Strategy is key! Especially in social media.
In this guide, I’ll teach you how to create a social media strategy that delivers for your business.
It’s pretty simple: to be successful in today’s market, you have to be on social media.
Your customers are already there, ready to engage.
But in order to reach them, you have to have a strategy in place.
Social Media Marketing Strategy – Find Out Where Who Users Are
Remember, the goal here is a strategy that works.
And with any marketing strategy, success begins with a clear target audience.
So before you even begin to put the where and how pieces together, you need to focus on who.
To do that, you create a buyer persona based on characteristics like:
- Job title
- Why would they benefit from your product?
- How does your product address (and solve) one of their pain points?
- Why would they choose you or your product over your competitors?
Once you’ve narrowed it down, you’ll be left with someone like Arthur, a forty-five-year-old accountant in Phoenix who could desperately use the standing desk you’re selling to get him on his feet during the work day.
There’s more to it, of course, and you can read all about defining your target audience in this guide.
Social Media Marketing Strategy – Find Out Where Users Are
I can’t stress this enough: this step is crucial.
You must know where your users are on the internet, so you know where to focus your efforts and how to cater your strategy to those specific places.
Because we’re focusing on social media here, the sites you’ll want to consider are:
Based on your buyer persona alone, you’ll begin to be able to narrow down your sites. Take Arthur for example; based on what we know about him, we can safely say he’s more likely to be hanging out on LinkedIn than Snapchat.
As you dig deeper, one of the most effective ways to find which sites your customers regularly visit is to simply ask them.
So send them a survey. Ask them questions like:
- Which social sites do you use?
- Do you watch videos online?
- Do you read blogs?
- Do you network online?
Once you’ve researched and analyzed, choose the 2 to 5 sites that are the most popular with your audience and will likely generate the highest return.
The number you choose will have to do with the size of your company and scope of your plan. If you’re a large business with the time and resources to target five separate sites, go for it.
But if you’re smaller or just starting with social media, try focusing on just two. Devote as much time as you can to those two, and if you see positive results, eventually try adding in another.
How to Select the Right Site for Your Social Media Marketing Strategy
How You Know if Facebook is Right for You:
- Facebook has 2.07 billion monthly active users, with over 50 million businesses using the site
- It generally works better for B2C businesses
- Must be able to produce consistent, high-quality content
- It works well for businesses whose customer base frequently uses mobile devices
How to Use it:
- Use your business page to introduce people to your product or services
- Use ads to reach a wider audience
- Post frequent updates of any new blogs, products, promotions, events, etc.
- Use Messenger to talk to customers in real-time
- Drive sales with the “Book Now” or “Shop Now” buttons
- Use targeting tools to segment your organic posts by age, gender, location, etc. to ensure they reach your target audience
How to Know if LinkedIn is Right For Your Social Media Marketing Strategy:
- LinkedIn has 467 million users, and 57% of companies have a LinkedIn company page
- Works especially well for B2B businesses
- Good for businesses that rely on developing relationships
- If business development is a clear goal
- If you’re looking to attract new, qualified talent
How to Use it:
- Join groups related to your niche and use them to interact, build relationships, and establish thought leadership
- Use paid advertising to promote content, etc. to segmented groups
- Publish articles and link back to your website or blog
- Display recommendations and testimonials about your business
How You Know if Twitter Is Right For Your Social Media Marketing Strategy
- Twitter has 330 monthly active users, and over 70% of U.S. companies use Twitter.
- If you’re trying to appeal to a global audience, and more specifically millennials
- If you’re targeting women with kids – moms are 67% more likely to research products on Twitter
- If you’re looking for brand exposure; Twitter is at the top of the marketing funnel and should be used for attention and exposure
How to Use it:
- Use it for customer service related questions or support – have a strategy in place for handling complaints
- Promote deals, reviews, and gift ideas
- Share industry content and news
- Target your ideal audience with ads
- Engage with your audience, and add personality to your posts
- Share valuable, engaging content with your audience
- Use it for networking and business development
How You Know if Instagram is Right For Your Social Media Marketing Strategy
- Instagram has 800 million monthly active users, and there are 15 million registered businesses using it
- If you have a global audience – 80% of users are outside the US
- If you’re targeting people in the millennial age range
- If you’re targeting primarily women – 68% of the audience is female
- If you can consistently produce high-quality images
- If you have visual products or services to show (art, design, retail, food, etc.)
- Include a link to your website in your bio, and make your bio is short but intriguing
- Make sure your posts are relevant and offer value to your audience
- All images should be high-quality
- Connect with your audience through hashtags
- Include calls to action in your descriptions
- Encourage people to share your content
- Create lifestyle photos and show off your company culture
How You Know if Pinterest is Right for Your Social Media Marketing Strategy
- Pinterest has 200 million monthly active users,
- Its primary audience is women, though men are on the rise
- 7 in 10 US moms use Pinterest, so it’s ideal if they fall into your target audience
- If you have the resources to create high-quality visuals daily
- If you have an e-commerce business or visual products services (retail, art, food, etc.)
