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How to Create a Social Media Strategy

Social media has become one of the leading platforms in the world today that allows business owners to increase their traffic, sales and brand awareness. 

A social media strategy helps you to plan out everything to the minute detail and achieve success on social media. It regulates your actions by observing, directing, and reporting on whether you are failing or succeeding.

However, many marketers find it challenging to choose the right content strategy, analysis, channels, etc. to give their product or service the push it needs.

Keep your plans explicit and concise for a more effective result. Avoid making sky-high plans that are unattainable.

Know about the various social media marketing strategies to tackle your brand goals that serve its purpose.

Opt for a marketing strategy that coordinates with your business goals

Having a goal or objective is the start of creating a winning strategy. Without establishing goals, there is no way of accessing the return of investment (ROI) and success.

Your goals should be:

  • Relevant
  • Measurable
  • Time-bound
  • Attainable
  • Specific

1. Why does your business want to be on social media?

The popular concept of social media marketing led to the success of many businesses worldwide. There are more than a thousand things you can do through the various social media platforms to improve and take your business forward.

You need first to find out the reasons for “Why” you are on social media. Your reasons can be to serve your customer, promote your products, drive traffic to your website, etc.

There are several social media goals you can focus on:

1. Generate new leads

2. Provide social customer service

3. Increase brand awareness

4. Boost brand engagement

5. Keep an ear out for conversations about your brand

6. Drive traffic to your website

7. Increase mentions of your business in the press

8. Build a community around your business

9. Increase revenue by increasing sales, signups, etc.

Even if you have one social media goal, it is still okay. Having a few will allow you to have a laser focus in achieving your objective for the business. However, if you are running a team, it is advisable to take on numerous social media goals by assigning different aim to each team.

For instance, well-known marketing team like, Buffer, uses different teams to perform distinct actions like:

  • The Advocacy team uses the social media platform to avail of the available customer support.
  • Drive traffic to your content.
  • Increase brand awareness, etc.

2. Research your target audience

After finding your purpose as to why your business should be on the various social media platforms, it is time to find your targeted audience.

Design audience personality

The critical component here is getting to know your audiences’ preferences. Such strategic moves can make your audience share, like, and comment on your article. It can also lead to converting your social media followers into your business customers. 

It would help your business if you know your target customers’:

– Interests

– Age

– Average income

– Typical job industry or title

– Location, etc.

Building marketing personas is a great exercise.

When you treat your followers, customer, and fans as authentic people who have genuine needs and wants, you will be able to evaluate targeted strategies and engage them on social media.

You must know What, Where, and When as you evaluate the prospects of sharing your business with your select audiences.

For example, if a brand like travel and lifestyle recognises that its audience wants to know more about travel tips and new places, it can share similar content on their social media profiles.

You must learn to build a marketing persona using the 5Ws and 1H approach.

Who are they?

It could entail the location, job, salary, title, gender, age, etc.

What are their interests, and how can you provide them?

It could entail details on new items, entertainment, case studies, educational content, etc.

Where are their usual online hang out place?

It will include the various social media sources like niche platforms, or Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, etc.

When do they search for the type of content you can provide?

It includes on their daily commute, weekends, leisure time, etc.

Why do they use the content?

It includes everything from becoming healthy to getting better at their job, staying updated with anything current, etc.

How do they engage with the content?

It includes watching videos, chancing upon ads, reading posts on social media, etc.

If you have a decent running business, you might not have to start from scratch, as you may have an idea about your targeted audience and their needs. However, you should take notes that you can use it for future reference or share it with your team.

Gathering data

Stop making assumptions. Although many people regard Facebook as ancient and Instagram to be the new trend, reports show different information.

You can use some of the best social media analytics tools to evaluate details like how your customers interact with your brand, who your followers are, and where they reside. Such information is critical in helping you better target your audience and filters your strategy for better.

Example – Jugnoo, an auto-rickshaw service in India that is like Uber, used Facebook Analytics to know that 90% of their users who introduced other clients were between 18 and 34 years of age and a majority of 65% of them were Android users. The organisers used such data to steer their ads, which resulted in a 40% lower cost per referral.

3. Establish your most important metrics

Regardless of the brands and products you sell, your social media strategy should focus on collecting or analysing data. 

It merely entails that your social media metrics should matter.

It is easy to track the futile measurements concerning the number of followers and likes, but proving its genuine value is hard. It is more beneficial to keep track of things like conversion rates, engagement, and click-through rate.

