How To Create A Social Media Strategy
“If you are failing to plan, then you are planning to fail.” Benjamin Franklin
As a business owner, you know the importance of having an overall business plan and a marketing plan. But did you also know that you should have a social media plan? If having engaging social media channels is part of your marketing mix, or if you are new to the social media game, below are tips and advice to help you get started and moving in the right direction.
1. Define Your Goals for Social Media
Determine what you are trying to accomplish on social media and how they align with your business goals. Do you want to build brand awareness or generate more sales leads? Are you wanting to connect with customers or drive traffic to your web-site?
Set SMART Goals that are:
If you are on a few different platforms, you may need to set different goals for each one.
Review of Current Social Media Activity
If you are currently on social media, conduct an audit of your activity. What would be considered your successes and failures? How many followers do you have? What posts generated the most interactions and why?
Take a moment to look at what your competitors are doing and what they are doing well compared to you. What platforms are they using and why?
In order to create content on social media that your users will engage in, it’s important to understand their interests, likes and dislikes. Determine where your customers, or prospective customers are hanging out – are they on Facebook, Instagram and/or Pinterest? What draws them to these platforms? What do they like to see and read on social media?
Create a calendar of important dates and holidays
The most successful social media pages are the ones that are planned out ahead of time. Follow the 80/20 rule – 80% of your content should be planned while 20% should be “live” or “in the moment.” You should be planning your social media content a month in advance. But don’t panic! You don’t need a crystal ball, simply look ahead to any special dates for your business, holidays or seasons that are meaningful to your business and plan posts around these dates.
Create Content Categories
Now that you have defined your goals and you have a picture of your ideal customer, it’s time to write the content for your social media. The first place to start is determining your content categories. These are the categories that your content will fit into, such as Education, Community, Company Culture, Entertainment, and /or Inspiration, to name a few. The next step is to determine what the content will look like – FAQ’s, product demo’s, user generated content, behind the scenes, quotes, questions etc. And finally determine where your content categories will live – Instagram is great for building community, while Facebook is great for longer generated content and driving potential customers to your web-site.
Now, pull out your calendar and schedule when your posts will be published.
Monitor and Engage
You’ve set your goals, you have this killer content calendar, so now it’s time to sit back and watch the engagements roll in, right? No. While planning is essential, monitoring your results is just as essential. Lucky for you, all of the platforms have great analytical tools and Insight pages to make monitoring your results easy. Determine what type of posts your followers are responding to and create more of that content. And don’t forget to respond to questions and comments from your audience. They are on social media to be social – if they are connecting with you, be sure to connect back.
Ask for help
If managing your social media network is something that you can add to your daily task list, great! If not, consider whether or not you need to get help. Is there someone on your team that can perform these duties? Do you need to hire a photographer, videographer, or will you be using stock photography? Who is writing the actual content?
If you don’t have the time or the people to manage your social media accounts, we can help! Contact us today to discuss how we can create a strategy for your business and how we can manage your social media accounts.