You're here. And you're ready to get your business off the ground on social media.
But where do you start?
A social media marketing strategy is a plan for what you want to do and where you plan to go in the social media sphere. Are there certain goals you want to meet before the end of the year? What about the quarter? Are you trying to pinpoint the areas that you need to improve when it comes to your content schedule? A social media strategy is just what you need!
Every action and reaction that you outline in your social media marketing strategy should be carefully planned and serve a purpose in the grand scheme of things.
Remember that your strategy needs to be more specific than you think. Why? Because the more you specify exactly what steps you need to take in order to be successful, the more you'll be aware of what parts of your strategy are actually working and thus you'll know what needs to be improved upon. (And what needs to be cut out completely).
So if you want your strategy to be effective, you must be specific first and foremost.
Step One: Study Your Audience
This means finding out everything you can about your audience when it comes to the ways that you can benefit and market to them.
But maybe you're not sure who your audience is yet, and that's okay. In this case, your first step becomes narrowing down on who exactly wants, needs and uses your products.
Create customer personas that are what you imagine your ideal customers to be. Don't worry, you can update these over time as you find things out that may not align with your ideal customer.
Remember that your audience will be real people with real lives and real needs. This is important to keep in mind as you lay out your strategy in a way that best resonates with them.
Don’t make blanket assumptions or do guess work when it comes to your target audience. Step out of your comfort zone and do the dirty work. Sometimes this means taking the time to gather some real world data and other times this looks like analyzing your meaningful metrics like page views and demographics.
Some other important metrics to keep in mind: what languages does your target audience speak? How do they interact with brands similar to yours? Capitalizing on the knowledge these questions and there answers can provide you is crucial to a winning strategy.
Step Two: Take the Time to Research Your Competitors
Most businesses are already taking advantage of the power social media marketing can afford. And because of this, you’ll most likely have no issues finding your competitors on social media.
(Pssstt! You can check out THIS ARTICLE about spying on your competitors Facebook Ads.)
You can conduct a competitive analysis to help you determine who the competition is as well as what they're doing and how they're doing it. In addition, this is a great way to find out what your audience may be expecting as far as what might be acceptable and necessary in your industry to drive engagement.
A competitive analysis can also tell you where your competitors are lacking in the social media department. For instance: if they're dominating Twitter but they haven't put a lot of work into Instagram or Facebook, you'll have a jump on them on a different platform, which means a different but similar audience.
P.S you can also use social listening tools to spy on your competition.😉
Step Three: Analyze Your Current Social Media Efforts
What's working? What isn't? How are your efforts comparing to that of your competitors in the grand scheme of things? What does your engagement look like?
These are all questions you need to carefully consider and get answers for before you proceed to creating your perfect social media strategy.
In addition: take some time to look for impostors of your social media profiles and your business online. Impostors can cause big problems for your brand in the future because people will think that it's you and ruin your online reputation as well as your offline reputation. If you can, get your social accounts verified ASAP and report impostor profiles as soon as you discover them.
Step Four: Establish Your Online Presence
If you already have social media profiles, take this time to improve on them. You need to determine which social media platforms are worth your time and investment and which aren't and then learn to use your chosen platforms appropriately.
Maybe you want to use different platforms for different things. Customer relations on Twitter and Facebook, while TikTok and Instagram are for behind the scenes views of your business and the beginning of your flywheel.
Try to focus on one specific goal for each platform. If you can't think of a goal, then it's time to rethink your presence on that network.
Make sure you fill out all of your profile and bio fields. This should include your company name, logo, website, phone number and address, plus any other fields. (Oftentimes this includes a short bio or tagline).
Take the time to optimize your profiles for search engines and use keywords that your audience might use when they're searching for your brand or similar products.
Use only images that are CORRECTLY SIZED for each network.
Need a little more help on each network? We've got you covered:
Step Five: Create Your Content Calendar
Maybe you already have an idea about what you're going to post on social media. However, a social media content plan is vital to the success of your strategy because it allows you to get the best results and make the most of your time.
First you need to create a content schedule. Research is vital when it comes to this step because you’ll need to know when you need to post to get the maximum engagement and impressions.
You’ll need to make sure you’re including a good content mix. You don’t want to only be putting up pictures of your products. You need to be sharing the mission of the company and the culture of your company and where your products come from. Those are all things that your audience will want to see.
Bonus Step: Track, Analyze, Report, Adjust.
It is of VITAL IMPORTANCE that you are always analyzing and tracking and changing to improve the effectiveness of your social media strategy. Why? Because the landscape is always changing, people are always changing and above all, you’ll want to know what is working and what isn’t when it comes to your social media strategy.
Your ideal social media strategy is closer than ever. It just takes a little time, effort and lots of research. Do you have any insight into the ways you have been able to improve your social media strategy in the past? We want to hear about it!