Almost everyone you know nowadays has a social media account. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn, social media is now where everyone’s at; this is why your business should be there, too. Here’s how to get you started on your social media strategy:
1. Set meaningful goals that are relevant to your business
Different business plans have different objectives, and each marketing plan differs from the other. It’s important to figure out what goals make sense for your business plan and what you want to get out of your social media efforts.
An exercise that always proves effective in distilling the goals of your business plan or marketing plan is setting S.M.A.R.T. goals.
- S for Specific
- M for Measurable
- A for Attainable
- R for Relevant
- T for Time-bound
The internet is home to a plethora of material on setting S.M.A.R.T. goals, and working with this framework will help guide you as you plan your strategy and achieve realistic results.
What metrics do I need to pay attention to?
When it comes to determining the metrics, a lot of businesses make the mistake of focusing on vanity metrics such as the number of fans and followers, but there is more to just your social media following as it’s often difficult to prove their real value.
As mentioned in the introduction, the level of engagement that your brand has with your target audience is more important.
The number of likes, comments, click-throughs, and conversion rates are what you need to determine the effectiveness of your social media posts and efforts, in relation to your marketing plan.
If you want to let people know about your business:
If you want to grow your brand, focus on awareness (discovering who your current and potential audience are). To measure this, take a look at the number of followers you have and the number of shares your posts receive. If your goal is to turn customers into brand advocates, engagement (determines how your audience is interacting with your content) is the metric to measure, so do some social listening and analyze what is being said in the comments and mentions of your brand.
If you want to make sales:
Now, if you want to drive leads and sales, conversion (demonstrates the effectiveness of your social media content) is the metric to watch out for, and this involves monitoring how many website clicks and email subscribers you receive, to name a few.
You might also want to know how customers feel about your brand, and for this, you might want to take a look at improving your customer retention rate (reflects how active customers feel about your brand). In this case, analyze the testimonials your receive, as well as the average response time for customer support, to name a few.
2. Get to know your target audience and competition
Every business plan and marketing plan should know whom its target audience is. This knowledge allows you to create content that is relevant to then.
If you are able to successfully match your social media content with your target audience, you’ll get the likes, shares, engagement, and clicks you need.
Important data such as location, age, average income, interests, and job industry are crucial to creating your audience personas to help define what content to create. Gathering your own data through research is also highly important.
For example, according to the Global Web Index, Gen Z spends more time than Millennials on social media. However, given the current global pandemic, this statistic might have changed.
Your marketing plan might also require different social media platforms for different messages, so remember to skew the message of your content depending on this. There is no one-size-fits-all content formula for all social media platforms as each one serves a different purpose and audience behavior.
Twitter, for example, is for more real-time communication (which is why news channels operate best on Twitter), whereas Instagram adopts a more lifestyle and evergreen approach.
Also, don’t forget to check out what your competitors are doing online. A simple step of conducting a competitive analysis provides you with insights and understanding of what’s expected of your industry. This information will also help you set social media targets of your own and spot opportunities.
Tools such as Sprout, Phlanx, Hootsuite, and Social Blade are examples of websites that can help draw out this data for you.
One key step that most brands forget to do is social media listening. Apart from doing this for your own brand, having an idea of what other people are saying about your competitors is prime intel that will help you shape your social media strategy, marketing plan, and business plan better.
3. Create content for your social media platforms
Here comes the fun part. Now that you’ve pretty much gotten acquainted with your target audience, researched on what your competitors are doing, distilled your brand’s voice and identity based on your marketing plan, and set your social media goals, it’s time to get creative!
Since social media revolves around content, it’s what might require the most work. Again, it might be overwhelming, especially with the number of resources and possibilities available, so here are some principles that you can stick by.
Find the right voice to talk about your brand
While most social media platforms focus on visual execution, well thought-of copywriting opens up conversations with your audience. One way to find your brand’s voice is to create a persona for it and place yourself in that person’s shoes.
