Whether you’re a social media veteran or you’re just barely breaking into the social media realm, your focus should be on creating the best social media strategy possible. While things like brands and budgets vary, there are some things that should always be a part of your calculations. Here are the 6 steps for creating a successful social media strategy.
1. Understand Your Audience
A key element in any great social media strategy is an understanding your audience. In the beginning stages of determining your social media strategy, there should always a discovery phase to determine who your audience is, where they are, and what motivates them. Most companies pour a great deal of research into this initial stage, but many fail to maintain that level of research throughout subsequent campaigns.
Who are you trying to target? What are their needs? What social platforms do they use? These are just a few of the questions you should be answering on a regular basis.
Unfortunately, because of the pace at which the digital landscape changes, last week’s data may already be too old to inform today’s decisions. For this reason it’s important to continually research your customers’ pain points as well as larger societal trends.
2. Set Clear Goals
When you know who your audience is, where they are, and what they want, then you can set some goals. Examine what your strategy is and identify some metrics you can measure that will help determine your progress. Some common metrics used in goal setting are: reach, shares, clicks, etc.
Goals help shape the direction your campaign takes and they give you something measurable with which to track your progress. Just the act of writing down your goals will help keep them top of mind as you make important decisions in your campaign.
3. Plan Effectively
You must have a calendar.
A content calendar is essential for planning a winning strategy. It will allow you to see the bigger picture and keep your team on track. As you move forward, it will act as a reminder of important dates and events so you can spend more time engaging and less time worrying.
Just be sure your calendar reflects the goals you’ve set.
The second half of the planning step is building a content bank. While you should always carefully plan out each post and where it should fall in your campaign, contingencies are important. A healthy content bank contains not only additional new posts, but old posts as well. Whenever you have a gap in your content calendar, this will allow you to fill it with a fresh new post, or give you a starting point to repurpose old content.
What’s the point in setting measurable goals if you never actually measure them?
By this time in the process you’ve put a lot of work into your social media strategy. Check your measurements! This will help you see how you’re doing and assess what, if any, changes need to be made. Measurement can help you identify successful content, as well as any gaps that may exist.
5. Make Time
Now that you’ve created a great social media campaign, don’t think you’re out of the woods just yet. Great content isn’t enough anymore. Creating engagement is growing in importance, now more than ever.
Social media feeds are filled with millions of posts, messages, pages, and groups. Most algorithms are built to favor posts that get a lot of people talking and taking action. The best way to make your posts stand out from the others is to engage.
Set aside time to engage with your customers as they engage with your posts. Respond promptly messages and questions. If you do, your efforts will be magnified and your all-important metrics increased.
6. Audit Regularly
Finally, be sure to perform regular social media audits. After weeks and months of running various campaigns, it’s important to assess the state of your online presence as a whole.
Check for old posts on your Facebook page that may contradict the current brand image you’re trying to build. Remove them. A self-audit can also help you identify inconsistencies and assess previous campaign success. Use these insights to improve your current strategy and inform your content decisions moving forward.