You’ve got a business, a marketing plan, and clear business objectives. Now you need to add a social media strategy into the mix. Not sure where to start? We’re going to break down some simple steps to help you implement a rockstar social media plan.
But first… what is included in a social media strategy?
Your social media strategy should include a list of everything you are going to do on social media with the end goal of meeting your business objectives. If you have social media profiles, go through and audit all of them. How many followers do you have? How often are you posting? What are you engagement rates? Are you advertising? What are your current conversion rates? Being able to fully visualize where you’re starting will help you figure out where you want to go and what tools you need to get there.
Remember, this plan needs to actionable so try to be realistic. Consider your time, budget, and resources and set attainable goals so you’re not setting yourself up for failure. Your social media strategy is in place to help you stay focused on your objectives, and help you measure the progress you are making.
Step 1: Define your social media goals
A great place to start is to use the S.M.A.R.T. method for defining your goals:
S.M.A.R.T. goals are:
A S.M.A.R.T. goal example would be:
“We will use Facebook to post informative business updates and advertise our products and services. We will do this by posting 3 times a week and allocating $200 a week towards an ad budget.”
A good start on your social media strategy would be to use this framework to establish 3 goals, the desired outcome of the goals, and the way you’re going to monitor them so you can prove your social media ROI. Also, make sure that these goals align with your overall marketing strategy to ensure that you’re working towards achieving your broader business objectives.
Step 2: Audit your social media profiles
Now that you’ve set your goals, take a look at your social profiles and assess how they’re working. Who is engaging with your pages? What social sites does your target market use to interact with your business the most? How do your profiles compare to your competition? Once you see where you can improve, decide what purpose each profile is going to serve in contributing to your marketing plan. For example, you can use Facebook to show your company culture, Instagram for product or service images, and Twitter for timely updates about sales or promotions. Additionally, this is a good point to update your cover photos, about sections, business logos, and any other imagery and information you have on your profiles.
Step 3: Do your homework to get inspired
Not everyone is naturally creative but thankfully there are so many profiles that post great content that you can emulate on your own pages. Check out similar businesses and local competition to see what they’re talking about and how they’re communicating with their page fans and followers. Worried that you don’t have the resources to create graphics? Free resources like Canva will help you quickly design beautiful, branded imagery that will elevate the look and feel of your page. Sites like Pexels and Stocksnap have a wide variety of free stock photos for license-free use as well. You CAN have a beautiful, professional, and modern social media presence if you commit a little time to finding what inspires you and using easily available online tools.
Step 4: Create a content plan and editorial calendar
Now that you know how you want to use your social media profiles (Facebook for company culture, Instagram for products, Twitter for timely updates, as examples) you need to decide how often you want to post and who your target audience is. An editorial calendar will help to keep your content organized and help you visualize what is getting posted, at what times, and on what days. Postcron is a great free option to give you an idea of how this will look. Again, make sure that your content and your editorial calendar are working towards accomplishing your social media goals and broader marketing objectives.
Step 5: Check in, adjust, and adapt
Having a beautiful profile and consistent posting schedule doesn’t mean anything unless you’re using your insights data to your benefit. Do you have a high-performing post or ad? What can you learn from that to increase engagement and conversions on your future posts? Is part of your strategy not producing the results you thought it would? Dive into the data and figure out where it’s falling short then make the appropriate adjustments.
Ultimately, your social media strategy will be constantly evolving. Once you reach your goals, you’ll need to set new ones. As new social media platforms emerge, you’ll need to consider if they need to be added to your content plan. The key is to continually update and modify your strategy using the data and insights you receive from your profiles so you can stay on top of your game and get the most out of your business’ social media presence.