In addition to the analytics for each social network (see Step 2), you can use UTM parameters to track social network visitors as they move through your site to see precisely which social articles are driving the most traffic.

Re-Evaluate, Test, And Do It All Again

As this information starts to come in, use it to reassess your strategy regularly. You can also use this data to test different messages, campaigns, and strategies against each other. Continuous testing will help you understand what works and what doesn’t so that you can refine your strategy in real time.

Surveys can also be the best way to determine how well your strategy works. Ask your followers, email list, and visitors to your website if you meet their needs and expectations and what they want to see more of. Then make sure you implement what they tell you.

Social media is moving fast. New networks are being created, and others are experiencing demographic changes.

Your business is also going through a period of change.

All this means that your social media marketing strategy should be a living document that you review and adapt when necessary. Look at it often to stay on top, but don’t be afraid to make changes better to reflect new goals, tools, or plans.

When updating your social media strategy, please share it with all team members. That way, everyone can work together to help your business get the most out of your accounts.

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