Most businesses are aware of the benefits of using social media and many will already have various social media accounts that they use to post regular content but some may find themselves posting on social media for the sake of it without knowing what it is that they’re trying to achieve. If this sounds familiar, you need a social media strategy.
A social media marketing strategy is a way of aligning your business goals with your social media activity. It involves setting out what it is that you hope to achieve through social media and how you plan to achieve it.
How do you create a social media marketing strategy?
Step One: Define your goals
The first step to creating a social media marketing strategy is to figure out what it is that you want to achieve.
As a business, there is a range of goals you may be hoping to achieve through social media. You may simply want to raise awareness of your brand, or you might be hoping to increase sales or drive traffic to your website. Most businesses will have more than one goal and that’s okay, but it’s better to focus on a small number of clear, specific goals to begin with.
Step Two: Identify your audience
Once you’ve identified your goals, your next step is to pinpoint your audience. Understanding who it is that you’re trying to target will make it easier for you to reach them as you’ll have a clearer picture of who they are and how they spend their time on social media, as well as which platforms they’re active on and at what times.
The more you know about your target audience the better, as this knowledge will help you to create the kind of content they’re looking for and are more likely to engage with. This is good news both for your audience and for your business.
Step Three: Make a plan
Having identified both your goals and your target audience, it’s now time to consider what you’re actually going to post, as well as the where and when.
Most of these decisions will be informed by the research you’ve already done. For example, if you know that you want to increase awareness of your brand, and you’ve discovered that your target audience mainly spends their time on Instagram in the evenings, you’ve already got a solid idea of which platform you should be focusing on and what time of day you should be posting.
If your business has a strong, visual component, Instagram is ideal. Video content may be more suited to YouTube. Twitter is perfect if your business lends itself to short, snappy observations.
You don’t need to post on every single social media platform but it’s a good idea to have profiles on the main four (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn) and then focus your attention and energies on the platforms where you know your audience spends their time.
Knowing what to post can seem daunting but again, if you know both your goals and your audience, you will already have an idea of what kind of content will serve you best.
Many businesses choose to post a variety of content but pull it all together with an overall ‘theme’ and this is a good way to keep your content fresh and interesting to your audience without appearing as though your content is vague and disordered.
You can also use social media to get inspiration and to discover what’s working well (or not!) for other brands.
How do you know if your strategy is working?
It’s important to evaluate your social media strategy regularly to get a clear idea of which aspects are working well for you or if there are any issues that require adjustments to be made.
Social media analytics are a good way to track your performance and provide valuable insight into your audience and how they engage with your content.
A social media audit is an in-depth way of evaluating your existing social media use to analyse what’s working well and find any potential areas for improvement. You may choose to undertake an audit yourself or hand it over to an expert. This is something that we at Shine On Digital can help with.
Need help with your social media?
Social Media is a fantastic way to engage with your customers, build brand awareness and generate incoming enquiries and sales, but it only works if used effectively. A Social Media Marketing Strategy is a way of ensuring that everything you’re doing on social media is worthwhile to your business.
At Shine on Digital, we have more than twenty years of experience in making social media work for businesses. We can create a clear social media marketing strategy to help you achieve your goals, manage your social media and undertake social media audits. So if you’re ready to find out how to make the most out of your social media efforts give us a call on 01706 482017 or get in touch.