Developing a social media strategy is one of the most important things you need to do if you wish to succeed in your marketing goals. Whether you’re a newly established business or a brand looking to branch out and attract new followers, knowing how to create an actionable social media strategy for business is key to your success.
The more specific your plan is from the beginning, the more effective it will be. The sooner you make a plan of action for your social media strategy, the quicker your results will come. In this article, we’re going to give you clear steps on how to develop a winning social media strategy of your own.
A proper social media strategy includes several important elements. Social media strategy examples include brand and product marketing and gaining new followers who might become lifelong customers. In essence, a winning social media strategy is the practice of using social media channels to promote a brand, product, or service.
● Increases brand awareness.
● Promotes products and services.
● Builds a community of engaged followers.
● Measures brand sentiment.
● Advertises suitable products to the target audience.
● Provides a means of connection and support.
● Provides another method of tracking performance.
Developing a social media strategy means knowing about social media marketing. When it comes to marketing, you will need to get more specific. This is an exciting part because a sound marketing strategy is where results are made.
It’s a good idea to create a social media marketing document. There, you should outline your social media goals, the tactics you will use, and the metrics you will use to track your progress and results. You should write specific goals for each social media channel strategy.
After all, followers on Instagram are going to be a different kettle of fish than followers on Twitter. These goals should align with your broader digital marketing plan. And they should include a list of roles and responsibilities for everyone on your team.
Developing a social media strategy gives you and your business a blueprint to work from. The captain of a ship doesn’t know where he’s going unless he has a destination in mind
and a map to follow. If you want to win on social media, you’re going to have to compete with millions of other brands and businesses vying for attention. So, your social media strategy for business is like a map with pointers to guide you to your destination.
Now that we’ve covered the basis for what a social media strategy is and why you need to develop a social media strategy, we can begin to dig deep and uncover the 10 top tips for developing a social media strategy that you can take action on today.
The very first step you need to take when developing a social media strategy for business is to choose social media marketing goals that are aligned with your business objectives. This means you should have clear ideas of what your business is out there to achieve.
From there you can align your purpose and strategy for using social media for marketing with your base business goals cemented in your mind.
You need measurable goals. S.M.A.R.T. goals are a great way to set trackable, manageable, measurable steps for developing a social media strategy that wins. S.M.A.R.T. stands for:
A great example of a S.M.A.R.T. goal in the context of social media marketing is:
‘We will use Instagram to communicate with every follower who likes and comments on our designs within 1 hr of them posting by the end of the quarter.’
This would be a great goal. It’s a goal that is customer and community-oriented and follows the S.M.A.R.T. principles perfectly.
Discovering and learning the details about who likes your content is a big part of developing a social media strategy. Know who your audience is and you can better market and turn them into customers. Having followers alone isn’t enough. This is what we call vanity metrics. Instead, you should focus on getting to know who those followers are so you can create target customers.
Key details you need to learn about your audience are:
● Average income.
● Job title or industry.
Your social media channel strategy will help you better understand the people behind the numbers. From there, you can more effectively engage and create a target audience who get more of what they want from what you offer.
The internet is the wild wild west and nearly everyone is on one form of social media or another. Brands and businesses were quick to hop on board the social media train when they saw an opportunity to connect and sell to more people worldwide.
This means that the chances are that your competition is already on the major social media channels. Use this opportunity to see what they’re posting, how they’re communicating, and who their target audience is.
From there, you can get a glimpse of what works and what doesn’t. Use openings as opportunities to fill the gaps your competition is not. This way, you can gain the followers your competitors aren’t and expand your followers and customer base.
Perhaps you haven’t ventured into the social media sphere yet. Or, perhaps you have some accounts that can now be improved with all you’ve learned so far about developing a social media strategy.
Now is the time to set up the right social media channel strategy so it’s aligned with your goals and so they can work for you. Now that you have your clearly defined goals, you should have a better understanding of what each channel can do for you.
