Having a strategy is essential for effective social media marketing.
Your social media platforms will always be a little off if you don’t have a plan, just like the majority of savoury foods won’t taste right without salt. It will be difficult to succeed on social media if you don’t understand the fundamentals: your objectives, your target audience, and their needs.
Creating a marketing strategy is crucial if you want to advance as a marketer or expand your business.
Here is one approach.
Developing A Social Media Marketing Strategy In 5 Easy Steps
It’s interesting to see how a marketing plan and a social media marketing strategy often overlap.
Consider it this way: Your destination is a plan. Having a plan will help you get there.
Asking yourself the 5Ws is one of the simplest approaches to developing your social media marketing strategy:
- What motivates your desire to use social media?
- Whom are you trying to reach?
- When and What will you be sharing?
- What location will you share?
- What time will you share?
I have created a basic social media marketing strategy template to assist you in developing your plan. You may freely use, edit, or adapt it as you see fit (after making a copy of it).
Another intriguing aspect of strategy (or strategies) is this: Additionally, you can develop a strategy for each of your social media platforms, such as a Facebook marketing plan, an Instagram marketing plan, and so forth, all of which are built around your overall social media marketing plan.
But let’s begin with your overarching plan.
What Motivates Your Company To Use Social Media?
The Why is the most important question to address.
Do you use social media to advertise your goods? to promote your website’s visibility? or to assist your clients?
There are generally nine social media objectives you can have:
- Amplify Brand Awareness
- Boost Website Traffic And Produce New Leads
- Increased Income (By Increasing Signups Or Sales)
- Increase Brand Loyalty
- Create A Community Around Your Company
- Offer Considerate Client Service
- Increase The Number Of Press Mentions
- Pay Attention To Discussions Regarding Your Brand
It’s acceptable to have multiple social media objectives.
Unless you have a team where several individuals or groups can take on different goals, it’s generally a good idea to concentrate on a small number of goals.
For instance, at SoureCode, our advocacy team uses social media to promptly assist customers, while our marketing team uses it to raise brand awareness and increase visitors to our content.
Who Is Your Target Market?
Your target audience is the next thing to think about once you have determined your Why.
The following inquiries on what, where, and when you will share will be easier to respond to if you are aware of your target audience.
For instance, if a travel and lifestyle firm like Away knows that its target audience enjoys reading stories about new places and travel tips on social media, it might start doing such.
Making marketing personas is a terrific practice to do in this situation.
Building marketing personas can be done in a variety of ways. The 5Ws and 1H are again my preferred method.
- They, who? (For example, position, age, gender, pay, location, etc.)
- What do you have to offer that would be of interest to them? (For example, entertainment, educational resources, case studies, information on cutting-edge products, etc.)
- What websites do they frequently visit? (TikTok, Instagram, etc., or other specialized sites)
- What time do they search for the kind of material you can offer? (For instance, during weekends, on their commute each day, etc.)
- What drives their content consumption? (For instance, to improve their jobs, get healthier, stay current on issues, etc.)
- How do they take in the information? (For instance, browse social media, watch videos, etc.)
Probably there’s no need to start from scratch. If your business has been around for a while, you probably have a firm grasp of your target market. Putting it in writing can help you share it with the team or use it as a resource in the future.
What Will You Disclose?
You might be considering the kinds of things to share when you see this question. Do you wish to exchange photographs or videos, for instance?
However, wait for a second!
Let’s take a step back and consider more broadly about your social media marketing plan more since we’re talking about it here. “Theme” might be a better term than “content categories to share.”
Here are a few companies and their underlying theme(s):
An underwear company called MeUndies posts customer and product images on its Instagram account.
An outdoor and adventure brand called Huckberry posts editorial content and excellent outdoor images on its Facebook page.
Luxury couch company Burrow’s Instagram page primarily features memes.
