Are you getting started with Social Media Marketing? Need help with your Social Media Marketing Strategy? Here’s how you can create a social media marketing strategy for your business that drives customers and grows your business.
How to Create Social Media Marketing Strategy
Here’s an example of social media marketing strategy that you can use as a template for social media marketing in your own business.
1. Identify Business Goals
The ultimate purpose of your social media strategy is to meet your business goals. The trick is to identify the business goals you need to achieve and work backwards to design your social media strategy.
To set business goals, you need to look at your company’s health, understand its needs, and figure out how social media marketing will be able to help fulfill them. Every business is unique and has its own personalized business goal, but here are a few to help you get started:
- Increase brand awareness
- Get new leads/customers
- Retain existing customers
- Reduce marketing costs
You can personalize these goals to suite your business needs. I suggest you pick 1-2 goals as primary business goals and 1-2 as secondary goals to focus on.
You can also read our Social Media Optimization Techniques to drive more visitors to your website.
2. Set Marketing Objectives
The next step is to create marketing objectives that you can track to ensure that your social media strategy achieves its business goals. For example, if your business objective is to get more leads, then how many leads do you need to get to meet your business objective?
This means coming up with marketing objects that are SMART (S-Specific, M-Measurable, A-Attainable, R-Relevant, T-Time based)
For example, if your business objective is to generate more leads, then your marketing objective may be to increase leads by 25%, a specific number. Now, in order to measure your marketing objective, you need to decide your analytics and reporting tools.
Also, choose achievable marketing objectives to meet your business goals. It’s impossible to aim for 500% increase in lead generation. Finally, ensure that there is a time limit to achieve your your objective. How soon do you want a 25% increase in leads? 1 month, 3 months, a year?
Without a deadline, you won’t know when to pull the plug on your marketing campaign, in case they’re not producing the desired result.
You can also check out our list of Best Social Media Metrics every business must track to optimize its Social Media Marketing Strategy.
3. Determine Target Customers
If you’re not targeting the right customers, your social media strategy just won’t work. Most of your content and updates will be simply irrelevant to your audience. This will lead to low reach and engagement on Social Media pages and profiles.
So it’s important to clearly identify your target customers for your social media strategy. Creating buyer personas is an effective way to define your target customers. A buyer persona is a description of your ideal customer, including their background, demographics and behavior.
Simply think of your ideal customer, and write down as many details as possible about that person as you can. Once you know your target audience’s age, location, gender, occupation, interests, likes, dislikes and other details, you’ll know where to find them, how to reach them and what is the right message that will engage them. Remember, the more details, the better your conversions.
You can also get this information by conducting a survey on your website and mailing it to your existing customers.
4. Research your competition
Competition research is a crucial part of a successful social media marketing plan. It not only helps you stay up-to-date about their activities, but also helps you learn what’s working, and get new ideas to add to your social media strategy.
Make a list of 3-4 competitors and find out which social media platforms they use to grow their business. You may find that they have amazing engagement on LinkedIn whereas you’re stuck on Twitter.
Analyze their content and figure out their content strategy – What kind of updates do they post? What kind of topics do they write about? What days of week and times of day do they post updates? How many followers do they have?
Also look at the type of content they’re posting (blog posts, infographics, whitepapers?) and its tone (humorous, formal?)
Finally, look at their latest 20-30 posts on each social media network and look at their engagement. How many shares, likes, comments do they get per post?
Check out our list of Best Twitter Hashtag Analytics Tools to find the best hashtags for your social marketing campaigns, and track the latest tweets & posts around them.
5. Choose the right social media channels
To make your social media strategy successful, you need to be where your target audience spends most of their time online. You don’t need to be present on all social media platforms, just as your target customers aren’t.
By developing buyer personas and using competitor research, you can figure out the social media channels suitable for your business.
For example, if your prospects are millennials who tell you that they spend 30% of their time on Facebook and 15% of their time on Twitter, you know that Facebook should be your primary social media channel for millennial marketing and Twitter should be your secondary social network.
Also, your promotion tactics depend on the business objectives and your social channel. For example, if your objective is to build brand awareness, then you can promote your posts organically or by boosting posts on Facebook. However, if your objective is to drive sales, then you need to create Facebook Ad Campaigns showcasing your product or service. Here’s an example of a Facebook Carousel Ad.
6. Create a Content Marketing Strategy
When it comes to Social Media Marketing Strategy, content and social media go hand-in-hand. Without great content, social media marketing is pointless and on the other hand, without social media your content will remain invisible.
There are 3 aspects to social media content strategy: type of content you create, when you post your content and how frequently you post them.
Using buyer personas and competitor research, you can figure what type of content your target audience likes to consume – blog posts, videos, webinars, etc. You can also find out what topics they’re passionate about, and the tone that’s most engaging. Should your content be humorous, educational, long-form or something else?
It’s also important to find the best days of the week and time of the day to post your updates. You don’t want to disturb your target audience on a Saturday Night. Every major social network like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn provides social media analytics tools to help you understand the reach and engagement of your posts, and the demographics of your target audience, for each post. You can use them to test and identify the best time to post your updates as well as the ideal frequency of updates.
You can also read how to create social media calendar to plan your social marketing activities.
7. Assign Roles
Next you need to assign roles & responsibilities to your team so that there is no confusion, and tasks don’t overlap. Here’s a simple example of how you can distribute social media tactics among your team members.
To maximize productivity, assign tasks and responsibilities according to the skills and strengths of your team members. If there are any newbies in your team, pair them with experienced members so that things get done quickly.
Bonus Read: 7 Instagram Metrics you must track regularly to grow your business on Instagram.
8. Determine Budget and Resources
Finally you need to allocate budget for your Social Media Marketing Strategy. To do that, make an exhaustive list of tools for your social media tactics (e.g social media management tools, email marketing tools, SEO analyzer, etc) and the services you’ll outsource (e.g graphic design). Also, include a projected annual cost against each tool & service. Also, include the cost of time spent by your team, based on the estimated number of hours that they’ll need to put in to execute your social media strategy. This will give you a good idea about how much social media marketing will affect your budget.
In case the actual fees exceeds your budget estimate, prioritize short-term, high ROI tactics that can provide immediate returns, which you can invest for long-term tactics.
Typically, businesses allocate the budget and then create a marketing strategy that fits the budget. This approach works in case you have an experienced team that has done social media marketing before. Else, I suggest you create a social media strategy first and then decide the budget to execute the strategy. It’s also important to periodically do a Social Media Audit to find out if your social marketing efforts are helping you achiever your business goals.
Monitor your Social Media Marketing in Google Analytics using Custom Google Analytics Dashboard for Social Media
Once your social media marketing strategy is ready, you need to plan the execution processes and tasks. It’s important to remember that your social media strategy will change based on your learning and experience. The trick is to constantly measure your campaign performance and refine your social media strategy to optimize it over time. Hopefully, the above social media marketing template provides a good example of social media strategy for your business.
Do you have tips to create a great social media marketing plan? Please share them as comments.