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How to Develop a Social Media Marketing Strategy

Jan 24, 2023

Marketing News

How to Develop a Social Media Marketing Strategy

Moving towards a digital future means taking our marketing strategies with us. The internet plays a huge role in securing and maintaining the success of a lot of brands nowadays, but a lot of this is a result of a carefully-crafted social media marketing strategy

A social media marketing strategy is essentially a summary of everything you plan to do and hope to achieve on social media regarding your business, such as new product launches and simply expanding your online presence. 

But why is an online presence even essential? 

An online presence gives you the opportunity to tap into a free resource to help build your brand. It helps build new relationships, connect with new audiences, sell more products and is a whole hub of inspiring brands, entrepreneurs, designers, marketers and much more. Not only this, but being present online immediately brings you up to speed with the modern world. The future is digital and brands who remain stuck in their ways will falter in the coming years. 

If you’re a brand owner looking to do better than that guy, then developing a social media marketing strategy will be the key to navigating your path to success. Want to know exactly how to do this? Keep scrolling! 

The 5 Ws

So, you want to begin crafting your social media marketing strategy, but do you know your brand inside out?

If yes, then you can go ahead and scroll ahead to our step-by-step guide to creating your strategy. However, for the beginners among you, consider asking yourself the 5Ws before you begin.

1. Why do you want to be on social media?

When it comes to being present online, everything should be done with purpose. Your reason for this could be any of the following:

  1. Increase brand awareness
  2. Drive traffic to your website
  3. Generate new leads
  4. Grow revenue
  5. Boost brand engagement
  6. Build a community around your business
  7. Provide social customer service
  8. Increase mentions in the online press
  9. Listen to conversations about your brand

Your ‘why’ can even be an amalgamation of these.

2. Who is your target audience?

Understanding your target audience will help you answer the following questions on what, where and when you will share.

A great way of doing this is to build a market persona. This is an imaginary profile of a likely consumer of your brand which you can pull from for future launches, promotional ads etc. 

To build this profile, answer the following questions:

  1. Who are they? (job, age, gender, salary, location etc)
  2. What are they interested in that you can provide? (entertainment, educational content, information on new products etc)
  3. Where do they usually hang out online? (TikTok? Instagram? More niche platforms?)
  4. When do they look for the type of content you can provide? (ie, weekends, daily commute etc)
  5. Why do they consume the content? (ie, to stay healthy, to get up to date on something etc)
  6. How do they consume the content? (do they read social media posts? Watch videos?)

3. What are you going to share?

When thinking about this question, your mind might automatically wander towards types of content; ie. videos and images. However, let’s take a step back and think about the bigger picture. What will your theme be?

Here a few brands and their themes:

  1. Huckberry is an outdoor and adventure brand who shares highly editorial and high-quality photos to their Facebook page. 

2. Burrow is a luxury sofa brand who mostly shares memes on their Instagram profile. 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Burrow (@burrow)

A lot of brands will appear to have more than one main theme, and that’s okay. This gives you the opportunity to share a range of content. 

4. Where are you going to share?

In other words, which social media platform(s) will you benefit from the most?

While it is not essential to be present on every social media platform (after all, quality over quantity is key), we do recommend that you be on at least one of the big four – Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter – as these are what will show on the first Google search results page when someone searches for you. 

Where are you going to share

This is where understanding your target audience comes in handy. Do you know where they frequent most? What makes them visit this place? For example, teens and young adults tend to prefer TikTok as a way of discovering which products their favourite creators are loving at the moment. Whereas, Gen X and older may prefer Facebook due to its ease of use and its structured way of relaying information.

Something else to consider is what your brand’s ‘X Factor’ is. Are you highly skilled at creating video content? Perhaps infographics are your thing? Certain platforms lend themselves to certain content types. For example, if you excel at long-form video, YouTube is the one for you.

Don’t forget not to overlook the smaller, more niche platforms too. These are great for finding specific audiences for more niche content.

5. When are you going to share?

You might be tempted to jump straight into searching for ‘the best times to post on…’, however, let’s look at this from a broader perspective. Tap into the habits of your target audience. What does their screen time look like?

For example:

  1. Sports fans tend to frequent social media just before, after and during an event to find information on what’s happening.
  2. Avid travellers might use social media on the weekends during their down time to book their next trip.
  3. Mothers might use the middle of the night during a feed to open up social media and pass the time.

Step-by-step guide on crafting your social media marketing strategy

Set goals that make sense for your business

Your social media marketing strategy begins with the goals you set. Whether these are to expand your reach, build a community or increase your following, taking the time to set your goals is the first step to achieving them. 

You can set S.M.A.R.T goals to ensure that you establish clear objectives. This simply means that they are

S – specific,

M – measurable,

A – attainable,

R – relevant,

T – time-bound. 

Tracking meaningful metrics should also be up there on your goals list. Vanity metrics, such as likes and number of followers are easy to track but difficult to prove. Instead, you should be focusing on conversion rates, click-throughs, and engagement. For example, your goal might be to drive traffic to your website via X amount of click-throughs. 

