Social media is a valid concern for all business owners. No matter the size of your business, you’re probably looking for ways to generate leads using social media. This entails creating a social media strategy. We will discuss extensively in this post how to create one that works for your business.
What is social media marketing (SMM)?
Social media marketing involves using social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and others as marketing tools to reach out to your target audience and ideal clients right where they are. It also involves how this audience interacts with one another and with your business on a social level.
The world now operates a connected economy through which you can increase revenue for your business by building vital relationships. Social media makes that possible. If done well, social media marketing can become a wealth creation tool. It largely connects your business with people who need your products and services. With the right social media strategy, you are well on your way to finding clients who need the solution you provide.
Social media marketing helps you create a solid ground for getting the right messages across to your audience. You can build your brand, connect with potential clients, and convert leads into customers using a social media strategy that works for your business.
Why you need a social media strategy
We’re in a mobile-driven age where people rely on the internet for their everyday purchases. Big and small buying decisions are taken after consumers have sought recommendations from their network, usually friends and family, over social media. As a business, you want to come top of mind in these recommendations. To achieve this, you need a social media strategy.
The right social media strategy will save you time and money while you’re trying to create awareness for your business. You need a strategic plan to level up your business and convert more leads. If you’re like most businesses, you’re already battling fierce competition. There are over a thousand brands offering the same services and selling the same products as you, and in order to gain authority in your niche and reach your target audience, you will need a strategy. This is your social media strategy. It is the fastest way to make your business stand out. Successful businesses have a well-developed strategy for growing their client base and their revenue. A result-driven social media strategy is one of the marketing tools that they use to scale their business. If you’re a brand that is just starting out, you need to learn how to create a social media strategy that works for your business. You need a strategic method for growing your business and social media marketing is a great place to start.
How long does it take to create a social media strategy?
The kind of social media strategy that works for one business might not work for another. You need a social media strategy that’s specifically designed for your business. There are a lot of things that would come into play, such as the complexity of your business and the kind of clients that you’re looking to attract through your social media campaigns. These considerations would also be the determining factors of the overall time you need to dedicate to building your social media strategy.
Although you would need to determine how much time you want to spend working on your social media strategy, allotting an hour to it each day should get you started. Businesses that have hired a professional to work on their social media strategy often have up to forty hours a week going into their social media strategy creation. With some persistence, you should begin to see the results of a social media strategy that’s designed specifically for your business. These results would be lead generation and lead conversion. You may find that more people are visiting your website and your click-through rates may have increased. Connecting with your prospects and clients over social media is an effective marketing tactic because these people naturally scroll through social media platforms on a daily basis.
What is included in a social media strategy?
Once you have made the decision to create a social media strategy for your business, you would want to know what you ought to include. Let’s explore some of what makes up a social media strategy.
– Content types and proper timing
Begin by determining what kind of content you would be posting. You need to create content that resonates with your brand. When you’re sure you have the kind of content figured out, your next step is to determine when to post it. There are certain times of day that convert well for certain industries. The right time to post would usually have to do with when your target audience is online. When do you think they are most likely to see your posts? Check when your competition is posting and measure this by their conversion rates on those posts. This can point you in the right direction when it comes to determining the timing for your posts. You should have a schedule for what to post and when.
According to a social media marketing report, posting content on Instagram at night will reach far more people than posting at noon or during work hours. Most people check social media at night after they have finished working for the day.
Also, be aware of the content you should post at strategic times. You can key into marketing trends or fads to develop periodic posts. Depending on your industry, audiences on social media would usually be moved by what’s trending at the moment. Following these trends can attract attention to your brand thereby providing you with new leads.
– Post scheduling
Developing a social media strategy involves creating your posts beforehand. You can create one month’s worth of content at a time so that you have a big picture of your goals and the process for achieving them using social media. You can use post-scheduling tools to plan your posts ahead of time. When creating your social media content, you should determine what themes you would be focusing on and ensure that these themes resonate with your brand and your audience. Ideally, you should have a monthly or weekly calendar for your social media content creation and post scheduling.
– Clear goals
Before you begin to create social media content for your business, you need to have clear goals. You should know what your objectives are with your social media strategy. Moving forward without a goal can be counterintuitive. You may deliver on your goals but not as effectively as you ought to. If you’re getting help with your social media strategy, you must communicate your objectives clearly and ensure that you are on the same page with the professional. You should choose a platform or two that works for your business. These should be platforms that your target audience uses regularly. Learn as much as you can about these platforms beforehand. Understanding the platform and how it works can assist you in setting objectives that are not only effective but also within your budget.
