- The perfect social media strategy is not a one-size fits all solution. That’s why it’s important to create one that aligns with your business’ objectives and overall goals.
- Competitor research will put you on the right path to seeing what ‘works’ – what’s getting engagement, what isn’t, who do they work with, etc.
- When you create your outline, keep your S.M.A.R.T. goals in mind.
- Finally, lay out a content plan so you’ll never be caught off-guard in terms of what to post next.
Social media has changed the way businesses market themselves. It’s no longer about who has the biggest marketing budget (though the hefty budgets help!). Instead, it’s about who has the best understanding of their audience and how well they do at keeping them engaged.
But, before you go out and start creating every social media profile on the web and producing all content that comes to mind, it’s important that you start with a defined social media strategy. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about creating a rock-solid social media marketing strategy, from outlining your goals, listing out tactics, and measuring your success!
What is social media strategy?
First let’s begin with defining “social media strategy.” As with any strategy, all it is is a robust plan that outlines your business objectives and goals and your plan for reaching those goals. So, social media strategy is about following the same framework with social media at the core.
With that said, it’s important to list out things like your business goals, the tactics you’ll be leveraging, and how you will be measuring the success of your social media strategy. By having a well-thought out strategy, you should be positioning yourself to grow your social media presence and business!
What are the steps for building a social media strategy?
Before you dive into creating content without a plan it’s critical to have a social media strategy in place first. A great starting point is by doing a bit of competitive research! Competitor research can be done throughout your strategic planning but it’s best to start the process with it so you can get an understanding of the social media landscape in your industry.
Start with some competitor research
Competitor research includes identifying each of your competitor’s social media profiles and analyzing their content or social media strategy. So, find yourself a notepad and pen or use your favorite note taking software and begin to jot down things you see. At this point, don’t worry too much about structure, the goal is to jot down things you notice about your competitors profiles. Here’s a few things you can jot down about competitors:
- Types of content being posted
- Top performing posts
- How they’re engaging with customers
- How frequently they post
- Types of hashtags being used
- Influencers they’re working with
Outline your overarching business goals and social media goals
The second step in your strategic social media planning process is to outline your overarching business goals. The goals you decide to pursue should be achievable. We recommend reading a bit about S.M.A.R.T goals before you begin to write out your goals. S.M.A.R.T goals are essentially goals that are assumed to be thorough and more effective for your goal setting process. S.M.A.R.T is an acronym that stands for:
By outlining your business goals first, it’ll be much easier to develop some tactics and social media goals for your strategy.
List out tactics that’ll help achieve those goals
Now that you have your goals outlined, you’ll want to list out the social media tactics that are going to help you achieve these goals. Tactics are the actions or steps that will help you achieve each of your goals. For example, if your goal is to increase brand awareness, then a tactic to support that goal might be collaborating with a certain number of influencers every year.
When creating your tactics, you want to make sure that you have enough tactics to support each goal. If there aren’t enough tactics to support your goals, then you may not be able to effectively achieve them!
Develop a content plan
The fourth step for creating the perfect social media strategy is to develop a content strategy or plan. Developing a social media content strategy entails creating topical content buckets which you’ll create content around such as testimonials.
When answering this question for your social media strategy, you’ll want to decide what percentage of each type of content you’ll create. Depending on the goals you’ve set for your business and social media profile, this may vary. For example, if your goal is to drive more conversions, you may want to create a large percentage of content that highlights your product instead of behind the scenes (BTS) content. It’s not that you won’t create BTS content at all, you’ll just focus more of your time on creating content that’s actually going to help drive sales for your business.
SproutSocial conducted a study in 2022 where they asked consumers what types of content they like to see from brands they follow on social media. Here’s what they found:
When developing a content plan, another question you should ask yourself is, “How frequently will I be posting?” Nowadays, a general rule of thumb is to post at least once per day but certain platforms have different publishing frequencies to fully maximize your social media marketing efforts.
Here’s what Semrush recommends for each social media platform:
- Facebook: 5 to 7 posts per week
- Twitter: 3 to 5 Tweets per day
- LinkedIn: 1 post per day
- Instagram: 1 post or story per day
- Pinterest: Focus on creating interesting boards and sharing relevant images rather than a set posting schedule
- TikTok: At least once per day
How will you keep users engaged?
