“Your brand needs to have a social media presence.”
“If you’re not on social media, you’re missing out.”
If you’re a business owner, chances are you’ve heard those things more than once. And while establishing a social media presence is more important than ever, most businesses go about it the wrong way. They join every social platform, post the same content on all of them, and wonder why they’re not getting any return on investment.
Despite social media’s popularity, you won’t see any results without a comprehensive digital marketing strategy. Whether your brand is already on social media or looking to get started…
HERE ARE 10 THINGS TO CONSIDER TO BUILD A SUCCESSFUL SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY:
1. What are your social media goals?
When creating your brand’s social media strategy, goal setting is the first thing to consider. Consider how social media is going to support your business goals. Your goals should be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. An example of a SMART goal would be “to improve brand awareness by gaining 10,000 new followers on Instagram by the end of 2021.”
Having clear goals will help you see the bigger picture of how your social media strategy integrates with the rest of your business. Imagine running a race with no finish line – you’d end up directionless and unmotivated. The same applies to building a social media strategy. By setting SMART goals, you’re creating a finish line that’ll help guide your social media efforts, setting you up for long-term success.
2. How will you measure your success?
Success is a vague term that means different things to different people. That’s why figuring out how you’ll measure success at the beginning of your social campaigns is key. First, look at your SMART goals and then determine which key performance indicators are most relevant to your business.
If your goal is to increase brand awareness, the metrics you would use to measure success would be reach or impressions. If your goal is to turn customers into your brand advocates, success means increased engagement. In this case, you’d be looking at likes, comments, shares along with the engagement rate and the number of engaged users to track your progress.
3. Who is your audience?
Facebook has over 2.9 billion active monthly users. Instagram? 1 billion. Twitter? 192 million. TikTok? 1 billion. The point is there’s a lot of people who use social media, and you can’t reach all of them.
The best social media strategies have a clearly defined audience in mind. Creating customer personas allows you to understand your target audience and the best ways to communicate with them. Customer personas are semi-fictional representations of your brand’s current and potential customers. It should include your customers’ demographics, interests, and pain points.
Understanding your audience will help with selecting which social channels your brand will use. You wouldn’t use TikTok to connect with working professionals the same way you wouldn’t use Linkedin to reach teenagers. Focus on the platforms that your target audience is most active on.
4. Who are your competitors?
What’s better than learning from your mistakes? Learning from others so you don’t have to make the same ones. A crucial part of building a successful social media strategy that is often overlooked is competitive analysis. There are so many brands trying to reinvent the wheel when it’s already been done for them.
Take a look at your competitors’ social media presence and see what you can learn from them. Here are some questions to consider when conducting a competitive analysis for your social media strategy:
- What are my competitors doing well?
- What are my competitors lacking in?
- What can I do differently from my competitors to stand out?
- What are my competitors NOT doing that I can capitalize on?
5. What is and isn’t working well for your brand?
After checking out the competition, it’s time to reflect on your own accounts with a social media audit. Don’t let the word “audit” intimidate you. A social media audit doesn’t have to be a complex, pain-staking process. It’s simply a review of your current social media efforts to see:
- What is working?
- What isn’t working?
- What should I keep doing?
- What should I do differently moving forward?
Pay attention to the types of content people are interacting with on your page. Which posts do you get the most engagement on and what do they have in common? Do you get more likes on videos or photos? What topics are your followers interested in?
When you’re auditing your accounts, keep your objectives in mind. Based on your goals, you can track the performance of your posts and understand how to optimize your social strategy for maximum growth.
6. What will your brand sound like?
All your social media efforts affect how people perceive your brand. So, making sure your social media presence matches the image you want to portray is vital. That’s where brand voice guidelines come in. To help you define your brand’s voice, consider these two questions:
- If your brand was a person, what would they sound like?
- If your brand had two parents, who would they be? This can be a person or another company.
Customer word associations are a big component of your brand voice. Building out a list of words will allow you to communicate consistently throughout all your social posts.
7. What will your brand look like?
Brands should maintain a consistent look and feel across their social media accounts. There are so many platforms, the last thing you want is for your customers to be confused about whether or not that Instagram and Twitter account both belong to your brand. What can you do to avoid that?
Create a strong visual identity. All of your social media accounts should have consistent branding across all platforms. That includes logos, fonts, brand colours, and style icons. Images are also a major component and can come in the form of internal photoshoots or user-generated content. Using mood boards and brand palettes is a great way to get a sense of your brand’s aesthetic and create a cohesive look.
8. What kind of content will you be posting?
A common misconception about building a successful social media presence is that you can just post whatever you want, whenever. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Before you start posting on social media, you need a content strategy.
Determine what type of content you’ll be sharing. Is it photos, videos, or graphics? How will the content you share differ from channel to channel? It’s also recommended to pick 3-5 different themes for your content, also known as your content pillars. This will help you with content creation by giving you guidelines to stay focused and on track!
9. How can you automate your social media management?
In order to get the most out of your social media strategy, you’ll have to plan ahead. It’s recommended to have 2-4 weeks of content created in advance. You’ll find it easier to produce quality content consistently when you’re not scrambling to put together a post at the last minute.
10. How can you improve your social media strategy?
Once you’ve got your social media strategy up and running, the next step is to analyze and optimize. A social media strategy isn’t something you can just create and forget. It requires continuous monitoring and tweaking in order to give you the best results. Make it a habit to frequently review your social media analytics to see what’s performing well and what needs to be changed.
Other ways to improve your social media strategy include experimenting with different hashtag strategies, taking advantage of seasonal changes or trends, or testing different content to see what resonates with your target audience. You can also increase your outreach through influencer marketing and collaborations with other brands!
And there you have it, 10 things to consider to get your social media strategy up and running. Stay tuned for our upcoming blog post where we talk about hashtag strategies, community management, and tips to reach your ideal audience!
CREATE A KILLER SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY WITH CANDYBOX MARKETING
Social media is such a powerful tool. If used correctly, it can not only increase brand awareness but also help you reach new customers, strengthen relationships with your current customers, and highlight your company culture.
As social media evolves, so should your strategy. Whether you’re a small business or a major corporation, Candybox’s team of digital marketing experts can help you develop a social media strategy that works. Connect with us and let’s chat!
If you’re struggling to put together a comprehensive social media strategy, register for our social media workshop! We’ve taken years of experience and condensed it into a 3.5 hour course, giving you a step-by-step guide to level up your social media strategy.
For more digital marketing insights check out our latest blogs to learn more about social audio trends, push and pull marketing strategies, and how to improve your search engine rankings with SEO.