– Social media tools like Instagram reels and Facebook live
Your social media strategy would be clear on the platforms you would be utilizing and the tools provided by those platforms that would help you achieve your goals. Examples of such tools are Facebook Live and Instagram Reels. How often do you think you would need to have live sessions on Facebook? What about Instagram? Do you want to use the latest tools available or some specific ones? Your social media strategy is a roadmap for your social media marketing efforts and should contain all the details. Determine what tools would work well for your business. You should aim to concentrate on the ones that resonate with your audience and that engages them. If you’re confused about what to settle for, looking at what your competition is doing is a good place to start. You can also use data and analytics to decide what to settle for. The nature of your business would determine what tool is right for you.
Include in your social media strategy how you would measure success. What are your KPIs when it comes to social media marketing success? What tools would you use for your analytics? You should provide these details in your social media strategy.
What you should include in your social media strategy is a subjective issue. Your business goals would go a long way to determine what the content of your social media strategy should be. The suggestions above can be a pivotal point of focus and a launching pad for almost any kind of business.
What are the steps to a successful social media strategy?
Here, we’ll discuss actionable steps for creating your next social media strategy.
1. Setting goals for your social media
The first step to creating a successful social media strategy is setting the right goals. You can use your business objectives to determine what your social media strategy goals would be. That way, it would be easy to analyze whether or not you’re achieving them. Similarly, make your goals measurable. You want to increase your Facebook following but by how many more people. Being specific like this can make your strategy a tool for business growth. If your goal is to increase your followers by an additional 1000 by the end of the month, you will find it easy to figure out whether you achieved it or not. By extension, you would know if your strategy is working or if it is time to review it.
Setting the right goals when it comes to social media can also help you manage your business finances better. You can identify which initiatives come within your budget and which do not. Perhaps, you want to conduct Ads on social media and are faced with determining whether Twitter or Facebook ads would work better. Laying out goals relating to your audience demographics would make it easy for you to choose the platform that works for your budget and delivers the results you’re looking for.
2. Figure out your target audience
There are over two billion people who use the internet. Not all of them are your customers. If you channel your social media efforts to everyone, you will accomplish less. Only a fraction of these internet users needs your product or service. You have to find these people. You should create buyer personas that reflect your ideal clients and target them. Your social media campaigns and content creation efforts will be better for it both in terms of engagement and the results that they deliver. Targeting the right audience is a pivotal step to creating a successful social media strategy.
You have to do a social media market survey of who needs your products the most. This should include the age range, interests, affordability, and location. Choose an audience that wants to buy your products and has the financial means to do so. Many people may be interested in your product or service but will be unable to purchase it. Targeting these people will not yield the results you want.
3. Review your existing social media audience
They will be the people that have been viewing your content, listening to you, and that you are already marketing to. Review them. Notice how they respond to your content. Notice how many of them buy and how many don’t. Check their comments, their reactions, and how many of your posts they share with other people. Check the statistics. Determine whether your social media efforts are yielding any results with this audience. Are there any of them purchasing from you? Do these people have something in common? Is there something they would like you to change? If you find that you have been marketing to the wrong people, then it’s time for you to change your audience. Ensure that you are engaging with your potential customers and not people looking for some entertainment on social media.
4. See what your competitors are posting
As it has been said earlier, more than a thousand people are probably doing the same business as you and are marketing these businesses on social media. If you intend to get ahead of the competition, you need to study them first. Check what they are posting. Is it working for them? Identify what gets them engaged and what doesn’t. Analyzing the competition will give you some ideas on what kinds of content you should be creating or how often you should post.
5. Figure out which platform works best for your business
After you’ve done your research and determined your target audience, you need to figure out where they might be. For example, if you run a B2B company, you would most likely have to focus on Facebook and LinkedIn.
But if you run a B2C kind of business, you may have to focus on Instagram and Facebook, because Facebook and Instagram connect directly with the consumers. Billions of people visit these social media sites daily and can be easily targeted.
Understanding where to find your audience would determine which platform works best for you. You may intend to focus on Facebook whereas WhatsApp is an even better tool for reaching your audience. Scrutinize all the social media platforms before settling for one that would deliver on your business goals.
6. Determine which metrics and KPIs are most important to track
You need to decide what your KPIs are in relation to your social media strategy. Which of your business goals do you plan to achieve through social media? Which ones are most important? Determining which metrics you want to track early on will ensure that you are able to measure success in the long run.
7. Create your profiles
Create profiles on the social media platforms you have chosen. Ensure that the names you use are the same as your business or company name so that customers are able to identify your profiles. Creating your profiles should be relatively easy. You just have to follow the prompts to set up your pages.
