We all want to be more successful on social media; to have more followers, get more likes and be recognised as an expert in our field.
But achieving this takes more than the odd post on Facebook or Twitter.
Social media is an important marketing tool and you need to approach it strategically.
In this blog, I’ll explain why a social media strategy is so important and I’ll also share my top tips on what to include.
Why you need a social media strategy.
If you’re serious about growing your business on social media, then simply posting ‘because you have it’, isn’t going to cut it. Your content should be deliberate, purposeful and designed to achieve a goal.
So many businesses still approach social media marketing as a chore or an admin task.
But, those who appreciate that it’s a valuable way to reach new audiences and connect with their customers, get so much more out of it.
A strategy sets out your goals for social media and gives you a roadmap to achieve them.
Here’s what to include when writing a social media strategy
1. Your goals
The number one purpose of your strategy is to decide your goals for social media. What does success look like for you?
Do you want to use it to grow brand awareness, get more traffic to your website, build an engaged community or be known as the go-to expert in your town?
Strange as it may sound, follower numbers aren’t a great metric to aim for. Your business won’t magically transform when you have 10k followers. Having 100 engaged followers is way better than 10,000 disinterested ones.
2. Current benchmark
Your strategy should include an overview of where you’re at.
Which platforms are you using, your follower numbers, engagement rate, which channel features you’re using, how often you post (is this consistent?) and how much time you’re spending on social.
3. Customer personas
Also known as an ICA (Ideal Client Avatar) or a pen portrait, your customer persona is a detailed outline of who your ideal customer is.
This character can be fictional but it’s easier if you base it around someone you know.
By getting clear about who your ideal client is you can start to craft content with them in mind.
What problems does your product help them to overcome? Which of your core values will they be drawn to?
I encourage you to give them a name. Think of them as a real person.
4. Competitor analysis
It’s important to understand who you’re up against when it comes to promoting your services and products.
However, carrying out a competitor analysis goes further than that. It’s also an opportunity to look at what your ideal customer is engaging with and to take inspiration from the content that’s working well for others.
Look at which platforms your competitors are on, which posts are getting the most engagement, how big their following is, their tone of voice and the type of content they’re sharing. Who they are collaborating with and which hashtags are they using?
A footnote here – DO NOT COPY. Be aware of what your ideal client is responding to , but never copy your competitors. Take inspiration. But be original. Only you can be you.
5. Content review
Before you start thinking about the content you want to create going forward, it’s important to look at what’s already gone before.
Use your platform analytics to work out what’s already working for you. What’s getting the most engagement? What do people share? What leads to enquiries, bookings and sales?
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. This content can be refreshed and reused on a quarterly basis.
6. Your platforms
Reviewing what’s working will also help you to decide which platforms are worth investing your time in. Have you been plugging away at Pinterest only to find your content is doing better on Instagram?
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be on all platforms. Start with one or two and do them well.
Social media marketing works best when done consistently. Better to do one platform really well, than to stretch yourself to thinly over several.
7. Content themes
Taking a moment to plan what you’ll post will save you oodles of time further down the line.
Start by choosing four or five themes your ideal client will be interested in.
A hairdressers, for example, might include; salon life (behind the scenes at the salon), before and after client shots, haircare tips and products for sale.
Once you have your themes you can start to plot out what might fall under each category. For example before and after might focus on a particular service such as colour, straightening, family cuts and barbering.
For a farm shop the themes might be: Café, Fresh fruit and veg, the butchers counter and giftware.
The café could then be broken down into hot drinks, lunch menu, seasonal specials, takeaway, staff members.
Choosing four themes gives you one per week for a month. Talking about one topic for a week will really demonstrate your expertise, and make your social media content planning easier.
It’s all well and good knowing what you’ll post but engagement mustn’t be overlooked.
This is a time-consuming part of the process so it’s important to get it down on paper and commit to getting it right.
It’s easy to miss this step if you’re using a scheduler to publish your content and that’s why it’s so important to include it in your strategy.
A starting point might be:
- Reply to all comments
- Reply to all DMs
- Comment on 5 posts in your feed
- Share one post to a Facebook group or Instagram Stories
- Comment on an influencer’s post
Who are the people who can attract more of your people? Influencers don’t have to be the social media mega-stars with millions of followers.
Look at who your ideal clients are following. Do their values align with your own? Can you build a relationship with them (this takes time by the way) and could they be a good advocate for your products?
10. Goal review
There’s no point investing time in a strategy if you’re just going to let it gather dust. Just having one doesn’t magically get the work done!
Put a date in your diary to review your strategy in three months’ time.
Reflect on whether you’re actively following the strategy to achieve your goals. Is it working or do you need to tweak your approach?
Need help writing a strategy? As an experienced social media marketer, I can work with you to produce a strategy that will focus your social media content and get you closer to your goals.
My strategy writing service takes a week and starts at £800. Book a free discovery call to find out more.