For many, social media is a platform where we go, have fun, and connect with relatives. That is true, but social media has changed in the last couple of years to become one of the internet’s biggest advertising channels.
Many brands factor social media marketing into their marketing plans for their business. Social media marketing has brought many marketing success stories to many brands; that is why more and more businesses have decided to focus their marketing effort on social media marketing.
Suppose you are a business or a social media manager, and you want to be on top of your social media marketing game. In that case, you need to have an effective social media marketing strategy.
A social media marketing strategy is a presentation of what you want to achieve on a particular social media channel and how you plan to accomplish that. It guides you on the actions to take and also shows you whether you’re achieving your goal or not.
Due to the growing competition among businesses on social media, social media marketing is becoming more difficult, especially for brands that do not have an effective social media marketing strategy. Studies have proved that 90% of brands use Facebook for brand marketing purposes.
The competition among brands trying to use social media for their marketing efforts is a bit overwhelming, but with an effective social media marketing strategy, you can stand out among the crowd.
If you are looking for ways to build an effective social media marketing strategy for your brand, then this article is what you need.
How to Build A Social Media Marketing Strategy
- Set social media marketing goals that can help you achieve your business objectives
- Research everything about your ideal audience
- Study your competition
- Define important metrics for your strategy
- Set up your account on relevant platforms and optimize your profiles
- Create a content calendar for your social media activities
- Evaluate your results and optimize
- Communicate your social media goals, challenges, and success with your team
1. Set Social Media Marketing Goals That Can Help You Achieve Your Business Objectives
The first thing to do when creating a winning social media strategy is to define your objectives and goals. Without your goals, there is nothing to measure. You measure success based on your goals.
When setting your goals, make it S.M.A.R.T:
Example of a S.M.A.R.T goal.
“We will use Facebook to drive traffic to our website and increase conversion rate.”
Let’s look at some social media goals that most brands on social media are working at achieving:
Generating leads and sales. Customers are just not going to buy from your store/business by just seeing your post; you need to use social media to generate leads, nurture them, and make them paying customers.
Growing brands audience. To increase your brand’s audience, you need to use social media to target your potential audience and reach them with your brand’s content.
Increasing brand awareness. To raise brand awareness, you need to create content that your audience will find valuable while incorporating your values and personality into the content.
Increasing community engagement. Create reliable and valuable content that will grab your audience’s attention and also cause them to take any action on your content by liking, commenting, and sharing.
Increasing website traffic. Social media can help you drive massive traffic to your website. You can do this through social media ads or promotional posts. You should have analytics on your website to track your clicks and conversions.
Set S.M.A.R.T simple social media goals that you will be able to measure and understand rather than going after many goals and objectives.
2. Research Everything About Your Ideal Audience
Using the guessing game in social media is dangerous. Your research shouldn’t be on assumptions.
With the help of social media analytics tools, you don’t have to worry when it comes to researching your target audience on social media.
You can start your research by creating audience personas to know your ideal audience, their pain point, and what they want. This approach will guide your whole social strategy; you will be able to identify content that will engage them and move them to share, like, and comment.
When creating a buyer/audience persona, you should know these basic things:
- Annual income
- Marital status
- Job title/industry
Check out this resource on how to create an excellent audience persona
Knowing what your ideal audience wants will help you target them and create engaging content for them.
Gathering data from social media analytics tools will help you know your audience’s demographics, what they interact with on social media, how they interact with your content, etc.; the insights you gather will help you create a winning social strategy.
3. Study Your Competition
Your competitors might have already established themselves on social media, so it is an opportunity for you to learn from them.
To get more information on your competitors and know what they are doing, you must perform a competitive analysis. The analysis helps you understand your competition, what they are doing very well, and what they are not doing well. The feedback you get from performing competitive analysis allows you to create a social strategy that targets your ideal audience.
Performing competitive analysis can also help you identify untapped opportunities.
When you perform your analysis, you discover which platforms your competitors are dominating and which other ones they are not focusing on. When you see the ones that they are not focusing on, you might want to go there and capture the audience.
Another way to spy on your competition is to use social media monitoring tools.
With social media monitoring tools, you can search on your competitor’s social media accounts, profiles, and industry keywords on social media. Look out for the content that is working for them and how their audience interacts with it. Use the information to craft your social strategy.
4. Define Important Metrics for Your Strategy
Whatever business goal you set to achieve on social media, you need social media metrics to measure the strategy.
