Are you just starting your business but are unsure about how to use social media to your benefit? Maybe you know which platforms you want to use but aren’t sure of what content to post?. Here is our 10 step guide to creating your social media strategy!
1- Defining Your Objectives
The main question you want to ask yourself is what you want to achieve from posting on social media? What are the goals and objectives you want to aim towards when implementing your strategy? There are many reasons why brands are on social media, but you need to understand why you are on the platforms—understanding what goals you want to reach will help you choose which platforms to be on.
Here are a few examples of objectives for social media
- Increase brand awareness
- Drive leads and generate sales
- Increase post engagement
- Build your brand community
Remember to make your objectives S.M.A.R.T!
2- Choosing Your Platforms
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing which social media platforms to focus your energy is where your ideal customer is. For example, if you target young teens, you better look into developing a Tik Tok profile. In contrast, entrepreneurial moms are most likely to be in a Facebook group with similar interests. It is also essential to think about your resources and time constraints. Instagram is considered the “pretty” platform, which will require highly designed and edited content.
Research your target audience and see where they are at! Once you do this, your social media strategy will be right on track.
3- Optimizing Your Platforms
The great thing about social media is that it is an extension of your website. Some would say that social media has even taken over from traditional websites. Many start-ups and small to medium-sized enterprises simply use their Facebook or Instagram account as their website.
Below are examples of ways to improve and optimize your social media profiles.
- Upload professional profile pictures and branded headers
- Customize your URLs (try using bit.ly)
- Add strategic call to actions on all your posts
- Optimise your content and account for SEO
- Create content based around the platforms’ image size
4- Increase Your Following
Increasing your following on social media is easier said than done. Creating a solid foundation for your social media strategy is vital if you want to build any type of following. Remember, don’t get too caught up in the numbers, a smaller, more engaged following is going to support you far more than a huge following filled with people who are not your ideal clients.
The best way to increase your following is to create valuable, targeted content that supports and speaks to your ideal clients. Being consistent and visible is also key and understanding your metrics, for example, the best time to post.
Other ways you can increase your following include
- Running a sweepstake (be sure to check out any platform restrictions or rules on running competitions or giveaways.)
- Instagram hashtag contest
- Referral promotion
- Joining in or hosting ‘Follow me’ days
- Hosting a stories takeover by collaborating with another account to leverage their audience
5- Defining Your Personality
Defining your brand personality will help you become relatable and build trust with your target audience. Your brand personality is the way someone would describe your brand, much like they would a person. A brand personality helps you to connect with the right people, it’s the vibe and energy your business brings.
6- Creating Your Content Calendar
The next and perhaps most important feature in your social media strategy is developing your content calendar. These are calendars based around your content scheduling time. These should answer the questions of:
- What do you want to post?
- When do you want to post it?
- Where will you publish the content?
- How will you add value?
- How does this post help my brand?
- What is my call to action and what next step do I want my reader to take?
Content calendars can be done through Excel or on software dedicated simply to scheduling content. Really, any calendar software will do so long as you stay on track of the what, when, where, and why questions.
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7- Influencer Marketing
Social media influencers are considered a vital part of a social media strategy. This is due to their niche following, brand credibility, and high content engagement rates. When working with a social media influencer it is important to think about:
- Does this influencer and collaboration fit my brand?
- Will the influencer help me reach my desired target audience?
- Will I be able to leverage their audience?
- Will they help me promote my brand?
- Are they engaging with their target audience?
If you find an influencer you like there are a few ways that you can incentivise them.
- Do a blog swap
- Pay for them to promote your brand
- Help them with their SEO by linking to their content
8- Develop Content for Your Social Media Strategy
This is the part I am sure you have been waiting for! Content is of course the most important element in your social media strategy. For the best results, you want to ensure you create content that is going to provide value, engage and resonate with your ideal audience. You want to aim to create as much unique content as you can as this will be tailored more towards your brand and your social media strategy as you will have more control over the posts.
You can also share or retweet curated content, which is content not made by you but is still relevant to your cause, like sharing this article on your social media because it will help your audience!
After you have published content, you need to begin to track your progress with your earlier objectives in mind. What does your traffic look like? Where are they going? What links are they clicking on? How long are they staying with you?
One tool to help you better understand these features is Google Analytics. This software will take your website tracking from average to top of the line. Using software like this, you will be able to turn your leads into full on customers as you will see their journey from start to finish.
The last tip for your social media strategy is to set up automation software that will publish your social media content for you. These platforms like Social Bee, Hootsuite, and Buffer will help you publish your content on your own time. This means no more posting to each platform individually, but rather uploading the content to these software weeks and months in advance.
With these 10 steps in mind when building your social media strategy, you will see that there is more to it than simply thinking of what content to publish. You need to be aware of who you are trying to reach, why it is important, and what kind of content you will use to break through the noise and share your unique voice. Social media strategies will take time to perfect, but with concrete ideas and a full understanding of your audience, you can build a social media strategy that generates success.
If you are interested in learning more about social media check out series of blogs here.
J. Rachel West
Social Media Manager
J. Rachel West is a passionate Marketer, Brand Invigorator, and Social Media Stylist. After launching her marketing agency, JRW Consulting, LLC in January 2021, Rachel has been helping clients build strong and successful marketing strategies, revamp their branding and communications, increase sales, and teach clients how to find, speak, and engage with their audiences.