If you're new to social media marketing, it can be hard to know where to start. While there are plenty of articles online about social media strategy and tactics, many of them are too vague or overly complicated.
In this blog post, we'll walk through an easy thirteen-step process that will help you create an effective social media marketing strategy for your business in just 30 minutes or less!
Set social media marketing goals
Setting goals is a critical part of any social media marketing strategy. Before you can create a plan and set out to achieve it, you have to decide what it is that you’re trying to do.
For example, if your goal was “Increase in sales by 25% over the next 6 months” then your SMM strategy should be focused on how best to achieve this. If someone else thinks that increased sales by 50% over the same period would be better for them, this doesn't mean that increasing theirs will automatically bring about improvements in yours.
As long as both parties are clear on what their individual needs are and work together towards achieving these goals, then both parties will benefit from the process.
This doesn't mean that there aren't steps that can help guide all businesses looking at how best they might reach their targets - especially those who may not have been so sure about using social media for marketing purposes or who were unsure about where exactly their brand could fit into this new terrain (or indeed whether they even needed 'traditional' forms of advertising).
Also, what you want from your strategy may be different depending on the type of business you’re running—whether it’s an eCommerce website or brick-and-mortar location—and if you have multiple locations, it’s important that all locations have similar goals so they can work together seamlessly. Before setting any specific metrics for your business (or when reviewing last year's numbers), ask yourself these questions:
- Why do I want people coming into my store? If the answer is “to buy something,” then make sure there are plenty of strategies in place before launch day that drives conversions at checkout and track their success over time.
- Do I want people visiting my site just because they're interested in our products/services or because they've never heard of us before but think we might have something interesting? If it's the former, focus on building brand awareness through content creation like blog posts or infographics; if it's the latter case then consider boosting paid advertising campaigns while also considering free alternatives such as guest blogging and brand mentions through influencers who understand your target audiences' interests better than anyone else does (or at least give them access).
Create audience personas
The first step in creating a social media marketing strategy is to create audience personas. This is the process of defining who your target customers are and what they care about. To do this, you need to identify the demographics of your audience (age, gender, location) as well as their interests (what makes them tick). You also need to think about how you can reach these people and engage with them once they're on board.
The best way to create an audience persona is by getting as much information as possible from existing customers. Start by asking questions like "What do you like or dislike about our products?" or even "What would make using our product better for you?" The answers will help paint a picture of your target customers' needs and preferences—information that should be used when developing strategies later on down the line.
Download the ICP template from Hubspot here
Conduct a social media audit
You can't create a strategy unless you know what it's up against. Start by taking an inventory of all the accounts that are tied to your business, from Facebook pages to Instagram profiles to YouTube channels. Make sure everything is listed individually, and don't forget about any other platforms where you might have an active presence (Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn).
Once you've listed them all out and assessed their statuses (active or inactive), look at what content they've been posting recently—this will give you an idea of how well they're doing at connecting with their audiences and how effectively they're engaging them with content that resonates.
This step won't be easy if your social media presence isn't well-organized already—but it's essential if you want to take full advantage of this stage in creating a solid social media marketing strategy!
Download the social media audit template here
Perform competitor analysis
Competitor analysis is an important part of any social media strategy. It helps you identify what your competitors are doing, how they're doing it, and why their approach is working for them. It also gives you insight into how you can improve upon what they're doing, how to create content that resonates with their audience, and how to make sure that your content has the best chance of reaching them.
The first step in a competitor analysis is figuring out who your competitors are. The easiest way to do this is by using social media management tools like Hootsuite, Google Alerts or Social Mention. These tools will help you find mentions of your company name or brand name on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and more. Once you've identified who your competitors are based on these searches, look at each one individually: what are they doing right? What could they do better? How does their approach compare with yours?
The second step in competitor analysis involves looking at the metrics associated with each competitor's social media presence (they should all be available through their individual websites). What kind of engagement do they get from their posts? How many followers do they have? What percentage of those followers are active monthly users?
Create a social media content calendar
Once you've figured out your target audience, it's time to create a social media content calendar. Your content calendar should include:
- The types of posts (images, video, text)
- A mix of long and short-form posts
- A variety of formats (text/image/video)
Social media planning & design template - Airtable
Use Chatbots in Your Marketing
Chatbots are the perfect way to start automating your social media marketing. They can help you with customer service, lead generation, and sales. Chatbots can answer questions, provide suggestions and even send coupons.
They're also a great way to introduce new products or services, such as when Facebook Messenger introduced its food delivery feature by sending users in Singapore a message from their favorite local restaurant telling them it was now available on Messenger.