Businesses should keep an eye out and be aware of hidden “likes” on Instagram and Facebook. Their focus should shift from vanity metrics to digging into data that directly coordinate with their goals.

There can be different networks for different goals and separate functions for each network.

For example, if you are using Instagram for brand awareness, you may record the number of Instagram Story views. Cost-per-click (CPC) is a natural success metric for advertisement on Facebook. You can drive traffic to your website on LinkedIn by measuring click-throughs.

Your entire marketing objectives should coordinate with your social media goals.

It is crucial to understand the type of metrics that you need to keep an eye on:

Reach

The number of Post Reach shows the number of distinct users who viewed your post. It is essential to track reach as there is no telling which direction the constant-changing organic algorithms will take next. Read into questions like, is your content reaching users’ feeds? How far is it spreading across the various social media platforms?

Clicks

It refers to the number of times a user clicks on your logo, content, or company name. Link clicks are essential as it allows you to understand how your users navigate through your marketing funnel. Tracking such clicks is crucial as it will help you understand why your users want to buy your product or their curiosity, which will lead them to venture into your content.

Engagement

It requires you to see the number of users that interact and if such a number is a good ratio out of the total reach. You can evaluate the number by dividing the total number of social interactions and the total number of impressions. It is a primary method in assessing the perception of your audience and their inclination to connect.

Hashtag performance

For this, you can relate to questions like which hashtags associated with your brand the most? Or what are the most engagement creating hashtags? Or which hashtags you used the most? Finding the answers to these questions can help you look forward to more focused content.

Organic and paid likes

Apart from a standard like counts, organic or paid contents cause the increase of interactions. It is hard to obtain traction through organic engagement. It is no wonder that most brands use Facebook Ads for social media channels like Facebook. On the other hand, on Instagram, it is not so hard to obtain organic likes. Knowing how each source performs in different formats can help you economically fund both the invested time and your ads’ spending.

Sentiment

It refers to measuring users’ reactions to your hashtag, content, or brand. What category of sentiment does your audience associate with your hashtag campaign? Did any of your current campaigns offend customers? Questions like this can help you dig deep and evaluate what perceptions people have about your brand.

It’s a numbers game when it comes to having a fruitful social media marketing strategy. Such numbers should influence your original goals when putting into context.

4. Know your competition

Making thorough research of your competitor is the right place to start before creating your content. It does not kill to know what the others are doing. 

Such a thorough analysis will help you understand your competitor and all its pros and cons. This way, you get to set your own goals by avoiding the pitfalls and mistakes your competitors’ made.

There are many popular competitor analysis tools available to help you gain deep access to their numbers. However, you can also use thorough reviews to gain insight into the competitors’ social presence.

While trailing the competition, you might also see some business opportunities.

Take, for instance, one of your opponents is very useful on Facebook but less active on Instagram and Twitter. It is a golden opportunity for you to start focusing on the less powerful platforms to master control. There is no point trying to dominate where the leading player already leading when there are so many options for you to conquer.

Having an idea about other social channels will help in identifying promotion strategies for your content. 

Before you conclude, you need to understand that all this is not to copy or imitate your competition. The thorough inquiry is to get a decent picture of which content works, what you are up against, which products are trending, which promotion strategies you need to adopt, the competitors’ failures, etc. 

Same corporation, distinct strategies

Two similar brands in the same space can have two separate viewpoints to ensure the success of their social media marketing strategy.

You can take the example of the most entertaining mattress space brands like Casper and Purple. 

The mattress brand, Purple, incorporates their version of memes and a sense of humour to promote their product. Along with entertaining content, they feature influencers and ‘traditional’ promotional posts.

Meanwhile, Casper, a mattress brand as well uses humorous light-hearted contents brimming with cosiness, personality, and comfort. To put it simply, the brand takes away the risk of sounding like a corporate account and gives a happier approach. 

The lesson to learn here is that there are many creative options you can take to set your brand aside from the competitors. 

It is also crucial to know who you are competing against before initiating your content’s stressful creation. In such a case, analysis is essential.

How to make out your social competitors

The easiest way to draw the line on this is by making a thorough Google search. You can use industry terms, keywords, and phrases that are most valuable to you and see which brands show up.

For instance, if you are selling soap products, you can look for keywords like “handmade natural soaps.” When the results pop up, you can exclude large-scale retailers like Bath & Body Works, Amazon, etc. and look at the brands that pop up via ads and organically.

