10 things to bear in mind when making a social media strategy
Whether you are new to social media or already manage multiple accounts and pages, you need to make sure you have a clear strategy for both your posting and social media marketing activities. Without a clear social media strategy, you risk advertising to the wrong target audience and/or posting content that doesn’t match your brand and company values. Either one of these scenarios can lead to losing online traffic and weakening your brand development plan. Your best course of action to reach the right audiences and avoid losing brand awareness is to create a unique plan for the social media presence of your business.
Where should you begin?
Social media has exploded in the last decade. And there are so many great examples of rich and effective social media accounts in the world today. From popular self-made Instagram influencers to huge corporations that hire professional and experienced social media experts to help them create unique and interesting content. Although online presentations of diverse businesses might not have much in common at first glance, all great social media accounts share a few things:
- They all understand the needs of their audience;
- All of them know how to reach those audiences;
- And they all engage them with content that stays true to their brand.
The first step towards this is a clear plan. And in order to create a strong social media plan, your current strategy will need proper analysis and adjustments. Gathering all this data can help ensure that you stay on track in the years to come. If you are looking for the perfect method of gathering all this relevant information, we would advise that you reach out for a detailed social media consultation with our team of specialists.
10 fundamental steps for establishing a social media strategy
Here are a few important steps to follow when creating a plan for your brand to develop on social media:
- Evaluate your current social media presence.
- Check out the competition.
- Set clear and specific goals.
- Decide on a budget.
- Target the right audience.
- Choose the right social media platforms for your business.
- Create a posting plan that goes along with your brand.
- Consider using social media management tools.
- Do regular analysis and quality evaluation of your social media strategy.
- Be prepared to learn, adapt and ask for help.
How do you feel about your current strategy?
Simply having a social media plan is not enough for it to actually work and bring in results. Auditing them is the very first step you need to focus on. Having a clear idea of where your brand stands when it comes to your presence on social media will help you create a strategy that you can benefit from. Evaluation and maintenance of current strategies is an essential part of perfecting those strategies.
However, if you don’t happen to have any social media accounts for your business, this is the time to start thinking about your brand’s vision and goals.
Answer the following questions for a more insightful evaluation of your social media efforts:
- Which social media networks are you most present at?
- Are all your accounts complete? (Do they feature all necessary information about your business?)
- Does your current strategy represent your brand properly? (Are your profile and cover photos well-suited to represent the foundation of your business? Does your content provide valuable or interesting information to your audiences? How often do you post on your accounts?)
- How are people engaging with your content? (This is an important metric. Therefore, make sure to identify the posts that marked the best performance)
You should make sure to document any evaluation that you conduct in the form of a weekly/monthly report. That way, you will have a complete picture of the quality of your marketing efforts and content engagement rate. This data will later help you create goals and proper action steps on how best to improve your social media strategy, further boosting your brand’s online presence.
Learn who your competitors are
Your strategy should be unique and it should follow your brand. Advertising on social media and gaining a larger audience is the endgame here. But before all that, you need to know who else is out there – learn who your main competition is.
Researching the competition will give you great insights into your clients’ needs. Not only that, but it will also help you determine the unique selling points of your product/services. Are they more affordable? Do you offer better quality than your competitors perhaps? Use the data you find to learn how different audiences respond to specific content and how to use that to gain a competitive edge.
Make your goals clear from the start
When it comes to setting goals, you need to stay specific. “Becoming one of the most popular brands online” is a great thing to aspire to but you need to define how to get there. Therefore, make sure you follow the S.M.A.R.T. goals’ rules when planning your social media strategy. Just like other business goals, your social media solutions need to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound.
That means that you need to set clear expectations, ones that can realistically be achieved within a pre-specified amount of time. Let’s take a look at an example:
Online sales from your website
When selling a product directly from your own website, social media can be a great source of paid traffic. Before rushing to create an advertisement or a promotive social media post, you need to have a clear goal that determines the increase in sales you are aiming for.
So, if you are aiming to increase your sales by 20% percent during the course of the next 6 months, you need to research what would be the best and most affordable type of campaign to use. Then research the prices per result for each social media network you will use. With the steps above and a calculation of the expected conversion rate, you can easily determine the budget for this specific goal.