Maybe you’ve decided to start up a Twitter account for customer services. Or, maybe you’ve never ventured on Instagram before but feel posting pictures of your latest products would be a great way to market your brand.
Pro-tip. Link specific goals and designate particular purposes to each social media account.
A great practice is to create a brief or document for each social media account and write a list that links all the goals that align with your business objectives. This way, you know exactly why you’re using a particular social media platform. And this makes it easier to track your goals and see which platforms are working.
If you’re already using social media strategy examples like the ones we’ve already spoken of, then analyse your efforts so far. Ask yourself:
● What’s working and what’s not working?
● Who and what types of people are engaging with you?
● What networks are you using and who engages with what channels?
● How do your social media accounts compare with the competition?
● What is the best performing content and what is the worst on both your channels and your competitions?
Once you’ve gathered the data, you have some valuable information you can use to ramp up your efforts and improve your outcomes.
This information will also help you align your goals and objectives with more clarity. If you need to realign your goals per social media channel after taking this information in, that’s fine. This just means you’re closer to developing a social media strategy that wins.
To develop a social media strategy that will be successful, you will need to stand out. To stand out, you need to be unique. But it’s OK to find inspiration elsewhere. Finding your inspirations will help drive you to succeed.
Check out the social media channel strategy of the other accounts you’re attracted to. Read the success stories. Use this to fuel your imagination and take what you like and fuse it into your style to create something truly unique.
Pro-tip: Reach out to your followers. Reach out and ask the followers you already directly what they like about what you’ve been doing so far. They might tell you something you hadn’t thought of. And getting specific feedback on the positives will help inspire you and motivate you to make your social media strategy for business even better.
Your social media channel strategy requires content. So, why not make the process easier and create content calendars?
The beauty of creating content calendars as part of developing a social media strategy is that:
1. Content calendars help organise the types of content needed to publish on each social media channel you operate on.
2. You can place particular pieces of content on a specific day, week, and month in a way that works best for you.
3. These calendars can be shared through your designated teams so they can keep track of what needs to be posted and when.
4. Having a calendar means you can set posting schedules so you never miss a post.
5. Helps you space out content appropriately.
Your content calendars should also include carved-out time spent interacting with your followers and customers. You should also make sure your content calendar reflects your social media channel strategy and business objectives. You can make this process easier by highlighting what content is for what purpose.
For example, you might spend a day publishing content on Twitter to create links to your website blog content. Or, you might spend an afternoon replying and engaging with your Instagram followers.
Now you can get down to the creation process. With your goals and objectives aligned you can now think about the publishing part.
Depending on the social media platforms you’ve chosen to use for marketing, you will use a variety of different content. If your Twitter account has been created for customer support, you won’t want to waste time creating longform content. So, it’s important to establish the right content for the right networks as part of your task of developing a social media strategy.
Remember, your content should be:
1. Aligned with your business objectives.
2. Applicable and purposeful for the social media channels you’re on.
3. Create real value for your target audience.
Tracking your performance is vital for developing a social media strategy that wins. Your social media marketing strategy for business only works if you’re getting the performance you need to grow.
As you begin to implement these steps, you will soon need to track your performance. This will give you a true picture of what is working and what is not working.
You will need to look at and take notes of how many likes, and shares each one of your posts get for each type of content on each platform. There are tools online that help you do this. And over time, you will discover key patterns for what works and what doesn’t.
Part of the beauty of tracking your performance is that you get to see what works and what doesn’t. This part of developing a social media strategy not only saves you and your team time by not working on content that doesn’t work but it helps your business grow at an accelerated rate.
With the data you get from your published content, including your followers, likes, and shares, you can reevaluate, test, and repeat your winning formulas. Perhaps you find that particular types of photos shared on your Instagram account receive more likes and engagement from the community. Perhaps certain YouTube videos you create garner more questions about your products and services.
You should gather and keep track of your data by writing it down in a sheet for your teams to see week to week. You will find trends and over time you will gather an accurate picture on what works and what doesn’t.
From there, you can double down on what works and drop what doesn’t as part of a winning social media strategy.
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