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How to create a Social Media Strategy in 7 steps
How can you create a perfect social media strategy?
Many aspects of everyday life require a plan. You wouldn’t build a house without a plan, get in the car without knowing where you’re going, or even bake a cake without a recipe. So, before you begin a social media campaign, you need to plan. Every social media campaign needs a strategy. A strategy highlights your campaign objectives and how you aim to achieve them. A properly thought-out strategy will help you plan out your campaign, and if you keep track of your metrics, you will know whether it’s working or not.
But if you haven’t designed a social media strategy, how do you know where to begin? In this blog I give you 7 easy steps for a successful strategy. Read on to read my advice!
What’s your objective?
The first step of any successful social media strategy is to define your goals. What are you aiming to achieve with your campaign? Do you want to increase your reach on social media? Or perhaps drive more traffic to your website. Maybe you want to increase sales of your product or service.
Identifying what your main campaign objective is and keeping this objective at the forefront of your strategy will help you plan more effectively.
1. Carry out an audit
If you already have a social media presence, carrying out an audit of your platforms is a good idea before creating a strategy.
Auditing your platforms means looking at your current efforts with a fresh pair of eyes. You need to look at what’s working and what isn’t. Are you following and engaging with the correct people? Are you using the correct networks for your target audience? Look at what your competitors are putting out on social media – how does your content compare? Look at your platform insights – this will tell you how well your content is performing and whether you need to make any changes.
2. Who is your target audience?
Once you’ve worked out your campaign objective, your next step is to identify your target audience. Pinpointing your target audience is key to building a social media strategy. If you don’t know who they are and where you can find them, then you may as well be shouting into an abyss – they’re just not going to hear you.
The best way to identify your ideal client, is to create an audience persona. This is way of whittling down your audience to those who are going to be interested in what you say, instead of wasting time, and potentially money, in targeting the wrong people. Think about what service you’re offering and who will benefit from it.
To create an audience persona, you need to think about who your ideal client is. Are they male or female; what age are they; do they have children; and where do they live? You can narrow your audience down further by thinking about their location, interests, and level of education.
Creating an audience persona and knowing which social media platforms they use, and when, is crucial to creating content that your target market will want to see and engage with.
3. Identify your competitors and influencers
Start by looking at your competitors. What kind of content are the posting?
Conducting a competitive analysis will help you understand who your competition is and how well they’re performing. It will also give you a good idea of what kind of content works and where. Are your competitors working well on Facebook but have no presence on Twitter? This could be the perfect opportunity to find an untapped market away from an already saturated platform.
4. Which platforms are best for your business?
Thinking about your target audience and creating audience personas will help you figure out which platforms you should be focussing on to reach you ideal customer.
If your target market is parents, Facebook will probably be your best option. Whereas, if you’re targeting teenagers then your content will work better on Snapchat or TikTok. Marketing to other businesses is better done on LinkedIn.
Just remember, you don’t need to be on every platform. Why spread yourself too thin with a mediocre presence on all platforms when you can have an amazing presence on the 2 or 3 platforms you love?
5. Curated or created content?
A successful campaign needs a mix of curated and created content. While showcasing your product or service, it’s highly recommended to share material from industry leaders and colleagues. Nobody will want to engage if you only talk about yourself! The best practise is to follow the rule of thirds; one third of your content should be personal interactions with your audience; one third should be sharing other people’s content; and the final third should be promoting your product or service.
Planning your content in a calendar and highlighting each platform, will ensure that you have the perfect mix of curated and created, sales and informative content. Some content can be posted to different platforms, just make sure it’s appropriate to that platform! Make sure you also make time to engage with your audience – there’s no point in encouraging people to talk to you if you’re not going to answer!
7. Track and measure
Social media is constantly evolving, and your social media campaign needs to
evolve with it. The only way to know if your campaign is working is to measure your insights regularly. Once you’ve started posting content regularly on social media, you should start analysing your performance. Your insights will tell you what is and what isn’t working and whether you should make amendments to your strategy. Test out different types of posts, types of content, campaigns, and strategies against one another. Does one type of content get more engagement than another? Does the time of day affect the amount of engagement a post received? Consistent testing allows you to understand what works and what doesn’t, so you can refine your strategy to better achieve your objectives.
Those are my 7 easy steps to create a perfect social media strategy. Taking all these points into consideration will help you reach your target audience and achieve your business objectives. But remember, leave room for change – if it’s not working, it can be adapted.