Table of Contents
- What Is a Social Media Marketing Strategy?
- What Is a Social Media Marketing Plan?
- How to Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy From Scratch?
- Choose marketing objectives that align with your business goals
- Get to know your audience well
- Know your competition and outwork them
- Perform a social media audit
- Set up your profile and keep improving it
- Find inspiration and learn from it
- Make a social media calendar
- Assess, Adjust, Reassess, Readjust, Repeat
- What Is the Most Powerful Social Media Marketing Strategy?
Social Media Marketing Strategy for Businesses
Nowadays, if a business doesn’t have an online presence, it’s good as nonexistent. That’s why it’s important for any company that aspires to gain more visibility and sales to have a solid social media marketing strategy in place.
But what constitutes good online social media marketing strategies? There are several factors involved and one thing is for sure…
Having a social media profile and randomly posting content isn’t enough.
Social media is a powerful tool that can bring success to any business if utilised correctly. We know it might seem like having a profile on these platforms isn’t a big deal, but it actually is. In this blog post, you will learn what a social media marketing plan strategy is, why it’s important for any business, and how to create one.
What Is a Social Media Marketing Strategy?
Your social media marketing strategy is shaped by your business strategy. It encompasses everything you want to offer your customers, how you plan to deliver it to them, and the efforts you plan to execute to achieve all these goals. A successful social media marketing strategy will result in the growth of your business.
Once you have a well-thought-out strategy, you can proceed to the next step, which is developing an effective social media marketing plan.
But isn’t a social media marketing strategy the same as a social media marketing plan?
The answer is no.
What Is a Social Media Marketing Plan?
Your social media marketing plan is the execution of all your strategies. It outlines all the steps you have to follow to achieve your goals. It’s a campaign that comes with specific details that answer the whats, wheres, and the whens. Usually, the marketing plan includes the ways you can track and measure your success.
Now that you know the difference between the two, you can start creating your social marketing strategy. As mentioned before, a social marketing strategy is shaped by your business strategy. This means that no two strategies will ever be exactly the same, so you have to create an individual strategy for every business you want to grow.
Choose marketing objectives that align with your business goals
These business goals will give you a clearer picture of what you need to do and how you can measure your success. You need to set S.M.A.R.T. goals
- Specific – Your strategy should be as specific as possible. Instead of saying, “we will respond to customers ASAP” say, “by the end of the quarter, our response time should be less than an hour”. The more detailed your goal is, the easier it is to figure out how to achieve it.
- Measurable – It’s important for your strategy to be quantifiable. This will keep you grounded and allow you to monitor progress. You can use this progress data to reassess your strategy and make the necessary adjustments if you’re not satisfied with any partial progress.
Examples of quantifiable or measurable metrics in social media are follower growth, engagement rates, conversions in the form of email sign ups, qualified leads, and actual sales transactions resulting from the campaign.
- Actionable – Some people believe that this should stand for ‘attainable’, but we’d rather go for actionable. Even the most difficult task, in theory, is attainable. But coming up with a strategy that’s actionable puts the responsibility on you. When you can control how much effort and dedication you allot for a task, the more achievable it will be.
A good example of this in social media is engagement rate. You can’t directly influence it but you can modify your content and times of posting to increase or maintain your numbers.
- Relevant – Your marketing strategy goals should align with your business objectives whether short-term or long-term.
For example, a fashion company that releases seasonal catalogues should include a content calendar that’s specifically created for every individual season in their social media strategy.
- Time-Bound – Having a clear start and end date will help you prioritise tasks and determine if you need more people for the job or if there are other factors that need to be changed to guarantee completion.
In social media, a time-bound goal could be something as simple as having 10 or more additional followers by the end of the first quarter.
Social Media Goals:
- Awareness – Gives current and prospective audiences a better understanding of your business. Metrics include followers and shares.
- Engagement – Allows you to see how your target market is interacting with your content. Metrics include comments, likes, and @mentions.
- Conversion – Demonstrates how effective your engagement is and can be seen through website clicks, email signups, and more.
- Consumer – This shows how active your current clients are and how they feel about your brand. Metrics include testimonials and display of social media sentiment.
Get to know your audience well
And by well, we don’t mean for you to talk to them one on one. There are several ways to gather data without having to ever meet your potential customers. Simple research should be able to show you statistics likesocial media usage by age and gender in Australia.
You can also create audience or buyer personas. Knowing the demographics of your target customer will help you create content that they will want to consume. This is crucial if you want your social media followers to become actual consumers for your business. By actual we mean people who will use your service and buy your products.
Know your competition and outwork them
If your competitors don’t have social media yet, it’s a great opportunity to beat them to it. But if they already use it, don’t fret. You can actually even use their data for your own social media plan. This process is called competitor analysis.
The most effective social media marketing strategies always include a certain amount of research on the competition. You need to find out what other companies are doing, what their strengths and weaknesses are, what social media platforms they’re on, and how they’re using these platforms to achieve their business goals.
But that’s not the best thing about competitor research. Do you know what is? Spotting opportunities.
Competitor analysis is like quality control. It allows you to see the errors that other businesses are making and correct them on your strategy before launching them to the world. You learn things from other people’s efforts, so you don’t have to go through all the trouble they went through.
You can also use social media listening. Although not entirely a solid strategy, it allows you to see what they’re saying and what other people think about them. This is more to gauge the general reception of competitor brands.
There are several social media management tools you can use to monitor accounts in real-time. Make sure you have access to those. Look out for posts or campaigns that totally rocked the platform and learn as much as you can about it. Then use it to create your own.
Perform a social media audit
An audit allows you to collect information on performance that you can use to improve your existing strategies. You can use this easy social media audit guidefor auditing on your own. If you’re working with adigital marketing agency, you can use this same guide to inspect their process and better understand how they do things.
