If you fail to plan, you plan to fail – that’s the way the saying goes. And it’s no different when you are planning your social media marketing strategy. Read on to find out more!
How would you define a social media marketing strategy?
A social media marketing strategy is basically a summary of what you plan to do, what you want to achieve and which your social media channels you are going to use. It is a physical or digital document that guides your actions, and that acts as a measuring tool to see how far you’ve come.
As with any plan, an effective social media marketing strategy will mean an effective execution. Your plan shouldn’t even be that long – it just complicates things.
How to plan your strategy for social media marketing
Set your social media marketing goals
When you have a goal that you want to achieve, you are more likely to hit it – even if it’s not a bullseye. Set goals which are S.M.A.R.T. so you can measure your success and return on investment (ROI).
Goals which are SMART goals are defined as:
- Specific: Well defined, strong, and explicit
- Measurable: With specific criteria that quantity your progress towards the achievement of the ultimate goal
- Achievable: Realisable and not impractical to accomplish
- Realistic: Within reach, sensible, and pertinent to your intention
- Timely: With a distinctly demarcated timeline, including a starting date and a target date. The purpose is to generate urgency.
Choose your channels
The next phase requires an in-depth look at the company itself, and perhaps even a look at its existing customer base. While it might sound like a good idea to promote a business on every social media platform there is, this just isn’t practical and could end up a complete waste of time and money.
For example, a law firm probably won’t be suited to a social media platform like Tiktok or Pinterest, and likewise a children’s party service most likely won’t have much luck promoting itself on LinkedIn. Some social media platforms are just more suited to certain brands than others.
Besides, posting regular content on every social media channel – even if just for one brand – would require a large team of full-time marketing professionals. Start off small, with one or two social platforms, then slowly branch into others as you see the need or opportunity.
Find out all that there is to know about your audience
Create audience and buyer personas and gather real-world data to populate your social media marketing strategy. Assumptions won’t do, and analytics can provide you with a lot of valuable information about your followers. These insights will help you refine your strategy and improve your social media marketing.
Assess your competitors
Today, almost every market is saturated with competing brands all jostling for the attention of the communities that surround them. Some brands know how to rock their social media marketing more than others, which is why assessing your competitors is such an important step.
There’s nothing wrong with looking at what your biggest rival brand is doing on social media, as long as you don’t copy them. There’s a fine line between inspiration and plagiarism! Before finalising content types for a brand’s social media strategy, take a look at what the competitors are putting out and the type of engagement they’re garnering. This gives you an idea of what your audiences want to see from a brand like yours.
Audit your current social media
At all times, it’s a good idea to take stock of where you are at the current moment in time. Audit your existing social media marketing strategy and ask yourself what’s working and what’s not, which networks are effective, and how do you hold up against your competitors.
Remember, you are not finished once you have compiled your social media marketing strategy. Your work continues as you set up new social media channels, improve your existing profiles, and refine your strategy. You can always go bigger and better when it comes to social media marketing. Do you agree?
The social media marketing landscape is growing. This means that organisations and companies in addition to small businesses as well as sole proprietors need to have a robust insight into how to market and grow their brands on social channels.
Build content calendars
Once the goals have been set, the social media channels have been selected, and opportunities have been assessed by looking competitors, the final step is to decide on the types of content that needs to be developed and to plot out a promotional schedule.
This involves sitting down with a calendar and deciding on which days to post content. Again, competitor social media accounts can give insights here, but the best way is to allow for a month of testing and measuring. No two brand audiences are the same, so it’s important to experiment in the early stages of a marketing campaign.
Spread your posts out across the month, with some posts falling predominantly on weekdays one week, and the next week having a few posts going live over the weekend. By doing this, you can gauge when the best days and frequent times are for engaging with your brand’s followers on social media.
Become a social media guru in 2020
As such, they require social media strategy training that is backed by the experts. If you want to join the realm of social media marketing or want to supercharge your career with an accredited social media certificate, this course is for you! The Social Media Marketing Course from the Digital School of Marketing will allow you to grow your brand strategically on any social channel, grow customer engagement and properly target those who matter most.
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