The social media strategy will include everything you plan to do and hope to achieve on social media. When creating a strategy and a plan, it will also be clear if you are succeeding or failing with your actions.
When creating a social media strategy, it is essential to be specific. First, decide your focus areas; don't make them too lofty and broad. As you probably understand by now, creating a social media strategy is quite an extensive task.
That is why we have created this template. We will now walk you through a nine-step plan for creating a successful strategy in social media marketing.
What is a social media strategy?
The social media strategy is your master plan to grow your social media platforms by engaging the users with your content. It includes the tactics you will use to achieve this and the metrics you will track to measure your progress. It can consist of social content guidelines, posting cadence, campaigns, an engagement strategy, an influencer strategy and creative plans.
For example, suppose you are a company that wants to market your brand with influencer marketing. In that case, you can use social media to connect with your customers, provide support and advertise products. A social media strategy is also essential for influencers who want to build successful platforms.
List all your existing and planned social media accounts and goals specific to each platform you publish content on. One social media marketing strategy can look very different from another. This depends on the brand's tone of voice and positioning, target audience demographics and social media platform limitations.
What is social media marketing?
Social media marketing is the practice of using social media channels – used to sell or promote a brand, product or service.
Your company or business can use social media marketing to:
- Sell a product or service
- Increase brand awareness
- Engage people in the brand
- Measure brand sentiment
- Provide social customer service
- Advertise a product or service to a chosen target group
- Track performance on social media
The importance of influencer marketing
It is critical to have others talk about you on social media to maximize your effort; otherwise, you will preach for an empty church. This is why influencer marketing is increasingly becoming necessary for social media marketing – and marketing in general.
Influencers have the power to drive more people towards your products or services. This is because consumers trust the recommendations made by their favourite influencers.
Collaborating with influencers can help create online buzz about your brand. This will strengthen your brand’s reputation, improve audience engagement, and increase conversions. As a marketer or business owner, you need to know the importance of influencer marketing and use it to your advantage.
Learn more about how to work with influencer marketing here.
Tips on how you create a social media strategy in 10 steps
1. Set goals that align to business objectives
You can create a social media strategy with a clear vision and goals. With goals, it is possible to measure success and ROI. Each goal should follow the acronym SMART which stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.
2. Track metrics of value
It's easy to track the number of followers and likes, but it's hard to provide their actual value. Measure factors like engagement, click-through, and conversion rates. It could be a great idea to track different goals for different social media networks or users for each network.
For example, if you use Instagram for brand awareness, you may track the number of Instagram story views. Here is Facebook's cost-per-click (CPC) a common success metric.
The marketing objectives you use should align with your social media goals. This is how you quickly show the value of your work and secure buy-in.
Make Influence believes that fair and effective social media- and influencer marketing should always be measurable and create real business value. That is why we have built a platform that allows you to measurable programs around your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).
Social media goal
Grow the brand
Awareness – these metrics illuminate your current and potential audience
Followers, shares, etc
Turn customers into a part of a community
Engagement – these metrics show how the audience is interacting with your content
Comments, likes, mentions, etc
Drive leads and sales
Conversions – these metrics show how effective your social engagement is
Website clicks, email signups, etc
Build customer relations
Consumer – these metrics reflect to what extent customers think and feel about your brand
Social media sentiments, average respons time, testimonials, etc
Start by writing down at least three social media goals. It’s important to decide what you want to get out of your social media marketing strategy from the very beginning.
3. Research your target group
Research your target group, followers and customers as thoroughly as possible. It’s essential to get to know them personally – what do they want and need? This is how you find out how to target and engage them on social media. You should know details like:
- Average income
- Typical job title or industry
Social media analytics can help you provide valuable information about your target group, for example, where they live and how they interact with your brand on social media. The insight that social media analytics offers will refine your strategy and target your audience more precisely.
4. Get to know your competition
Most companies are using social media to market their brand. However, before creating a social media strategy, you should always check out these social media accounts.
Make a competitive analysis
The competitive analysis tells you who the competition is and what you can learn from their marketing strategies – what they are doing well and what's not beneficial. Then, find out what's expected of your company.
A great way of reaching out to your audience is by being active on platforms where your competitors are not. This is usually more beneficial than winning an audience from a dominant player.
Use social media listening
Research your competitors using their company name, an account handle and other keywords on social media. What do people say about the company, and what do they publish on the different platforms? Are they using influencer marketing, and how much engagement do those campaigns earn them?
By doing these, you might find some valuable ideas that you can use when creating your social media strategy. Maby there are social content or campaigns that will suit your brand perfectly.
The Make Influence platform presents several tools to build successful campaigns. For example, impressions and click campaigns, lead gen- and conversion campaigns. Create a free account and discover all benefits of using our platform.
