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How to Create the Best Social Media Marketing Strategy
Knowing how to create the best social media marketing strategy, which is essentially a summary of what you plan to do and hope to achieve on social media, can help guide your actions online, giving every post, like, reply, and comment a specific purpose in helping you succeed.
As experts in digital marketing, we know that the more specific a social media marketing strategy is, the more effective it will be. That is why our team has put together some simple steps for creating the best social media marketing strategy for your unique business.
1. Set Social Media Marketing Goals
When setting social media marketing goals, it is important to establish goals and objectives that follow the S.M.A.R.T.—specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound—goal framework, as lofty and broad goals are often unattainable or make it impossible to measure the return on investment (ROI). It is also important to ensure that the social media goals align with your overall marketing strategy in order to determine the true value of your work.
Once the social media marketing goals have been set, make sure to track meaningful metrics like leads generated, web referrals, and conversion rates. Tracking different goals for different social media platforms or even different uses for each platform will allow you to compare and contrast which platform works best for your specific wants and needs.
2. Research Your Audience
The more you know about your target audience and what they want to see on social media, the more likely social media followers will become actual customers. Start by creating audience/buyer personas that turn potential fans and followers into real people with real wants and needs. Social media analytics from free tools like Facebook Audience Insights can provide a range of valuable information about who your followers are, where they live, and how they interact with your brand on social media, giving you the insights needed to refine the strategy and better target potential customers.
3. Research Competitors
Make sure to take the time to learn from competitors who are already using social media. Performing a competitor analysis will provide valuable insights into who the competition is, what they are doing well and not so well, and what is expected in your industry, while also helping you spot opportunities to take advantage of, such as focusing on a networks where your audience is being underserved.
4. Perform a Social Media Audit
Examining current efforts on social media by taking a look at what is and is not working, who you are connecting with, which networks your target audience uses, and how your social media presence compares to competitors will provide a good starting point for planning on how to best improve results. An audit should give a clear picture of the purpose of each social media account and whether or not it is worth keeping.
5. Set Up and Optimize Social Media Accounts
Before setting up and optimizing social media accounts, you will first need to determine which channels to use and what the strategy is for each. From Facebook and Instagram to YouTube and Twitter, there are many different channels, each of which can serve its own purpose. Consider selecting a couple of social media channels to work with and create mission statements for each to help you focus on very specific goals for each account.
Once the platforms have been selected, create your profiles or improve existing profiles to align with the determined strategic plan. It is also important to optimize each social media account by filling out all profile fields, using keywords people will use to search for your business, and using images that are correctly sized for each network.
6. Create a Social Media Content Calendar
A social media content calendar should outline the content that will be posted, as well as the time that will be spent engaging and interacting with the audience. Make sure to include dates and times for all social media activities, such as sharing images, links, blog posts, and videos, to ensure the posts are appropriately spaced out and will be published at the optimal time.
Since sharing great content is essential, having a proper plan in place for sharing content will help maximize the impact of each post. Consider placing different types of posts into the content calendar to help maintain a proper ratio. In most cases, following the 80-20 rule or the rule of thirds tend to work the best.
Social Media 80-20 Rule
- 80% of posts should inform, educate, or entertain
- 20% of posts directly relate to brand promotion
Social Media Rule of Thirds
- 1/3 of social content promotes the business, converts readers, and generates leads
- 1/3 of social content shares ideas and stories from industry leaders
- 1/3 of social content involves personal interactions with the audience
Once the social media content calendar has been set, consider using third-party scheduling tools like Hootsuite or Buffer to prepare posts ahead of time. Doing so will allow you to spend more time formatting and crafting each post instead of doing it on the fly.
How often should you post to social media? Find out more.
7. Test, Evaluate, and Adjust
A social media marketing strategy is an important document for any business to have; however, it should never be assumed that the document will be perfected on the first try. It is extremely important to track the results to find out which strategies work and which ones will need to be adjusted. Make sure to review the data and re-evaluate the strategy on a regular basis in order to find the best strategy for your exact business needs.
Having a proper social media marketing strategy in place can help you better reach your target audience online. To learn more about how to create a social media marketing strategy, get in touch with the digital marketing experts today.