Except you are on social media just to catch fun, you need to create a working social media strategy for your business, whether it’s online or offline.
Without a strategy, you are just going to be wasting your time using social media for your business.
A social media strategy is a plan of action that highlights how you will be using social media to accomplish your business goals and objectives.
The easiest and simplest way to create a working social media strategy for your business is to keep it really simple and very specific.
The more specific your plan is, the more effective it will be.
In order to build an authentic, engaged social media community for your brand, your strategy must be a winning strategy.
Let’s look into the steps you will take to create a working social media strategy for your business.
1. Do a Social Media Audit
This point only applies to you if you’ve already started showing up on social media.
Also, if you’ve created social media strategies before and you have been consistent with them.
A social media audit is about looking through your previous strategy or looking at your social media activities in order to measure results.
This way, you can identify your strengths and weaknesses, and find out what has been working and what hasn’t.
A social media audit will help you to know which of your social media platforms bring in most of the customers, gathers more engagements, increases brand awareness, etc.
An audit also helps you know the people who engage with your social media posts often, and those who buy often and typically helps you know who your target market is.
In general, you are able to find out what your most effective platforms are, who your audience really is, and what they like to see on your platforms.
How to Perform a Social Media Audit
List out all your social media platforms and go through each of them one by one.
This is what you will be looking for: Which ones were actually opened by you or belongs to your brand?
This is because, there may be social media platforms that have similar handles to yours, and there may also be some created by people who want to use your brand name for the wrong reasons.
So an audit will help you and your audience know which ones belong to you.
Take a good look at them and check if all your brand assets are correct, I mean your logo, colours, and fonts are accurate on all.
When you are done with this, go to that platform’s analytics and find out which content type is giving you the most engagement.
Then check each channel’s performance to find out the one that is most effective.
There are more ways to do a social media audit. Check out this article here to learn more.
2. Identify Your Social Media Goals
Let’s say you do not already have a social media strategy or that you’ve just started showing up on social media.
The very first step to creating a working social media strategy for your business is to set your social media goals.
Every social media goal must tie back to the overall business objectives.
I have worked in social media management with clients who didn’t really have specific goals for their businesses.
They actually felt that once we started posting on social media, their businesses would become automatically profitable.
Social media goals are not your business goals, instead, they are created as a result of the goals you have for the business.
This is basically the foundation for everything you do on your social media channels.
Clearly identifying your social media goals will give you direction and help you narrow down the main themes your content will have, your content pillars, and how you’ll infuse marketing into your strategy.
For example, if your business objective is to improve customer retention and increase revenue every quarter, your social media goals will be around offering customer service on social media and driving sales of products and services.
This will then inform your content types, response rates, messaging style, and so on.
3. Research Your Audience
The next step to take when creating a working social media strategy for your business is to research your target audience.
Every business has its own ideal customer and you need to figure out who they are for your own business.
In order to create an accurate profile of your ideal customer, you want to put the following things into consideration.
Their Age: What is the age range of people you expect to buy from you or people your business offerings are for?
Let’s say, for instance, you sell colourful and fancy phone pouches, your ideal customer can be anyone, but it’d mostly be the younger generation say between the ages of 17-27.
Not that people older than that age wouldn’t love fancy pouches, but people within that age range will love your products more.
Location: The next thing you want to know is their location so that when you’re targeting them in your ads, you’ll be as specific as you can.
Income: You also want to know the average income of your ideal buyer so that you can provide products or services that will be on budget for them.
Other things include their interests, their goals and aspirations, their challenges, their vision, and so on, get to know what makes them tick.
Also, find out their social media platforms of choice, the kinds of content they engage with, and the content format they love most- videos, blogs, carousels, etc.
All of this info will help you craft content that truly resonates with them, and help you build an engaged community.
4. Research Your Competitors
Of course, there are others doing the kind of business you do.
Another important step to take when you want to create a working social media strategy is to research the competition.
A competitive analysis is a process of digging deep into the competition to find out what their strengths and weaknesses are, and how those strengths and weaknesses compare to your own.
When you do a thorough analysis of the competition, you’ll be able to find out who they are, what they offer, and what makes them different.
You will then go deeper to figure out how they are showing up on social media, what platforms they are on, and how they are using them.
You will also be able to identify their social media strategy and compare it with yours so you can find out the gaps in your own strategy.
When you come into a certain market, you will take a portion of the market share and you’ll be competing with people who are already in that market.
You cannot expect them to fold their hands and do nothing. So you have to tighten your belt and get to work.
5. Set Up Your Social Channels
If you do not already have them, start setting up your social media channels.
I always advise my clients to have no more and not less than 3 social media channels.
Certain social media platforms are peculiar to business types.
For instance, if you run a business that caters to professionals, LinkedIn is a good option for you.
If you run a business that needs a community to thrive, then Twitter is great for you.
But one platform that is necessary for any kind of business is Instagram.
No matter the kind of business that you do, you need an Instagram account.
Instagram is the biggest social media platform for now, with thousands of users logging in on a daily basis.
So your business needs to be on Instagram, and since your Instagram page cannot stand alone without Facebook, you have a bonus.
Then there’s TikTok and YouTube, which are video-based platforms and if it works for your business, go for it.
If you want to learn how to create a LinkedIn business page, watch this video.
What are the best practices for setting up?
First, ensure that your username is the same across all 3 platforms.
Whether it’s your business name or your own name, make sure that you use the same thing.
Next, your profile image must match across the board too. Are you using your logo or your picture? Decide on that and let it be consistent.
Another thing that should be consistent as well is your bio, but since each platform has different character limits, you may use a variation of these.
But the bottom line is that they should all have the same underlying message.
Once these things are up, you want to pay attention to your content and that takes me to the next point.
6. Start Creating Content/Create a Calendar
After you have done your audience research, and competitor analysis and have created social media channels, the next thing is to start creating content.
Content creation is another skill entirely, so if you have the budget, you can hire someone to do it for you.
But if not, roll up your sleeves and start creating content by yourself.
Don’t forget that you want to create content that your target audience will find interesting enough to engage in.
If you want to know everything there is to know about content creation, read this.
When you start creating content, you must put into consideration the type of content, the time of posting, and the frequency of posting.
These 3 things are essential for a successful social media strategy.
In order to create a seamless content and social media plan, you need a content calendar.
A content calendar covers the day-to-day management of your social media content.
It helps you execute your content strategy by informing you on what to publish, what time to publish, what platform it should go on, and so on.
You can also use it to plan posts, manage campaigns and review ongoing strategies.
It’s typically an overview of your upcoming social media posts, organized by date.
In this article, I wrote more on the topic.
When you have created a content calendar and your content is ready, start posting.
Use a social media management tool to schedule your content and monitor it as it goes.
7. Track and Measure Results
Now that the bulk of your work is done, the next thing is to start tracking and measuring your results.
If you have a website or a blog, make sure that it is connected to Google Analytics, this will help you figure out those who are coming to your website, where they are coming from, and what they are looking for.
Social media channels have inbuilt analytics tools that help you track and measure.
Navigating analytics can be confusing since each network has so many metrics to keep track of.
In general, I suggest you pay attention to your follower growth, the reach of your posts, and more importantly, how engaged your audience is with your content.
I hope I have been able to briefly cover this topic, I suggest that you refer to more articles to get started.
But if you want a done-for-you social media strategy, reach me here.