Social media marketing is undoubtedly integral to your business’ success. Social media is a great place to reach and engage your potential and existing customers. But with countless brands and businesses doing the same thing, how will you compete? This is where an effective social media strategy comes in.
Indeed, utilizing social media for your business can be overwhelming. There are various platforms you may consider using and the competition among brands has never been tighter. But by taking time to come up with a sound strategy, you can give your brand a competitive edge and increase the success rates of your campaigns.
Here are 5 actionable tips on how to create an effective social media strategy that will give you an edge over your competitors.
1. Set the direction you want to go.
For many online marketers, planning can be the hardest part of any project or endeavor. But this is only true if you’re not sure of the direction you want to go to.
Before making a social media content plan, you should set your goals first. What is your overall objective in doing social media marketing? How about your short-term and long-term goals?
By addressing these questions, you will have a better picture of your marketing strategy.
Now goal-setting requires time and careful consideration, but it’s always worth the effort. You can utilize the S.M.A.R.T. framework to make the job easier. This ensures that the goals you have in mind are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
Determining your objective or direction is important to define the ways you can measure the success of your social media marketing For instance, it can be through a direct increase in sales, an increase in brand awareness and exposure, higher customer appreciation, better customer support, or enhanced online reputation.
Aside from these, there are other key performance indices (KPIs) you can consider for your social media strategy. But all these start from setting a clear objective.
2. Create your social media content calendar.
You plan your meetings and other engagements. What makes social media content any different? The best way you can easily organize your ideas and plans is to have a calendar set.
Managing your calendar should not only reflect where the content will be posted, or what day it will go live. The time is also critical at this point. Know when your audience engagement is at its peak. With this alone, you can maximize your online presence.
3. Create a social media marketing plan.
There is a difference between a calendar and a plan. With the calendar, you just set where you will put everything in place. However, with the social media marketing plan, you are putting everything into detail.
It’s best that you work with your marketing plan alongside your calendar. This way you can save time in planning on when you will release your content.
For this part, you can have the five “Wh’s” to guide you in the process. Why, who, what, where, and when. It’s the old school technique. But this can be considered almost a classic since it has stood the test of time. Incorporate these five questions into your marketing plan.
- Why do you want your content to be on social media and not anywhere else?
- Who is the target audience for these pieces of content?
- What are you going to share to reach your target audience?
- Where are you going to share it? Is it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or on other social media sites?
- When are you going to share it?
These questions are a good starting point when creating your social media marketing strategy.
What good will be your content that is posted on the perfect time of the day if it doesn’t have any target audience? Ask yourself: who will buy your product? Who are you doing all of these for?
Knowing who your audience is doesn’t only mean that you’re able to pinpoint who these people are. It’s not only knowing about their demographics and how your post would appeal to them.
Most companies would assume right off the bat. But one thing that you should have is data. Numbers won’t lie to you!
By being able to gather real-world data and translate it to how you’re going to use it, you would get closer to realizing your objectives.
5. Your competition should be a part of your social media strategy.
By now, you should know that the web is not a limited space. If you can utilize it for free or for a minimal cost, then so can other people! Who are these “other people”? They are your competitors — may they be direct or indirect.
Think of a space in someone’s Instagram feed as your business space. Only that this time around, it’s more competitive. People will take just a fraction of a second just to get enticed to what you’re offering them. You have to move fast.
How do you do this? Stand out. Take a look at what your competitors are doing well (and not-so-well, too!). Consider this as a leverage for you to use against them.
These are only some of the things you can do to create an effective social media strategy for your brand. But just like other aspects of web marketing, social media marketing is not simple. It does entail a lot more factors to consider and strategies for it to work.
Also, what are considered effective social strategies will differ for different brands. What worked for your one business may not yield same results for another. Different products have different markets, after all.
Still these five guidelines are good enough to help you shape your social media strategy. If you want your presence on social media to translate well to your objectives, then make sure that you at least cover these things.
Need help with creating a social media strategy for your business? StepForth Web Marketing offers custom content marketing and social media marketing services to businesses of any size. Feel free to contact us by clicking here.