5 Steps to Building Effective Social Media Marketing Strategy
A step-by-step guide to building your own social media strategy
Social media is a powerful way for all businesses to not only reach prospects and customers, but to engage, and build relationships with them. Today, social has also become the bridge that actively connects businesses with target audiences. And people hear about your brand online first through social media before they learn more about it at your website and before they visit a physical store.
So here’s the question: How do we leverage social media to grow your business? Well, first of all, before you get to anything, you need to have a strategy!
A social media plan outlines your goals and action plan to ensure your time has tangible benefits to your brand or business. Without one, one can easily lose focus, get lost, and give up at some point because it is definitely more like a marathon than a sprint.
4 step to building effective social media marketing strategy
1. Access current state
First thing first, know where you’re at. Assess your social media presence, understand how you’re doing at this particular moment. This can help you with developing realistic goals. Also, examine what worked and what did not, and use that for your future reference.
2. Know your audience
You need to know who you’re talking to, what they like what they don’t like, and cater to their needs and wants. Based on this understanding, create content, define tone and voice, develop products, and build your overall brand image. In addition, your understanding of your audience will also equip you in selecting and focusing on the right social media networks, and help you to better understand how social fits into your marketing program. (Know which social to choose: Social media demographics to drive your brand’s online presence)
Think about an ideal customer, who you designed your products/service for in the first place, including the demographics, their interests and whatnot. This will allow you to get a good grasp of your potential customers with real wants and needs.
Look at website and social media analytics
Never trust your assumptions. Real data will help you fill in the gaps in your customer analysis. These analytics will provide lots of valuable information and reveal how audience interact with your brand on social. It may also provide a new perspective, and shed lights on some grey areas that you did not consider before.
Here are the guides on how to use analytics on all of the major social networks (Source: Social media demographics to drive your brand’s online presence) :
- Facebook analytics guide
- Twitter analytics guide
- Pinterest analytics guide
- Instagram analytics guide
- LinkedIn Analytics guide
- YouTube analytics guide
- Snapchat analytics guide
3. Set SMART goals
Develop SMART goals that align with your business objectives. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time based. This will give you a clear picture of your work, help you organize and keep track of progress, and go further in the long run.
Determine which social platform will help you achieve specific goals.
4. Develop content strategy
After completing step 1&2, you should be able to identify what type of content drives actual results. This includes using appropriate tone and voice, delivering inspiring and engaging messages, and presenting visual content.
You may also structure a social media content with the 70–20–10 rule, or the rule of thirds.
The 70–20–10 Rule: 70% of your content should be original, relevant, and fun; 20% should be shared content from other sources that are informative, such as articles or blogs; 10% can be promotional, such as special offers.
The Rule of Thirds: According to this principle, your content can be equally split into promotional, engaging, and shared content as long as it creates a balanced message that delivers value.
Now that we have our content ready, we need to create a content calendar and publish consistently and efficiently.
It is also important to the demographics of each social media platform to utilize and optimize performance.
5. Measure results and make adjustments
Identify the metrics to measure results. Avoid using vanity metrics, and make sure that your metrics, social media goals, and business goals are all aligned well.
How to measure?
Use social media analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, Facebook Analytics etc.
Refine and Optimize
And then, with a schedule (weekly or monthly for instance), continuously refine and optimize your strategy based on the insights and information you’ve gained from the data you gathered.