You wouldn’t make a significant business decision without a plan, right?
No, you’d want to make sure you knew as much information as possible to predict the outcome of your decision. To understand how to focus your efforts for the best results.
Social media is no different.
“You need to know how and why you’re getting involved with social media so that you can right-size your resources, relationships, and expectations.”- Jay Baer
Create a Social Media Strategy in 6 Simple Steps
Having a social media strategy will make your life SO MUCH EASIER!
And with a well thought-out strategy, the purpose of using social media in your marketing efforts will suddenly come into focus.
It’s not an easy task though, so prepare yourself. A social media strategy is going to require some serious clocked hours. There’s no shortcut if you want to do it right.
You are lucky though – you have us!! We broke it down into 6 simple steps.
Follow these steps and you’re well on your way to making good social media decisions!
Choose Your Goals
What do you want social media to achieve for your business? These goals need to align with your overall company goals.
Are your goals for social media realistic?
A simple example: If your competition has 1 million Instagram fans, then you might get there. But if they have been on Instagram for 5 years, then you can’t expect to reach 1 million fans in 1 year.
Here are some social media goal examples from our real-world clients:
- Generate New Leads
- Increase Sales
- Boost Brand Awareness/ Engagement
- Drive Website Traffic
- Improve Customer Service
- Increase Press Mentions
Audit Your Social Media
Figuring out where to go requires you to take stock of where you are right now.
- What social media platforms do you currently use?
- What purpose does each platform serve right now?
- Who are your fans?
- What is your competition doing?
Audit your social at least annually and keep up with your passwords!
Research your audience (click on any platform below).
- Facebook demographics
- Instagram demographics
- LinkedIn demographics
- Twitter demographics
- Pinterest demographics
- Snapchat and other Auto-Delete App demographics
Once you’ve completed the audit, update your social media platforms or delete the ones that don’t fit your goals (Step 1). Report (or claim) accounts that you don’t control and need.
And heed this piece of advice!! It’s better to use 1 or 2 social platforms really well than to use a lot of platforms really poorly.
Set Your Metrics
It isn’t all about Likes, shares and smiley faces.
Instead, it’s about selecting metrics (or ways to measure) that generate results for the same goals you chose in Step 1. Those metrics might include:
- Generate new leads through content downloads – “How many people visited from social media and downloaded your content?”
- Increase sales revenue – “How much revenue is your social media advertising bringing in?”
- Boost brand awareness/ engagement with the number of posts, likes, and comments – “How engaged is your audience?”
- Drive website traffic from social media – “How many visitors are coming to the website directly from social media?”
- Improve customer service – “How many customer service conversations have you had with your customers on social media?”
- Increase press mention and shares– “How many people are sharing or talking about your news, blogs or articles?”
Do Your Research
Find out what other businesses in your industry are doing. How are they using social media and how do they measure success?
Specifically, see what your competitors are doing and what is working for them. You may even see things that they are missing out on that you can then do to create a competitive edge.
Facebook has a great list of “Success Stories” that you can search here.
These case studies are valuable in researching things to try that you’d have never thought of on your own!
Create or Improve Your Social Media Content
Plan out what content you are going to post on social media as it now relates to Steps 1 – 3.
What types of content should you post and how often? Who is your target audience for each type of content and each social media platform?
You also need a REALLY clear understanding of WHO will create this content. Too many cooks in the kitchen will make a mess. You need to know who will respond to customers as well.
READ: Case Study: Social Media Customer Care
Test, Measure, Listen & Adjust
Now we’ve come to the final step and it’s the one that makes the whole strategy!
What times of day at best for posting? Does your audience respond to questions, or do they just like pictures and videos? Try different things and do more of what works!
Measure the metrics that you already chose above in Step 3. Some additional tools you could use are –
- URL shorteners (Bitly is one example)
- UTM parameters
- Set up Google Analytics
Use what’s called a dashboard (we use Sprout Social) to listen to what’s being said about your business, your industry, and your competition. Being able to respond quickly is only possible if you stay aware of what’s being said.
The most important thing to remember in creating your social media strategy isn’t “do it one time and forget it”. You will need to review your strategy annually. As your business grows, your goals may change.
PLUS social media platforms are always changing.