Ever played pin the tail on the donkey? A good social media strategy is like removing the blindfold when it comes to putting the pin in the right place! It’s how to make sure the time you spend posting, engaging, sharing content, boosting and promoting is a strategic pathway to reaching your goals.
What is a social media strategy?
A social media strategy shows where you are going, a social media plan shows how to get there. The strategy will do this by answering the following 5 questions:
- Why do you want to be on social media?
- Who is your target audience?
- What are you going to share?
- Where are you going share?
- When are you going share?
So many clients come to us frustrated at the results they’re getting on social media. With the shift from organic reach to user pays over the past few years, if you’re not strategic you’re pretty much throwing money and time down the drain. What works today might not work tomorrow; a strategy keeps you on the right path. It’s the very foundation of your social media marketing.
Why have a social media strategy?
In short, you need a social media strategy to meet your goals. Done well, your actions on social media should help you to achieve some (or all, depending on your plan) of the goals below:
- Increase brand awareness and engagement
- Improve customer loyalty and retention
- Attract and convert prospects within your target audience
- Provide social customer service
- Become a key influencer in your industry
A good strategy gives you clear direction and your goals mapped out in alignment will make you more efficient. You’ll be focused on what you need to do, and will therefore spend less time thinking about what to post or scrabbling for content at the last minute.
How to create your social media strategy
Step 1: S.M.A.R.T. Goals
Identify your goal. It should be a S.M.A.R.T. goal so each directive is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely.
For example ours is to “Grow our online presence as a virtual resource for small business owners by increasing traffic to our site through social media from 10% to 25% by the end of October 2019”.
Step 2: Social Audit
Conduct a social media audit examining past and present activity to determine:
- What’s working and what’s not?
- Who is connecting with you on social?
- Which content is attracting what traffic to your site from which social channels?
- Which networks do your target audience use?
- How does your social media presence compare to that of your competitors?
Step 3: Analyse Your Followers
Are you attracting your ideal audience on social media? It’s critical to know exactly who your ideal audience is and knowing what they want to see on social is key to creating content that they will like, comment on and share. By creating a buyer persona you’ll be able to map out your content calendar in your marketing plan, ensuring you’re sharing the right content in the right place at the right time.
We often use surveys, on-boarding questionnaires, zooms, emails and social posts to determine the pain points our target audience have and the language they use, so we can focus on the solutions that resonate and encourage engagement.
Step 4: Analyse Your Competition
Complete a competitor analysis to identify opportunities. A competitor may be dominant on Instagram but putting little effort into LinkedIn, so focusing your efforts there where your audience is underserved could be a good strategy. The analysis should answer:
- Which channels they are active on?
- What types of posts are most engaged with?
- Who are their followers?
- When are they posting?
Step 5: Your Content
Outline the type of content that will inspire, educate, resonate and solve problems for your ideal audience. Your strategy should define what content is used on which platforms, forming the basis for your content calendar. For example, for Your VA, we use Instagram to inspire and LinkedIn to educate.
Step 6: Your Measurements
The most important part of your social strategy is to track and tweak! You can’t assume you’ll get it right on the first try or that it’s a static document that can’t change. As you start to implement your plan and track your results, you will find some strategies don’t work as well as you’d anticipated, while others work better than expected.
Our rule for monthly testing is to:
- Do more of what’s working well.
- Review and test what’s not working as well.
- Introduce a new strategy and start to track.
- Eliminate a strategy that’s not performing.
Give yourself a pat on the back, you’ve done it! Going forward your social media efforts will actually pull their weight, building brand awareness and attracting new leads, rather than simply being there just because it’s 2019 and you need to be on social media. With your strategy in place, social content creation will be easier and more effective.
If you want a strategy but don’t have the time or the can-do to do it yourself, we have you covered with a done-for-you option. Purchase your social media strategy with a simple click of a button… and we’ll do the heavy lifting for you. Strategies are our zone of genius, they don’t have to be yours (but you do need one!).