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How to Develop a Winning Social Media Strategy

Yado Team – Social Media Marketing
25 November .  5 min read

In June 2019, Sprout Social carried out a study to determine the essence of a social media strategy among digital marketers. The findings were truly revealing.

At least 47% of marketers said that developing a strategy to support their marketing goals was their number one challenge. Although getting new followers and measuring ROI were also mentioned as top concerns, the majority of respondents struggled most with creating a working strategy.

The lack of strategy has been exhibited many times among small and medium-sized businesses. Many SMBs, for instance, still don’t know how often to post on social media. A good number also struggles with details such as posting times, and then you have those that don’t even know which tools to use. LYF marketing recently found that 85% are overwhelmed by the enormous number of social media tools.

Having a social media strategy can go a long way in helping marketers resolve most of the challenges. Whether it’s posting frequency, budgeting, or targeting, a social media strategy gives you direction on what to do.

We want to discuss, in detail, how to create a winning social media strategy to help you take full control of your campaign. But first, a definition.

What is a Social Media Strategy?

Business to Community (B2C) defines a social media strategy as “a detailed blueprint that answers the what, when, and how of all your social media marketing activities.”

From this definition, it’s clear that a social media marketing (SMM) strategy isn’t just about posting tweets and liking photos. It goes much further than that. There needs to be a well- thought-out plan behind what you post, what you like, how much you’re spending on ads and even the length of your videos.

Something else that’s critical about a social media strategy is the timing of its creation. As with any other strategy document, the strategy comes way before you start the campaign itself.

Indeed, it’s the strategy that will tell you when and how to kick off the campaign.

Reasons Why You Need a Social Media Strategy

The primary reason for a social media marketing strategy, as we’ve already mentioned, is that it gives your SMM campaign direction. A strategy tells you what to do when to do it, and how to
do it. From your profile imagery to the message in each post, a strategy helps you tailor your campaign activities towards not only your social media but also overall business goals.

Aside from that, you need a strategy for your social media marketing campaign for the following reasons;

1. It saves time

Social media marketing is a time-intensive effort. Creating, publishing, monitoring, responding to, and analyzing social media content is pretty much a full-time job. You must be thoroughly organized to accomplish all these tasks. A social media strategy helps you plan , so you don’t
end up wasting time thinking about what to post in the future.

2. Align your social media and business goals

Many marketers occasionally find themselves publishing posts on their timelines that don’t benefit their branding or marketing efforts at all. This problem is likely to manifest even more if you don’t have a strategy. You’ll constantly find yourself going astray. An SMM strategy aligns your social media goals with your overall business goals so you can remain focused throughout your social campaigns.

3. It helps with budgeting

Finally, to create an effective social media marketing budget, you need to know exactly what you’ll be doing during the period of the campaign. How many ads will you need? Will you need influencers? What social networks will you advertise on? A social media strategy will help you plan for these needs in advance, thus making it easier to budget for the campaign properly.

How to Develop a Working Social Media Marketing Strategy

Before we begin with the actual process of creating a social media marketing strategy, you need to know that every business is different, and therefore, no two SMM strategies can be the same. What we’ll discuss below are the bare essentials of any strategy.

1. Outline your goals and challenges

The first step to creating a social media strategy is outlining your campaign goals and challenges. Why are you engaging in the campaign? What would you like to achieve? Is it more followers or friends? Perhaps you want to reach a new market? Or is it more sales? You need to list down these goals. Common social media marketing goals include;

● Boosting engagement
● Increasing ROI
● Driving in-person sales
● Increasing brand awareness

Even more importantly, make sure the goals are SMART i.e., Simple, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound. If your goals aren’t smart, it becomes impossible to follow up on, adjust, and improve your campaign.

2. Research your audience

Once you’ve identified your goals, the next step is to learn more about your audience. The reason you want to know more about your audience is that social media users tend to stay where their needs are being met. If they feel you’re not addressing their pain points, they’ll leave.

The good news is that most social media networks now have analytics tools to help marketers obtain the data they need to optimize their campaigns. Some of the areas you want to focus on include gender, location, marital status, annual pay, hobbies, and spending habits. Thankfully,
all this information is now obtainable through analytics tools.

3. Learn about your competition

Aside from your customers, take time to know your competitors better. Sprout Social gives two reasons for studying your competitors;

● It helps you learn what’s working in the industry
● You get to find out what you might be doing wrong

If you’re pushing a new SaaS software, for example, you need to know who else offers similar products in your market and how they’re using social media to push their product. How often do they publish posts? What types of posts do they publish? Do they use sponsored ads? Who do they target? These are just some of the things you want to find out.

4. Identify your most important metrics

Next up, you want to determine the metrics that matter to you most. These metrics should be informed by your goals. For instance, if your primary goal is to drive engagement, then you’ll want to focus on the number of likes, follows, comments, and retweets. If you’re looking to boost sales, meanwhile, you’ll need to focus on click-through-rate, sign-ups, and referrals.

At the most basic level, though, every social media marketer needs to measure four things; reach, engagement, brand sentiment, and clicks. Sentiment is the perception of your brand among your followers. Clicks, meanwhile, refers to the number of people who click on your ads
and products.

5. What are you going to share?

Now that you’ve outlined your goals and know about your audience, competition, and key metrics, it’s time to answer the what, where, and when of SMM marketing, starting with what to share. What type of content are you going to share? What will be your reigning theme? Do you want to focus on photos or videos? Additionally, what will be the overarching message?

Remember that this step addresses both paid ads and organic posts. Think about the type of ads you want to post and where they’ll come from. Do you have an ad creation team? Or will you outsource the work?

6. Where are you going to share it?

This is where you choose from various social media networks. Which would be the best platform for your message? Since you already know quite a bit about your audience, you’ll likely know which social platforms they spend most of their time. Is it Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or perhaps Instagram? Experts recommend establishing a strong presence on two or
three of the major platforms.

Make sure that the platforms you choose suit both your industry and branding strong points. If you’re pro-images, then Twitter might not be a great place for you. Try Instagram and Facebook
instead. For videos, try YouTube and Vimeo.

7. When are you going to share it?

This last part addresses two main issues; when to post and how often to post. In both cases, it’s best to stick to industry best practices. In general, the best time to publish a post on Facebook is Tuesday at 5 pm and Friday 8-9 am. Wednesdays from 8-9 am and 5 pm and Thursdays at 5 pm also work well.

On Instagram, Wednesday at around 11 am, and Friday at 10-11 am are the best times to post while on Twitter, Wednesdays at 9 am, and Fridays at 9 am are the best times to post.

Obviously, these stats vary slightly depending on industry. The point is that you need to observe trends in your industry.

Now, You’re Ready to Kick Off Your campaign

The only other thing you need to address before you get started is who does the marketing? Who creates the posts and does the publishing?

The guide above assumes that the SMB owner will do the marketing on their own.

However, if that’s not the case, address the issue too. You can either hire an internal social media department or outsource the work to third-party social media marketing agencies.

Want to learn more?

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