Have you ever wondered if you need a social media strategy?
The answer is Yes! A social media strategy is an essential part of any brand’s digital marketing presence. A strategy will set guidelines for how your business plans to conduct business online and achieve your goals.
Your strategy doesn’t need to be a formal document. As long as it outlines a few key things, you can get to work!
- Where are you now, and where do you want to be? List out 2-3 goals.
- What is the timeframe for executing this strategy? When will you analyze your results?
- What platforms will you use to carry out your strategy?
- Who is your target audience?
- What resources do you have available to you to help execute the strategy?
However, if you’re looking for something a little more structured, I’m here to help! This post will be walking you through how I fill out my social media strategies for my clients. Don’t forget to purchase and download the template so you can follow along!
Section 1: Assess Your Current Situation
Whether you’re starting from scratch or posting consistently for some, you need to have a good understanding of your current position. It would help if you had a good understanding of the following pieces:
Developing a consistent brand is essential when it comes to connecting with your target audience. You want to be using consistent and cohesive fonts, colors, imagery, etc. This will help with brand recognition, so as your audience discovers your brand across multiple platforms, they will be able to identify your brand.
Quick question: If I asked you who your target audience is, what would you say? If the answer is “I don’t know” or “Everyone”, I encourage you to check out this post where I help you figure out who your target audience is.
Your target audience is a group of people defined by specific demographics and behavior. Finding a target audience means discovering what kind of people are most likely to be interested in your service or product.
Seems simple right? Well, let me turn you on to a concept.
“Marketing to everyone, Pleases no one.”
Having a good understanding of your target audience will help you refine your messaging, so you’re reaching customers who are interested in what you have to offer!
Section 2: Analyze Your Competitors
Don’t spend too much time on this section. You don’t want to get caught up in what others are doing, but it is also essential to identify similar brands and what you like and dislike about their marketing efforts.
I recommend choosing three competitors that are at varying levels. Make a list of things they are doing that you would like to emulate. Do you like the tone they are using? Do they target the people you see being your exact target audience? Write it down!
In addition, identify what they are doing that you don’t like and what isn’t working well. Maybe you hate their brand colors or they aren’t engaging with their audience. What can you do better?
Section 3: Allocate Resources
Now that you have a good understanding of your brand’s mission and social media goals, you will need to identify what resources you have at your disposal to help execute the strategy.
Strategic plans must be focused and include a manageable, clearly defined number of goals, objectives, and programs. In addition, adequate resources to accomplish those goals and objectives outlined in the plan must be adequately allocated.
For example, if your strategy recommends you spend 10 hours per week posting on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin, and Twitter but you’re a one woman team with a full client list this most likely would fall into the “unrealistic expectations” category.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What is your budget?
- Who is available to help you? Is it just you or do you have someone to help you execute the strategy?
- What is your knowledge and understanding of what needs to be done to execute the strategy?
- How much time can be dedicated to executing the plan?
- What tools and software do you have available?
In this section you will also allocate time to your “primary platforms.” I never recommend anyone to go full force on all social media platforms. Rather you need to have a good understanding of what each platform excels at and focus the majority of your time there. For example, if you’re a B2B tech company most likely you won’t be going heavy on Instagram. Linkedin, Twitter, and/or Facebook would be where you would spend the majority of your time.
Once you have the answers to these questions, you can begin shaping your understanding of a realistic action plan.
Section 4: Develop an Action Plan
Now for the fun part! At this point, you should have an excellent understanding of where you are at right now with your social media and what resources you have available to help you achieve your goals.
At this point you should have 2-3 goals in mind you want to achieve. For most strategies I recommend a timeframe of 3-6 months. At the end of that timeframe you will assess and analyze your progress At this point you can adjust your strategy (all strategies should be updated!).
Pencil out the things you want to achieve over your chosen time fram. Do you want to grow your audience by 100 people in your target audience? Or maybe you want to increase your engagement rate by 75%. Whatever your goals are they should be SMART:
- S: Specific
- M: Measurable
- A: Actionable
- R: Realistic
- T: Time-bound