If you have dormant accounts with an unclear purpose, an audit will help you decide if they’re still worth keeping. If your accounts can no longer contribute to achieving your goals, it’s better for you to move on and start from scratch. It’s not going to be easy, but you’ll have a better idea of how you should rebuild your social media accounts.
During the audit, you or the agency you’re working with may discover several fake or impostor accounts using your business name or products. Even if you’ve already decided to rebuild your brand online, these accounts will still pose a threat to your brand. Report them for your security.
Set up your profile and keep improving it
You know your business more than anyone. This knowledge should allow you to decide which social networks to use and what strategy you need for each. For example, if your business wants to feature actual images of your products, you’re better off using Instagram. If you want access to more users, you can useFacebook or YouTube (16.5 and 16 million unique monthly visitors respectively).
Some businesses use these platforms together to provide customers with an overall pleasant experience. For instance, a company could use Instagram or Snapchat to post stories and then use Twitter for customer service. This strategy keeps them organised and makes it easier for their customers to follow.
If possible, write out and publish a statement for each network. This will inform your followers on how you operate each account and help you with prioritisation.
Sample statements can look like this:
“DM us on Twitter for all your account-related concerns and submit all confirmed orders on Instagram.”
This makes it easier for customers to navigate and understand how you utilise your social media accounts. Additionally, you will give off an impression that you like to keep things in order, which translates to seamless transactions should they decide to purchase your products or book a service.
Setting Up Your Profile
One of the most common mistakes that businesses make is leaving their online profiles incomplete. We know it might seem like it’s not a big deal, but it most definitely is. Leaving several profile fields empty will make your social media account seem inactive. People visiting your page may think that you’re not attentive to details, which could discourage them from considering you.
You also need to be consistent across all platforms with your branding. Make sure brand assets such as your logos, cover photos, and images are recognizable and mesh well together to your business’ advantage. Check out how this simple change can positively affect your online presence just like what happened in this case study.
There are several detailed guides available online for setting up accounts in the following platforms:
Remember, just because there are several platforms available to you doesn’t mean that you have to be on all of them. Make sure you use only what’s necessary and focus on growing those. It’s much easier to maintain your visibility on a few platforms and it allows you to concentrate your efforts on reaching your business goals.
Find inspiration and learn from it
Every now and then you’ll hear about simple social media marketing strategies that become success stories overnight, or so it seems. The truth is, the people behind these success stories have been working hard long before they get these wins. You can’t just copy them and expect the same results right away. But do you know what you can do? Learn from them.These social media marketing posting strategy successes can provide you with highly valuable insights that you can use to propel your own social media marketing strategy sample forward. You can also look at award-winning campaigns that you can use as inspiration for your own.
Or you can just keep it simple.
Start with the brands you yourself follow on social media. Go back to why you started following them. How did they get you hooked on their content? What part of their marketing strategy using social media made them so irresistible to you? Focus on those answers and figure out how you can emulate the strategies that won you over as a consumer.
Don’t be afraid to play around with multiple media though. Just because your favourite brand only posts pictures doesn’t mean you have to do the same for your business. If you can convey your messaging better with a social media video marketing strategy, do it.
Make a social media calendar
How has social media changed marketing strategies for businesses? For one, they no longer depend on a single business calendar. A company that wishes to be visible to more people will start making room for a social media calendar. A calendar like this will help you space your content for maximum impact and reception.
Note that although spontaneous interaction with current and potential clients matter, it’s equally important to monitor how much time you spend in these engagements. You want people to know you, but you don’t want to be overly familiar with them.
Strategically set your publish date and time.There are several tools you can use to see the best times to post content. Make sure you post during your followers’ most active periods online. And don’t just post a single-purpose type of content. Mix and match them for the best results.
What does this mean?
It means you’re more likely to holistically achieve a goal if you use the following types of content in different combinations:
- Content that drives traffic back to your website
- Content that is curated from other sources
- Content supports your lead-generation goals like newsletter signups or eBook/PDF downloads
- Content about your company mission, vision, or culture
- Content that promotes your business and encourages readers to make actual purchases
- Content that shares ideas, tips, or stories from various industry leaders or like-similar businesses
Assess, Adjust, Reassess, Readjust, Repeat
No two businesses are the same, which means no two social media strategies are the same, either. That said, every social media strategy is technically the first of its kind. And no matter how good a marketer is, you can’t expect to get everything right the first time. And this is why it’s important to assess and adjust the parts that aren’t performing as expected.
Keep Your Eye on Your Metrics
Doing so allows you to see what strategies are working and what strategies need to be revisited. You can revise your plans, test it for a while, and recalibrate if you’re still not getting the results you want. Constant testing will enable you to refine your tactics over time until you reach a point where you have a deep understanding of how all elements work together and how you can use them to your advantage.
Make Use of Surveys
There’s nothing wrong with asking people for their feedback directly through surveys. You can ask your followers to take a quick survey about their needs and expectations and whether you’re successful in giving it to them. You can also send out the survey links to the people on your email list or create a prompt on your website to alert visitors about the survey.
What Is the Most Powerful Social Media Marketing Strategy?
Now that you know how to create a solid social media plan, we know you are curious what the most powerful strategy for your business is and the answer is simple—the most powerful social media marketing strategy is the one that’s tailor-made for you. It has to take your target market’s needs and wants into consideration as well as your capability to provide them. If you’re not comfortable handling your social media marketing alone, you still have other options.
Ava has been in the marketing industry for nearly a decade with a background in content marketing, social media management and video production. She loves talking about the latest tech trends and has a passion for sharing what she has learned from industry leaders to help launch SMEs to greater heights.