How to Build a Social Media Strategy: 7 Steps to Get Started
These days, businesses of all sizes are taking advantage of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to spread awareness of their brands and boost customer engagement. However, just having your business on social media doesn’t mean a whole lot if you don’t also have a great social media marketing plan in place.
By having a better understanding of why social media marketing is so important and how to build a social media strategy, you can make the best use of your brand’s social media profiles and take your business to new levels of success.
The Importance of a Great Social Media Strategy
So, why is social media marketing so important, anyway? Consider, for a moment, the simple fact that billions of people are active on social media daily. This means that your potential reach is, well, the majority of the globe when you utilize social media to your full advantage.
Likewise, when you have a great social media strategy in place, you’ll be able to:
- grow your number of followers (and potential customers)
- spread awareness of your brand
- increase traffic to your website
- boost your search engine rankings
- improve your conversion rates
And, of course, social media platforms provide your brand with a unique opportunity to communicate and build relationships with your audience in a way that other forms of marketing simply don’t.
How to Build a Social Media Strategy
Not sure where to begin when it comes to developing your own social media strategy? By following these simple steps, you’ll be well on your way to success.
1. Define Your Goals and Objectives
Start by thinking about what you’d like to get out of your social media marketing plan. Depending on the size of your business, it may also be helpful to consult with others for input on this. Without specific goals and objectives, it can be difficult to start building your social media strategy.
What are some common goals and objectives to consider? Think about these:
- gaining new followers
- improving conversion rates
- building your brand reputation
Make sure to start with smaller, achievable goals; for example, you might set a goal to reach 1,000 followers in the first year rather than 100,000 followers.
2. Know Your Audience
Next, it’s time to set aside some time and resources to get to know your target audience. Even if you think you know everything there is to know about your ideal customer, you don’t know anything until you’ve conducted some specific research.
By having a better idea of who your audience is and what they’re interested in, you’ll be able to more confidently craft social media content that will interest and engage them. Likewise, knowing some demographics about your target audience can give you a better idea of which social media platforms they’re most likely to be using. For example, did you know that millennials are more likely to use Instagram and TikTok than Facebook?
3. Size Up Your Competition
No matter what industry you’re in, there’s a pretty good chance that you have competitors on social media. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with checking out your competition’s social media pages to get a better feel for what they’re doing and how they’re interacting with their audience. Obviously, you don’t want to copy their strategies, but just checking out their pages can help you figure out what kinds of tactics you may want to implement on your own social media profiles (and which ones you may want to avoid altogether).
4. Choose the Right Platforms
You’ll also want to make sure you’re marketing on the right social media platforms based on your audience research. After all, you could be missing the mark entirely if you’re pouring your time and resources into marketing on Facebook if the majority of your target audience is using Instagram instead.
Once you’ve narrowed down a few of the best social media platforms based on your audience, it’s time to create and build up those profiles.
5. Craft and Post Engaging Content
At the end of the day, your content will be the most important aspect of your social media strategy. Not only do you need to be posting regularly on your brand’s social media pages, but you need to make sure your content is engaging, interesting, and share-worthy for your audience. Depending on the specific social media platforms you’re using, you might consider posts with lots of images or videos to draw people in. It can also be useful to ask for feedback or to even hold social media contests as a means of keeping your audience engaged.
Many brands also rely on a social media calendar to ensure they have interesting content to post regularly. Specifically, a social media calendar lays out exactly what you will post each day; there is even software that will handle posting on your behalf so you can set it and forget it!
6. Interact With Your Followers
Another important thing you can do to optimize your social media strategy is to interact with your followers as much as possible. This means inviting them to share their input/stories on your posts and taking the time to respond to comments and questions both in your inbox and on your posts. A little engagement can go a long way in building a sense of community and boosting your reputation!
7. Revisit and Refine Your Strategy
On occasion, take time to reflect on how well your social media strategy is helping you achieve your original goals and objectives. Ideally, you’ll have specific metrics and reports to help you gauge this. From there, take time to refine your strategy as needed until you achieve your goals.