Social Media Marketing strategy is your guide to everything you do on Social Media, be it your posts, replies, likes, comments, etc. The idea is to have a common goal that drives all your actions so that you can put all your efforts into achieving that one goal.

Your strategy can be broad or very specific, it’s up to you. However, the more specific it is, the more clear outcome will be.
In this post, I’ll help you create your Social Media strategy. But before you start creating your Social Media strategy here are some common questions that you should ask yourself 
  1. What is my end goal?
Be very specific about your end goal. Do you want higher engagement, more followers, likes, leads, brand awareness or something else? The answer to this question will define your next step. 
Your end goal can be a combination of two things, ex – You might want leads but also want to focus on brand awareness.
  1. Who is your target audience and where can you find them?
Once you know who is your target audience, you also need to know what platform are they on. You can’t bring them where you are, you need to go where they are.
  1. What kind of content can you produce?
You want to share quality content and attract more audience. A job that’s not done well would be a waste of time and resources. So, make a list of the type of content you can produce. 
  1. Videos
  2. Written content
  3. Memes
  4. GIFs
  5. Visual Creatives
  1. What are my competitors doing?
Competitor analysis helps you understand what is already working in the market. It also helps in understanding what your target audience likes. You can use this to your benefit later.
  1. Where do I stand?
Knowing the current state the current state of your Social Media accounts is important. You might not even have accounts on certain Social networks so the engagement for those networks would be considered zero. Note down your current numbers so that you can compare later.
  1. What is my budget?
Answering this question will help you understand if you can invest in a tool, hire resources, use paid ads etc.
Once you’ve answered these questions you’ll need to dive deeper into it! It’s now time to create a document.

Step 1 – Write down your goal

You might have already heard of S.M.A.R.T goals.
It stands for 
  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound
Don’t focus on more than 3 end goals.
Add a brief description of the goal. 
Ex. – If your goal is to increase brand awareness write it like this
Increase brand awareness — Follower count for social profiles, reach of social media posts, mentions, shares, and retweets.

Step 2 – Know your audience

Create the audience persona. Ask yourself – Who is your audience? Where are they hanging out? What do they like? Look for data to find answers to these questions instead of assuming anything.
Your audience can’t be –
Age 0 – 65
Gender – Any
Demographic – NA
Interests – Any
Qualification – NA
Profession – NA
You need to be specific.

Step 3 – Decide the Social media networks that you’d focus on.

This will be based on your target audience. You can also focus on ALL the Social networks but make sure you’re creating and crafting unique content for each network. Don’t spread yourself too thin and if you’re just going to cross-post, don’t.

Step 4 – Set a benchmark

Make a list of your successful competitors, pick 2 that you think have great Social presence and have similar end goals as you. Now analyse their Social accounts and understand what they’re doing right. 
The aim isn’t to blindly copy them, the aim is to find out what type of content do they post, what’s their tone, etc.
List down type of content that they post and pick the types that you’re comfortable with.
Ex – Type of content competitor posts is
  • New & evergreen blog posts from their blog
  • Inspirational quotes
  • Curated content (Industry related)
  • Special days/ Weekends in the form of GIFs
  • Pictures from the team or community
  • Twitter polls aimed at receiving particular feedback or for fun
  • Information on how to use their product
  • GIFs
  • Industry related news
Now pick the content types that will help you reach your end goal. You can add more types or remove a few. Again, this highly depends on your strengths.

Step 5 – Based on 
step 4, create your content buckets.

A content bucket is a wide topic/ subject/ type of content that you want to share with your audience.
Your content bucket for different Social Network can be different based on the type of audience you have on that particular network.
Ex – You might add Industry news as a content bucket for Twitter and Facebook but maybe not for Instagram and Pinterest (because Instagram and Pinterest are a more visual network.)

Step 6 – Plan of action

Once you have your strategy ready, it’s time to create your Social Media content calendar.
Social Media content calendar is important to make sure that you post consistently and are serious about your Social Media strategy. 
Come up with a posting schedule and add the actual content against time. Your content needs to be a good mix of posts from all of your content buckets to make sure you don’t do too much or too little self-promotion.
At this point, you will need a scheduling tool to make sure that you post on time, your timeline is active, you don’t post in bursts. 
Also, make sure that you set some time aside to engage with your audience. 
You can use Crowdfire to schedule your tweets and to engage with your audience. 
Engaging with your audience gives you an opportunity to connect with them and strengthen your relationship.

Step 7 – Analyse and adjust

It’s important to track your numbers and evaluate them on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis. This gives you a deeper insight into what’s working for you, what needs to be changed and what needs to be completely eliminated from your strategy.
You can use native Analytics of all the Social Networks or you can use a tool to track your numbers. 
Now that you have a clear idea on how to create a strategy, here are some trends that Small Businesses can benefit from and must add to their Social Media content strategy.

Your story

Tell them what you stand for, not just in one post though, make a series out of it. It has to be something you deeply believe in. Tell it in a way that they can connect with it. 
It could be a series of posts, behind the scenes videos, short interviews with your team. Make sure everyone who follows you knows where you came from.
Here are some ideas 

Video content but…

Create quality content. If you can’t create quality video content, outsource it. 
Before you create videos
  1. Have a clear idea of what type of video do you want to produce.
  2. Find out free/ paid tools that can help you make the videos better.
  3. Don’t compromise with quality but don’t aim for perfection.
Check out Animoto, Canva, AdobeSpark.

Curated content

Don’t rely on in-house content all the time. Creating your own content all the time will burden you with a lot of work and you’ll not be too pleased with the end results.
Benefits of curated content 
  1. Saves time.
  2. The sources you’ve curated content from may share it and help you reach a higher audience.
  3. You’ll sound less promotional and would be recognized as a thought leader.
Maintain a healthy balance of curated and self-created content to make your timeline more appealing.
You can use tools and sites like Crowdfire, Feedly, Quora, etc. to curate content 

Customer service right from the start

Small businesses often concentrate on promotions and marketing and less on customer service.
Good customer service = early adopters = brand evangelists and more word of mouth.
Trust me, you want this!
Dedicate time for customer service on Social Media and make sure you WOW each customer who gets in touch with you. (Well, almost every.)
Later on, you can also set up a tool to provide Customer support on Social Media.
So, those are the trends you should ride on for sure.
There are too many things that are discussed on the internet when it comes to Social Media trends for 2019 like AI, chatbots, live video streaming, vertical videos and tons of other things that should be a part of your Social Media strategy and I’m not going to stop you from trying them out, but here is some real piece of advice 
  1. Play with your strengths.
  2. Know your limits in terms of budget and manpower.
  3. Don’t follow everything you read on the internet.
  4. Some trends are good for others but not for you. Know what works for you.
  5. Experiment. Try new things and be consistent.
  6. Standard metrics are good but you only need to track what is important for you. Create your own metrics. Find a way to track them.
  7. Educate your followers. Be a thought leader. Add value to your content, not CTA.
  8. Don’t aim for vanity metrics like followers, likes, and comments. Aim to connect with your customers, understand what they want and make them your evangelists.
Now, go conquer the world (of social media)!

Editorial Staff

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