Creating a Social Media Strategy
Social media has been on the tip of everyone’s tongue for ages and there’s no longer any time left to be faint hearted – you know you have to jump on that train. So you roll up your sleeves and get ready to take the leap but then it hits you – where do you start? What should you do first and what can wait until later? And what are you supposed to be doing in the first place?
We’ve all been in the situation of being scared to start something new, so we created this simple 10-step plan to create your own Social Media Strategy, to give you the confidence to get started.
1. Define Your Goals
Before you do anything, think what you want to achieve. Various businesses have individual challenges that translate into different set of goals. Do you want to increase traffic to your website? Do you want to improve your customer service? Or do you want to drive more sales? Sit down, take your time and list your priorities before you move on to step 2.
2. Determine Your Target Audience
The next question you have to answer is even more tricky but no less important than the first. Who is your ideal or typical customer? What does he or she do? What car do they drive, what newspaper they read, what social Media channels they use? If you haven’t gone through this process already then now’s the time. This will allow you to target them more easily and more effectively, ensuring your content is relevant and compelling.
3. Choose Relevant Social Media Channels
Just because millions of users joined Instagram, it doesn’t mean you have to be there too. Every Social Media channel takes time to manage (without even taking into account the expertise you will need) and you should be spending your time on activity that adds value to your business. Knowing your ideal customers will give you a good understanding what channels they use and where you should be focusing your efforts.
4. Decide on Relevant KPIs
One brilliant thing about Social Media Marketing – you can measure pretty much everything. And if you can measure it, you can manage and improve it. After choosing your Social Media channels, align them with relevant KPIs and keep track on them. If your main goal to increase sales – you probably want to measure your average number of orders or order value, if you want to increase traffic – unique visitors will be among your KPIs, and so on.
5. Audit Your Presence Online
Now that you’ve decided on the channels you need to use, take time to see how you’ve been performing on those (or will start performing if you are just joining some). Keep track of your KPIs on each of your Social Media channels. See how your following and engagement are changing and you will get an understanding of how you can adjust your Social Media strategy to achieve your goals.
6. Benchmark Your Performance Against Your Competitors
The statistics you get on Social Media are useless unless you understand what they mean. Performance figures will be vastly different for businesses of different sizes, different industries and with different objectives. If you want to understand how good or bad your performance on Social Media is, have a look at your direct competitors, and similar types of business in different parts of the country. Comparing yourself with them will give you a good idea of how you are performing, and by looking at those who are doing well on social media, you will know which areas you can improve straight away.
7. Create a Consistent Message
Consistency lies behind every successful brand. Consistency doesn’t mean posting the same message on each of your Social Media channels (actually, you really shouldn’t do that) – it means making sure your message follows the same strategy on Facebook, Twitter and whatever other channels you are going for and is aligned with your overall business strategy and values.
8. Produce Engaging Content
Different people will engage with different types of content. Luckily, nowadays we have an awful lot of them: videos, photos, infographics, blog posts, links, various ebooks, podcasts and webcasts. Think about the best channels to reach your audience, but don’t rely on your gut instinct – test them out. As David Ogilvy says (and he should know): ”Never stop testing and your advertising will never stop improving”.
9. Use Analytics to Track Performance
Going back to the topic of measuring, tracking your performance is essential within a strong Social Media Strategy. Today every Social Media channel has its own built-in analytics tool that can help you to evaluate your content, posting times and engagement with your followers. Take advantage of these free tools and have a good look at the things you are doing right and the things you’re doing wrong.
10. Improve and Adjust Your Strategy
When things do go wrong, what should you do about it? It’s simple enough – you adapt and improve them. And by improving them you will improve your Social Media Strategy, meaning you will improve your whole Marketing Strategy and become more effective. The only thing you have to remember is: improvement is not a one-off event; it’s a continuous cycle that you have to do again and again. Enjoy the process!
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If you want to know more about how you could create an Effective Social Media Strategy (or improve your existing one) follow our blog for more information or drop us a line: firstname.lastname@example.org
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