Creating a Social Media Marketing Strategy

Posted by on Feb 23, 2018 in Digital Marketing Blogs | 0 comments

Before you start posting on social media, you first need to develop your social media marketing strategy.  This social media strategy will define what content you post, when, where and how regularly.  It will help you to achieve your social media management business goals and make your social media campaign much more successful.

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How to Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy

To create and define your social media marketing strategy, follow these steps:

  1. Define Your Goals
  2. Research Your Audience
  3. Consider your time, resources and staff
  4. Develop a Strategy
  5. Execute your Strategy
  6. Analyse your Strategy

Define your Social Media Marketing Strategy Goals:

What do you hope to achieve from using social media? Some businesses will simply want a platform that they can engage with their customers on.  Other businesses might want that to, but they might also want to establish their brand.  Think about your goals and what you would hope the results would be if your social media strategy is successful. Typical goals include:

  1. To establish, develop, promote and protect a brand online.
  2. To generate leads and sales, increase website visitors and therefore, customers.
  3. Interaction with customers, to provide good customer service.  In addition to learning from customers, listening to their problems and complaints to improve the business and expand products/services.
  4. To become a thought leader in their industry and therefore, become a well-known industry name. Commanding respect from having established a strong reputation in the industry, attracting more customers and higher quality workers.

Research your Social Media Campaign Audience:

You should create a list of buyer personas, i.e. the different personalities and needs your customers might have. Take my website, for example, I aim to attract businesses to my content writing and digital marketing services.  While I also try to appeal to students and job seekers.  Then within my business clients, I have some small, local businesses who’s persona and wants are much different to one of my larger clients.  Make a list for each buyer persona and look at things like:

  • Which social media platform they use
  • What days/time of day they are online
  • How long they spend online
  • What content do they like to see
  • Which posts do they typically interact with
  • What purpose does your business/website serve to them

Consider your time, resources and staff

Ideally, you should be posting on social media every day, interacting with your users immediately. However, this isn’t always possible. Look at the time, resources and staff you have and come up with a realistic schedule for social media, one that you can manage.

Posting once a week regularly, is better than posting daily for a week and posting nothing for the rest of the month. Consistency is key. If your audience knows when to expect your next post, they might just log on to see it and respond.  This is a great way to establish trust and prove your reliability with a customer.

Keep in mind that your time, resources and staff might limit how any social media platforms you engage with.  You don’t have to be present on every single social media site.  If you have limited time, simply choose one or two.  From your previous audience research, you will know what social media platforms your audience most prefer.  So start with the most popular and build your way up.

Develop your Social Media Marketing Strategy

Now you need to make some decisions:

  • What social media platforms will you use? You have plenty of options: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest.  Look at your audience research to determine which social media platform is preferred by your customers.
  • How often will you post? Again, look at your previous research into your time and resources.  Choose a schedule that works well with the times/days your users are most online.  While also selecting a schedule that is manageable for you.
  • What kind of content will you post? Looking back to your research, you will know what your audiences prefer.  Some like pictures, others prefer videos, some want content to read and other might like a mixture.  Do your audiences want informative posts, or humorous?  Try to give them a healthy balance of what they enjoy, while still promoting your brand and business.
  • Who will create this content for you? Do you have the time and skills to create the content yourself?  Or, do you have the budget to outsource your social media management?

Execute your Social Media Strategy

Time to put your social media strategy into action:

  • Schedule unique and interesting posts.  Make sure the post stands out and grabs the attention of the reader, otherwise they might just scroll past it.
  • Utilise calls-to-action. Encourage customer engagement by asking people to like or share their comments. Add links to your website or products/services, therefore encouraging the reader to go onto your website.
  • Engage in customer interaction.  If a customer comments on your post, especially if they ask a question, try to respond quickly.  Facebook and other social media platforms will note on your profile how quickly you respond.  So to keep up appearances, you should try to respond as quickly as possible.
  • Listen to customer feedback.  By reading what your customers have to say you can find ways to enhance your business.  You might learn more about their problems, which could lead to you providing more services/goods.  You might find out things that they don’t like about your business or website that you could potentially change.  Use this as an opportunity to get the most out of your social media campaign.

Analyse your Social Media Management Strategy

It may take weeks or even months before you see the benefits of your social media strategy.  Don’t expect results right away.  Gradually you will build up followers and the interaction from users will begin to increase.  But this being said, don’t be afraid to adjust your strategy if you find after time, it isn’t working.

There are plenty of social media analytics tools, as well as Google Analytics.  These provide you data that shows you how effective your social media campaign is.  From this you can see which posts are working and which aren’t.  As well as what times and days have most interaction, as opposed to the quieter days.  You can then make changes to your social media management strategy based on the findings of these analytics.

To learn more about creating a social media strategy, read this interesting post by Hootsuite.

 

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