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In today’s digital age, a strong digital presence is a must-have for most businesses. According to research, approximately 71% of customers who had a good social media experience with a brand are more likely to recommend it to others.

Through social media, you can:

  • Capture opportunities to connect with customers and drive sales in the process.
  • Foster customer relationships and build trust.
  • Increase accessibility for your customers, by providing a frictionless avenue to reach you.

A social media strategy is a comprehensive summary of how a business plans to maximise engagements, interactions, and tactics a business will use to achieve its goals. Instead of posting on social media on an ad-hoc basis, brands can use a strategy as a guideline to build a digital presence that is measurable and thoughtful. It is not a one-size-fits-all approach and that is why we have put together a detailed guide to help you build a social media strategy that aligns with your business goals.

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Step 1: Set SMART goals

Just like business outcomes, setting social media goals is a launchpad for success in a competitive digital marketing landscape. Before creating a Twitter account, Facebook page, or inundating your social media feed with posts, you need to outline exactly what you are aiming to achieve.

We recommend setting S.M.A.R.T. goals. This is a method that digital marketers use as a guideline to create goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Using this framework enables brands to purposeful content that can easily be evaluated.

Step 2: Get to know your target audience

The next step is to learn more about the target audience – the platforms they use and their comprehensive demographic profile. According to Hootsuite, your audience informs all elements of your social media strategy and by defining your audience, you can identify and understand your niche so you can dominate it. This helps you create compelling content that leads to higher conversion rates.

You can get to know your customer by:

  • Using data from an existing customer base
  • Creating buyer personas using demographic details such as age, gender, location, and preferred social media platforms
  • Using social listening tools

Read more: Social Media Algorithms: Everything You Need To Know

Step 3: Conduct a social media audit

Conducting a social media audit is a quick and effective way to establish whether your strategy aligns with your business objectives. A social media audit is the process of assessing your online performance and using insights to improve your social media presence. It can help you determine if a specific social media account is worth keeping and gauge the authenticity of your followers. This critical function enables you better understand the target audience and cater to their interests. Data generated from a social media audit can provide valuable insights into the kind of content that resonates well with your audience by reviewing the performance of social media channels, posts, and ads on a monthly or quarterly basis.

Common elements of a social media audit include analysing:

  • Using data from an existing customer base
  • Creating buyer personas using demographic details such as age, gender, location, and preferred social media platforms
  • Using social listening tools

Step 4: Set up social media accounts

With the growing number of online platforms, choosing the right social media platform can be challenging, especially with new platforms constantly emerging. However, this does not mean that you should use each one for your business. Different platforms offer a wide range of advantages. Before deciding on which social media platform is best suited for your business you need to:

  • Define your goals
  • Take inventory of resources available
  • Consider the industry you are in
  • Establish where your competitors are

After outlining the above, it is easier to narrow down which social media platform best suits your business goals and objectives.

Read more: Brand Storytelling: How To Engage Your Target Audience On Social Media

Step 5: Get inspired

Your first rodeo in the realm of content creation and social media does not have to be daunting. By simply having a look at how your peers are using social media, you can get a boost of inspiration. This gives you an opportunity to identify what works best for your industry and the type of content that the competitor’s audience responds to. Alternatively, you can find inspiration by searching for hashtags that are relevant to your business.

NB: It is important to always keep your audience top of mind, because what you might find interesting may not be appropriate for them.

Read more: Social Media Marketing: A Copywriting Guide

Step 6: Set up a social media content calendar

An effective social media content calendar is built on strategy. This is the most effective way to plan and organize your social media content. A social media content calendar is an essential tool that organizes your content by date, and it provides a monthly overview of the publishing schedule. It enables marketers to better manage their content and keep track of deadlines, simplifying the execution of tasks such as the scheduling of posts.

The purpose of a content calendar is to provide a framework for sharing content that generates the most impact. A content calendar is a social media must-have. You can easily create one using Excel or simply download a template to help you visualize the content layout. Once you have created a social media content calendar, you can use scheduling tools such as Hootsuite to schedule posts in advance.

For how to create a paid social strategy click here.

Final thoughts…

Now that you have ticked off all the steps on this list, created social media profiles, and decided on how you want to use social media platforms, it is time to get the content out. However, the work does not end here!

Improving the effectiveness of your social media strategy is a work in progress. From the moment you start promoting your content, it is critical to always stay in the loop and keep track of what is happening across your social media platforms. This includes monitoring engagements and conversations about your brand to establish the kind of content that your target audience is interested in and use these insights to craft compelling content. A social media strategy is not set in stone. It is essential to always use data insights to adjust digital marketing tactics and improve upon your digital delivery.

Need some help setting up your social media pages or crafting a compelling social media content strategy that yields desired business results? Feel free to contact us!

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