It’s likely that most articles you read about social media tout how it’s ubiquitous for businesses to succeed in today’s digitally-driven environment. But where do you start? Here’s everything you need to know about the importance of – and what should be included – in a social media strategy.
What is a social media strategy?
A social media strategy is a detailed summary of the goals you wish to accomplish. It should contain
- Defined objectives.
- A thorough breakdown of your audience. You should include age range, gender, demographics and psychographics.
- Audiences’ behaviour and expectations.
- Which key metrics you plan to measure.
- The type of content you’re planning to create.
- The social media channels you’re going to use.
- Possible hurdles and solutions.
How to create a social media strategy
This may sound overwhelming but it’s vital to compartmentalise each step and ensure it is completed correctly.
Set goals that are achievable for your business
Ask yourself the question, ‘what do I want to accomplish by using social media?’ For example, are you looking to increase engagement and connection with an existing audience or focus on attracting a new following? The answer to this question will assist you in developing an on-point social media content strategy.
Learn as much as you can about YOUR audience
Demographics and psychographics can give you an idea of the general type audiences that frequent different social media channels, but does the data reflect your ideal customer? Set aside some of your budgets to invest in social media dashboard software. It allows you to view activity on multiple social media platforms at the same time, as well as provide in-depth analytics on the abovementioned metrics.
You’re likely going to be running multiple social media campaigns over a specified period. For example, if you’re running a three-month Facebook, Instagram and Twitter campaign for the same client, repurposing and scheduling content in advance is essential. High-quality dashboards will let you schedule posts across the appropriate platforms.
Every social media platform attracts a specific audience. For example, according to Statista, Facebook users are 56% male and 44% female. In contrast, Instagram has 57% female and 43% male users. This is just one demographic that will influence what content you post and where it’s posted.
Create and repurpose content
A social media strategy isn’t complete without a meticulous analysis of the channel-specific content posted. It’s best to draft a social media content marketing calendar for each platform and plot out content topic ideas.
Remember that every piece of content needs to be relevant, add value and engage with the prospect. If the content doesn’t hit these fundamental touchpoints, you’re losing valuable lead generation and conversion potential.
Set up appropriate social media accounts
Once you have a comprehensive understanding of your audience, coupled with a sound content creation strategy that outlines the type of content used for each social media channel, go ahead and set up the relevant accounts.
Track important metrics
It’s vital to implement tracking capabilities. If you don’t measure data and provide a report on your selected metrics, you can’t gauge whether your tactics perform well and give you an optimal return on investment (ROI). Never make assumptions; make sure these metrics are outlined in your social media strategy. They should include
- Engagement with published content
- Post reach
- Audience growth
- Audience sentiment
- Lead generation and sales
- The quality of traffic being driven to your website
- Hashtag performance
- Paid and organic likes
Perform a social media audit
A social media audit is an objective evaluation of all social media accounts. A social media audit presents a clear picture of your current social efforts and suggests methods, refinements that can be used to improve areas of underperformance. The benefit is that once it’s completed, you’ll have a single document for all your social channels. It’s best to ask a social media expert to perform the audit for you to ensure all results are accurate.
Refine social media accounts
The social media audit provides you with optimisation recommendations. They can include but are not limited to
- Find and check that every social media account is active and if so, make sure all content being posted aligns with your overarching social media strategy.
- Analyse the best performing posts to determine which type of content your audience enjoys consuming.
- If you’re running any paid social media campaigns, calculate the current return on investment. If there is a significant disparity between how much you spent on campaigns compared to the value it’s contributing to the company; you’ll need to reassess your strategy.
Develop a strategy for each of your social media channels
Each social media channel has a unique functionality that caters to different goals. So, do your research before you go any further. For example, if you want to host an event or conduct interviews in real-time, broadcasting via Facebook Live is the ideal platform. If you’ve created excellent video content, consider using YouTube or Vimeo – each platform is tailored to suit different objectives. For more information, read our article about different video marketing platforms.
In conclusion, a sound, data-supported and agile social media strategy are necessary for businesses to find and engage with their target audience. Furthermore, the correct implementation of suitable channel-specific content heightens the opportunity for quality lead generation and conversions. Plan and/or refine your social media strategy today.
Essential article highlights
- Set feasible, achievable social media goals.
- Research and learn about your target audience.
- Determine and measure crucial metrics.
- Create relevant, valuable and engaging content that meets audience expectations.
- Establish your social media presence on audience-appropriate channels.
- Perform a social media audit regularly.