Creating a social media marketing strategy from the ground up can be brutal. Even though social media seems transparent at first glance, it’s only the tip of the iceberg. Underwater, there’s the whole ginormous kingdom of algorithms and opportunities. If handled properly, they can boost growth that lives up to your expectations. In this article, we’ll show why you need one. You’ll learn how to shape successful social media marketing strategies from A to Z.
- Why Build a Social Media Strategy?
- How to Create a Social Media Strategy From Scratch
- Step #1: Establish clear social media goals
- Step #2: Figure out how you’ll measure success
- Step #3: Get to know your audience well
- Step #4: Monitor your competitors
- Step #5: Create thumb-stopping content
- Step #6: Develop an optimal social media posting strategy
- Step #7: Optimize based on your results
- A Better Way to Execute Multiple Social Media Marketing Strategies
Why Build a Social Media Strategy?
There are a million reasons for finding room for social media in your marketing strategy.
Aside from search engine optimization, social media is one of the best ways to find your audience. It’s no secret that there are 3.499 billion active users with the average daily time spent on social equalling to 142 minutes a day. In fact, 81 percent of companies already leverage it to get their brands noticeable.
According to Neil Patel, social media is a great place to generate sales that can drive you more than $500,000. Not too shabby, right? Right. But you need to know the spells and we’re here to show you. Remember that Harry Potter couldn’t do a lot without actually learning.
How to Create a Social Media Strategy From Scratch
So what exactly is a social media strategy for business? It is a roundup of things you plan to do to achieve a certain goal on social media. It is supposed to guide you along the way and show if you’re moving in the right direction. A winning strategy will reflect on your successes and failures. Every action in the form of posts, replies, likes, and comments should come in handy and serve a particular goal. To elevate your strategy, make sure to take the next strategic steps.
Step #1: Establish clear social media goals
Building a social media strategy, you should take into account many things, but the most important is your end goal. Start by asking yourself a question: What would I like to achieve with social media? Brand awareness, traffic, leads, conversions, purchases? Wait. Why would I even bother to start? Answer this question and you’ll set a foundation for your social media marketing strategy and focus on a specific goal.
Your objectives and goals should be the starting point if you want to create a social media strategy. There’s no other way to identify return on investment (ROI), and success can only be measured against specific targets. However, to put it clearly from the beginning, your goals shouldn’t be abstract. Hootsuite has invented the S.M.A.R.T. goal framework for marketers who are interested in driving real business results. Following that framework, you make sure that the goals are specific and measurable, attainable and relevant, and, of course, time-bound.
Another important thing for small businesses that have just started, is to focus on smaller goals and set realistic expectations. Let’s face it. In 2019, it’s more reasonable to expect a couple of thousand followers than a million.
Step #2: Figure out how you’ll measure success
Success on social media alone can be misleading. There are lots of vanity metrics that give you a sense of instant achievement and joy. Everything that is easy to track, from retweets to likes, however, does not necessarily bring you real value. You can get a million likes, as in the case with a famous egg photo on Instagram, but what could you do with them all except for storing them in your memory?
A real social media management strategy should harvest and count the number of leads and conversion rates. In other words, metrics that bring end value to your brand and return more costs than you spent. Social networks, obviously, can have different metrics. According to Hootsuite, you should differentiate between the following:
- Awareness metrics (brand awareness, audience growth rate, post reach, potential reach, the social share of voice)
- Engagement metrics (applause rate, average engagement rate, amplification rate, virality rate)
- Conversion metrics (conversion rate, click-through rate, bounce rate, cost-per-click rate,
- Customer metrics (customer testimonials, customer satisfaction score, net promoter score).
For your activities to be meaningful, a social media marketing plan should rely on data. Data is the new oil, remember?
Step #3: Get to know your audience well
After you’ve figured out what you want from social media and why, it’s time to focus on another factor, vital to achieving anything that comes after. Determine who is your buyer persona, what their expectations and greatest pains are. A buyer persona is a customer with real needs whose problem you’re trying to solve. It will give you a better perspective as to what content to create and how to appeal to those needs.
To better understand where your audience spends most of their time, you can refer to the social demographics reports. They will help you identify where your buyer persona can be found and limit your efforts to one or two social channels. One such report by SproutSocial distinguishes between Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn demographics. Here are some thoughts:
- If your users are in their middle age, live urban lives, and have an income higher than average, most of them spend their time on Facebook.
