A solid social media strategy is essential to making sure that your social media marketing efforts are aligned with the rest of your marketing strategy. Consistency is key. There are many different approaches, styles, and layouts for a social media strategy.
Would you be surprised if I told you that nothing about social media is a one-size-fits-all approach? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
So, you’re probably wondering, “What makes a successful social media strategy?”
We’ve got a few key points that we include in our social media clients’ strategies to make sure their social media marketing efforts are top notch.
Social Media Strategy Goals
A social media presence is the direct representation of a business in the virtual world. So, find out what the business goals (sales, marketing, overall, etc.) are for the business that is being represented via social media. Then, you’ll want to learn more about the user.
- Who uses the product/service offered by the business? Why?
- How often are they returning?
- What does that audience member look like socially?
These are all great questions to ask (and answer through research) to determine social media strategy goals. Next, write out goals that abide by the 3R’s: Reachable, Realistic, Relevant.
It’s important to note in this section that the number of goals listed on a social media strategy will vary based on the client, business goals, as well as the number, and type, of social media networks being used.
Social Media Strategy Objectives
This is where the actual strategy part of a social media strategy happens. Take each of those goals and formulate how to best approach achieving them. For example, if you have a goal of “Increase visits to xyz.com via social referral” then your objectives to obtain that goal may include:
- Curating content for social media that encourages traffic to be directed back to xyz.com;
- Amplifying blogging efforts that are shared socially;
- Utilizing SEO best practices to make website content relevant to the user.
The key to a successful social media strategy on an objective level is to be as descriptive as possible. It’s better to list approaches and tasks that will help you overachieve the goal than to be too vague and not achieve it.
Branding: The Most Important Goal of a Social Media Strategy
Building brand awareness should always be a higher-level goal of social media marketing. When your target customers see your brand enough, they will start recognizing you, and that recognition comes with higher conversions and word-of-mouth marketing.
It takes at least 5 touchpoints (clicks, likes, emails, etc.) to build brand recognizability, and social media is a perfect tool for that. You can target and retarget your audience using social media ads and reinforce that with engaging content.
But with branding being the fundamental objective of anything you do on social media, it is also the hardest one to measure.
How do you measure gradual brand recognition?
Social listening is a good way to identify that gradual trend: With time, you are bound to notice more and more brand mentions.
Keeping an eye on your navigational queries (search queries containing your name) is another good way: Look for a gradual increase in your brand-driven search. Search Console allows you to filter your queries to branded ones, so it is a great free way to keep an eye on the rising interest in your branded search:
Other Elements of a Social Media Strategy
Some other key elements that you want to make sure are reflected in the objectives section of the strategy include social media engagement, content, share-ability, and measurement. A social media strategy is the main document a business is most likely to look at and measure your activity with. Many of these other elements will support, and overlap, each other for the ultimate social media marketing harmony.
How will a social media audience engage with the content that you’re sending out via social media? How will it encourage them to click, share, or watch whatever you are putting in front of them?
Content is one of the most important aspects of search engine marketing. Creating content that is sticky, relevant, a great representation of the business, and intriguing is like social media gold!
So, I just mentioned content that is sticky – what I mean is: How sharable is that piece of content on social media? How will the content “stick”? In what ways will the content you are publishing on social media entice fans to share with their personal social media communities?
WebCEO offers some advanced social media analytics tools allowing you to keep an eye on Facebook and Pinterest shares and the social media traffic you are generating from those platforms:
How will you be measuring your results? How often will the measurement be occurring? A social media strategy is a great way to provide an annual review of your social media marketing efforts. However, you’ll want to be checking your work more often than on a yearly basis. We suggest reviewing your strategy at least twice per year internally and annually with an outside source.
Social media is part of our everyday lives in today’s society. From a business perspective, it’s time to think about a social media marketing strategy that works for you.
Social media marketing varies greatly and it can be difficult to know what strategies will build brand awareness, while remaining cost effective for your business. How do you keep costs low and the end result high? Start by asking yourself these five questions:
1. Who is my target audience?
It’s key to determine who your target audience is on social media. Focus your social media marketing efforts to reach those specific people. Even though Facebook, Twitter, and Are you targeting families? Facebook may be your best option. Looking to find job seekers or other professionals? LinkedIn is the best option to target those individuals. Does your target audience include younger generations? Try Snapchat!
It’s important to find the social network that works for your audience; what’s right for your brand won’t be right for another.
2. What will my message be?
Determine what your business goals are and how you can manipulate those goals to align with a social media marketing strategy. It’s important to figure out why your customers need your products, or services, and how you can craft your social media messaging to line-up with those needs.
The best way to connect with your social media audience is to find an appropriate mix of marketing and engaging content. Use the common interest you share with your audience and run with it.
3. What is my competition doing?
You monitor your competition in other areas of your business, so do the same when it comes to social media marketing.
Monitor your competition’s presence on social media and see what they are doing and how their audience is reacting. Learn from their mistakes and benefit from their successes. These days there are quite a few smart tools for social media monitoring that will uncover many of your competitors’ tactics.
SharpSpring has some cool social features allowing you to set up competitive monitoring. Additionally, Visualping allows you to monitor your Instagram competitors.
4. Do I have time to dedicate to social media?
Whether you’ll be handling social media efforts, or another member of your marketing team will be, make sure that you have the time to dedicate to social media.
Do not list social media efforts as additional tasks on your list; make it a priority. If you can’t, realistically, see social media as a priority then it may be time to consider utilizing a marketing agency to handle your social media marketing.
5. What’s the ROI of social media? Are my efforts working?
This is a question that you may not be able to answer right away. Social media takes time, and results aren’t something that will appear overnight. To get started, think about a few goals that you can set to measure your social media marketing.
In a world where there are over seven billion mobile users, being accessible is the key to your company’s marketing strategy. By developing a company profile on one, or multiple, social networking sites you are adding a personal, attainable face to your brand. However, there are far more benefits to having a presence on social media; such as:
- Engage your customers with creative, concise content that ranges from photos to videos and infographics.
- Use social media to generate leads by promoting your client booking form using Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook ads
- Social media puts you in direct contact with your target market.
- The content that you post allows you to establish credibility and become an authority in your industry.
- It’s a measurable marketing tactic.
- It allows your brand to have personal, relevant interactions and conversations with customers.
- It helps develop a more effective blogger outreach strategy by connecting to bloggers and journalists on social media
- Does your company have a website? What better way to drive traffic to it than with social media?
- You can use social media ads to test your content before turning it into lead magnets
- Conducting marketing research was never so easy; you can post polls and surveys to customers via your company Facebook page.
- Social media marketing is an extension of your company’s customer service department.
The benefits of social media marketing are endless. By encouraging current customers to trust and believe in your brand, you’re allowing them to share your content and get your products in front of a new audience.