8. Look for inspiration online
Check out the social media strategies of successful businesses in your industry. You can follow them to get content ideas and some inspiration on where you should take your social media marketing efforts. You should also look online for ideas around what you should be posting. You want your social media marketing strategy to contain content that resonates with your audience on different levels.
Determine the right content mix
To really get people coming back to your content, and therefore engaging more with your business, you should determine the right content mix for your business. You can post different types of content such as infographics, videos, and more. You shouldn’t concentrate on text alone. Graphics and animation can go a long way too. Here are some of the best kinds of content that would keep your audience engaged and deliver on your KPIs at the same time.
Stories and time-sensitive posts
Try adding stories to your content schedule. Trends can make great stories and can be hot topics for almost any audience. You can also formulate your posts in a way that showcases your storytelling skills and keeps your audience engaged. You can add time-sensitive posts to your content mix and keep your audience’s attention by adding your voice to something that’s happening or by getting them to take action on an offering within a specified timeframe. Seasonal posts can achieve great results too. You can make use of seasons to fill your content calendar and ensure that your business is in front of your audience as much as possible. Besides, seasonal posts can make your audience feel like you can relate with them in the same way that trends do. They show that you are in the loop and position your brand as one to reckon with.
Add videos to your marketing mix. Most people would rather watch a video than read something, and you want to use this in your favor when you’re creating your social media strategy. Your audience would feel more connected to your brand when you add videos to your social media content. There are different kinds of videos you can choose from. Videos present ideas more clearly and provide people with images that they often fantasize about. The right video marketing strategy that’s integrated into your social media strategy can help your audience believe in what you’re offering more quickly.
Videos create a sense of connectedness that text alone may not be able to achieve. You can create videos that add a face to your name by having an actual person shoot them. That sense of human connection would make your audience stay longer on your videos and would deliver your goals to you in the long run.
Post that shows off your human side
One successful marketing tip is showing empathy to your customers by identifying with their pain while bringing them solutions. Post content that your audience can relate to and provide them with solutions. If they are your ideal audience, your product or service should already be offering them solutions. Now, you should showcase how it does that through targeted social media posts. You can include in your posts your personal or business struggles that your audience might be facing also.
Question your followers
There is no better way to understand your audience than to ask them questions. Questioning your social media audience helps you understand them better and serve them even better. Engage with them to make sure you are fulfilling their needs.
Contests and promotional posts
To drive your social media efforts home, ensure you include contests and promotional posts in your strategy. Contests are engaging and can create brand loyalty. Promotional posts on the other hand can drive your audience to take immediate action on your offerings. These two can also drive conversions and generate new leads for your business.
Add a bit of humor to your social media content. You can use comedic posts to introduce products and retain interest. Posts with a little humor can even increase your likes, shares, and follows, ensuring that your business profile pops up to more users.
Bring other departments into the mix
Collaborate with other teams across your organization to ensure that you are creating a strategy that represents the big picture. What do these teams expect to see in your social media strategy? Do they have a better idea than management? Working across the board will ensure that you better define your metrics and achieve the intended results with your social media strategy. You may even want to brainstorm with team members. Engaging with other departments will ensure that their KPIs are fully understood and considered when coming up with your overall plan. For example, engaging sales in the social media strategy creation process can bring to light what the struggles are when it comes to convincing customers offline. It can also show how taking sales campaigns online can help this process.
Create a social media calendar
The most effective tactic for succeeding with your social media strategy is creating a calendar. A social media calendar will come in handy when you get busy with other aspects of the business. It will also show clearly what kind of content should be posted and when thereby making it easier for you to be in control of the social media marketing process.
Set your posting schedule
Once you have your content ideas, content timing, content types, platforms, and profiles sorted out, the next step would be to schedule your post. You may want to create a brand story through your posts or take the audience on a journey that gets them from social media followers to customers and to brand loyalists. Your posts should follow this pattern if this is what you’re looking to achieve. Then, set your schedule. Determine which content you would be posting, where you would be posting it, and when you would be posting it.
Use software to track your scheduled post
There are post-scheduling softwares that can help you with this process. You can input your content into the software and indicate when you want the posts published. Examples of software you could use are Hootsuite, Buffer, CoSchedule, Later, and more. Figure out which software works best for you and automate your social media posting.
Review your post and see what’s working best
Now that you have everything figured out and are already posting, it’s time for a review. You need to track what’s working and what’s not. You also want to see which of your social media efforts is yielding the best results. You would want to concentrate on what is delivering on your KPIs while providing the best value to your audience.
Creating a social media strategy that elevates your business is a process. The efforts that you put into your social media strategy will work in synergy with your overall marketing plan to deliver on your business goals. If you’re unsure where to start, then the techniques highlighted here will clarify what you should be doing right now.