Creating a winning social media strategy requires a firm understanding of both your business goals and the strengths of the different social media platforms out there. Here are 6 steps to creating a winning social media strategy for your business:
1. Identify Where Social Media Fits Into Your Business
To ensure that your social media efforts are directly contributing to business goals and providing ROI, there are several key questions that should be answered:
i. What is my overall business goal?
Some of the common goals of a business include brand awareness, sales, product launches, customer service, leads, building audiences and keeping up with competitors.
ii. How can social media support this?
Depending on what your overall business goal is, this is where you identify which social media platform would best support it. For example, Facebook and Instagram would be best used to create brand awareness while YouTube may be the right platform for product launches.
iii. How much money am I willing to spend on social media?
Once you have identified which platforms are the best to support your business goals, creating a budget is essential for the growth and content of your page. Bear in mind if you have a limited budget, video-centric platforms such as YouTube may not be the best choice. Thus ensuring a sufficient budget is in place to support your social media efforts.
2. Define Your Target Audience
Here is where we talk about who your audience will be on social media. This area would usually be defined by your business and marketing plans and can be further refined on social media.
Your audience can be defined by the following segmentation:
Besides traditional marketing segmentation, you can also use data from existing assets to define your audience. These include:
- Website visitors
- Engaged users
- Users who have interacted with your business before
- Existing customers
This is an important step in the process of creating a winning social media strategy as this will define your content strategy and also ensure that you are reaching the right audience with tailored messaging that resonates with them.
3. Research What Your Competitors Are Doing
This is a great way to not only understand what your competitors are doing on social media but to also understand what works and what doesn’t.
The easiest way to do this is by visiting the social pages of competitors to see:
i. Which social media platforms they are on
This will show you your competitor’s overall social media strategy. For example, are they only focusing on Facebook? And if so, what are they using it for?
ii. How they are using each platform
By looking at each platform you will be able to identify your competitor’s platform strategies. For example, are they using Twitter for business updates or for customer service?
iii. What is working and what is not.
An overview of your competitor’s social media platform can shed light on what is working and what is not within a given industry or content type. For example, if your competitors are posting photos only and talking about very technical aspects of products, looking at how their audience responds will show if you that approach to content works for your audience.
4. Create Your Content Strategy
Based on the previous 3 steps, you will have sufficient information to then create your own content strategy. Key areas to look at when creating your content strategy are;
i. What type of content will you be producing?
Here is where you identify (based on the previously allocated budget) what types of content you will be producing. Will you be producing video, images, links or curated third-party content?
ii. How frequently will you be posting?
Depending on your types of content and budget, you will then be able to identify how frequently you will be posting. For example, if you are producing only videos, you may be able to post once a week or once in two weeks depending on the next question.
iii. How many resources do you have on hand for content?
Once you have identified the types of content and the frequency of posting, you will need to identify if you are able to produce content internally or if you will need to outsource content to third-party content producers. Again, the budget allocated will help you answer this.
5. Define Your Measurements
To ensure your efforts are contributing to your overall business goals setting measurements is an important part of a winning social media strategy. Some common measurement metrics for social media include;
This can be measured by total overall reach/impression for a page or by each posting and can be further defined by organic vs paid. This shows you how many people have seen your content or page.
Here the number of likes, comments, shares, clicks, downloads and views are measured as an indication of how well received your content is.
iii. Link Clicks
This is as it suggests, shows how many times your links have been clicked on and further insights from your website can provide more details on what was done on the site.
This is an indication of overall happiness or unhappiness towards content or a business. For example, if more of what users on social media are saying is negative or are complaints, this will show up as an overall negative sentiment towards the brand. This a useful measurement for customer service efforts on social media.
6. Continuously Optimise
Here we look at efforts on a monthly or weekly basis to see what has worked and what hasn’t on your owned assets as well as competitors. Using data and insights, you will be able to identify what works with your audience and create more of that and what doesn’t. It also provides an opportunity to ensure every dollar spent on social media efforts is being done so efficiently.
Following these six steps will ensure that you are off a great start with your social media efforts. Ensuring a solid foundation and continuous optimisation is the key to a winning social media strategy that will benefit a business and help it grow in the long run.