Focusing on vanity metrics such as likes, shares, and comments won’t give you a deep insight into what your strategy is achieving. As a business, you need more data from social media metrics to make an informed decision about your campaigns and strategy on social media.
Social media metrics that you should keep an eye on
Let’s look at a few metrics that you should focus on:
Engagement: Engagement tells you if your content is receiving the kind of social interactions you want. It tells you the people who have seen your content and how many of them took action on them, such as liked, commented, or shared.
Reach: Reach shows how many users your content was able to get to. It makes you see how your content is spreading on social media. Measuring reach is essential when it comes to social media marketing.
Clicks: It shows the number of people clicking your content, post, links to your website or company name. Measuring and tracking clicks on your social media campaigns is important and makes you understand what brings people to your website or what triggers them to buy.
Sentiment: Sentiment measures customer feelings, opinions, and attitudes towards your brand. It shows the expressions your audience has when they come into contact with your content. It is important to find out what people are saying about your brand and your content.
Knowing which metrics to track will help you build a better social media marketing strategy.
5. Set Up Your Account on Relevant Platforms and Optimize Your Profiles
There are many social networks currently on the internet, and it is very simple to create an account for your brand.
The question is, do you need to be on all of them?
The answer will be “No,” so you have to know where your potential audience is and focus on building your brand awareness on that social network. Knowing which social networks are relevant to your brand helps save you time and invest that time into creating more quality and valuable content.
After deciding which network to focus on, the next thing to do is create your brand profiles. Or optimize existing profiles so that they align with your marketing strategy.
- Fill out all fields on the profile.
- Add relevant keywords in your bio/description.
- Use your branding materials (color, images, logos, etc.) across all your social networks.
6. Create A Content Calendar for Your Social Media Activities
What we have to do after looking at the social media networks we have to focus on, and how to create our profiles, we have to look at the content we will be creating and plan it ahead of time.
Content is what your audience will use in interacting with your brand. Creating a plan for content distribution will have a maximum impact on your social strategy.
Your content calendar for your social media activities should include the dates and times your post will be shared and the various channels that your content will be shared on. Your content calendar keeps all your social media activities in one place, from the social media content, images, blog posts, and videos.
Your calendar helps you space out your content distribution.
The content you create on your calendar should reflect your strategy for all your social networks. It should be a mix of all content types.
Your content strategy might be:
- 10% of content will touch on your brand culture
- 20% of the content will be focused on getting leads
- 60% of content will drive traffic to your website
- 10% of content will be from content curated from the internet
You should try a mix of content on your social profiles; all your content shouldn’t be about your brand.
You can try the 80-20 rule if you find it challenging to come up with content mix ideas.
- 80% of your content should be focused on educating, informing, and entertaining your audience.
- 20% will be on brand promotion
After creating your content calendar, you can use social media scheduling tools to prepare your messages ahead of time.
7. Evaluate Your Results and Optimize
You now have full knowledge of your social media strategy and how to measure social metrics that are aligned to your business goals.
However, it is essential to evaluate your results and know if your strategy is working well or not.
You can use Google Analytics to check the number of users that came to your website through your social media channels or use social media analytics tools to measure your metrics on all your social activities.
The results you get from the analytics tools can help you refine your strategy, campaigns, and content. Periodic evaluation helps you understand what works and what ought to be changed to optimize your strategy.
Creating surveys for your audience to fill is another way of knowing if your strategy is working. Send surveys to your audience asking them what they think about your content or social activities, and if you are meeting their expectations, and what type of content they will like to see more of. Then refine your strategy to reflect the changes they suggest.
Social media undergoes periodic changes, so you should check your social media strategy often to adjust it as needed.
8. Communicate Your Social Media Goals, Challenges, And Success with Your Team
Collaboration plays a significant part in social media marketing. If you are working with a team on your social media campaigns, it is vital to update your success, goals, and challenges regularly.
It helps them adjust whatever contribution they are making to build a winning social media marketing strategy.
You can use social collaboration tools to connect with your team and work together on your social media campaign – with this tool; your team will always stay updated on your social media goals, challenges, and success.
Social media marketing involves a lot of work, which makes it difficult, but with the right plan and strategy, you will be able to impact your social media goals and objectives.
You now have all you need to build a winning social media strategy; it is now time for you to put all you’ve learned into practice.
If you have any questions, suggestions, or tips, you can drop them in the comments below.