Everything you aim to achieve and plan to do on social media is what we call –Social Media Marketing Strategy. Apart from just guiding your actions, it allows you to keep track of whether you are succeeding or failing. Each update, promotion, engagement, and activity that happens on your social should serve a purpose.
Designing an effective Social Media Marketing (SMM) strategy to help you achieve your goals can be a REAL challenge. The more specific your SMM strategy be, the more effective it will be. “Try to keep it short and concise. You don’t want to make your plan that is so broad that it’s unrealistic to achieve and impossible to measure.” says the Digital Marketing UK team.
They suggest seven simple steps to design a winning social media marketing strategy for your brand:
Step 1: Align your SMM goals with your business objectives
The very first step to build your SMM strategy is to define your goals and objectives. Without purpose, you have no way to measure your success and social media ROI. Make sure your goals are based on the SMART framework, which actually ensures that your objectives are realistic, attainable and of real value for your business.
Each of your SMM goals should be:
- Relevant, and Time-bound.
Your social media goals need to work in sync with your overall marketing strategy. This is important as it will make it easier for you to track results and measure the value of your work.
Step 2: Know your competition
Once you have translated your business objectives into SMM goals, it’s time to conduct a competitive analysis and understand who the competition is and what they are doing well. This will help you grab a good sense of what’s expected in the industry and what type of SMM targets you can establish that will provide you an edge over your competitors.
Analyzing your competition will also help you spot opportunities. For instance, maybe one of your competitors is pretty dominant on Twitter and Instagram. So, you might want to focus on channels where your audience seems to be under-served I.e. Facebook and Pinterest. Instead of struggling to win fans away from a dominant player, you can experiment and build a significant following in relatively lesser time by using other social platforms.
Step 3: Conduct a social media audit
It’s important that from time to time you step back a little and evaluate your efforts. You need to look at what you have already done and accomplished and how much effect your approach has been in terms of achieving your SMM goals and targets.
- You need to ask yourself the following questions:
- What’s working for your brand, and what’s not?
- What type of audience is connecting with you on social?
- Which social platform does your target audience use?
- How does your social media presence compare to that of your competition?
Once you have all this information documented, you will be in a better position to start planning on how to achieve your goals and what improvements you can make to your existing strategy that will help.
Your social media audit needs to clarify the purpose of each of your social platforms serves. If the purpose of a social channel is unclear, you might want to think about whether it’s worth keeping. To help you determine that, Digital Marketing Services UK team suggests you ask yourself three questions:
- Is my audience on this platform?
- If so, how are they using this social channel?
- Can this platform help me achieve my business goals?
Asking these questions will help keep your SMM strategy updated and in-line with your overall marketing plan.
Step 4: Learn everything you can about your audience
Understanding who your audience is and what interests them the most is the key to creating compelling content that is likely to drive more engagement. It is also essential for planning how to convert your fans and followers into actual customers for your brand.
You can create audience personas that will give you more insight into the type of audience your content is reaching out to. This will also help you set a clear tone and style to approach your target customers.
Step 5: Assign tasks and establish ETAs
Once you have prioritized the SMM targets that will help you achieve your SMM goals, the next step is to add two elements to each target:
- Assign resources: you need to nominate people who will be responsible for achieving each of your assigned targets and goals.
- Assign ETAs: define a time frame for achievement of each of your assigned targets.
For example, let’s assume you run a social media for a fictional company named NJ Corp. Here’s what NJ Corp’s ETAs would look like:
- Reach out to 100 influencers by 1st Feb (assigned to Daniel)
- DM 200 influencers by 25th Feb (assigned to Daniel)
- Setup 1 paid campaign on 27th of every month (assigned to Daniel and Harrison)
Step 6: Find inspiration
While it’s important to ensure that your brand shares unique and compelling content, you can still draw some inspiration from other businesses that are performing great on social. All platforms feature success stories to highlight how different brands are using their tools effectively to achieve their SMM goals.
You can look up these stories, likely to be available on the business section of the social network’s website, to catch some inspiration. For instance, Facebook’s Business Success Stories is a great place to scroll through real case studies that offer insights you can apply to your SMM targets and goals for each social channel.
In fact, you can also glance through Facebook Awards for examples of businesses that are on top of their social competition.
Step 7: Create a social media content calendar
Sharing engaging content is essential, but is equally important to have a plan in place for when you will share your updates to generate optimal impact. Your social media content calendar helps you with that. It not only provides an outline for sharing content but also accounts for the time you will spend interacting with your audience (this excludes the time you need to allow for some spontaneous engagement as well).
Your social media content calendar will list the dates and time your content goes live on each channel. It basically acts like a centralized place to plan and schedule your social media activities, including videos, images, link sharing, and blog posts. Your content calendar ensures your posts are published with the right frequency and at the optimal times.
You might want your calendar to reflect the mission behind each of your social accounts so that everything you share supports your SMM and business goals. Once you are done setting up the calendar, you are good to use scheduling tools and start bulk scheduling your updates.
Nouman Ali Awan has hands-on experience as an SEO Expert. He currently works at Hire PHP Developers: Web design and SEO services. The Company offers SEO auditing services to the UK clientele. Also, he writes informative articles on varied SEO related subjects and helps readers know the best tips on how to optimize a website over the web using SEO tools and techniques.