By Alfredo Atanacio, Founder UassistME.CO, Inc. 30 Under 30 2012 and AGLN Fellow.
There’s no denying that a successful social media strategy effectively sets your brand apart from your competitors. However, creating a winning social media strategy is easier said than done.
If you’re wondering how to create a social media strategy that will help your business stand out, I’d like to walk you through a step-by-step process in creating a quick and simple social media strategy the Uassist.ME way. Let’s have a look at some of the most important points and general processes you’ll need to create a winning social media strategy for your business.
1. Define your goals and target audience.
The first thing you have to do when making a social media strategy is to define your goals. These goals will later serve as a metric of achievement.
Each of your goals must have the following characteristics:
These characteristics will ensure that the goals you set are reasonable and achievable. It is best to do it this way rather than just making daydream goals that will set you up for disappointments and frustration.
Another thing that you have to establish from the get-go is who your target audience is. As much as possible, you must clearly define their persona and gather the following details about them: age, location, gender, average income, interests, aspirations and more. Once you have an idea of who is your target audience, use social media and search engine analytics to help get a better understanding of your target audience.
2. Gather data.
Information is vital when it comes to creating social media strategies. You must not only conduct target audience and product research but also keep an eye on your competitors. This will give you an idea of which strategies work best in your niche and which to avoid.
Here are a couple of data-gathering methods that can be helpful for you:
• Competitive Analysis: A competitive analysis will tell you who your top competitors are. Its content will give you an idea of what’s expected in your niche and what should be your social media targets.
• Social Media Listening: Social media listening takes advantage of different platforms such as Sprout Social, SEMrush or BuzzSumo to see how competitors are doing. It involves taking a look at their content, branding and what others are saying about their products or services.
Gathering data can be quite time-consuming and challenging, especially if you are a newbie in the industry. One way to make things easier is for you to take advantage of social media management tools. These tools have features that will automatically generate data reports and monitor competition in real-time on top of other productivity benefits.
3. Do a social media audit.
How are your social media platforms at the moment? You can begin by asking yourself these questions:
• Do they get a lot of engagement?
• Are you posting frequently?
• Is the message you’re sending in line with your brand?
The data you get from the audit can help you pinpoint which aspects you should invest more in for your social media strategies. It will also ensure that it is streamlined toward your goals and target audience.
4. Launch your social media strategy.
Once you have done your data gathering and social media audit, you are ready to draft your social media strategy. Here are some of the things that you have to accomplish during this step:
• Decide what social media platforms to use based on your target audience. Based on your target audience’s demographic and psychographic analysis, you can accurately predict what social media channel they use the most. Also, suppose your strategy includes using paid advertisements. In that case, decide on what social media platform to use that has the highest chance of reaching your target audience.
• Step up your social media accounts. If you have no social media accounts yet, then you should start making your business pages now. Make sure that they are detailed and include keywords so that your target audience can find you easily.
• Create a content calendar. The best way to plan your content is by creating a content calendar. It will save you time and effort and ensure that you are consistently providing the audience with high-quality and valuable content. In a content calendar, you can create different content pillars or topics that you will post about that interest your target audience. At the end of the month, you can measure which content pillars performed best and double down on what worked and improve on the ones that didn’t.
5. Adjust and improve your strategies.
One key factor that will make your social media strategy successful is the ability to adjust and adapt. Do more of the things that are effective and change those that are not working well. This may be difficult to do, especially because of the meticulous planning for each strategy, but that’s just how it is. There is no one definite way to achieve success in social media marketing.
With this short guide you can start reaching your audience more effectively in the social media channels they frequent the most. Remember to identify your target audience, your key brand messages, set goals, create valuable content and be consistent with posting and interacting with your audience on social media. It’s important to measure your results in order to fine-tune your strategy and improve every month. By the end of the day, you will come up with different types of social media strategies that work best for your brand.