The 7 Steps to a Successful Social Media Strategy
This post is an excerpt from the Social Media Strategy breakout session from our Digital Growth Summit event in Sunnyvale led by digital marketing expert Jennifer Winberg.
Like an artist looking at a blank canvas and deciding what to paint, figuring out your social media strategy can be a daunting task. While most brands try and tackle every social network all at once, the potential to build an audience on each network dwindles when you don't have a solid social media strategy in place. From connecting with your audience in short 140 character tweets, to creating entertaining and educational videos on YouTube, to posting live on Snapchat, your social media strategy should help you create the perfect content for each channel. So, where do you begin? Here are 7 steps to a successful social media strategy.
- Understand your goals and objectives
- Identify your social audience
- Launch your social channels
- Map out your social media strategy
- Create content that speaks your audience's language
- Track your exposure
- Adjust your strategy based on your analytics
Why do you need a social media campaign? What do you want it to do? Is it to drive brand awareness, increase sales, introduce a product, etc.? All of your actions on social need to drive back to your end goal so that you can measure success and create content that helps meet that goal.
Who are you targeting? What is your audience? Think about factors such as age, gender, location, lifestyle, etc.
Now that you've identified your audience, determine which social channels they are on and create profiles on these channels for your brand. Sometimes it doesn't make sense to be actively posting to every social channel, but setting up a profile across them with links back to your site is always a great idea. Also, keep in mind that different audiences live on different platforms, for example; Mom’s are on Pinterest, Teens are on Snapchat and Professionals are on LinkedIn.
You've determined your audience and found out which social networks they love so now it's time to plan your social media campaign. Consider if your campaign ties in with other marketing plans and initiatives. Set the length of the campaign and the frequency of posting. Also, consider the time of day you are posting to each social channel so that you can target your audience when they are checking each social channel.
For each social channel, create content that appeals to your audience in a format they are accustomed to. Every social networks' audience aspires to be something different, so ensure your content is helping your audience meet that aspiration. Your content should always be short, compelling and have a clear call-to-action (CTA) that works towards your goal.
Tip: Allow the opportunity to create real-time content around relevant events and pop culture moments.
Now that you’ve developed a grounded social strategy you are ready to start seeding your content by creating a social share strategy that broadens your content's reach. Working with contributors and asking them to share from their own social channel is a great way to broaden your content's social reach. However seeding your content on social isn't enough, you need to track all of your content with analytics. Most social channels have analytics features for your to utilize but you can also use tools like Sysomos and Crimson Hexagon.
Review your analytics to see if your content is driving your goals, what's working and what's not. Continuing to post content that your audience loves, adjusting the content that doesn't perform well and consistently monitoring your content are the keys to a successful social media strategy.
Remember to follow these steps and it will ensure you have a successful social strategy! What are your tips for a successful social media strategy? Leave them below in the comments section.