Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit. Alias vel fuga natus deleniti nobis?

How to Form a Successful Social Media Strategy

May 28, 2016

Social media is an essential part of your marketing strategy. If you leverage it correctly, you can create long-lasting relationships with your customers. However, marketers often become over excited about social media and dive into it without a clear strategy. And without a strategy, at best, it is a waste of time and effort – at worst; it is a huge PR disaster. To achieve the most from social media, you need to define a strategy that takes into account your customers, your competitors, and your goals. So, that is how we are going to start.

1. Define your goals

As with any strategy, the first thing you need to define is what you want to achieve. What is the final outcome of all your social media marketing efforts? Do you want to increase sales or attract more people to your site? Or maybe you want to raise brand awareness? Is your goal to increase retention and build a base of loyal customers? These are just examples of possible goals, you should decide on one or two because if you spread yourself very thin, you will probably fail.

2. Set realistic objectives

Now it is time to set realistic objectives based on your goals. We recommend you to focus on the S.M.A.R.T. strategy in order to ensure that your objectives are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based.

For example, if you are a B2B company that wants to increase sales, you could set an objective of generating over 100 online leads next month. On the other hand, if your goal is to increase brand awareness, you may want to set an objective to increase the number of times people share information of your brand by 20 percent. In either case, these objectives should be connected to your goals and you should be able to achieve them. Otherwise, you are just wasting time. Additionally, ensure you have time limits for your objectives. For example, you want to achieve 20% growth in brand awareness within three months, not in some time in the future.

3. Know your customers

Now that you know where you want to be, how do you get there? A successful social media strategy always knows the right people and how to reach them with proper messages. In order to achieve this, you need to know your customers. For example, you should not target everyone in the 18 to 50 age group if you want to sell your product to young professionals who want to know everything about new technologies.

The best way to ensure this element is to create buyer personas. How old are your customers? Do they have kids? What is their motivation?

4. Analyze your competitors

When it comes to social media marketing, your competitors can tell you what strategies work and which ones don’t. If you don’t analyze your competitors, you are giving up on an opportunity to learn from their mistakes and successes.

To analyze your competitors, start by choosing the top three in your category. Find out which social networks they are using the most, and study the content that they publish. Is it serious, educational, or funny? What kind of arguments do they use? Do they talk about their products or focus on something else?

5. Choose the right channels

Not all channels are the same. You need to choose the ones that are perfect for the products you are selling. You should also think about influencers who can encourage your target audience to buy from you. Bloggers, for example, often command a high level of trust and can create consumer buzz around you or your product.

6. Design a content plan

You need to have a content plan that can deliver interesting material. The content should be appropriate for the channels you are utilizing. Don’t stick to one type of media – a mix of pictures, guides, and videos will engage bigger groups more effectively. And content is not an article that you post once a month. You need to have an ongoing presence, which includes creating quality content regularly.

7. Define your budget

To budget for your social media marketing, analyze the goals, objectives, and tactics you have chosen. Then create a list of everything you need, such as advertising, social media monitoring, video production, infographics, email marketing, and so on. Then define a cost for each tool so that you will know how it affects your overall marketing budget. Many business owners prefer to define a budget and then develop a strategy, but we recommend you to start with a strategy first.

If you feel like your marketing strategy will exceed your budget, choose the tactics that will bring you quick profits. The tactics that you can finish soonest should be in priority because you will instantly get profit and then will be able to focus on other tactics.

8. Define the roles

You need to decide who is responsible for what. Analyze the strong suits of your team members and assign them accordingly to avoid overlapping efforts and confusion. It can be a bit messy in the beginning, but the team members will eventually get used to the new tasks.