Social media marketing is crazy powerful, but only if you create a strategy for doing it. A lot of people jump into social media without understanding who their target audience is, what they want, and how to get it. Knowing these things is the key to a successful social media marketing campaign.
Social media is an exciting opportunity to connect with your target audience and build personal relationships. But it’s also a lot of work, especially if you’re new to social media or you have a small team. If you start the social media marketing process without a clear strategy, it will be difficult to get traction.
Whether you’re a beginner in social media marketing or an expert social media marketer, it’s never been easier to get started. With the rise of social media users, it makes sense for businesses to be on at least one platform. But rather than throwing random posts up on different platforms, it’s better to have a strategy.
What is a Social Media Strategy?
A social media strategy is your most basic map for how your business uses social media. It encompasses every possible element you need to produce and post social media content. From custom posting windows and scheduling templates to guidelines for how often you post. And yes, now that I mention it – creating custom posting windows and schedules is part of your social media strategy.
Why You Need a Social Media Strategy
Social media marketing can be daunting. Where do you even start? The top three challenges that social media marketers face include reaching their audience, measuring ROI and reaching business goals.
Most social media marketers are so busy putting out fires and responding to campaigns that they do not create a strategy that helps guide their overall social media efforts. Yet, having a clear strategy will help marketers reach their audiences, define important metrics and benchmarks, measure ROI, and reach business goals.
Most businesses have a social media presence, but few have a strategy.” Crafting a social media strategy will help you achieve success on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Digg.com and Reddit. Even if you have a presence on multiple platforms, it’s important to create consistent messaging across all of your channels.
Social media marketing has grown into a powerful channel since it enables businesses to connect with customers. With a strong social media presence, you can spread your content fast and increase brand visibility.
It’s easy to set up WordPress blogs and feed them on different channels, but the hard part is making sure that the content you share helps achieve your business objectives. Here is how you can guide your social media marketing to achieve your goals.
How to Create a Social Media Strategy
A social media strategy is a summary of everything you plan to do and hope to achieve on social media. It guides your actions and lets you know whether you’re succeeding or failing.
The more specific your plan is, the more effective it will be. Short-term plans can last a few weeks or months, while long-term plans typically cover six months to a year.
Because you want your plan to be as useful as possible, it’s important that it contains all the essential ingredients. Here’s what we recommend including:
- Define your target audience.
- Start blogging.
- Create educational content.
- Focus on a few key channels.
- Create a content calendar..
- Set quantitative goals for each key channel.
- Track performance and adjust your strategy accordingly
1. Define your target audience.
You can’t be everything to everyone. If you try, you’ll end up spreading yourself thin and not getting very far. If you create content that’s relevant to a specific audience, no matter how small it is, you’ll have better luck reaching them and getting their attention.
As you become more established and start generating a larger following, cast a wider net. But until then, start with a niche audience — even if it’s just one person.
2. Start blogging
This is where you will establish yourself as an authority in your industry and provide value to your customers. Blogging is where you will convert website visitors into loyal followers by providing them with free information they can use to solve their problems or accomplish their goals. Here’s how to get started blogging.
3. Create educational content.
Posting about the latest news in your industry is great, but writing blog posts that teach people how to do things on their own is even better. Create downloadable content like ebooks, checklists, videos, and infographics to guide your audience through topics.
As people gain skills from the content you share on social media, they will be more likely to want to work with you because they know you’re an expert in your field.
4. Focus on a few key channels
You can’t develop a social media strategy if you try to be everywhere all the time. The best way to find success is to focus on the platforms where your customers are most likely to engage. If they’re avid Instagram users, make that one of your key channels, and learn everything you can about the platform.
Unless your business has a presence on every major social network, it’s better to focus on a few key channels and do them well than to be present on every channel but not have the bandwidth to create high-quality content for each one.
Consider your audience, where they hang out online, and what your goals are for using social media (hint: traffic, sales, engagement).
5. Create a content calendar.
You can’t hope to achieve your social media goals without a plan for the types of posts you plan to share and when. Create a content calendar that outlines what you’ll post and when, then stick to it so you can keep your audience engaged without overwhelming them.
6. Set quantitative goals for each key channel.
There’s no point in posting on Facebook if you don’t know how many likes or shares it needs in order for you to consider it successful. Choose metrics that matter — not just numbers for the sake of numbers, but ones that truly relate back to what you’re trying to achieve with your marketing efforts.
You might want more people clicking on your tweets, or more direct messages from people who’ve discovered your company through Facebook or Instagram.
7. Track performance and adjust your strategy accordingly
This data doesn’t tell you what to do, but it does allow you to measure how well your social strategy is doing. And when used properly, that information can evaluate two things: how much of an audience you have on Facebook and LinkedIn and how engaged that audience is.
You can’t control your competitors, but you can control how much you learn from maintaining your own public persona. By using this three-step process, you’re gaining valuable insight on what information attracts target customers like yourself.
This way, you’re always up to speed with the latest marketing strategies, and can impress every existing and new audience through your beautifully brand-managed pages. There are social media marketing tools available to help you with this.
Get started with Social Media Media
Social media is a powerful medium for businesses, but if you run into problems, this article can give you the tools you need to get out of an unwanted social media marketing campaign.
Be sure you do your research and create a solid strategy before getting set up on Facebook, Twitter, or any other network. The more research and effort you put in before taking the plunge, the greater your chances of success will be.
If you’re just starting to build a marketing strategy, know that there isn’t a single social media network in the world that can’t be used to market your business. Even if you think something like Facebook or Twitter is too general, you can still target people with specific interests on those networks.
The opportunities are endless, so forget about thinking about something not working for you and focus on creating a social media marketing plan that will work for your business.