Are you ready to maximise your social media efforts now? But…. you’re not sure how to do it?
Let me take your through 5 Key Steps to create a social media strategy that will work your for your business. By tackling these 5 steps it will put you in a position of clarity and focus as you will know what you want to achieve from social media ensuring you remain disciplined in your approach.
Here’s how to create a social media strategy that works:
1. Define your target audience(s)
This should be something you have already done before for your business (If you haven’t, no time like the present and it is imperative that you know who your ideal customer is so you spend your marketing dollars and time wisely!).
When it comes to defining your target audience you want to consider your ideal customers demographics & psychographics. Demographics are things like gender, age income, family size, education and family size. Psychographics can be defined as your target audiences beliefs, values, attitudes and interests – what makes them tick, what motivates them, inspires them etc
2. Detail your marketing goals for Social Media
Take the time to think about what success looks like for your business in the social media space. Some key marketing goals for social media marketing may include:
- Increase brand awareness
When working with my clients on branding, I ask the simple question – what do you want to be famous for? The answer needs to be unique to your offering and also deliver on a solution/meet a need for your customer or client. The use of social media to drive brand awareness can be a super cost effective channel to create an impact with your ideal customer. By increasing brand awareness, you can expect to see an increase in followers, engagement and ultimately leads and conversions.
- Increase engagement
Clearly articulating what your brand stands for and being 100% clear on your ideal customer will enable you to create content that is relevant and therefore engaging to your target audience. By increasing engagement, you can expect to see an increase in followers as your posts will be seen by more people (and hopefully shared) which in turn will lead to more enquiries and sales.
- Grow your email list
A key broader marketing objective for every business should be to grow your email list and by producing valuable content for your audience, you can use your social media channels to promote your great content, and at the same time encourage your followers to sign up to your email list. I strongly recommend that you are constantly implementing initiatives that will inspire your followers to join your mailing list. This minimises the risk of losing your audience should your preferred social media channel(s) change their algorithm resulting in your profile not performing like it has historically (or worse, the channel declines in popularity or stops operating altogether). To achieve this you can provide a free download and to access this genuinely great piece of content, your target audience is required to provide an email address & opt-in to your list. Think about what free products/services, valuable pieces of information or tools that you could offer through your social media channels. This strategy can be applied on your posts and also as a paid strategy if you are running google adwords, Facebook ads, Instagram ads, Youtube ads or Linkedin ads.
Need ideas on how to grow your email list? Read my article here
- Increase leads / conversion
Effective social media marketing can provide you with a direct ROI by providing leads and/or sales. Many e-commerce businesses sell directly on Instagram or perhaps you’re a travel agent, a beautician or a plumber, by providing relevant content, you can drive enquiries to your business. For example, if you’re a travel agent that specialises in family holidays, your content can feature unique family experiences such as “Is it worth paying for early access to Disneyland”, “How to’s” on holidaying as a family (eg How to pack for a family of 4 for 4 weeks, how to feed the family on $20 per day in USA). If you’re a plumber, why not provide tips & tricks on how to keep your plumber away (people will love this) and also consider seasonal influences in your region. I live in Queensland, Australia and I know that we have storm season every year and we need to ensure our gutters are clear so in this example you could create a video or PDF document on ‘Be Storm Season Ready’.
3. Choose the right social media platform(s)
Now that you have clearly defined your target audience and you have determined what goals you wish to achieve with your Social Media strategy, you can determine which social media platforms are right for your business to attract and engage with your target audience.
Facebook is still leading the way in terms of number of users (2.6 Billion*, followed closely behind by Youtube & WhatsApp).
In addition to looking at the numbers, think about your ideal customer and how they are consuming social media in their lives. Where are they most likely going to be? Is it on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or Linkedin? If you’re not sure, why not create a short survey and ask your existing list of customers.
4. Identify the social media metrics for your chosen platforms
You have defined your target audience, set your goals for Social Media and determined which social media platform(s) to use so now you need to identify your metrics to measure your success. As a baseline, you can look at what you have achieved each month for the last 12 months to determine some averages or minimum benchmarks, then with a focused effort on creating valuable & relevant content what is a realistic target you would like to see your business achieve. Personally, I’m a fan of a stretch target – you use your previous averages, build in a realistic growth target but then stretch it some more and go for that number!
Remember these metrics will include measurements such as:
- enquiries / leads
5. Develop a creative content plan
This is the creative part of the process and provides an opportunity to think strategically and laterally to come up with the content plan. By this I mean you want to be strategic in your content planning in that you need to ensure you leverage industry trends. As example, a travel client I work with knows that 60% of cruise bookings made by Australians happens between January to March each year, so what do you think their campaign activity is during this period? Yes, there is a cruise focus! Another example, if you’re a plumber and there is storm season every year, you can look to provide tips on how to be storm ready. Consider seasons, events, new product launches, sale frenzies such as Black Friday into your content planning.
You will also want to consider the format of the content – will you be using video, still images, infographics, plain text, other or a mix?
Video has certainly grown in usage and has taken over as the leader in impactful content however you must also consider the platform. You may also want to try a few different types of formats and see what works best for your target audience (& the platform). Ideally you’d have a good mix of content formats to keep your profile interesting.
If you can implement these 5 steps you will make a fantastic start to creating a Social Media Strategy that works. Know your numbers, keep testing & refining and don’t be afraid to try new things including the new tools & features the social media platforms release.