On the surface, social media seems like it would be simple, right? Most people think that if you post regularly enough that the followers and engagement will come. While there is some truth to this line of thinking, if you’re looking to make a splash on social media and bring more recognition to your business or cause, you’ll need a strategy.
A comprehensive social media strategy will help you identify posting times, content themes, and success metrics to set you and your client up for success.
Here are 12 steps we use to create the perfect social media strategy.
Where To Start:
1) Define Your Goals – Of course, ultimately your goal is to draw in new business or gain new followers, but ask yourself, what are you looking to get out of your social media beyond these points? Identify your business, marketing, and communications goals and then pair them with correlating social media metrics. Think: which social media metrics have an impact on or influence each goal. Having a clear picture of your goals will help you identify and measure your social media performance.
2) Create A Strategy Statement – Your strategy statement should be a short summary of your goals that you can quickly reference to keep yourself on track while executing your plan. It should be easy to read and clear enough so that it doesn’t need to be changed unless absolutely necessary.
3) Outline Your Tactics – Your strategy is the foundation that outlines what you’ll be trying to accomplish, however, your tactics are the steps you’ll be taking to execute your strategy in order to achieve your desired results. Your tactics may change as you need them to but your strategy often will remain the same.
Put The Numbers To Work:
4) Use The Stats To Answer “Why?” – The stats you gather will be the best way to add credibility to the recommendations you make in your strategy. Using relevant statistics allows you to provide your client and/or leadership with hard numbers helping to affirm your point of view and provide context in the form of comparison for your social media’s performance.
5) Competitive Analysis – Here is where you’ll use your competitors’ own approaches to recommend opportunities. There are a few things you should pay extra attention to when making a competitive analysis:
- Identify your top 3-4 competitors
- Compare their social media to your own. (i.e. posting frequency, content themes, audience size, and channels)
- Choose a brand with a larger social channel to use as an aspirational goal. How much do you have to put in place to reach their level of followers, engagement, content creation?
6) Make Recommendations Based On Analysis – Now that you have examined what you’re doing versus the business’s competition, make recommendations to alter your tactics if needed. For this, it’s best to follow the SWOT model:
- Strengths: What are the positives?
- Weaknesses: Where is there room for improvement?
- Opportunities: Where are the chances to grow?
- Threats: How can the competition catch up?
7) Breakdown Strategy By Channel – When planning your channel strategy, each one of the channels you choose to use will require its own plan. Be sure each approach, regardless of channel, includes each of the following:
- Posting Cadence
- Content Themes
- Plans for Engagement
8) Make Recommendations For Social Advertising – Similar to sharing your new tactics with the client, you’ll want to present recommendations for social advertising across all their channels with information to show just how this will help grow each one. Specifically, your Ads Strategy should outline:
- Approach – How You’ll Target Your Ads- specifically who you’ll target (audience) and on what channels and why you’re targeting this way.
- Recommended Annual & Monthly Budget Amounts
- Budget Split Per Channel
- Spend Per Channel
- Estimated Cost Per Acquisition/Conversion
9) Measure Your Success – Once you start to see results, there are three things you need to do when presenting them to your client and/or leadership:
- Draw a direct line between your original social media goals and the current metrics.
- Be honest about your findings – honesty is the only way you will be able to improve your approach going forward and earn credibility as a trusted authority.
- Give them an idea of when they should expect the next report.
10) Create KPI Goals – Look over your previous spend, benchmarks, and the like to make a rough estimate of the KPI (Key Performance Indicators) goals you’ll be looking to meet going forward. If you haven’t been able to record such data, create conservative goals and inform the client/leadership that you are creating conservative goals but plan to adjust as you learn more from the data. . You’ll be able to adjust as you learn more and grow.
11) Look Ahead – Create a snapshot of how you’ll elevate their social media after your strategy has been executed.
12) Summarize – When reviewing your strategy with the client/leadership chances are, your audience isn’t a Social Media Specialist like yourself, so the information you’re sharing may be a lot of information for them to digest and retain in one sitting. Provide a final slide summarizing your topline recommendations of your strategy and immediate next steps. You may also consider following up afterward with a one-sheet of the highlights from the session.
You now have everything you need to start creating a winning social media strategy. But, if you’re looking to learn more, consider taking part in one of our social media courses for Social Media Managers. Good luck!