How to create a social media strategy
There has been no better time to be a marketer than right now. The rise of social media has given us all greater access to our target audience than ever before. But it’s important to remember that with every new opportunity, there’s also new risk. Social media can be overwhelming and time consuming—even for experienced marketers. And when you’re just starting out, it can seem like an impossible task! Luckily, we have five steps that will help you get off on the right foot:
Set your goals
Before you begin creating your social media strategy, it’s important to set goals. These can be anything from increasing your followers on Facebook or Twitter, to tracking the return on investment (ROI) of a particular campaign.
The first goal is to define what exactly you want to achieve with your strategy—what are the results you’re looking for? It’s also important that those goals are specific and measurable so that you can easily track whether or not they’ve been achieved. For example: “I want 1,000 new followers by August 20th!” is measurable, while “I want everyone in the world to love me!” isn’t.
Your second goal should be clearly defined timelines for when each action will be taken within the process of completing your social media strategy. For example: “After 10 days we will have 500 new followers on Instagram; after 30 days we will offer paid advertising options through Instagram ads; after 90 days all our content will be optimized for search engines using keywords” etcetera…
Determine your target audience
The first step in creating a social media strategy is to determine your target audience. Knowing your audience will help you deliver the right message to the right people at the right time.
There are many ways to do this:
- Survey your customers and ask them questions about their likes and dislikes, what they want from you, and where they get their information.
- Listen for clues by observing how customers interact with your company on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. They may not tell you directly but there are certain social media habits that can provide insight into their interests. For example, if they post photos of themselves using your product or service then chances are they’re a fan of what you do!
Understand the platforms you will use
Before you can decide what platforms to use, you need to understand your audience. Where do they hang out? What kind of content do they like? Are there any specific channels that are popular with your target customers or prospects?
Next, think about your competitors. Do they have a strong presence on any particular channel? Why do you think that is? Are there any channels where their audience isn’t as active (e.g., Pinterest)?
Finally, identify which social media platforms will be most effective for your goals and takeaways from this section:
- Understand the platforms you will use by knowing how often people in your target market visit each channel, what type of content appeals to them the most on each platform (images vs text), etc.
- Understand the platforms that are most popular with competitors by checking out recent research from top sites such as BuzzSumo or Unmetric (free trial). This will help ensure you don’t miss anything important!
Posting & community management
There’s no need to be a social media expert, but there are some basic guidelines you should follow when it comes to posting. First and foremost, you need to remember that social media is all about engagement with your audience. If they don’t know what they can expect from you or they see the same content over and over again, they will soon get bored and stop interacting with your posts.
Second, share quality content on a regular basis; this will help ensure that people keep coming back for more! Thirdly: think about how often and at what times of day (for example morning vs evening) would be most appropriate for sharing certain types of posts. Finally, remember to engage with other users by responding quickly – not only does this show that you care about their comments but if done correctly it could also lead people talking about themselves rather than just talking about your brand/business!
Measure results, review process and make changes
- Measure results, review process and make changes.
- Measure how much time you spend on social media. How many people are following you? How many likes did that post get? If you want to use the data to get more followers, use a tool like Crowdfire to see who’s unfollowed you in the last few days and try to follow them back (just don’t spam them with dozens of tweets).
- Review your strategy every month or so. Have any changes been made at work? Do they affect how often or what kind of posts you should be posting? Has anything changed in your personal life that would affect what kind of content is appropriate for different platforms? Does one platform deserve more attention than others? These things should all be taken into consideration when it comes time for a social media review.
Create a winning social media strategy with these five steps
- Understand the platforms you will use.
- Posting & community management
- Measure results, review process and make changes
- Set goals and determine target audience
With a solid strategy in place, you can focus on creating content that engages your audience, promotes your brand and helps you reach your goals. But it’s important to remember that creating a winning social media strategy isn’t just about posting engaging content or responding quickly to comments—it’s also about understanding how each platform works and what steps are needed in order to get the results you want. With this guide as our starting point, we hope it makes building an effective plan easier for everyone!