Then, you can check for accounts that are active on social media. Find candidates that have a thriving and active social presence. Once you find such an account, you can keep track of their activities.

After the initial stage of browsing and identifying your corporate rivals, you can compare your competitor’s performance to yours by using social media competitive analysis tools.

Such actions will require the rinse and repeat method. You can optimise your strategy by checking their Facebook post, tagging method on Instagram, make your Twitter engagement different from theirs, etc.

Utilise social media listening

You can use various social media management tools to listen to your competitors’ activities.

Enhance your strategy further by using tools like Sprout’s Advanced Listening. It helps to listen socially and spot unfiltered consumer feedback concerning your competitor, their services, and products.

Make a thorough search of your opponents’ keywords on social media, account handles, company names, etc. You can also find out what other users are saying about them and what they are sharing.

This way, you get the opportunity to have access to honest conversations about your brand and other details you might have missed.

Work up a social media survey

If you already use social media for your business, pose questions like:

  • What is the comparison of your social media presence to your competitors?
  • Which strategy is working, and which is not?
  • Which network does your target customers use?
  • Which audiences are engaging with you?

Once you collect the data on such questions, you can think of more excellent ways to enhance your strategy for your audience’s better experience.

Your social media audit should show you a transparent overview of what direction each of your accounts serves. If one of your social accounts is not clear on its purpose, weigh your options on whether it is worth keeping.

Before discontinuing the account, quiz yourself on the following:

1. Can this account be useful in achieving my goals?
2. Is my audience on this account?
3. If so, how are they using this platform?

Look for imposter accounts

Through the survey, you may come across fake accounts that may be using your product names or business name.

Forget securing followers that should be yours in this context, and instead report them.

To ensure total security and authenticity to your fans, you can get your Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts verified.

5. Create and curate engaging social content

Your content is the primary vehicle on which your social media marketing strategy sits.

By now, you must have a proper understanding of what to publish, depending on your brand identity and goal. Likewise, you must also be confident about which networks are best to cover for your publication.

Before moving forward, it is advisable to understand engaging social content.

Determine which networks to use

When deciding which social networks to utilise, you will also have to determine the strategy for each.

For example, a leading cosmetics brand uses Instagram Stories and Snapchat to air makeup tutorials. On the other hand, they use Twitter for customer service.

You can write out an undertaking statement for each network to help you differentiate between the various objectives.

Example: “we will utilise LinkedIn for sharing and promoting our business tradition to assist with recruitment and employee advocacy.”

If you cannot assign an appropriate mission statement for a specific channel, you may want to consider whether it is worth keeping.

Setting your profiles

After determining which networks to focus on, you can create apt profiles or improve existing ones to coordinate with your ultimate goal strategy.

  • Make your profile easily recognisable across all networks by using compatible branding like images, logos, etc.
  • Enter keywords that are relatable to people who search for your business
  • Ensure that you fill in every blank on the profile fields

Adhering to content themes

Many people find creating day-to-day visual content challenging. According to research, one-third of marketers find it challenging to develop riveting visuals.

It shows how marketers want to have highly-visual content that will enable it to reach their target audience. Building content themes will allow you to compartmentalise your content appropriately.

Channels like Instagram are the best sources for content themes as it is visual.

It is easier to organise your content calendar when you stick to the content theme. For instance, you can rotate around user-generated content, memes, and product photos while adhering to the colour scheme rotation.

If uniformity does not fit into your social media marketing strategy, think of ideas to use themes that can be helpful.

You can consider using various social media management tools if you find it hard to keep up with distinct social content sources. Such tools are efficient in helping you schedule posts and assemble your media library in advance.

User-generated content (UGC) and interactive content

UGC paves the way for your followers to pose as the billboards and helps to motivate your intended customers to interact with you. You can boost customer content through activities like posting a photo or using a hashtag, which will translate into increasing your engagement rate.

Be in constant touch with your followers by interacting with them, like posting a poll or asking questions.

Stories and time-sensitive content

The innovative conception of stories on the various social media platforms is becoming very important as it taps into the users’ FOMO (fear of missing out).

You can give your social feed a more personal feel by taking your followers behind the scenes through your stories.

Videos as the centrepiece of your social media marketing strategy

The concept of social video, whether it is long-form or short-form productions, continues to dominate the various social media platforms.

You will notice that all popular accounts across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. are publishing micro-commercial content that results in millions of views.

Social video is a successful venture that all brands must embrace as there is no shortage of creative options, tools, and apps out there to help.

