Social media changed the way businesses promote themselves and interact with their customers. It has become a very important tool in every marketing department out there. When interacting with your customers, you don’t just post news regarding your products and answer your clients’ questions. All actions you initiate should be carefully planned and it should represent a step of your social media strategy. With the right attack plan, your social media engagement should be boosted drastically and you should see an increase in revenues.
The term social media strategy can differ from business to business, from entrepreneur to entrepreneur. Before we start listing the steps needed to be taken when creating your social media strategy, we should first make a quick definition of it. A social media strategy is an outline of the things you will do and accomplish for your company using social media networks.
Before creating this strategy you should initiate a thorough investigation of all your accounts. Once this is done and you know where you are standing, you can set yourself the goals you want to achieve and the tools you will use to achieve those goals. A very important thing you should keep in mind when creating your social media strategy is that a detailed strategy will be more efficient than an abstract one.
Here are the 6 steps you need to take when creating an extraordinary social media strategy.
Clear and Measurable Objectives
Many entrepreneurs, when they want to improve their social media presence and engagement with their clients, use cosmetic targets for the campaigns they start. Many tend to say „I want to get more post engagements. If I create three outstanding posts more clients will engage them. My job will be done!”. This is a terrible approach, you should have a clear starting point and a clear and measurable objective. You should think like this „I have, on average, 10 post engagements per day, in the past 2 months. I want to increase that average to 20, until the end of this year.”. This is what you call a clear and measurable objective.
If you don’t have specific goals, you won’t be able to assess the results of your campaigns. This means that you won’t be able to determine the return on investment of your social media strategy. Also, the objectives you have should be coordinated with your marketing strategy. This way, your social media endeavors will have a concise end result, improving your business’s aspirations.
When measuring your results you should make a metrical and analytical revision of your results. First, you’ll need to evidentiate the improvements or declines your social media campaign has brought. Once you do that, you should be able to understand how and why you ended up with these results.
Examine Your Social Media Environment
Before even planning where you want to end up, you need to see where you are right now. What does this mean? It means that you figure out who your clients are, which social media networks they use, what do they like most when they are highly active. Also, you should keep in mind that you don’t play the game, you play the opponent. Your strategy shouldn’t be pitch-perfect, it should be better than your competitors’.
When conducting this examination you will need to have a tool or a template you will use for every competitor out there. They can help you create a comprehensive template for your examination. These templates will help you make a clear assessment of all your social media accounts and all your competitors.
Right, your examination is done. You now have an exhaustive image of your social media presence and your competitors’ strong and weak points. You now know what social media networks you should focus on, where are your clients most active. Now, you can create a plan for each of your social media accounts. Remember, each network reaches a certain niche of your audience, thus you should have a specific approach for each one of them.
A good example of this specific approach would be:
“Facebook will be used the reach the older people, 25 to 45 years old customers. Snapchat and Tik Tok, because are used mostly by teenagers, will be used to target our 16 to 25 years old audience.”
Choose the Social Media Networks You Will Focus On
The examination of your online environment should create a complete image of your clients and competition. Now, you should choose the means for your goals. Choose the social networks that suit you best and create a profile for your company (if you don’t already have one).
Make a brief description of your company, its mission, and what expectations your customers should have from you and your company. The accounts already active should be optimized for SEO because this will bring more organic traffic. The ones that you just created should comply with this outline, also.
Let the Opponents, Customers, and Leaders of Your Industry Inspire You
When creating your content, remember, a good artist creates, an outstanding one steals and improves. You should study the way your competitors engage with their audience and assess their results. By doing this you will be able to create content that will help you separate yourself from your competition.
Let’s just pretend you sell bikes and one of your competitors uploaded a video of a family going on a bike trip and having fun. The video had a great impact, but both of you are selling bikes destined for professional bikers or stunts man. You can distinguish yourself by taking the component that had a great impact. In this case, the video, and editing of the components weren’t so successful. Create a video, but replace the family theme with a professional biker theme. You might want to include some personalities. In this case, an interview with a renowned cyclist would have a great impact, a Tour de France winner, maybe.
Your competitors are not your only source of inspiration, your customers can help you, also. Study the content your customers share, examine their habits and you will be able to come up with engaging content for them. If your customers want to know how to improve their biking skills, create a video tutorial for them.
Last, but not least, the leaders of your industry should be a gold mine for the content creation process. Study the way they create content and what kind of content they create. Companies such as RedBull have impressive social media campaigns. They create one-of-a-kind content for their audience. This kind of company can be a great source of inspiration.
Create a Content Creation Strategy and Schedule
The creation strategy should consider the following:
- Content type
- How often you will update your content
- Define the audience of your content
- Select the one who’ll create the content
- Method of advertising your content(paid ads, organic, etc.)
You can create a calendar for your social media. If the customers using Facebook are more active during Mondays and Thursdays, you should update your content during these days. If your Instagram followers are highly-active on Saturdays and Sundays, plan your content update during these days.
Also, your content creation strategy should also focus on the end result of your posts. You can opt for something like this:
- 30 percent of content will push drive readers towards your blog
- 20 percent of content will bolster your sales
- 20 percent of content will drive traffic to your affiliates
- 30 percent of content will be used for branding your company and job openings
Assess the Results of Your Social Media Strategy and Improve It
Once your campaign is launched you need to assess its effectiveness and its return on investment. You should have firm indicators like clicks, post engagements, increase in revenues, increase in site traffic, etc. Once you choose the most appropriate for your campaign you should start using tools to record and analyze them.
Even so, if the networks don’t offer this kind of service, you can always use external tools, such as Google Analytics or Minter for Instagram. Once the flaws in your campaign are found, you should focus on improving them and find the cause of these flaws.
Creating an outstanding social media strategy can be a very tricky business. First, you need to research your environment, your competition, your customers. You need to see where you stand and make up a plan for the entire process. Choose the social media networks you will focus on and search for sources of inspiration. Once you do that, you need to create a content creation strategy and schedule. Remember, assessing your results is a vital part of the improvement of your strategy! If you keep in mind these 6 steps when creating your social media strategy, you shouldn’t have any trouble creating a one-of-a-kind plan for your social media presence.
About the Author
Olivia is passionate about finding new social media growth strategies which allow content creators to grow faster and loves sharing this knowledge with others.