- Create high-quality, engaging images
- Create boards with subjects relevant to your target audience and industry
- Capitalize on holiday themes and special occasions
- Schedule pins to keep activity consistent
- Interact with followers; repin related pins, respond to comments and comment yourself
- Research your competition to see what content yields the most repins and comments
- Link back to relevant articles, posts, and pages on your site
How You Know if YouTube is Right for Your Social Media Marketing Strategy
- YouTube has 1.5 billion monthly active users
- If you have the resources to create high-quality videos
- If you work in e-commerce – consumers are 85% more likely to buy online after watching a product video
- If you have a compelling story or expertise to showcase
How to Use it:
- Use it for product how-to’s, gift guides, tutorials; offer mainly helpful videos based on your target audience’s needs, not on promotion
- Create content based on questions your audience wants answered
- Make sure all videos are high-quality and edited
- Include company description on your page, links to your website and calls-to-action in your videos
- The first few seconds are crucial, so make sure they’re engaging
How You Know if Snapchat is Right for Your Social Media Marketing Strategy
- Snapchat has over 300 million monthly users
- If your target audience is in the millennial age group – 71% of users are under the age of 34
- If you work in a creative industry or retail
- If you have the production resources to dedicate to the platform
How to Use it:
- Promote special offers and exclusive content
- Give behind-the-scenes at your company and its culture
- If you have a tangible product, showcase what it can do
- Use creativity and humor, and invite followers to post replies on other social sites
Set a Notable Ad Budget for Each Site in Your Social Media Marketing Strategy
I’ll start with the bad news: getting noticed on social media solely through organic posts is becoming increasingly impossible.
The good news is social media ads are here to save the day.
Yes, they will require an investment, but when run correctly they will generate a big return.
Before running an ad, make sure you have a clear purpose for what that ad’s trying to accomplish. Some of the most common objectives (and the best sites for them) are:
- To increase traffic – LinkedIn has many ad formats designed to send traffic back to your website
- To increase brand awareness – Twitter is a great platform for this, and running ads increases your exposure to potential followers
- To increase engagement – Snapchat ads are designed almost purely for engagement, especially with its younger user base
- To increase lead generation – Facebook offers a variety of ad formats designed to uncover potential customers
- To increase sales – Pinterest’s product-driven photos and ads are ideal for pushing immediate sales
The good news is, you’ve already identified where your audience is, so you know which platforms to focus your ads on.
And once you’ve decided your goal, you can narrow down which ad type you would like to focus on.
Take remarketing ads. These are designed to target people who have already visited your website, and are therefore ideal for lead generation and sales.
Facebook does a particularly great job with their remarketing ads, thanks to features like their custom audiences and Facebook pixel, which tracks who has visited certain parts of your website. LinkedIn offers a similar feature with their Matched Audiences.
By setting your targets to reach your ideal audience, you’ll boost the chances that your content will find its way to those most likely to value it.
These kinds of ads usually promote a particularly valuable piece of content leading back to your website, which will spike your traffic.
Naturally, you want to allocate most of your budget to the site (or sites) that give you the most engagement and returns.
The amount you spend will vary wildly by channel and ad type. Generally speaking, the more you spend, the greater (and quicker) your return will be.
Create a Content Plan for Each Site
Content is the backbone of any social media plan, and will ultimately determine whether that plan sinks or swims.
One of the biggest mistakes companies make is treating each network the same, and running the same content on each site.
But each platform serves a different purpose, and so too should the content you promote there.
Which is why it’s so important to outline and plan your content for each site you intend you use.
For example, LinkedIn is primarily used for business, so plan your content accordingly. Keep it clean and professional.
On the other hand, it pays to be a little out-of-the-box on sites like Instagram and Snapchat.
Here are a few tips:
- Include images – Tweets with images receive 18% more clicks than tweets without, and 98% of posts with images receive more comments on LinkedIn
- When possible, use videos – 100 million hours of video are watched daily on Facebook alone
- Longform content performs particularly well on LinkedIn
- Ask question, run polls, or organize a contest to increase community engagement
- Repurpose your content – turn longform articles into infographics, how-to videos, etc.
And like running ads, remember to set metrics for what you’re trying to achieve.
I recommend creating key performance indicators (KPI’s) for community growth, content reach, leads, brand reach and visitors to measure how your content is doing and that it’s reaching its intended audience.
Measure and Expand to Get Bigger Results From Your Social Media Marketing Strategy
To get the most out of your marketing plan, make sure you consistently measure your success.
Luckily, most social sites come with pretty detailed analytics to tell you how your posts and ads are performing.
Beyond that, the ever-important Google Analytics will monitor any traffic increases and which sites are sending that traffic.
To keep yourself on track, make sure you do a social media sentiment analysis each month.
A sentiment analysis measures how well your content is doing on each site.
For example, a sentiment analysis would look at metrics like customer engagement (avg. number of comments/post) and awareness (avg. new followers/post).
Get Started With Your Social Media Marketing Strategy
So there you have it.
By incorporating the points above into a concrete plan, you’ll be able to make the most of social media and use it to meet your marketing goals.
Social Media Marketing Strategy FAQ:
1. What Is the 80/20 Rule in a Social Media Marketing Strategy?
The 80/20 rule states that 80% of the content you post on social media channels is informative to people in your target market. The other 20% is sales-driven.
It’s an important principle to practice so that you don’t come across as too “salesy” in your posts.
If you all you do is promote products or services on social sites, you’ll just alienate people. That’s because folks are looking for meaningful content not sales pitches.
2. What Are the Most Important Metrics in Social Media Marketing?
That depends on your goals.
For example, if your goal is brand-name awareness, the most important metric might be the number of impressions your posts receive.
On the other hand, if your goal is generate engagement, you’ll want to take a look at the number of clicks, likes, and shares you receive.
If you’re looking for website clicks, you’ll want to check out the number of times people followed a link in one of your social media posts.
3. What Are the Best Times to Post on Social Media?
If you Google around for an answer to that question, you’ll find that opinions vary quite a bit on when the best time to post is.
Some research indicates that it’s best to post at night and on weekends when your followers are away from work. Others insist that posting during the business day is just fine because that’s when people check in on their social media channels.
Bottom line: check your analytics. Find out which times work best for your audience. Then, post during those times.