Have you heard the old marketing saying about meeting your customers where they already are? Well, that perfectly sums up the reason you need a social media strategy. As we know, most people use some form of social media frequently. To reach your audience, it’s essential to develop a strategy and stick to it. So we’ve created this social media strategy template for you.
Your social media presence is a great way to engage with customers, share special deals and attract a new audience. Here’s how to do it in 7 easy steps.
1. Align social media goals to business objectives
There are plenty of ways to set business goals, with a popular one being the SMART method. In simple terms, it means goals should be:
Come up with some goals for your social media activity and ensure they align with overall business objectives. For example, if your objective is to find more new customers, your social media strategy should reflect that. If you want more engagement from existing customers, this requires a different strategy.
2. Understand your audience
To reach your audience, you need to understand them first. Who are they? What’s their typical online behaviour? Which social media platforms do they use most? One way to do this is by creating buyer personas. It’s basically a snapshot of your typical customer, including things like age, income, geographic location, interests and what matters most to them. This helps you tailor content towards specific customer personas.
For further information, there is a wealth of information online about the demographics of each social media platform’s users. This can be beneficial because it helps you identify which platforms to use when trying to reach specific customers.
3. See what your competition is doing
It’s not quite accurate to say, “If you can’t beat them, join them,” because ideally, beating your competitors is exactly what you’re trying to do. But that doesn’t mean you can’t learn a thing or two from their social media activity. This should definitely be a part of any good social media strategy template.
Identify your main competitors, whether they’re local or otherwise. Simply follow their online accounts and keep an eye on what they do. You can also scroll through their feeds and see what type of posts get the most engagement from audiences. This is also a good way to see if your competitors are missing any platforms. They might have a huge Facebook presence but nothing on Instagram, which presents an opportunity for you to fill that gap.
4. Audit your existing social media accounts
Once you’ve done all the planning, it’s time to audit your existing social media accounts. Look at all the platforms you need to consider, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and possibly more. If your accounts are a bit tired, put some effort into making them look better. During an audit, you may even identify that you’ve been posting heavily on Twitter, for example, but nobody engages with your posts at all. Should you focus more on other platforms?
At this point, it’s a good idea to also compare your existing accounts to those of your competitors and even other successful accounts outside of your industry. Find out what they do well, and what achieves a good level of engagement.
5. Use a social media content calendar
Many social media management software programs have built-in calendars where you can plan and schedule content in advance. Even if you’re not using one of these, it’s a good idea to do a standalone social media calendar. Plot out when you’ll be sharing certain types of content. The idea is to not overwhelm customers, but rather give them a steady flow of content that’s relevant to them.
If you do use a posting tool, some of them can even recommend the best times of day to schedule posts for maximum engagement. Overall, remember not to bombard your audience with the same type of posts. Keep it fresh, interesting and relevant. Also, use a good mix of original content, shared posts, informative posts and some that directly promote your business.
6. Create engaging content
With all of that out of the way, it’s time to actually produce your content. Most of this will be determined by the planning you did in the social media calendar. So, there’s not much to think about here except getting the job done. As mentioned, you can schedule posts in advance but you also want some flexibility to add spontaneous posts.
If you see something you’d love to share with your audience or you decide to have an impromptu sale, you need the flexibility to promote it. Every social media platform is different, but make use of all the content types available, including:
- Text posts
- Plus, many more
7. Track your performance
When measuring your performance against the goals you set originally, try to look a little deeper than the basic figures. Metrics like conversion rates and click-through rates are more important than simply the number of followers. Followers are great, but if they’re not engaging, you probably won’t meet the business objectives you set in the beginning.
Most social media platforms provide you with all of the insights you need to track performance, but if you use external software to manage social media, you’ll get value from that data too.
It sounds like a lot of work, but a good chunk of the hard work happens at the start. Once you’re set up, managing your social media accounts becomes a lot easier. Remember to take advantage of tools to make scheduling and posting a whole lot easier.
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