If you want to be successful online, you must have a Social Media Strategy. Don’t let your prospects and current customers forget you. Be present along with their customer journey from the moment you build brand awareness to the entire buying process and after.
When it comes to reaching a wider target audience, Social Media is the best marketing channel.
In general terms, you can use social media to
- Increase Brand awareness
- Increase the public’s awareness about your products and services
- Interact, socialise, and build a stronger relationship with your clients
- Gain new customers while retaining existing ones too
- Provide customer support
Whatever social media platforms appear or become popular over the years, one thing is for sure – Social Media Marketing will always be useful to businesses and marketers. To get the best results you need a clear strategy to identify your goals and plan of actions.
Step 1 – Identify your Audience
First, you have to understand who are your customers, what are their needs and where are they searching for information. This will help you tailor your messages to the right audience.
Have a clear vision of who you are talking to and what will resonate with them.
Once you know this, you will be able to choose the right social media to target your potential customers.
“Buyer Personas“ are fictional, generalised representations of your ideal customers. They help you understand your customers (and prospective customers) better and make it easier for you to tailor content to the specific needs, behaviours, and concerns of different groups.
The strongest “buyer personas” are based on market research as well as on insights you gather from your actual customer base (through surveys, interviews, etc.).
There are many templates on the internet, but I personally like HubSpot’s “buyer personas” template.
Steps 2 – Evaluate Your Social Media Presence
Before going into activities, you must assess your current social media presence.
What social networks do you use now, how many followers do you have, who is following you, what content do you share and what’s your engagement. Create a spreadsheet will all this information so you can have a clear picture of your business on social media before starting your strategy.
Understand who are your competitors. Without this information, you won’t know if you do better than them or worse.
Make sure your company’s branding is reflected on social media too. You don’t want to transmit a wrong signal, you want people to be able to follow you everywhere on social media because of you, your business, your services. You must have a recognisable brand. Use the company’s colours and make sure you include professional photos for profiles and cover photos.
Choose the right network for your business and post valuable content that people want to read, retweet and share.
As a business owner or marketer, you are in the position to decide where on Social Media your business should be. My main recommendation is“Don’t choose what you want, choose what is right for your company”. Don’t sign up for every Social media channel. Determine which social media platform is the most relevant to your business. Be excellent with one or two channels than mediocre at five or six.
If you need guidance to determine what social networks you need for your business, read my eBook Social Media Marketing – How to Choose the Right Social Media Platforms to Get the Best Results.
What sort of messages do you want to deliver on each social network? This may differ – for example on Twitter you need to prepare much interesting news, Facebook users want quality vs quantity and they love photos and videos, including live stream, for LinkedIn you need well-researched articles and with regards to Instagram you can use this network to share your company’s value and activities in photos and quotes…
Steps 3 – What’s Your Mission?
Identify your main goal.
- What’s your mission?
- What’s the purpose of creating this Social Media Strategy?
- What do you want to achieve?
- What message do you want to transmit?
These are some of the questions you should ask yourself in order to identify your main goal.
Do you want to use Social Media to educate business owners and traditional marketers about Digital Marketing, with a focus on Social Media (like in my case)?
Write it down. It will be easier for you to create a strategy if you know what your main goal is.
Steps 4 – Create SMART Social Media Objectives
Any project starts with clear objects and there is no exception for social media.
Start by writing down at least three social media objectives that relate to your business objectives.
Your objective must be S.M.A.R.T.
S – SPECIFIC
M – MEASURABLE
T – TIME-SPECIFIC
Here is an example of a SMART objective:
For Twitter – we will share eight tweets daily, two of them about our company and the others will be relevant news from the industry. We target at least 10 retweets and 5 likes. The Social Media Manager will be responsible for this and he will use HootSuite or Buffer to post and schedule the tweets.
Steps 5 – Develop Your Content Strategy
Now that you know who is your audience, you understood your social media presence and you know what are your objectives, think about what sort of content are you going to write to meet your objectives.
Your Content Strategy should include:
- Types of content you will post and promote
- Frequency of sharing
- Engagement plan
- Target audience for each type of content
- Content execution plan
- Content promotion plan
Create an Editorial Calendar, ideally monthly, to have a clear view of the type of content you should write.
Your Editorial Calendar should include simple information about:
- Title or description of the content
- Links to supporting documents, like content briefs
- Author or writer
- Channels you will promote it on
Step 6 – Track, Analyse, Optimise
Check your The social network’s Analytics often to see how well your campaign is performing. Each social network has its own Analytics / Insights tab where you can check how well your audience is receiving your posts.
Use a social media management tool to make your job easier. I mentioned a few options in my blog post Top 5 The Best Social Media Management Applications.
Now that you developed your Social Media Strategy, start implementing it. Each social network has its own specifics and you should post differently on each. In the last book I published just before Christmas, Social Media Trends for 2017, I had also included no less than 100 Social Media Tips for Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Google Plus, YouTube and Tumblr.This post was proofread by Grammarly
— Carmen Lascu (@CarmenLascu) February 15, 2017