7-Step Guide to Creating a Social Media Strategy

July 30, 2021

Social media is an integral part of our daily lives. According to 2021 data from Statista, 3.78 billion people use social media – more than half of the global population. Every day people worldwide spend 144 minutes (2 hours, 24 minutes) on social media for entertainment, socializing, shopping, and the latest news.

With a solid strategy, your social media efforts will drive more leads, sales, and followers. Here's a step-by-step process to help you create your social media strategy.

1. Set Meaningful Business Goals

What do you expect from social media? What do you want to accomplish? Ask yourself these questions so you can set specific goals for your business.

Following are some common goals that apply to brands of all sizes:

Be sure to set goals that are realistic as well as achievable. As wonderful as it sounds, for instance, setting a goal of 1 million Twitter followers in a year is not reasonable. Feel free to be ambitious, but don't get caught up in vanity metrics. Remember, quality over quantity will help you build meaningful brand awareness and a positive return on investment.

2. Define Your Target Audience

Your target audience is a group of people who are interested in products you sell and are most likely to purchase from you to solve specific problems or perform certain tasks. Based on your product variants, you can have multiple target audience groups.

Depending on the nature of your business, you can create a set of traits to identify your typical customer, and then tailor your marketing pitch accordingly.

Some audience demographic factors that are commonly considered by brands are:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Income
  • Occupation
  • Gender
  • Family status

3. Examine Your Competitors

Chances are, your competitors are already using social media. Study their social media pages, content, and organic campaigns to learn from them.

This will give you a better idea about the kind of content your target audience might enjoy, and provide a good starting point so you don't have to start from scratch.

Some excellent social media competitor analysis tools are:

4. Focus on Metrics and KPI That Matter

It's difficult to improve what you don't track. Based on your marketing goals, you'll need to select a set of parameters for benchmarking and comparison. This will help you determine if your marketing efforts are paying off.

Some useful metrics you can track and measure are:

  • Reach: Indicates how far your content has spread and how many people have seen it.
  • Engagement: Measures likes, reactions, comments, saves, and shares.
  • Hashtag Performance: Tells you whether your hashtag targeting needs further improvement or is working just fine. This data is essential to determine why some posts are doing well while others are not.
  • Audience Sentiment: This metric helps you understand how people feel about your brand. Are they positively reacting to your post? What is the context in which people are discussing your brand?

5. Create Quality Content

You must create content that allows your audience to connect with you. But don't make the same mistake as many businesses by getting too salesy on social media. A good rule of thumb is to include CTAs for your product or service in 20 percent of your posts. The remaining 80 percent should be focused on educating, informing, and adding value to your readers' feeds.

With that, here are some content ideas that will bring you more visibility:

Share Your Latest Blog

Sharing your blogs on social media is an excellent way to increase traffic to your website for free.

Behind-the-Scenes Content

It’s about showing your audience what’s happening behind the brand they love. You share content that shows the management, culture, staff, and everyday life.

Share User-Generated Content (UGC)

When you share content that is created by your consumers, you create a sense of trust. According to a study by TurnTo Networks, 90% of buyers believe that user-generated content has a greater influence on their purchasing decisions, and 63% believe UGC creates a more authentic shopping experience.

Create Polls

Polls can be both fun and educational. You can learn a lot about your audience, and they will enjoy engaging. You can use polls to ask questions, gather opinions, get feedback, generate interest in a product, conduct market research, and so on.

6. Publish Your Content at the Best Times

Relevancy and freshness of content are some of the factors that often dictate if your posts will make it to the top.

Earlier this month, we discussed in our Instagram Algorithms blog that publishing time is one of the signals Instagram uses for content ranking.

You need to stay relevant and publish fresh content, preferably when it has the highest chance of getting seen.

Decide how many times and when you want to post on social media, and stick with it. Use tools like Buffer, Agorapulse, Hootsuite, and Sprout Social to automate content publishing.

If you're low on budget, use the following free tools for scheduling content on social media:

7. Monitor, Evaluate, and Improve Your Strategy

Monitor your performance and track the most important KPIs on different platforms. This will show you whether your strategy is working well across multiple channels or not.

Based on the available data, evaluate your performance and make necessary changes in the strategy.

You've Got This

Social media strategy doesn't have to be overwhelming. Set attainable goals, target the right audience groups, publish good content at the right time, use relevant hashtags, and keep testing and improving.

Seek feedback from your customers and see what you can further improve. Publish engaging stories with stunning visuals to attract new prospects. Monitor your overall performance and decide the next steps.

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