How to Create a Social Media Strategy
Setting up a social media strategy can be very helpful to make the most of what platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter have to offer. You can engage with your target audience, build brand awareness, promote products, sell more, and conquer loyal customers.
Social media platforms are accessed by millions of people every day around the world, you can find potential customers in them. However, it isn't enough to just create a profile or a page, you need to post relevant content regularly, and to do that it's necessary to create an effective strategy that considers your target audience and your goals.
Check out the article to learn more about how to develop a social media strategy that meets your needs. Once you define a strategy, you can use it as a guide to make posts and evaluate them and social media profile performances.
What Is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing can be defined as the use of social media platforms with the purpose of promoting a brand, a person, products, and services. Instead of using social media only to communicate with friends and family, for example, you will use them to achieve business goals, sell, close deals, and strengthen your brand's reputation.
You can enjoy social media marketing to:
- Increase brand awareness
- Build credibility and gain trust
- Connect directly with your audience
- Conquer loyal customers
- Sell products and services
- Analyze how your brand is perceived
- Advertise products and services
With social media marketing, you have a space to promote a business that is free. Different from ads, you don't need to pay to create a page o a profile and publish content. All you need to do is to come up with an effective social media strategy, put it into practice and evaluate the results to implement changes as you see fit.
What Is a Social Media Strategy?
Social media strategy is the plan you are going to draw to guide the actions that will be implemented on your social media. It includes setting up your goals, defining the tactics to achieve them, and the key performance indicators (KPIs) you will use to measure the success of the strategy.
Your social media strategy must encompass all the social media platforms your company will be present. It's necessary to develop different tactics according to each social media particularity. You can define different goals for every platform, but they all must be aligned with the digital marketing strategy that your company follows, as social media marketing strategy is a part of it.
A good social media strategy also defines the roles and responsibilities of everyone on your team. They will be responsible for managing the profiles and pages and making sure all company's social media is updated, and full of good content.
Why Do You Need a Social Media Strategy?
Beyond understanding what social media strategy is, it's essential to know how it can benefit your business. One of the first aspects to consider is how many people use social media channels nowadays. More than 4.48 billion people use social media worldwide. This means you have a high chance to reach your customers when using social media.
However, to draw their attention, it's necessary to provide appealing content that can be made with the right social media strategy. If you do a quick research, it's likely that you will find your competitor profiles on Instagram and TikTok, for instance, when you have a good strategy, you can stand out from them, and engage with an audience that's interested in your products.
When you have a social media strategy, you avoid losing time making content that doesn't deliver any results, and you can focus on what really works. All the work on managing and producing social media content is driven by the goals you determined, and your team can guide themselves on the strategy set, this leads to more productivity and better results.
How to Create Your Social Media Strategy
1. Set Goals
The first step to creating a social media strategy for your business is defining what goals you aim to reach. This way, you will develop tactics consistent with your purpose, which also makes it easier to measure performance, and continuously improve.
In social media there is a term commonly used that is "vanity metrics", it refers to numbers that don't have as much return as others. For example, having a high number of followers is important, but it's much more valuable to have high engagement and conversion rates depending on your goal.
If the business objective is to grow brand awareness, it's necessary to work on tactics to grow the number of followers, comments, likes, and shares. On the other hand, If you want to turn customers into your brand's advocates, you have to come up with actions that encourage them to engage with your company. The number of comments, direct messages, and mentions are strong KPIs for engagement.
To drive more sales and gain leads, you should compel social media users to follow your links. The number of clicks on your links, signs up for your newsletter, and purchases made through social media help to measure the success of your strategy.
2. Get to Know Your Target Audience
To define an effective social media strategy, it's fundamental to understand who your target audience is and identify the social media channels they use most. To begin with, try to answer the following questions.
- What is your target audience's average age?
- Where are they mostly located?
- What's their average income?
- What social media do they use?
- What are their main interests?
- How can your products and services help them solve their demands?
With this, you can identify what type of content is more likely to draw their attention and produce posts that they will find interesting.