Write Compelling Content
If you're not creating compelling content, then your brand is missing out on huge opportunities to engage with customers and build rapport.
Think about the types of social media posts that get shared the most: images, infographics, videos—they're all forms of content that hold more weight than text-only posts. Want to drive traffic back to your website? Create an infographic with stats from your latest survey or research study. Are you hosting an event soon? Shoot a short video highlighting the highlights and invite people to attend by sharing it!
The possibilities are endless when it comes to creating engaging content for social media (and beyond!). If there's one thing you take away from this section of our guide, let it be this: think about what kinds of posts might appeal to followers' interests, and then go ahead and create them!
Make Your Customers Feel Special
Personalized experiences are what separate the good from the great. A social media marketing strategy should include a personalized experience for your customers, so they know they can count on you to deliver what they need when they need it.
This means creating a business profile on each platform where you have an audience (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). It also means using hashtags that are relevant to your business and connecting with other businesses in your industry who may share content or collaborate with you.
You can further build trust by using a consistent tone of voice across all platforms to provide value through educational content as well as customer service support. Finally, images and videos are key components of any successful social media campaign because people respond better than text-heavy posts!
Build a Community Around Your Product or Service
A great way to get your audience involved with your brand is through social media. Create a community for your audience on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, so that they can engage with you and each other. This will also create an incentive for them to keep coming back to your pages.
After all, who wouldn’t want to connect with other fans of their favorite band or sports team?
In addition to creating a social media community for fans of the brand or product, make sure that you give them a voice by including prompts in posts that encourage participation. For example: “Tell us which products are your favorites!” Or “We want everyone's opinion on this topic: should we change our name? Vote now!”
Build Your Brand Promoters
Brand promoters are your customers, who care about your brand and want to help grow it. They're the ones who will spread your message, recommend your product to others, and build your brand.
Because they have a vested interest in seeing you succeed—and because they're likely invested in other ways (like as repeat customers)—brand advocates can be extremely effective at creating buzz around a product or service.
Create your social media profile on relevant channels
Creating profiles on relevant channels is a good place to start. These are your digital spaces where you can establish yourself as an authority or brand and begin engaging with your audience. Channels that work best for this include:
- LinkedIn (this is more business-oriented)
The first step of creating these profiles is choosing a name for yourself, which should be something simple that reflects your brand’s personality and values. Next, choose a profile picture—your logo or something else representative of what makes you unique—and fill in some basic information such as who you are and what you do.
From there, it's time to fill out some details about yourself! The next step after creating these profiles is using them! You'll want to post regularly so people know they can count on having access to useful information from you when they need it most; try posting at least once per week if possible but don't overwhelm followers by flooding their feeds with too much content all at once either—it's important not only because it looks spammy but also because sharing too often will cause fatigue among those following along with their feeds; instead, try breaking things up into smaller chunks (like posting every other day) or keep each piece short enough so readers feel like they're getting everything they need without having spent too much time browsing through different posts."
The Power of Cross-Channel Campaigns
Running cross-channel campaigns can be a great way to reach your audience. When you're creating a campaign, it's important to think about how you will use each channel in the campaign and how each channel will relate to the others. Here are some examples:
- Same message across channels: If you want to convey one main message, try sending it out using all of your channels at once. That way, people who might not normally go on Twitter or Facebook will still see it.
- Different messages across channels: You could also try using different messages for each platform—for example, an infographic for Facebook and a video for YouTube or Instagram. This approach can help reach different audiences within one demographic if they prefer certain types of content over others (or maybe just make your content more compelling).
Go Live With Your Story
Live videos are a great way to tell a story. You can use this social media marketing strategy by creating one live video per week and promoting it on your other social networks.
You should plan out what you want to say in your live video, because people will be watching and listening carefully! You also need to be prepared for questions or comments from viewers, so think about how you will respond if someone asks a question or gives feedback during the broadcast.
Make sure that each of your live videos includes an opportunity for viewers to engage with your brand and business—either by asking questions at the end of the broadcast, inviting them into the next step of their purchase process (if applicable), or encouraging viewers who have never heard of you before now but enjoyed watching the live video about something specific related (like offering discounts for new customers).
Social media marketing strategies
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- A library of over 1000+ tactics that we think are best suited to your business. You can always pick a tactic yourself, or use our library to browse through some of the most-recommended tactics.
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It’s a wrap
A social media marketing strategy is a plan to leverage social media in your business. It should include a list of channels to use, what content types you’ll create and how those will look, who will be responsible for posting them and when they will post. This type of plan ensures that everyone involved knows their role and that there’s a cohesive message throughout all of your platforms.