Creating a social media marketing strategy can be very challenging. With so many channels and possibilities it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Also, it is not very clear anymore what works and what does not. But, don’t worry, because I am about to tell you how to create a successful social media marketing strategy step by step. Ready?
Define your goals & KPIs per channel.
Do you know what you want to achieve? Well, that’s your first and most important step. Figuring out what you want out of your social media in general is key to define your objectives per channel.
No matter what objectives you focus on, your main social media marketing goals need to be aligned with your digital marketing plan.
Once you have a general idea, you can start thinking about the specific purpose of every channel. Also, you will need to define the indicators that you are going to monitor in order to understand the efficiency of your strategy.
Identify your audience.
Who are you addressing your message to? Who is going to be part of your digital community? Identifying your audience will help you understand your potential clients.
One of the most interesting advantages of social media is they give brands and marketers the chance to listen. The times when advertising was all about vertical, unidirectional communication are over. Instead, we have built networks, communities where people connect with each other and share their problems and wishes.
In short, you need to know who your potential clients are. Once you’ve found out, all you need is to know how to talk to them and what to say.
Analyze your competitors.
Ok, I get it. This last part is not that easy. But what if we take a look at your competitors? What are they doing? How? When? Your competitors are like you. They run the same type of business, they sell very similar products. Therefore, their social media goals are probably not very far from yours.
Make sure you have a list of your most relevant competitors. Go to their social profiles, analyze what they are doing. What works best? What post generates more engagement? And the keywords? Which ones are they using? Gather as much information as you can and start thinking just about one thing. How can you do better than them?
Analyzing your competitors does not only help you know what to do, but also, how to do it better. Outperforming your competitors on social channels may give you an idea of how to do the same in general.
Specify topics, actions, budget & timing.
Do you know what you want to talk about? It’s time to decide your main topic and start planning some specific posts and actions.
Try to think about your content for a week or the first month at least. If you work on a structure and define frequency and topics, it will be easy to assign a monthly budget for your campaigns too.
Also, you will have an idea of the time needed to achieve your goals.
Decide how & when are you going to measure results.
You defined your KPIs. Are you checking reports daily? What tools do you need to monitor results? Are you going to work on a simple report once a week? Or you prefer to analyze your actions over a longer period of time?
Your tools, methods and times depend on your goals. However, there is something that never changes: your metrics. By now, you have already decided what to focus on. However, here is just a quick recap. You can measure:
- Reach: how many people have seen your post/ad.
- Clicks: how many people have clicked on your content and most importantly where exactly.
- Engagement: what is your audience interacting with?
- Likes: are they organic or paid? To boost organic likes you will have to really work on the quality of your content. You can do it!
- Hashtags performance: which hashtags drive more users? What are the most used ones?
- Sentiment: are users’ comments positive or negative? Did they unfollow your page after publishing something? Or did they do the opposite? People’s reactions tell you how they feel about your posts or your ads.
Keep in mind to optimize on a regular basis.
Since you will be monitoring your results on a daily basis and you will probably analyze everything in detail at least once a month, it won’t be hard for you to optimize on a regular basis.
Keep working on the content that is working better, discard all these ideas that have not worked. Even better, try to improve them this time. Analyze why your actions failed and keep testing.
There is not much right or wrong in principle (except from some very basic stuff that would be wrong everywhere, not only on social media). Succeeding is mostly a question of common sense and good planning, but it also requires a lot of social listening, creativity and analysis.
Also, last but not least, you will learn with time. Don’t rush it. Theory always requires practice.
Put in practice your social media marketing strategy.
Now it’s time to finally get the ball rolling. Remember that social media marketing is a flexible thing. Even if your plan does not work perfectly now, it does not mean that your effort is not worthwhile. The first and most important step is just to realise that you definitely need a strategy. The second one is to build it and now, that you’ve come so far, you need to be courageous and resilient. Put that all in practice. Maybe things work perfectly, maybe not, but you will be already 3 steps ahead compared to yesterday.
How do I define my social media goals?
You need to create a goal and set KPIs depending on the channels you’re going to use. But keep in mind that your social media goals still need to align with your digital marketing strategy.
What tools can I use to measure results?
The metrics you use depend on the goals and KPI you’ve set previously. You can evaluate your reach, click rates, engagement, likes, hashtags and sentiment.