Creating a specific social media strategy is essentially creating a plan that gives you guidance that ultimately encourages you to achieve your goals. By understanding what you want to achieve allows you to measure and adjust your approach to stay on track. Working without a strategy is like peeing in the dark – you never quite sure if it’s a hit or miss.
The more detailed your strategy, the better you will execute on it. Keep it tight – don’t create a plan that is airy-fairy or largely unachievable and make sure that your metrics are completely measurable.
Here are 5 steps to guide you in developing your social media strategy.
1. Create social media goals that tie into your overriding business objectives.
Don’t try to work in isolation. Social media is not the orphan child of marketing that should be treated poorly due to lack of understanding. Instead, it is a highly lucrative, cost-effective channel for intense, targeted communication. However, it cannot work in isolation – it will fail. Make sure that your social media objectives assist in achieving business objectives and tie in with the overall marketing strategy.
Each goal needs to be looked at in isolation – make sure that when created, they are specific, relevant, achievable, time-specific and most of all, measurable. Using this framework provides you with an easy to use structure.
2. Know your customer.
Know your customer! Having a good understanding of what your potential customer wants, needs and responds to will provide you with a good foundation for creating content that will resonate with them. Understanding this will help you to turn your social media fans into actual customers – because that’s what matters!
Don’t forget to leverage the data. Don’t assume you know everything, or participate in guesswork. Pull the data apart that Google Analytics offers, the insights that Facebook provides. Use that data to further develop personas for your brand – this allows you to better craft your messaging and get a deeper understanding of what your audience wants. Allow this knowledge and insight to drive the communication strategy for your paid media campaigns.
3. Know your competition.
How do you know how to position yourself if you have no idea what your competitors are doing? How do you pinpoint unique selling propositions that are not a dime a dozen if you don’t understand what your competitors are saying? That age old saying about ‘keep your friends close and your enemies closer’ couldn’t be more true in this instance.
Having a good understanding of what the competition is doing allows you to spot opportunities. For example, if your biggest competitor dominates Twitter but makes little effort on Facebook, why go head to head?
4. Do social media audits
Never forget to pause, breathe and review your social media efforts. Is your current activity working or not? Are you attracting the correct audience and which channels are working better than others? How can you better utilize platforms to more easily achieve brand objectives? Are your efforts driving your overall business objectives?
Once you have asked yourself a series of questions, reflect and adjust! That is the power of digital – you can change as change is required. You may find that you get better conversions on one channel but great reach on another. With that in mind, adjust your strategy to take advantage of that.
5. Create brand pillars
Structure is the foundation for content creation. Based on your findings from the above-mentioned activities, you can develop key points on which to build your monthly content strategy.
Choose those things that are core to your business. For example, if you’re in the fitness industry, the core values of your business focus on the physical, mental and nutritional aspects of your customer – use those to drive focused messaging in bite-size chunks.
You will very quickly figure out what your audience responds to and what they don’t. If you feel that a core pillar isn’t working as you hoped, try to find another way in which to communicate the message without changing the pillar first. If that still bombs, then only do you change the pillar.
6. Content strategy
Fail to plan and plan to fail. Without preparing a content plan in advance, you will fail to maintain your social media presence regularly. Focus on creating a mix of content that not only speaks to your brand pillars but serves overriding platform objectives too.
Consider the 80/20 rule for content creation. 80% of your content should serve to educate, entertain or inform your audience while 20% can be used for shameless brand promotion. If you choose to punt nothing more than your brand, your audience will disengage and you run the risk of losing them to your competitors.
Always remember that in the social media space, things change at a rapid rate. Just when you think you have a handle on things, Facebook changes its algorithm or Instagram introduces new functionality that you can’t miss out on using. You need to stay abreast of the trends and ever-changing functionality in order to maximize brand impact.
If you feel that this sounds like a huge amount of work, requiring a lot of time and resource, well you’re probably right. That is why so many companies choose to outsource this to professionals, like us 😉
Get in touch with us for no obligation consultation. We would love to get our fingers into your social media pie.