6. Make timeliness a top priority

How do you expect your customers to employ your timeline and respond at the same time?

Post at the perfect time to communicate

There are recommendations regarding the best time to post like late in the evening. However, there is no use of the “preferred time” and posting if your brand is not available to engage with the customers.

Instead, through your post or tweet, you can ensure your customers’ about the availability of community or social media managers who can attain to their queries. However, after posting, it is a challenging ride to keep up engagement.

Respond to customer’s queries and shout-outs as soon as possible

Every customer anticipates immediate reply from brands and hopes to have a substantial discussion consistently. 

Taking efforts to guarantee communication or conversations opportunities and not leave such calls unattended are the core elements of networking.

Your presence and engaging with the audience will gain your brand the utmost respect on social media. You can increase audience awareness by being active and respond effectively to social customer care. It is all about communicating.

Whether you are answering their questions or taking advantage of a compliment, the general rule here is never to leave your customers hanging. 

You can use the various social monitoring tools to find occasions throughout your channels to measure, respond, and interact with customers around-the-clock.

Whether you command a squad of 10 or 100, appointing specific tasks to each group will help in running a well-oiled social media team. 

According to reports, the standard response time for brands is about 10 hours. However, most users regard 4 hours to be the best time for brands to respond.

There are constant changes and updates on social media every minute, and it can be hard to keep up. However, it is crucial never to ignore customers who engage with you. 

7. Evaluate and adjust your strategy

Your social media strategy is an influential document for your business; however, you cannot expect to get it right the first time. Gradually, you will realise that some strategies work and others don’t, while others worked out superbly without expectation.

Social media strategy template

As you gear up to put your ideas into action, you can save time by using excellent sources like Hootsuite to manage your social media strategy. With a single dashboard, you can:

  • Work out, invent, and organise correspondence to every network.
  • Trail essential accounts, topics, and keywords.
  • Stay updated and on top of every commitment with ubiquitous inbox.
  • Find an easy-to-understand performance account and improve strategy accordingly.

Look at performance metrics.

Apart from analytics within a social media network, you can track social visitors by using UTM parameters. By monitoring social visitors moving through your website, you can evaluate the exact post that drove the most traffic to your site.

Re-examine, experiment, and do it all over again

You must have a proper understanding of how to go about building your social media strategy by now.

It is impossible to know which of your campaigns did well over another without constantly evaluating your efforts. Having an aerial perspective of your activities on social media will help in straightening out the knots and refocusing your strategies. It entails focusing on your top-performing content and adjusting your campaign accordingly.

Regular testing will allow you to evaluate what works and what doesn’t, which translates to filtering and enhancing your strategy in real-time. You can use such collected data to test campaigns, different posts and cast it against one another.

Use surveys to find out how your strategies are working. You can post questions to your website visitors, followers, and emails list on the things they want to see more of and if your content satisfies their expectations and needs. When you receive their reply, make good on the delivery.

Social media is fast-moving, demographic shifts happen, and new networks may emerge. 

Simultaneously your business will undergo changes and shifts.

All this boils down to the fact that your social media marketing strategy should remain intact and be a living document that you assess and modify accordingly. Consult to it regularly to stay focused and on track, but do not shy away from making the necessary changes subject to new tools, goals, or plans. If your old plans do not serve its purpose in elevating your current strategy, then it may not be worth following, and you can adopt the newer versions of the idea.

It is advisable to let your people know about any update or changes in the strategy to allow smooth and shared understanding among your team. 

Interact with your team about the challenges, goals, and wins

Understand that cooperation is vital to achieving success for every social marketer.

According to data, there is an expectation for many marketers to report on ROI and results with their superiors. It will show your efforts as a responsible team player highlighting the role and result of your social strategy can produce.

A more convenient way to show the information is through Sprout’s easy-to-read and shareable reports. 

You will also find that most reputable social management sources have built-in social collaboration tools making it uncomplicated and allowing users to work together on any specified community campaign. 

8. Focus on the big picture

Establishing a social media marketing strategy can be demanding as you need to take a step back and take in the bigger picture. The task requires you to shift your attention from the regular task of replying to comments and planning to higher-level thinking.

However, all such hard work is rewarding because possessing a though-out social media marketing plan will go a long way toward making you successful in your future business ventures. It will also help you in achieving your business and social media goals.

Hopefully, this post helped figure out how to create your strategy. It is time now to get your ducks in a row and strategise your social media strategy plans.

Sometimes it is easier to hire a digital marketing consultant to improve your social media marketing.

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