What do you spend more time on, your computer and phone or the TV and the newspaper? If you are reading this, it’s very likely that the former was your answer. No wonder Social media marketing has suddenly grown so much in the past few years, as every brand understands the importance and usefulness of having a solid Social Media marketing strategy.
If you are still figuring out why posting consistently on Instagram and Facebook is not getting you any results, this guide on how to make a Social Media marketing strategy is just for you.
As you start going through this guide, you will realize how important pre-planning is, and how much time it helps you save time. This guide will also help you take faster decisions which may slow down the execution process. Lastly, this will also help you keep a close eye on your follower base and their response to your campaigns, so you know how to allocate your resources.
We have created a 5-step guide on developing a social media strategy for your brand to make it easy to execute. So, let’s jump right in!
Step 1: Identify Your Current Position
Before you start, you should figure out where you currently stand. Evaluate your current Social media profiles, which platforms you use, and how effective they have been. You can also conduct a Social Media audit to get a clearer idea of this. Further, you can track your competitors to see how they plan their Social Media marketing strategy and what type of content they put out.
Once you have a better idea of your current standing, it is time to decide where you want to head. This is where you decide the goals for your Social channels. Your goals can range from increasing brand awareness, increasing sales to creating a more loyal fan base and a community.
Knowing your social media objective will aid you in fixing your expectations and working accordingly, to take relevant steps at each juncture.
If you want to be more granular in your approach, you can set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, Time-bound). You can have multiple goals too, and complement them with individual strategies on how to achieve them.
Step 2: Get To Know Your Audience
Every person is different, and hence different people will enjoy different types of content. There is no ‘One size Fits all’ when it comes to marketing. Take the time to determine who your Target audience is to cater to their tastes. The best Social media marketing strategy examples will create a few buyer personas (hypothetical ideal customer based on your research and past data) for reference. These should have details like gender, age, occupation, income group, education, etc. How much time each demographic spends on a platform is also different. Snapchat, for instance, is mainly used by people under the age of 30.
You can also spend some time to understand your current followers, and why they followed you. What appealed to them is also an important point to consider as it gives direct insight into what resonated with them. Brands often use a dedicated social media analytics tool to make this process simpler. Tools like Unbox Social give you details about the most important metrics that you should track and work on, to improve your online presence.
Step 3: Content Is King
Now that you have decided who you are targeting, it’s time to plan on content creation. This is the time to express your creativity and stand apart from other brands. If your content is well designed, adapted to the platform and conveys the message well, then you are invincible to any external factors like Algorithm changes.
Make your profile stand out to impress visitors and keep them hooked. Content that is unique and different can be great for your brand.
Apart from the quality of content, also work towards developing consistency. There is no such thing as too much content. Optimize your creation workflow, and use your creative team to get better at this over time.
Your Social Media marketing strategy should also involve a Content calendar(a timetable of what to post on which platform at what time) to plan for future weeks. You can also try to automate this process by using 3rd party services, or the platform’s inbuilt Scheduling functionality.
You can also plan out your content on the basis of what message you want to put out. For example, 25% of your posts can be about your product/business, 25% about your industry in general, 25% are insights from thought leaders and the remaining 25% are posts that bring in engagement. This will vary based on your industry and goals.
There is a plethora of content that you can take inspiration from. Follow them, take cues from their content, bring your spin to it, adapt, experiment and keep on creating.
Step 4: Initiate Conversations Around Your Content
Social media is much more than just putting out content and expecting a positive Return on Investment. It is conversational and brings you closer to your audience. Use it to initiate conversations with them. One of the most common ways to do this is to ask a question in the post. It encourages people to comment. This engagement will also help your post reach more people.
That's either a mistake or we're just straight up taking your dollar. Haven't decided yet. https://t.co/4xWRnoWnJe
— dbrand (@dbrand) September 13, 2018
This is the time point at which you can get closer to your followers, address their concerns, act as quick Customer Service while helping your brand. Be casual with them. Younger audiences especially prefer it this way, where the message gets through much faster, something that companies have been able to do only via email.
As we have mentioned a few times earlier, to establish yourself as an opinion leader, track the most relevant hashtags around your content, and engage with the top posts using those hashtags. This helps you establish your reputation in the community, gain followers, and teaches you what kind of posts get featured, as inspiration.
Step 5: Review and Update
Now that your profiles are all set up, it is time to take a look back at them and see what is working. Decide on which metrics you want to track- conversion, reach, comments, shares, reception etc. Keep an eye on social media insights to learn more about what your audience likes and what kind of content do they engage most with. Access your analytics to get to know them better. This will also give you information on which campaigns have been the most fruitful and which aren’t performing well.
If you are resorting to ads and other forms of sponsored content, it is essential to keep a check on whether your money is going in the right places, or should be reallocated to other areas.
Failing to plan is planning to fail. Planning out your Social Media marketing strategy beforehand is what helps brands tell better stories.
- Audit your current standing. Set goals and targets that align with your brand’s vision. Have a look at your competitors too.
- Define your ideal customer. Identify your target audience so that you can adapt your content to their preferences.
- Once you have an idea what type of content will be appreciated by your followers, work towards improving it, both in terms of quality and quantity. Devise your content strategy and try to follow a content calendar for consistency.
- Encourage conversations and engagement around your content. Talk to your fans and know what they want.
- Assess your situation after following these steps periodically. Use Analytics to check if your strategies are working or need changes. Re-calibrate accordingly.