Perhaps the most important component of any social media marketing campaign is the strategy that helps to set it in motion. Without a solid plan, you’ll just be spinning your wheels waiting for things to happen. Here are 9 tips for creating an effective social media strategy.
1. Define Your Audience
Before you tweet or post anything to anybody, you have to get to know the people you’re trying to reach first.
How does your audience spend time online?
How do they choose to interact with their friends and the brands they like and follow?
What are your audience demographics?
Which social media platforms do they use?
Arguably, the most important question to ask is, how can you benefit or help them?
2. Focus on Just a Few Social Channels
Focusing on what really works for your audience is key to pinpointing what social media platform to use and when to use it. Spending just a little time on each of the most popular social networking websites every day can sometimes dilute the message you are trying to send.
Many marketers feel a great deal of pressure to be on every single platform. Concentrating on doing or saying the right thing in the right place at the right time is the only truly effective inbound marketing tactic.
3. Create a Content Calendar for Social and Your Blog
Creating a calendar outlining all of your upcoming social media posts for an entire month of content can be a great tool to help you see the big picture. A clear idea of how your actions fit into your goals saves time and makes your daily to-do list shorter and more manageable. The other tangible benefit of a content calendar is seen when the content is constant and blended with third party sources. Your already “switched on” community will enjoy and identify with you and the content you deliver, and you’ll grab the attention of new audiences that hadn’t previously heard of you.
Creating content that taps into the mindset of your buyer persona will help you deliver content that will be relevant, useful and fun. Buyer personas help to take the guesswork out of the equation. You’ll know what your ideal buyer/consumer wants because a persona is like a living, breathing person.
Ask yourself these questions (and add as many more as you like) to really flesh out your persona’s motivation.
- Who is this person?
- What does he or she do for a living?
- How much money does they make?
- What does their workday look like?
5. Involve Everyone in the Process
When you engage your target audience in a real conversation, you are getting closer to seeing what makes them tick. People have an innate sense of when they are being lied to or manipulated. Be authentic – it’s more fun, transparent and people notice and appreciate it. Your created persona is one of many different characters in your audience, try to get everyone involved, and the conversation will flow and engage in a natural way.
6. Develop a Template for Social Media Posts
Getting info down on paper (or screen) has always been important in setting and meeting goals. A template of your goals is a versatile and invaluable visual tool to refer to when you’re overwhelmed or just need to refocus. There are so many templates out there to choose from and modify for your particular needs but a good template for social media posts:
- Defines goals
- Has a set timeline
- Lists the channels and types of content you’ll use
- Lists social media influencers
- Tracks performance
- Schedule Posts for High Traffic Times in Your Niche
7. Schedule Posts for High Traffic Times in your Niche
As you look for patterns and traffic triggers, consider your audience and their different reasons to stop by and interact.
- When do your feed subscribers check in?
- Do you release videos at the same time and day every week?
- Are you matching times of posts on social media platforms to find patterns in your traffic?
Learning your target audience’s social habits allows you to tailor your messaging to arrive in inboxes or on feeds at just the right time for maximum impact.
8. Measure Your Results (likes, shares, and conversion)
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are used to evaluate the factors that are crucial to the success of your social media strategy. It’s about finding the best way to measure the efficacy of each platform used. Only when you can track how and when content is being consumed can you measure what works on what platform. Knowing what works now translates to knowing what will work in the future.
9. Determine What Kind of Interactions Work and do More of That!
There are so many ways to interact with your target audience these days it can make you want to sit down in a dark room with a cold towel on your forehead. Try to think of all social media engagement as real interactions, that way you can better understand your audience and it’ll help your social media strategy. When you create more and more valuable and meaningful conversations with your audience, you create a real connection that people resonate with and remember.