Stick to a content theme
Your social media page gives identity to your brand online, and one of the toughest challenges when it comes to preparing an engaging social media strategy is dishing out content daily. Having a consistent theme makes it easier to plan and schedule out your content and select complementary visuals.
Curate your page’s content
Depending on the platform, there are a number of content formats to optimize it, such as:
- Evergreen content (content that will always remain on your page)
- Time-sensitive content (disappearing videos such as Instagram Stories, TikTok, and Snapchat)
- Video content (YouTube)
Finding the right content for the right platform will help keep your audience engaged. Content buckets also help organize the content you create, giving you a bird’s eye view of the intention of each of your posts.
Create a content schedule
Just as how every business plan and marketing plan has a timeline, a schedule is also required for social media. Tools such as Hootsuite and Later allow you to schedule your social media posts in advance for ease.
Reply in a timely manner
In social media, the conversation always goes two-ways. Timely responses to messages and comments boost your brand’s credibility and affinity, which leads customer satisfaction because they know someone is on the other end of the line.
4. Do a social media review
As with any plan, it greatly helps to measure the effectiveness of your social media posts through metrics. Taking stock of your efforts allows you to improve your social media strategy by finding out what’s working and what’s not.
A social media audit should help give you a clear picture of what purpose each of your social media platforms serves.
If after doing your review and audit you realize that you haven’t been hitting your milestones or that the purpose isn’t clear, you might want to consider whether that social media effort is still worth keeping.
5. Find inspiration everywhere
Lastly, find inspiration everywhere you go. Times have changed because of the pandemic, and as most businesses are shifting to the online and social media sectors, the Internet is bursting with ideas and creative campaigns.
You can start by doing research on award-winning social media campaigns, as well as draw inspiration from brands you personally love — they don’t even have to be related to your industry. See how they do things; observe how they run their social media accounts.
Don’t forget to stay updated as well with the various and ever-changing social media updates in order to keep your social media accounts always relevant and engaging.
Why is social media strategy important?
Social media can be very overwhelming, to say the least. With its ever-changing, ever-evolving nature, learning how to put together and implement an effective and engaging social media strategy for your business is integral, simply because everyone is online.
Apart from choosing the most effective social media channels and thinking of a results-driven content strategy that’s in line with your overall marketing plan, social media serves as a catalyst between brands and the online community. It’s a place where relationships are built, loyalty is fostered, and of course, where conversions are made.
Editor’s note: A sound social media strategy can boost your Search Engine Optimisation(SEO) score. They both aim to reach audiences organically and build strong brand awareness through high quality content. Help people find your content online with GoDaddy’s SEO Tools.
What makes a good social media strategy?
When looking for examples of what an effective social media strategy looks like, what should you search for then?
The importance of a succinct and engaging social media strategy allows you to tackle your business plan’s goals with a sense of purpose. Not only will it allow you to meet your targets, but it will also enable you to know your audience better, measure your actions, and optimize your results.
Now, something to note—the keyword here is engaging.
Social media is made up of many layers, and one hook to get your audience talking about you is the level of engagement you have. This means creating content that circulates around audience-specific interests, communication plans, promotions, and visuals, to generate likes, shares, and comments. It’s a common measurement for social media effectiveness, which could definitely impact your marketing and business plan
Social media moves so quickly, we must act fast. Demographic shifts and periods of change are to be expected with the constant evolution of, and increase in, social media networks.
Social media is also agile, which is why you need to adapt a flexible mindset as well. It has now become a huge part of every marketing plan because that’s where you can get direct conversations and foster relationships with your target audience, without having to be physically there.
Don’t be afraid to keep making changes and adjusting your goals to adapt to the landscape.
If you are working with a team for your social media strategy, ensure that everyone is on the same page in terms of what your goals are. The important yet challenging principle to note is to keep everything consistent. Striving for the same goals and working together can definitely optimize the effectiveness and engagement of your social media pages.