How to Create a Social Media Strategy

social media strategyLooking to expand your reach, build customer loyalty and drive sales with social media? Whether you’re just starting out, or you’re looking to make your existing social presence more effective, creating a social media strategy should be at the top of your To Do list.

Get into a Mindset of Listening

Listening to your customers, prospects and target market is still the best piece of advice when it comes to being social. Think beyond your brand name.

Social media is about people, not logos, and it’s important from the very beginning to be authentic and human in that space. Focus more on how to BE social, rather than how to DO social.

Think About Your Key Objective

Don’t be on social media just because everyone says you should be. Consider your key objective – whether it’s building brand awareness, driving sales, or creating loyalty – and build your strategy around that key goal.

Many social media marketers recommend employing the SMART approach – that is, making your objectives Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound. Go beyond just saying, “I want to generate more quote enquiries” and determine how many enquiries you feel you’ll need to generate each week or month to consider that goal to have been achieved. How long do you expect it will take you to reach that goal? And which analytics and tracking tools will you use to measure it?

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Speaking off measurement…

Define Measures of Success

You wouldn’t invest in any other form of advertising without thinking about how you’re going to measure the success of your campaign, and social media shouldn’t be any different. Before you even begin to post, figure out how you’re going to evaluate your return on investment.

Most social media platforms offer their own analytics and metrics, and these can often be more than adequate to meet the needs of beginners wanting to measure the fundamentals. Here’s what you should be looking at to measure engagement and amplification:

  1. Twitter followers + replies, retweets, favourites, modified tweets
  2. Facebook: likes, comments, shares
  3. Instagram: likes, comments
  4. Pinterest: likes, comments, repins
  5. LinkedIn: likes, comments, shares

Consider Your Audience

Who’s your current and ideal prospective customer? What do they use social media for? And how are you going to appeal to them?

Buyer personas can be really useful in helping you define and target the right people at the right time with the right message. If you haven’t identified your buyer persona yet, consider your target audience’s:

  • Age
  • Occupation
  • Income
  • Interests
  • Likes and dislikes
  • Problems
  • Motivations
  • Objections

Choose the Right Space

Yes, there are a handful of very popular social platforms. No, you don’t have to have a presence on all of them. Many businesses make the mistake of spreading themselves too thin across social media, but the reality is that choosing one or two platforms can save your time and return a better result.

Don’t give in to a fear of missing out. If your target customers spend 50% of their social media time on Instagram, 30% on Facebook, and 20% on Twitter, it’s obvious which social platform you should focus the majority of your time on.

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Think again about your buyer persona, and if in doubt, ask your customers, or see which social spaces your competitors are creating the highest levels of engagement.

Nikki is a professional freelance writer and story teller with a passion for the web and technology. She writes for WP Dev Shed and amongst a roster of other clients.

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