You might have noticed that the brands’ social media profiles have more than one core theme if you navigate through the ones indicated above. Having a few themes provides you with the freedom to share a variety of content to keep your audience interested without coming across as unfocused.
This is where having a solid grasp of your target market will be beneficial. Take a look at your marketing personas and think about these issues:
What are their objectives and difficulties?
How can you assist in their solution?
The target market for a company that sells fitness apparel and accessories (like Gymshark) may want to keep up with the newest workout equipment. Then, it can post information about its most recent products to its social media profiles.
Is that too self-promotional? possibly not More than 8,600 American teens were polled by the investment bank Piper Jaffray, and the results showed that 70% of them preferred brands to contact them about new products via Instagram. Understanding your target audience is always the key.
At What Location Will You Share?
Choosing where to share your content is the next step. Which social media channels does your company wish to be present on, in other words?
Before we continue, keep in mind that not every social media site is necessary for your brand to be present. Given that the Big Four — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn — frequently appear on the first page of Google search results when consumers search for your brand, it would be beneficial to at least have a complete profile on each of them.
Making Decisions About What To Discuss Will Be Easier If You Are Aware Of Your Target Audience. On which social media sites is your target demographic most active? Why do they go to that platform? Teenagers and young adults, for instance, could like scrolling through TikTok when they’re bored to check what their pals are up to or what goods their favourite creators are utilizing.
What Is Your Brand’s “X Factor,” Though It Is A Lesser-Considered Component? Are you talented in writing, videography, or photography? Specific content types work best on specific platforms. For instance, photographs on Instagram, long-form videos on YouTube, and short-form videos on TikTok are all excellent. This is a small issue, though, as social media sites are now able to offer nearly any kind of material.
Finally, take into account more specific, specialist platforms. For instance, Zwift, a provider of multi-user online cycling training software, has established a club on the athletic social network Strava. More than 57,000 bikers belong to their group, and thousands interact with their posts on Strava.
What Time Will You Share?
Choosing the best time to release your material is the final crucial component of your approach. You might be tempted to start looking at the optimal time(s) to post right away.
Pause. breathe too.
Take a step back and revisit this from a higher perspective now. Think about the habits of your target audience before deciding precisely when and how often you want to post.
What time of day do they often use social media to find the stuff you’ll share?
Here are a few instances to think about:
- Sports enthusiasts are likely to locate and connect with content about events on social media before, during, and right after they happen.
- When athletes are cooling down after their morning or nighttime workouts, they might be browsing Instagram.
- People who enjoy travelling can use social media more on the weekends to organize their upcoming vacation (or during their work breaks, dreaming about their next trip).
- In the wee hours of the night, nursing mothers may be surfing social media.
These few instances may have given you the impression that there isn’t a single optimal time to post because it depends on your audience. Therefore, for this phase, pay attention to your target audience’s typical behavioural habits.
The optimal time to publish for your brand can be determined through experimenting once you have developed your social media marketing strategy.
And Finally, How Are You Going To Put This Plan Into Practise?
Your social media marketing strategy is now complete!
But it doesn’t end there. A strategy is where you’re going; a plan is how you’re going to get there, as was previously said. Now that you know where you’re going, you need a plan.
How should your social media profiles be completed? What kind of voice and tone should you use? Which post type should you use, such as an image, link, video, etc.?
To assist you with the following stage and your success on social media, we offer a step-by-step guide for establishing a social media marketing plan. Here’s a sample of the knowledge you’ll discover in the manual:
When Designing A Social Media Marketing Strategy, Keep The Big Picture In Mind
One of the most difficult tasks is certainly developing a strategy because it necessitates taking a step back and considering the larger picture. You must focus on higher-level thinking instead of daily activities like scheduling and responding to comments (which you should be doing in Buffer anyway).
But having a social media marketing strategy is beneficial and advantageous so that you aren’t just providing content for the sake of producing material. You can use it to accomplish your company and social media objectives.