Your social media goals should always align with your business goals. Take a look at the table below for what this may look like.

Set goals that make sense for your business

Learn everything you can about your audience

Many social media platforms nowadays offer analytics tools which make it easier for you to understand where your followers are from, how they interact with your brand etc. 

We touched upon it earlier, but creating buyer personas is the best way to learn how to target your customers on social media and engage with them online. Once made, they can be used for future marketing campaigns or adjusted according to new analytic discoveries after a campaign launch. 

Here are just a few social media demographics for 2023 to help you decide which platforms to approach according to your target audience.

  1. Facebook and YouTube are both prime places for ads due to their high-earning user bases.
  2. The top social platforms among Millennials and Gen Z are Instagram and YouTube.
  3. Women make up more than 60% of Pinterest’s global audience. 
  4. LinkedIn’s user base is well-educated, making it perfect for in-depth, industry-specific content.

Learn everything you can about your competition

The odds suggest that your competitors are already on social media and that means there is an opportunity to learn from what they are doing. Or learn from their mistakes. Either or. 

You can conduct a competitive analysis to get a sense of what is expected of you in your industry depending on what you see doing well for your competitors. This will also help you spot gaps for opportunities. 

Social media listening is another great way to keep an eye on your competitors. Do searches of the company name, account handles and any other keywords to see what people are saying about them. If they are using influencer marketing, how much engagement are they seeing?

Don’t go overboard with the spy tactics and make sure you don’t find yourself constantly comparing your work to that of others. Instead, use this kind of intel to inform your own social media marketing strategy.

Create engaging social content

It is no surprise that your social media marketing strategy will essentially be centred around the content you create and share. 

At this point, you should have some idea of what it is you want to publish based on your goals and brand identity, but do you have a content strategy in place to ensure this gets out to the right people and is received well?

Your content strategy boils down to your goals.

Looking to educate your audience in the B2B space? Publish blogs, news and opinions. 

Trying to push eCommerce products? Post action shots of your products by leveraging user-generated content. 

Whatever your aim, consider using branded hashtags and really defining your brand’s voice before publishing your content. This will secure your audience and make you easily distinguishable online.

Here are some content ideas for social media marketing in 2023:

  1. Stories and time-sensitive posts
  2. Short-form video
  3. Posts that show off your human side
  4. Creator collaborations
  5. Metaverse marketing

Create a social media content calendar

Sharing content is essential for a successful social media marketing strategy, but knowing when to share it is what will create maximum impact.

Timeliness is key when it comes to assembling your calendar. While you are expected to always be switched on for your followers, you cannot expect them to operate on your clock. Let’s look at some ways to maximise your time spent on social media. 

Post at the best times to engage: 

By now, we all know that each social media platform comes with its own set of times that are best for receiving engagement, but what if this is during a time when your brand isn’t available to interact with this engagement or respond to any queries your followers may have?

A great way around this is to send out automated responses letting the customer know that someone will be in touch with them during online hours, and then state what these are for future reference. 

Determine the right content mix:

We know how tempting it is to hop on every trend and meme, but it is important that the content you publish aligns with the mission statement that you have assigned to each social profile. 

If you are starting from scratch and are not sure about what type of content to post, try the 80:20 rule where 80% of your posts inform, educate or entertain and the other 20% directly promote your brand. 

You could even try the Rule of Thirds:

  1. ⅓ of your content promotes your business, converts readers and generates profit.
  2. ⅓ of your content shares ideas and stories from thought leaders in your industry.
  3. ⅓ of your content is personal interactions with your audience.

Don’t post too much or too little:

Post too frequently and you run the risk of annoying your audience. Post too little and you risk losing their interest.

Start with these posting frequency recommendations:

  1. Instagram (feed): 3-7x per week
  2. Facebook: 1-2x per day
  3. Twitter: 1-5x per day
  4. LinkedIn: 1-5x per day

Evaluate and improve your social media marketing strategy

By now, you should have some idea of what your social media marketing strategy is looking like. However, it is important to adapt this throughout the year to keep up with any changes.

There is no doubt that operating a social media marketing strategy is all about trial and error, but monitoring the metrics behind each of your campaigns in real time allows you to make small tweaks rather than sweeping, time-consuming changes. 

FAQ’s

What is a social media marketing strategy?

This is a summary of what you plan to do and achieve online regarding your business. 

Why is a social media marketing strategy important?

Not only does it keep you up to date with the modern world, but it allows you to tap into a free resource to help build your brand by creating new relationships, starting a community, increasing brand awareness etc. 

Our Influencer marketing agency and Social agency are located worldwide, with our agency network based in the USA, UK, UAE and China.

If you want to receive our industry insights, visit our Influencer Marketing & Social Media blog.

@ Socially Powerful

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James Hacking

Writer

Socially Powerful, founded in 2017, stood as pioneers of the influencer marketing industry. Today we are a global social marketing agency and technology company.

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