When it comes to creating a social media strategy for your business you will need to strategically map out a number of objectives in order to achieve success.
In this article, we will uncover the key steps that you need to take so your brand can get the most of social media as a whole.
Step 1. Identify your social media goals
The first step in creating a powerful and effective social media strategy is to identify your core goals and objective from a quantitative perspective.
The big question you have to ask yourself is “What specifically do I want to achieve”? And how am I going to achieve it?
Here are some examples of what you could aim to achieve;
- Building brand awareness and trust
- Generate an abundance of leads
- Retarget engage with past customers
- Generate direct revenue with online conversions and sales
- Drive more traffic to a landing page for funnel process
Finding and identifying what it is you want to achieve will also be subject to the objectives and methodology.
The table below gives an example of how to align your goals and objectives with social media marketing.
Being specific with your goals and objectives is very important, which is why you should note the following:
- Why do we want to achieve this?
- What value will this bring to my business?
- What is our timeline to achieve this goal?
QUICK TIP: Another way to work out goals is by using the SMART Goals acronym;
- TIME SPECIFIC
Step 2. Create an accountability system for your subject goal
Once you have clearly established your goals and objectives, you will need to draw out a more in-depth process that will help you achieve your goals on social media.
In simple words, find your tools for success. What resources will you need to attain your goal? How are you going to get over the hurdles of management? Etc.
The best way to draw this out is to create the following list:
- Tasks that need to be done
- The people involved
- The tools needed
- The budget
- Back-up plan
Step 3. Uncover insights around your audience
Knowing and understanding your audience is very essential in any business, whether it’s from a sales perspective or a marketing perspective, your audience is what paves the path for your business.
From knowing who they are as a person to what they have for dinner is key to further optimisation and growth. When you fully understand your target audience, you will not only save time but save money from trying to work out who keeps the doors open to your business.
Data is key
It is highly recommended that if you are to identify your audience, you will need real-world data. Making assumptions around who your ideal customer is, will be like saying, any bait will catch any fish. WRONG! Make sure you are as accurate as possible.
Don’t have any data?
If your business is a start-up and doesn’t have any pre-existing data to support your strategy, then it is recommended that you run a series of ad tests that trigger interest to those who matter most with regard to what you are selling, offering or marketing. Data is everything when it comes to marketing, it’s what shapes a successful business so be sure to take advantage of every bit of metric.
What you will need to do is find out your audience personas and a really simple way of doing this is;
- Who are my customers?
- Where do they live?
- Where do they work?
- Where do they shop?
- What are their buying habits?
- What type of person are they?
- Which social platforms do they spend their time on?
- What topics do they like most?
- What brand do they follow?
Overall, you will want to make sure that target aligns directly with the arrow you are shooting. Your audience on social media is everything, so make sure that you are clear as daylight before marketing anything to them.
Step 4. Investigate your top industry competitors
There is a good chance that your competitors are already using social media. Some will be doing great and others not so much, however, it is important to watch what they are doing so you can arm your business the right way.
Identify the dominant players
When investigating your competitor’s current ads on social media, you will want to make sure that you are reviewing the top competitors and not just any. So be sure to find the top players in your game so there is a bigger expectation.
Measure competitor activity
To be able to fully digest what your competitors are doing and how you can determine what’s working for them and what’s not, is taking the time to check in on their current performing ads. Measure the type of content and context behind the ad along with the ad placements etc.
The chart below will help you identify this in a logical format
TIP: Look for flaws in their marketing and branding – this is where you can build a better foundation based on the mistakes of others.
Check live ads on Facebook & Instagram
Here’s how you can look at your competitor’s ads on Facebook & Instagram with a few easy steps.
Step 5. Conduct your own social media audit
If you’re currently utilising social media for your business, then you will need to stop what you are doing and look back at everything you have produced so far.
Dive deep into your own world
It’s critical that ask yourself the following questions:
- What are you currently doing?
- What has worked for you? What hasn’t worked for you?
- Who is engaging with your efforts most?
- Which platforms are you using? Are they right for you?
- What does your strategy look like? Did you have a proper plan in place?
- How do you compare to your competitors?
- How much money have you spent to date? Can you calculate a rough ROI (Return on Investment)
- Who was responsible for these initiatives?
- What does our brand portray?
- How much time was spent on this?
Your audit should identify a clear picture of what the reality was for your initiatives.
Step 6. Play to your strengths
From your audit, you will need to identify what worked best for you and which platforms served a better purpose.
Based on your own consensus, you will need to ask yourself” what am I really good at, and how can I improve on my strength here?”
To help you see better, ask yourself these three questions:
- What stuck out the most?
- Is this a real strength of mine?
- How can I further improve this?
There is no point wasting time, energy and money on trying to improve all the weak spots of your former strategy. It’s important that you be true to yourself and your strengths as the rewards are much greater.
Step 7. Piece together your funnel
Now that you have established your new direction to move forward with, you will need to design your social media marketing funnel. This will pave a clear path for you to walk down as well as the methodology for your customers to take when interacting with your ads.
There are many ways of creating a marketing funnel. They all serve a different purpose, however, in the world of social media marketing, there are only a few methods.
Below is an example of a marketing funnel:
In a nutshell, you will need to take a customer from point a to point z in the most seamless manner possible.
A typical social media marketing/sales funnel would comprise of the following stages:
- Brand Awareness
Step 8. Develop a meaningful content plan
Creating content comes with practice and takes a lot of creative juice to hit the nail on the head. Firstly, your content needs to align with the core objectives of your brand and what the company represents. Secondly, your content needs to outline a solution for a problem.
It’s one thing to create content, but it’s another to create content that tells a story. Putting topics together and getting inspiration from other sources is a great way of identifying the direction you need to take.
Coming up with content topic clusters is a highly effective way to identify your topic of choice. Here’s an example of how you can write out your topic in a cluster format:
Step 9. Execute your strategy with testing
Creating an effective social media marketing strategy for your business takes a lot of measuring and testing. What may seem great on paper, won’t necessarily mean it will work in the real world. Which is why whenever you create a strategy for your business, test it until you find what sticks.
This means you will need to constantly revise and improve your strategy until you are ready to go all-in with what has proven to work in the real world.
Testing your ads before spending huge amounts of dollars is a very cost-effective method. There’s no point spending all your money on something you haven’t yet tried and determined its results.
The major benefits of testing are:
- Save you money in the long run
- Collecting real-data
- Finding what works and what doesn’t
It’s very important to test in the digital world as human psychology changes very rapidly along with social media algorithms. What does this mean? Well, what worked yesterday, may not work tomorrow.
The key to an effective social media marketing strategy is energy and planning. The more resources and time you can put together for it, the better the outcome.
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