The next step would be to set up a budget for each product or a catalog and then, to make sure your ads lead to specific landing pages. With a clear idea of how much you will spend on promoting each product or service, you can move to the creative part and focus on representing your brand with the best visual and text solutions.
Deciding on a budget for your social media strategy
Once you set up your social media goals, you can easily calculate the budget you need to prepare for your social media strategy. The important thing is to stay focused on your overall goals. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed with too many goals that can drain your budget. Set up an overall budget and divide it among the most important goals. While you wait for the data, you need to adjust your budget and plan the next time period.
Define your target audience
One of the most important things to think about when creating a social media strategy is identifying Your Ideal Client. Who is your most important target group? How old are they? What are their common interests? What are the challenges they face and how does your brand compliment their everyday routine or solves a specific problem they might have?
Defining the perfect audience for your brand will help you create both ads and posts that will appeal to their interests. Therefore, whether you are searching for the best way to attract the right crowd to your website or looking for a way to generate leads via social media, you need to consider their needs and interests first. That will help you target the best potential clients and determine the right audience when promoting on social media.
Which are the right social media networks for you to focus on?
Being present on each social media channel doesn’t necessarily mean that you will improve brand awareness or increase the sales funnel for your business. However, this may cause you to waste valuable time creating different posting strategies and drain your marketing budget. To avoid this, go back to the previous step and think about your ideal clients. Age groups, interests and other demographic factors will help you target the best social media for promoting your brand.
The posting plan – a brief guide to creating a schedule
Creating ads and driving paid traffic to your social media accounts will be beneficial. However, regular posts and content that provide more value to your followers can earn regular engagement with your brand and bring many loyal clients or customers in the long run. Regular posts on your social media that are in accordance with your brand’s standards. As well as with the interests of your audience.
Your posting social media strategy needs to be sustainable. This means that you need to create a plan that you can follow and maintain rather than overdoing it in the beginning and then abandoning it during the busy season. The best way to stay organized is to plan the posts at least a few days in advance. This will allow you to prepare the best photos and content for each post.
When is the best time to post?
Another important thing to consider is the time when you post. With so much content on social media nowadays, it is possible to miss the engagement of your target audience by posting at the wrong time. Make sure you research the data you get from your social media accounts. Also, remember to post during the hours your target group is most active online.
Should you use any social media management tools?
There are many online tools that can help you get great analytics data or even schedule posts. Investing in them can prove to be a great way to secure the best social media strategy for your business.
How successful is your new strategy?
Creating ads and new posts is interesting work. However, the headaches might start when you need to analyze all the data and calculate profitability.
Make sure you create proper conversion tracking methods. Hence, if you are funneling paid traffic from your social media accounts to your website use Google Analytics to track the behavior of your website’s visitors. With properly set goals and paths you will be able to track the conversion rate and profitability of each social media campaign.
How to use the data?
Use the data from your social media accounts and online tools to evaluate the quality of your content. Compare the impressions to the engagement rate. Don’t get discouraged by the results. Make sure you use each analysis as a learning experience and guidance on how to improve your social media strategy.
Keep in mind that data analysis is something you need to do on a daily and weekly basis. This will help you avoid wasting money on ineffective ads. And, also, give you guidance on how to adjust your posting plans.
There is a learning curve to everything
When it comes to social media and online marketing in general, one thing is sure: Everything is changing and updating constantly. Therefore, when planning a complete social media strategy, you need to be prepared to adjust to the new updates and keep up with constant changes.
Whether it is the algorithms or the dashboard of different social media ads managers, being familiar with the most recent changes can greatly improve the performance of your social media efforts.
Save resources and time by getting help from professionals
There are many online courses and tutorials that can help you get a grasp on how each social media works as well as how you can create a do-it-yourself social media strategy. However, it all takes time and energy to truly master and reach a level that can prove profitable for your social media efforts. Instead, if you want to save time or have professional marketeers help you with a unique social media plan, you should always search for help from marketing agencies. Our team here at Digital Dot can help you improve your brand and reach your social media goals, starting from today. Just give us a call and let us make your brand the #1 choice online!