Social Media Strategy In 8 Steps

Does your business have a documented Social Media Strategy? Well if you answered no, then you are not the only one. You can use this step-by-step guide to create a purposeful social media marketing strategy and download the template too!

Fact of the matter is that without a strategy, you are gambling and are bound to lose. Being purposeful and strategic usually wins the social media game. And to help you win, here’s a step-by-step guide to creating an effective social media strategy.

1. Write An Executive Summary

This should be a one-pager, concise, and clearly identifying your social media purpose and how it ties into your current business goals and objectives.

Establish the primary goal and specific objectives you are trying to achieve. Be sure to identify a channel focus and avoid trying to be all things to all social media platform.

Benchmark and include measurable outcomes to assure all players are defining success with the same expectations. Larger goals need granular objectives. Keep your goals SMART.

Example: Grow your Instagram audience by 30 percent by Q3 of 2022.

2. Do A Social Media Audit

Start by conducting a social media audit of your brand’s social channels compared to two or three competitors. You can even pick a non-competing brand to use for inspiration and aspiration.

Compare types of content, engagement, frequency, audience size, visuals, video use, tone, and customer service messaging. How’s the response rate?

Other factors to compare and note include:

  1. Emoji use
  2. Facebook Messenger, chatbots and artificial intelligence
  3. Keywords and hashtags
  4. Third-party content
  5. Online branded search results
  6. Reviews

Engagement is the number one way to measure ROI of social media advertising for both large and small businesses.

Another thing to note is what exactly is engagement getting you? Log into Google Analytics and check out your social media acquisition reports. How’s the session quality and page views? And where are the customers coming from and what kind of content are they consuming the most.

3. Lock Social Media Objectives

By this point in time, you should know what your social media objectives will be. write them down in a clear, concise and simple terms and drill down into them.

Let’s do a quick review of the difference between goals, strategy, objectives, and tasks – also known as G’SOT.

Goals: These are your broad social media outcomes.

Strategy: The approach you will take to accomplish your goal.

Objectives: These are measurable steps you will take to achieve the strategy.

Tactics: These are the tools or tasks used in pursuing an objective related to a strategy.

Examples:

Goal: Make our book the #1 best-seller in the food category.

Strategy: Increase the amount of content we publish on social channels supporting the book’s topics, ideas, and opinions.

Objective: Increase unique visitors from social channels to the book’s website by 50 percent.

Tactic: Through the use of food bloggers and food influencers, leverage the exposure with branded hashtags and behind the scenes content using Instagram Stories, Facebook Live, and Twitter.

4. Formulate Buyer Personas

The bottom line is that brands need personas.

Marketers preach the value of personas, but when it comes down to investing the time and effort into building and using personas? Zilch!

The good news: the lack of buyer personas makes for a huge opportunity if your competition is missing the persona step.

Buyer personas coupled with social media is a sure shot winning formula. The results mean big wins in increased:

  • Conversions.
  • Relevance scores.
  • Engagement.
  • Efficiencies across the board.
  • Getting your persona started is a must!

Start with these buyer persona hacks and get to know your buyers.

Hubspot Buyer Persona

Alexa Buyer Persona

When creating your buyer personas, don’t forget to include your media, blogger, and influencers as personas.

The media is your target audience, too! Make them real people with real interests and real lives. You might relate to them more.

5. Find Your Brand’s Persona

Every brand needs a voice, personality, and sense of character.

Think about what adjectives describe your brand.

Are you fun, playful, or coy? Maybe your brand is serious, straight-laced, and emoji-free?

Make a list of how you want to be perceived when interacting with a brand. Are you supporting and encouraging or sensational and bold?

6. Establish Strategies And Tools

This is where you figure out how you slice up the paid, earned, and owned category. Social paid is a must – and it doesn’t have to break the bank.

The combo can look something like this:

Paid

Increase your results and once a week boost a featured Facebook post. According to Joe Youngblood, wait a few days before boosting a Facebook post. Let it publish organically and then boost.

Owned

Introduce a branded hashtag and start using across social platforms. Publicize in bios and posts.

Encourage influencers to use the hashtag. Promote hashtag across social platforms, emails, ads and even social media covers and captions.

Earned

Monitor social media for branded keywords and targeted keyword phrases. Twitter is primed with journalists, blogger, and real time influencers. Find the conversations and engage.

Tools

Having 50 million tools fragmented across your social media team is no fun and not efficient. That’s a slight exaggeration, the point is to have an approved list of tools and platforms.

Everyone needs to be using the same social media management tools and platforms.

7. Timings And Dates

Timing is everything! One day late is a dollar lost.

In social media, you need to show up to the party early and never late. This means researching industry dates for conference and events. Look up tie-ins to seasons, days or official months.)

Make sure your reporting is efficient and on point for the right analysis.

The CEO gets the one-pager, the CMO gets the two-pager, sales gets the sales connection report, and the analysts get the full 10-pager.

Match the report with the right persona and what they care about most.

Figure out internal dates, external dates, and reporting dates.

Internal: Check out conferences, workshops, team meetings, marketing reports in your industry. Don’t forget the hashtags!

External: Look at seasons, themes, events and trending news to tie into your social media content.

8. Measure What Matters

Measuring what matters is the key to social media strategy sanity and success.

Every network has its own version of analytics. It’s easy to spend infinite time running reports. Make sure you are circling back to those measurable objectives.

Look at both quantitative for the hard numbers and qualitative for the sentiment and intent.

  • Quantitative examples can be website sessions, number of email sign-ups, impressions, and social network data.
  • Qualitative examples include sentiment such as positive reviews or comments on social messaging. For example, did you raise prices on the menu and have complaints on its Facebook Page?

Quantitative tells what happened and qualitative can usually tell the “why.” For instance, you have a positive feature story in Mashable with a link to your company website which caused a spike in website visits.

DOWNLOAD THE SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY TEMPLATE BELOW

Conclusion

After following all of these steps, what’s next? You might find yourself in a different direction as a result of your new social media strategy process.

Maybe you will continue your hashtag campaign and even add more budget.