- Instagram, compared to Facebook, leans towards a younger audience, mostly from the US.
- Twitter is a favorite of men and women who are in their twenties and live outside of the US.
- LinkedIn is the most famous social media platform for B2B marketing activities.
An important step here would be to put your buyer persona against every social network and figure out what they look for on different channels in particular. Your social networking strategy will always depend on what content users expect at a certain place.
Only after doing in-depth research into your target audience will you be able to come up with a true brand strategy that converts. Treat your audience as a guiding light and build upon that knowledge.
When you build a portfolio with your first clients, you can also rely on that data and improve on it.
Step #4: Monitor your competitors
The first thing that comes to mind when you need to roll out a marketing strategy, is to take a look at what other businesses just like you are doing. By constantly investigating the strengths of your competitors and what actually works for them, you can test similar methods and generate better ideas. Just be open-minded as to what your rivals do and try to perform better than that.
There are many ways to find your competitors, with Google Search being the best and the easiest. Just look for your keywords and see what pops up. Don’t ignore the ads! Then, check their social media pages and investigate further. Another option to discover who your competitors are would be to use tools like SEM Rush, Stat, Similarweb, or Buzzsumo.
Step #5: Create thumb-stopping content
Any social media channel strategy requires a special approach to content creation. Unfortunately, small businesses usually struggle to produce great content and get disappointed after putting a lot of effort into making their strategies work. The problem lies deeper. Not being able to get more followers and likes is not your fault. It’s not your fault. On Twitter, for example, you’ll have only 18 minutes to impress your followers, as the feed is chronological, so you should be laser-focused about the activity of your audience.
But of course, there’s a way out. Visual content can help you greatly if it’s in line with the current trends. The more visual content you post on social, the better your engagement rate will be. PromoRepublic has everything you need when it comes to unique thumb-stopping graphics for different social networks. In addition to premade social media content across seventeen industries and holiday templates, the tool provides you with the ability to edit it and schedule to multiple platforms.
Step #6: Develop an optimal social media posting strategy
For a social media content marketing strategy to bring results, it’s important to feed the content monster consistently and stick to a schedule. At the same time, it’s essential to know the right times when every network actually wants to be fed. We suggest that you don’t try to remember all the right and wrong dates. PromoRepublic has a built-in feature that suggests the optimal times to post different types of content, based on your time zone. There will be various time slots in the calendar for engaging, motivational, educational, and other posts. Just choose a piece of content from our library, tailor it to your taste in the graphic editor and schedule to be published.
When the audience starts interacting with your posts, you should be there to respond. And you can do it from PromoRepublic as well. Also, the tool allows you to monitor your brand mentions.
Step #7: Optimize based on your results
The best social media business strategies are always the results of hard and comprehensive work. When everything is set up, you should always improve on it. To grow on social media, you’ll need to track the results and efficiency of your posts against the initial goals established in the beginning. Sometimes, your promotion strategies will be effective, other times you may find that what should have worked well, didn’t live up to even 50% of your expectations. Through trial and error, you’ll discover more efficient ways to approach social media marketing plans.
All you need to do to optimize is to track your data and apply it to re-evaluate some steps in your social media strategic planning. Every social business page has an analytics section where you’ll be able to check your performance. But aside from analytics, you can do surveys and polls, asking your followers questions that will help you better understand if the strategy is working. Listen to what they say and learn some lessons.
A Better Way to Execute Multiple Social Media Marketing Strategies
It just so happens that you should execute multiple social media marketing plans at the same time. This holds true especially for agencies and freelancers that struggle to manage social media for multiple clients simultaneously. This task demands a whole lot of work and revision on every step of the way. Imagine being responsible for twenty social platforms or even more. Where would you get content ideas to fit the needs of every audience? A tough nut to crack, isn’t it?
Sometimes, all of us get to the point, when we run out of ideas. At PromoRepublic, we do everything in our power to alleviate this pain and help marketers come up with social media marketing plans that bring results. All of this is done through great content and an inexhaustible pool of templates and samples for almost every occasion and industry.
Organizing work around social media is one more strength we’re very proud of. PromoRepublic allows you to have a separate workspace for each client, making it extremely comfortable and motivating to scale and enrich your portfolio.
If developing a social media strategy is #1 on your priority list, the seven simple steps described above will help you begin and give you a good understanding of what works best. Remember that it all starts with realistic goals and inspiring content.