Social media is so ingrained into our personal lives, it isn’t something we typically think of as needing strategizing. However, as any marketing professional knows, having a social media strategy is a crucial element of your online presence, as social media is becoming increasingly popular as a source of information. If there’s one thing worse than a business that doesn’t use social media channels, it’s one that uses them sporadically or even badly – it only shows a lack of planning and intention of communicating with your customers. Taking the time to create a social media marketing strategy for your business will not only motivate you to post regular content, but create good quality content that will keep audiences coming back to you.
Not sure where to begin? Don’t worry – here’s how to create a social media marketing strategy for your business.
Before you create a social media marketing strategy, conduct an audit of your current channels
If you already have social media accounts, the first thing you need to do before you create a social media marketing strategy is conduct an audit of your accounts. This essentially means reviewing your tactics – what’s working, what’s not working, and what needs improving.
Depending on what accounts you have and how you use them, this can be time consuming. To make it easier, make sure you get organised. Get yourself a spreadsheet and make note of the following things:
- Frequency of posts – are you posting enough?
- Follower count – how many people are interested in hearing what you have to say?
- Engagement metrics – do people share or engage with your content? You can check this through your channel’s analytics
- Referral traffic – do people click through to the links you post?
- Gap Analysis – identify if you’re putting a lot of effort into something that is not achieving your desired goals
- Calculate your ROI – Are your efforts not just creating traffic and engagement but leads and/or sales?
By firstly identifying these key metrics, you’ll have a clearer idea of which of your channels or tactics are least effective. These are the areas you will need to focus on improving when you create a social media marketing strategy. If you don’t have social media yet, take the time to do some research, analyse your competitors, find accounts that inspire you, and of course, check out our guide to choosing the right accounts for your business.
Create goals – and make sure they solve a problem
Did your audit reveal that your social activity isn’t driving traffic to your website? Or are your customers not engaging with your content?
Creating clear goals is an important part of having a strategy, but it’s only worthwhile having them if they solve a problem, so make them ambitious, but also realistic. The key to best goals are SMART.
For example, you might want people to engage and share your content more. In this case, your goal might be
“We will produce an educational blog about our industry once a week and share it on Facebook and LinkedIn 5 times during the week. We will aim for 10 shares and 15 likes/comments.”
When starting to create a social media marketing strategy, take the time to identify up to 5 goals and write down exactly how you are going to achieve them. This will help you tailor the content you post on social media to help you achieve your goals. Speaking of which…
Create a content plan
Creating a content plan or editorial calendar is a great way to make sure that you’re regularly sharing great content with your audience, as well as making running your social media accounts easier.
Your content plan should detail the following:
- Your target audience
- What kind of content you will produce and post
- Who is creating the content
- How regularly you will post content
- The times and dates you will post content
Make sure that your content plan fits in with your overall goals. For example, if you’re trying to make people more aware of your products and generate more sales, make sure you schedule in an appropriate amount of content that refers to your products – whether that’s tweets about promotions and sales or sharing links to customer testimonials.
To help you get started, Hootsuite have put together some templates including editorial calendars and social media schedules. We’d also recommend using social media management tools like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck to schedule your content – take an hour or so once a week to timetable your content. This will help you free up time to engage with your customers and share spontaneous news without having to worry about remembering to share a specific piece of content on a specific day.
Measure and review
Now you’re up and running, scheduling content and engaging with customers, you need to check in and make sure that your plan is working.
Remember our SMART goals? You should be regularly checking if your social activity is measuring up. Try scheduling a mini-audit every month or so to check against your goals. Be careful not to leave it too long – if your plan isn’t quite working, it’ll take more effort to find out why and rectify the problem when you’re looking at all your activity in one go! Instead, regularly check in to make sure you’re working towards a SMART goal and that your analytics show that your plan is working. If something’s not quite right – perhaps you need to be more active than you thought, or your main demographic has shifted slightly – keep tweaking it until it is!
Unsure how to create a social media marketing strategy for your business? Need help reaching your objectives? Get in touch to see how we can to help!