The next question you must answer is, “how will you keep your followers engaged with your content?” This question can be answered by the type of content you create or by how frequently you post. However, another way you can answer this question is by determining a strategy for community management. There isn’t a question that community management is a critical component of social media strategy. The more engaged you are with your audience on social media, the more likely you are to see your reach increase. Additionally, by following this fundamental best practice you are able to establish your brand’s voice/personality and build a closer relationship with your followers.
How will you push users to complete your desired conversions?
Next, think about how you will push your followers to complete your desired conversions. It’s not enough to just post about your product.
First off, ensure your social media properties are optimized for users to complete your desired conversions. If you are an ecommerce business, make sure you have something like an Instagram Shop set up, or if you are a restaurant owner, make sure you have an OpenTable listing linked to in your bio. Always be sure to leverage integrated features that Instagram and other social platforms provide.
Another thing you may consider is running a giveaway or a promotion that can encourage conversions. Giveaways are great because they can give pretty much any metric you’d like a boost! Here are some ideas for giveaways:
- Share & Tag Giveaways: This type of giveaway encourages users to share a post and tag users in comments to be entered. Giveaways like this can help boost your follower counts and increase your brand awareness.
- Purchase Giveaways: This type of giveaway is usually run within a specific time frame. Giveaways like this may reward users with a free gift with purchase or enter users into a giveaway if a purchase is made in a specific time frame.
- UGC Giveaways: This type of giveaway encourages users to share photos of products they’ve purchased from you in order to be entered into a giveaway. Giveaways like this can help increase brand awareness and even lead to increases in sales.
What tools will you use to manage your social media strategy
The seventh step in crafting the perfect social media strategy is to figure out what tools you are going to use to manage your strategy. Social media management is a full-time job alone, so leveraging social media tools can dramatically improve your productivity and save you tons of time. You may be a small business owner or marketing manager who manages social media on top of other duties, so social media management tools will be critical to the success of your strategy.
Here are a few tools to consider:
- Later Social: You can choose whichever social media management tool you like, but we recommend Later Social. Their software helps you schedule and plan out your social content ahead of time which will save you tons of stress.
- Link in Bio tools: On all Later Social plans, you get access to their “Linkin.bio” tool, which is a mini-web page for your social media profiles. Linkin.bio allows you to link to products, company news, and much more, making it easier for you to direct traffic back to your site or drive conversions. Linkin.bio isn’t the only mini-social web page, there are tons of others like Linktree or Campsite.
- Photoshop or Canva: Photoshop is the gold standard but Canva is a breeze to use! You can’t go wrong with either. With photo editing tools like Canva, you’ll be able to produce static content fairly quickly since the tool is optimized for social media creators. However, with Photoshop, there is a bit of a learning curve. Once you master it, however, you’ll be able to make some very unique and high-quality content.
- Capcut or InShot: With video content being a huge component of social media, another important tool to have is a video editing app. Apps like Capcut and InShot have everything you need to edit videos from your smartphone. Together, both of these apps can create any popular effect you might find trending on social media too! You can use Adobe Premiere Pro, but like Photoshop, there will be a major learning curve!
How will you measure success? (Decide what metrics are important to you)
To cap off the perfect social media strategy, you’ll need to figure out how you will measure your success. In order to make this decision, it’s important that we revisit the goals that we created in the beginning of this article. Depending on your overarching business goals, these will guide which metrics you decide to track. Here are a few metrics you can track based on your goals:
- Metrics to measure revenue success: Product saves, purchases, web traffic from social sources
- Metrics to measure brand awareness: Post shares, impressions, reach, video views, story views, follower counts
- Metrics to measure engagement: Post saves, post shares, link clicks, comments, likes, messages
These are just a few metrics that you can keep watch over on social media. When writing this, I generally focused on Instagram’s metrics so if you use another platform like Twitter or Facebook, they may use different names or completely different metrics.
Once you finish building your strategy, it’s time to get it implemented! Make sure you have all your social media tools in order, a strategy layed out in front of you, and a big cup of coffee. Like I mentioned above, social media management is a full job in itself so be sure to give yourself enough time to plan, create content, and execute. But, if you find it tough to execute your strategy or run into other issues don’t hesitate to reach out to the social media experts at Redefine. Our team of social media gurus will be happy to help!