Trying to craft a social media strategy from the bottom up can get intimidating. There are a lot of factors to be taken care of. Moreover, formulating a social media marketing strategy does not stop with the mere conceptualization. As a marketer, you’ll have to follow it through to implementation up until you see desirable results. But this task is not too difficult, especially when you have the support of automation tools. There are ways to formulate and track your social media strategy to ensure it works out well for your brand.
Why is a Social Media Strategy Important?
More than 3 billion people use social media. And an average user spends around 6 hours 30 minutes on the internet per day. A third of that is spent on social media. So if you do not have a strong social media strategy in place you will not be able to compete for long and be profitable.
Some marketers may say they have a social media strategy in place so it’s not a worry. However, how well is your strategy succeeding? According to the Content Marketing Institute, only 6% of B2C marketers feel that the metrics they are using works excellently to track the progress of their marketing goals. Although 85% of marketers are using analytics tools, yet almost half of them do not know if their social media strategy is working.
How to Design a Successful Social Media Strategy?
In order for you to see the desired results, your social media strategy has to work. Here’s a guide explaining in simple steps how to establish a working social media marketing strategy.
Step 1: Set your Goals
You obviously need a clear picture of your goals to set your strategy around it. To put it more easily, if your goal is to increase visibility, you will start by brainstorming promotional posts.
A practical approach to setting goals is to employ the S.M.A.R.T way. Your goals need to be:
- Relevant, and
Step 2: Know your Audience
The next important step on your list is to know your target audience. Find out everything about them. Because if you don’t research well, you won’t know what they really want/like to see on social media. If you are hoping to use social media as a vehicle to promote and grow your business, it is critical for you to know your audience. Many social intelligence tools allow marketers to study the demographics of their target audience. They include metrics such as:
- Time spent on social media and posts etc.
Your followers are real people. Studying these facts about them will help your brand understand the different buyer personas and advertise better.
Step 3: Competitor Analysis
If you are having a hard time figuring out your social media strategy, try getting inspired. Chances are your competitors are already on social media and have a strategy in place. Competitive analysis helps you understand what’s working best for your competitors. Since your target audiences are the same, a similar strategy can be of help to you too.
Social listening is one way to keep an eye on your competitors. The tool helps you run searches of your competitor’s name, hashtags, etc. Once you know what they are doing online and what people are saying, you can start formulating your strategy.
Step 4: Plan and Implement your Content
This step is pretty self-explanatory. Once you have your goals set, collect data about your target audience and your competitors. Look into what’s trending in your industry. Use the data and plan out your content with the creative team.
At this stage, various social media management tools come in handy. You might want to use tools like a social media content calendar or a scheduling tool. If you are planning campaigns, social listening tools can be of help. Marketing automation tools help implement your marketing ideas more easily. Here’s a list of tools you can use.
Step 5: Social Media Auditing and Improvements
You will perhaps have to make a few tweaks to your original plan to attain a successful strategy that works for your brand. Every time you implement a strategy and launch a campaign on a specific platform you are essentially running an experiment. Test it out and take note of the results. When you start tracking the data, you have a better picture of things like:
- Which platform is driving the maximum traffic?
- Which posts receive the highest engagement?
- What time of the day should you post?
- How responsive is your target market to your brand? Etc.
You will need to keep a constant track of all the metrics affecting your social media strategy. The digital space is constantly changing and what works today might become obsolete tomorrow. Ensure that your brand is evolving with the technology surrounding it.