Successful social media campaign – Dior #Buttermilk/ 67 Shades Of Skin
The year 2020 Dior did an influencer marketing campaign that became the Gold winner of the Best Beauty Campaign at the 2020 Influencer Marketing Awards. They ran the campaign with the help of Buttermilk Agency to launch and create awareness around its new product – Forever Foundation, with 67 unique shades. Sixty-seven influencers participate in the campaign, each using one of the 67 shades. In the end, they gained a 2.66M reach.
5. Do a social media audit
Maybe you are already using social media, but it’s not working how you want it to. If you find it hard to know what to change to do better, you can ask yourself the following questions:
- What is the audience enjoying and not?
- Who are you engaging with?
- What are your most valuable partnerships?
- How does your social media presence compare to the competition?
This information will help you figure out ways to improve your social media activity. The social media audit should give you a clear vision of what purpose the different social media accounts serve your brand. If there is an account without apparent purpose, you should consider whether it’s worth keeping.
6. Create accounts and improve existing profiles
Now you hopefully have decided which network to use or not. If so, you also have to define your strategy for each one. For example, use Instagram to post high-quality educational infographics and product announcements. You could also store to cover live events or quick social media updates.
We recommend that you also write out a mission statement for each network. This could be a one-sentence declaration to keep you focused on a specific goal. If you have difficulty creating a clear mission statement for one of your platforms, working with this channel may not be worth it.
Prioritizing which platform is most valuable is especially essential for smaller companies. Prioritize the platforms that have the most impact on your business and make sure to have all the right resources to handle the content properly.
Create your profiles
The next step is to create your profiles – or improve your existing ones. Fill out all the necessary profile fields and include keywords people would use to search for your business or product. When marketing a brand on social media, it is essential to use consistent branding like logos or images across all networks. This will help your audience recognize your profiles.
We recommend using high-quality pictures that follow each platform's recommended dimensions.
7. Get inspired by other businesses
You must strive for a unique brand that the audience can separate from other competing businesses. But you can still draw inspiration from other companies with successful social media platforms.
For example, you can look for inspiring success stories. These are usually found in the business section of the social network’s website. Another alternative is to check out the winners of The Facebook Awards or the Shorty Awards.
What’s your favorite brand on social media?
A great way to figure out what you (and your followers) want for your social media accounts is to get inspired by what you like about other accounts. What do they do that compels people to engage and share their content?
Notice what tone of voice and style these accounts have – is this something you can use? Your tone of voice lets the audience know what to expect from your feed. Remember to be consistent and always keep your content on-brand.
Ask your followers
Trust your followers and let them inspire you. What engages the customers online, and what can you learn from their social media behaviour?
Also, ask the followers on your existing accounts what they like about your platform and what they want from you – and make sure to deliver what they ask for.
8. Create a content calendar for your social media
It's essential to plan what content to publish and when. Make sure to have a plan in place for when you are sharing different content pieces to get the maximum impact. When creating your calendar, account for the time you spend interacting with the audience.
List the dates and when you will publish different content on each channel. The content calendar is the place where you plan all of your social media activities. Include link sharing, images, re-shares of user-generated content to blog posts and videos.
Make sure to:
Determine the right content mix so that both the strategy and the content calendar reflect the goal with the content produced on each platform.
Publish just the right amount of content. If your content marketing strategy is new, you may not know how much or little you should post. If you post too frequently, you risk annoying the audience. And you will probably bore the audience if you post too little.
This is what we recommend:
Instagram (feed): 3-7 times per week
Facebook: 1-2 times per day
Twitter: 1-5 times per day
LinkedIn: 1-5 times per day
9. Publish high-quality content
Now it's time to create high-quality content that will entertain your audience and fulfil your mission on each network. Remember to keep your content aligned with the purpose of each network. Show the audience what content they can expect to see on each network.
Your mission should be to generate content that fits both the network and the purpose you've set out for that network. But this can be tricky. So take your time and try which type of content works best on which platform.
10. Track performance and make adjustments
As you start to implement your plan, you also have to track your results. It’s not a given that the social media marketing strategy works the first time – and some work better than expected.
Each network has its analytics. You can also use UTM parameters to track social visitors as they move through your website – see which particular post drives the most traffic.
Track the result, and do it again
When the data starts coming in, use this to track the result and re-evaluate your strategy regularly. Use the information to test how different posts perform, as well as influencer marketing campaigns and other methods.
When testing repeatedly, it will soon be clear what works and what doesn't. Refine your social media marketing strategy as soon as you discover an opportunity for improvement. Check how your channel performs once a week.
Another way to find out how your social media platforms are going is to ask your followers and website visitors whether you meet their needs and expectations.
A final advice
Your business will always go through different stages. That is also why you can’t use the same social media strategy all the time – without making any changes. Alway try to make it even better at reflecting new goals, tools and plans.