Let’s kick off things with simple questions.
What do you want from social media anyway? Does your business need an online presence? Of course, yes! Social media marketing is one of the crucial strategies you shouldn’t leave off your schedule if you work in the public relations industry or run an online business.
What is a social media strategy?
A social media strategy summarises everything you plan to do and hope to achieve on social media. It guides your actions as a social media manager and lets you know whether you are succeeding or failing. Like it or not, as an organization, you will need a social media presence for your business, especially in this era where the internet has taken over.
Social Media is where people interact with your business, and you also interact with them to solve upcoming client complaints before they become big problems. While using social media, feedback is vital. Therefore, for your plan to be effective, it should be specific and shouldn’t be broad to the extent of making it impossible to measure.
Keep in mind that a strategy should always be measurable to achieve the set goals. However, the most important thing here is that you should make sure the person managing your social media platforms understands your business very well.
Why do you need a social media marketing strategy for your business?
In today’s world, social media use is essential for brand awareness. Building a brand on social media without a defined strategy is complicated and exhausting because you will be posting for the sake, which will lead to no results.
Social media marketing influencers face common challenges, including reaching their audience, achieving a business goal, creating content for the target audience, etcetera. Therefore, drafting a social media strategy will help you deal with these challenges on a professional ground.
Designing a social media strategy and having it in place will ensure that your social media efforts are more productive, thus supporting your business goals. It will also help you develop, create, build and manage your social media presence. Do not forget to train your team on what they’re supposed to do.
How to create a social media strategy for your business.
There are many ways of drafting a social media strategy; you need to use a process that is well-aligned with your business. An excellent social media strategy is well-planned and consistent. Below is an example of a method you can use to draft a social media strategy. Through this process, you will identify your target audience and will be able to craft key messages. You can use several social media channels to position you as a leader in your industry, share your message, create a strong network of followers and work to build your overall online presence. The steps of this process include;
1. Research Analysis
Identify your target audience; this involves an audience analysis that is doing some research on your audience as well as your competitors and the overall state of your industry to figure out how your business may differentiate itself from other companies in the field.
To develop a successful social media strategy, you must first have a solid understanding of your competitors. What kind of material do they produce, what tone do they use, and how often do they release this stuff? For example, if you are into web designing and competing with company X, you need to monitor company X closely and see what they are doing to achieve their goal. You may not do what they are doing, but you can borrow some ideas and use them to achieve your goals and objectives because to create the message, you need first to know what your audience wants and how it is unique from your competitors.
During this process, you also inform your audiences about your business. Audience segmentation is essential.
Conduct a SWOT analysis of your business to discover its strengths and weaknesses posed by the external business environment, as well as its opportunities and threats to the firm’s operations.
Conducting a PESTEL study will allow you to understand better where your business stands politically, economically, socially, technologically, environmentally, and legally in the field.
Conducting a social media audit will help you examine the development, opportunities, and anything else you can do to enhance your social media presence. This will allow you to check how, where, and with what results from you have been communicating up until now.
Create content which is specific, consistent, and clear to your audience. You also need to know what social media channels you need to use. You must choose the best social media platforms for your audience, but also you need to know what channels your audience interacts with depending on your business industry.
Make sure you also decide what message you want to communicate and what massage is attractive or relevant to your target audience. Ensure all the content types you want to use are appropriately developed.
Determine the frequency of your social media posts, that is, how often you are going to post.
Create a list of your business’s unique selling points like hashtags, your business Logo, catchphrase, and many more.
Draft a budget. No strategy has no budget, and you need to be knowing how much it will cost you to launch and implement the plan.
Here you identify your goals and objectives. These must be SMART for them to be achieved and should align with your business;
- Specific: for a goal to be practical and to be achieved, it needs to be specific, detailed, and specify its purpose.
- Measurable: it should be measurable so that you can track progress towards the success of your goal.
- Attainable: it should be achievable and accomplished by your team.
- Relevant: Is your goal realistic, and can it reach your target audience? Why are you even setting that goal? It should be able to answer such questions.
- Time-bound: your goal should be time-constrained so that you and your team are motivated to achieve it. Set a deadline that will guide you on what to do next.
Have a social media calendar. For how long will this strategy run? Timing is critical. Create a schedule to guide you on when and not to post. You have to make sure your social media platforms are active and let the relationship between you and the clients be mutual.
A social media calendar will help you outline your content from the beginning of the strategy to the end. And also, this helps your team focus on what should be done at that particular time.
Identify the key channels you will use and focus on a few channels your target audience interacts with and what suits your business because not every social media platform is appropriate for any business. Choose the best for your audience, and make sure you engage your audience.
Know the features and requirements of each social media platform. For example, Twitter has a limit count for characters, so therefore before you use Twitter, you need first to draft your message and know what exactly you have to post according to the terms and conditions.
Implementation emphasizes maximum participation, flexibility, and training. Therefore this is when you launch your strategy to the proposed target audience. You engage with your audience.
Outline steps your team should take to accomplish a shared goal or objective. It’s during this stage that your team answers the Who, What, When, How, and Why part of the project. In other words, the strategy is put into the plan, and you are testing if it will work for your business.
4. Monitor and Evaluate
This involves you measuring your results and gauging how successful the strategy was. Track the right metrics because, in social media management, metrics are essential. Since trends change, you also adapt, learn, and grow because if you want to run a business on social media successfully, you need to be up to date and willing to adapt to new trends. You will be able to monitor the efficacy of your social media plan with the assistance of your key performance indicators (KPIs) for social media marketing.
Determine future needs, what exactly is needed to be followed up and what can be extended for future use. You can adjust the timeline of the strategy based on the monitoring results.
In conclusion, always pay attention to questions and comments your audience posts and be quick to address them. And if you set actionable goals and address each of the steps above, you’ll already be way ahead of the curve regarding your social media marketing strategy. Therefore this will guide you toward meeting all the identified goals in the strategy. And if you have challenges with creating a marketing strategy, let us know in the comment section.