Writing a strategy for your social media activity can feel a little overwhelming, especially if you haven’t done it before. But having a strategy in place is essential if you want to streamline your processes, save time and be purposeful about the content you’re posting online.
A lot of business owners make the mistake of panic posting. By that I mean they know they should be posting on social media so they scrabble around looking for something ‘that will do.’
Here’s the problem with panic posting:
- It’s stressful
- It’s time-consuming
- Your content lacks purpose
- You’re in broadcast mode rather than social mode
- Your content is sporadic and inconsistent
Taking the time to create and follow a social media strategy gives you clarity and removes anxiety and uncertainty. With a strategy you – or your team – will know what you want to achieve on social media. It will allow you to set goals and create a clear map of how to achieve them.
What your social media strategy needs to include:
- Your ideal client
- Your goals
- Which platforms you’ll use
- Your content (content review / content pillars / content creation)
- Set a benchmark and KPIs
- Competitor analysis
- Influencer marketing
- A review date
Let’s look at them one by one.
1 Your ideal client
You probably already have a good idea of who buys your products or service and if so, that’s great. But you need to go beyond the basic demographics and understand what really makes them tick.
Think about how your product or service makes their life better. What problem are they facing that you can help with? What kind of language do they use when talking about themselves and their lives?
Looking back at customer reviews and testimonials – as well as comments on your own social content and that of your competitors – can be a great source of information and inspiration.
2 Your goals
If you own a small business, there’s really no point in posting on social media just for the sake of it. The algorithms are so tough these days that often only a tiny percentage of your followers will see your posts.
Setting goals will help you to focus your time spent online. For example, if your goal is to grow your reach, you’ll need to create posts that create more engagement. Your content will need to inspire and incentivise your followers to comment, like or share.
Or if your goal is to grow your followers, you’ll need to factor in more time for outbound engagement – that means actively commenting on other people’s content as well as responding to comments on your own.
3 Which platforms you’ll use
My advice here is to start with one or two platforms – you really don’t need to be everywhere. The most important factors to consider when choosing your platforms are:
- Are your ideal clients there? There’s no use wasting hours on Instagram if your dream customers are hanging out on LinkedIn
- Do you like the platform? It’s painful and soul-destroying to spend time posting to a platform you hate! Outsourcing your social media marketing could be a great solution here
- Do you have the right content? Platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest are image-led sites. If you haven’t got the great photos, you’re going to run out of steam quickly
While B2B clients traditionally focus on LinkedIn, which is great for building trust and lead generation, some are seeing new success on Instagram. Facebook Ads also do well for B2B.
Twitter performs well for certain sectors, such as news-led content for charity and non-profits. However, to reach end-users and donors, Instagram and Facebook are key.
4 Your content
How often do you review whether the content you’re currently putting out is working? Sometimes? Never?
When you make friends with your platform analytics, you can see which content resonates with your customers and do more of that. Start by looking for content with lots of likes, shares and comments.
You can also simplify your content creation by defining your content pillars. This is a set of five or six themes that form your content plan.
For example, a fulfilment and packing business’s content pillars might include: championing small business, business tips, services, benefits, inspirational quotes/memes, customer testimonials.
I recommend setting aside time each month to plan and create your content.
5 Set a benchmark and KPIs
Your strategy should include an overview of your current social media position e.g. number of followers / average engagement rates, and your KPIs – key performance indicators.
You need to know how you will track your success as you put your strategy into action.
6 Competitor analysis
Knowing what your competitors are up to creates loads of opportunities for you online. If you have direct competitors, have a look at the type of content they are sharing and whether it’s generating engagement.
Adding ‘Pages to watch’ in your Facebook Insights is a good way to get a quick overview of your competitors’ best-performing posts without even following their page. You can also keep an eye on competitor activity on LinkedIn by going to your Company Page Admin > Analytics > Competitors.
Use their successful content as inspiration for your own (don’t copy it though) and look through comments and reviews for ideas you can build on.
7 Influencer marketing
Will you be working with influencers to promote your business? If yes, your strategy is the place to determine who you’d like to work with and how you will build that relationship.
Engagement is a non-negotiable part of social media. You really can’t just post and ghost. Your strategy is an opportunity for you to set in stone your engagement goals and decide how long you will spend engaging every day. Engagement includes:
- Replying to comments on posts
- Replying to DMs
- Commenting on and sharing your customers’ posts
- Commenting on and sharing influencers’ posts
9 A review date
There’s no point creating a strategy if it’s just going to gather dust on your hard drive. Your strategy should include a date when you will sit down and review your progress. I suggest an initial six-month review date. Things to consider in your review include:
- Have you or your team followed the strategy?
- What has worked well? Pinpoint some highlights
- What hasn’t worked?
- An update of your benchmarks
- New goals or tactics to achieve your original one
As you can see, a lot of time and thought needs to go into your social media strategy but, once in place, it will give you a blueprint for growth.
If you’d like help creating a successful strategy I’d love to work with you. Book a free Discovery Call to find out more.