With social media usage changing year on year, it is more important than ever to ensure you have a social media strategy in place for your brand.
According to Social Media Examiner’s 2021 Industry Report, 88% of marketers surveyed indicated that their social media efforts have generated more exposure for their business.
Social Media Examiner’s 2021 Industry Report found:
- 93% of marketers use Facebook but only 54% of marketers selected Facebook as their most important platform; down from 67% in 2018.
- 78% of marketers are using Instagram and 64% of marketers plan on increasing their Instagram organic activities over the next 12 months.
- Video-based stories are on the rise with more than half of all marketers regularly using Instagram and Facebook for video-based stories.
- 71% of marketers plan on increasing their use of YouTube video
- Only 9% of marketers are using TikTok and 67% don’t plan on using the platform in the next year
How to generate a social media strategy
To ensure your social media marketing efforts are successful, your social media strategy should follow the below structure:
Social Media Audit
First and foremost, it is important to carry out an audit of your current social media efforts. This will allow you to assess what is and isn’t working. An audit should look at:
- Social media platforms you are using
- Followers you are engaging with the most across each platform
- Engagement rate
- Post frequency
- Content performance (good and bad!)
- Best days and times to post
What are your competitors doing?
Benchmarking your performance against that of your competitors is a great way to identify whether your social media efforts are where they should be.
- Identify your competitors
- What platforms are your competitors using?
- Who are their followers?
- What content are your competitors sharing?
- How are their followers engaging with their content?
Define your goals and objectives
Social media marketing is a long-term, continually developing programme. By defining both short-term (3 months) and long-term (6 months+) goals and objectives, you can determine what you aim to achieve from your social media marketing efforts.
It is important to have your overall business objectives in place, before defining your social media goals and objectives. This is to ensure that your social media objectives align with overall business objectives.
Social media objectives should be SMART. SMART is an acronym for:
Specific: Your goals should be clear, simple and defined.
Measurable: This is where analytics come in. You want a goal that has one or more metrics.
Achievable: Is it achievable or is it not possible within your resources?
Realistic: With your current resources of time and money, is it possible to achieve your goals?
Time-sensitive: Every goal needs a time frame, whether it’s one year or several months.
Sprout Social has created a great article on setting social media goals.
Goals and objectives should be set against KPIs to ensure you are able to track your results over time.
Establish your audience personas
Do you know who you are targeting on social media? By establishing your ideal persona, you can ensure that you are reaching the right people through your social media efforts.
Utilise tools such as Facebook Audience Insights to find out more about who is interacting with your brand, how they are interacting and the best way to reach them.
Now that you have some background information to work with, it’s time to create at least one persona – a profile of your ideal customer. Hubspot’s Buyer Persona Template is a free tool to help you create your buyer personas.
Your persona should include:
- Economic position
- Personal background
- Personality Characteristics
Generate a monthly content strategy
What type of content do you plan to post and how frequently do you plan to post each type of content?
The Social Media ‘Rule of Thirds’ – promote, share and engage – is a great starting point, when planning your monthly content strategy. Your posts should be 1/3 of each of the following:
- Promoting your product or services
- Interacting with others
- Sharing industry news and tips
Define budget and tactics
What framework and platforms will be part of your strategy? Who is responsible for overseeing and implementing each element? How much is all this going to cost?
These are all questions necessary to define a marketing budget for social media marketing.
Some considerations of resources that may be required for your social media marketing include:
- Content creation tools
- Social media management tools
- Paid advertising budget
- Reporting tools
The above tools are in addition to the billable time required by employees and external suppliers.
Don’t forget reporting
Remember those KPIs you set during your goals and objectives? Reporting is the time to check if they have been met!
The only way to ensure your social media efforts are working is to track results. By reporting monthly or quarterly, you can make necessary changes to your ongoing strategy to ensure you are getting the best from your social media efforts.