Every element in the social media pages and profiles must be added considering how your potential customers feel about that, as they are a key factor to the success of your social media strategy. Without knowing your target audience, it's much harder to create a profile that's relevant to them
Keep in mind that your target audience may be different from one social media platform to another. You may need to develop different tactics according to the public you aim to reach on each channel.
3. Research The Competition
Do you know how your competitors position themselves on social media? What social media channels do they use? Do they post regularly? It's necessary to make an analysis of the social media strategies they implement to understand how your content can differ from theirs to make your brand stand out.
Analyzing the brands that are your competitors doesn't mean copying their content, far from that. However, it's crucial to know them to avoid falling behind, and even to detect errors preventing you from committing the same ones.
You can also find opportunities such as customer demand they didn't meet or social media channels that haven't been explored by them yet.
4. Do a Social Media Audit
If your company already has profiles on social media platforms, enjoy this content to evaluate what is working for you and what isn't. Analyze the profiles that most engage with you, and measure the performance of your posts, and the results it has brought.
This will be very helpful to begin creating a new social media strategy since it will give a notion of your strengths and weaknesses. After this, you can decide if it's worth keeping all the social media profiles or focusing on only the most important ones, or if you should delete them and start from scratch.
5. Select the Social Media Platforms You Will Use
Before researching your target audience, and competitors and analyzing your social media profiles and pages, you will be able to identify the most important social media channels that your brand needs to be present.
Create your brand account on each one of them and set up the profiles or pages. If the profiles and pages already exist, check their details like the bio, contact information, and photos need to be improved.
Make sure to fill out the profile fields, and write a compelling bio that catches users' attention and also represents your brand's values. Choose a profile image that is aligned with your brand's visual identity, the logo is very recommendable in those cases.
6. Look For Inspiration
Creating interesting content can be a challenge, mainly when a creative block happens. To help you and your team with that, what about creating an inspiration board? Look for social media profiles that you find interesting, it may be because of the post format they make, the image designs, or their texts.
It doesn't need to be posts or profiles related to your business field. The purpose isn't to reproduce the posts you find inspiring but use them to nurture your own ideas and keep up with the latest trends. You can learn from them and still be unique.
7. Create a Social Media Content Calendar
Consistency and regularity are two essential elements to keep an engaged audience on social media. If you want to reach your goals, you need to post frequently instead of on random days, just when a post idea comes up.
If you don't keep your social media profile updated, it may easily fall into oblivion. To help you with that, it's advisable to create a social media calendar where you will define the days and hours that new content will be published on each social media platform, the topics, and the post format too.
You can divide the posts into different categories, for example, in the case of a clothing store on Instagram:
- Monday, Wednesday, and Friday: post about one product from the store.
- Tuesday and Thursday: fashion tips
- Saturday: customer review
- Sunday: company history
When you have a social media content calendar, it becomes easier to organize the content that needs to be posted, and when it must be made. You and your team avoid forgetting to publish and can organize yourselves according to the calendar.
8. Deliver High-Quality Content
Having a great social media marketing strategy won't be enough if your content isn't good. Research themes that are related to your brand, and turn them into posts that deliver valuable information to your target audience.
Remember to adequate the posts according to the characteristics of each social media channel. For example, TikTok is a platform where long captions probably won't perform well, the focus is on the images and audio information, and many people don't even read the captions.
On the other hand, Twitter post format favors short texts. You can post videos and images, but the focus usually is on written texts. Good content isn't just about interesting topics, but also how you present the information to make it attractive.
9. Track Performance
To make sure your social media strategy is effective, you need to analyze the results. Track performance by measuring the key performance indicators according to the goals you have set. Many social media platforms, like Instagram and Facebook, provide several analytics tools to companies. It's worth using them.
Keep Improving Your Social Media Strategy
Don't commit the mistake of believing that once you have created a social media strategy, it can't be changed. On the contrary, tracking performance is so crucial because it allows you to identify what you need to enhance your strategies.
Social media channels are constantly being updated with new features and resources. Besides, when the platforms alter their algorithms this can affect your results, tactics that used to work may no longer be effective. Therefore, you will need to change your social media strategy. Keep yourself up to date with those changes and the trends that come up.
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