Some people think that a Social Media Strategy is only for big companies or brands, or they don’t actually know what one entails or what it takes to put one together.
The truth is … if you are able to go through the process of creating a Social Media Strategy you will be blown away by the difference it will make … not only to your to social media efforts but your marketing and client conversions as well.
So let’s go through the top 5 reasons why you need a social media strategy!
#1: Social Media Goals
If you don’t know what your social media and even your overall digital marketing goals are, how are you going to measure your progress? We feel that there are 4 main types of goals that can be achieved from having a good social media strategy, so it is important to look into these areas and decide where your focus will be:
Branding Goals: To show your knowledge and expertise, educate your community, perhaps become an influencer or industry leader, showcase your brand, provide a consistently look across your platforms or build your persona.
Social Media Goals: To increase followers, increase social media reach, increase engagement (shares, likes, comments) or increase connections to industry influencers.
Traffic Goals: To increase visits to your website, increase conversions, increase referrals to your website, improve bounce rate or increase time on site.
Sales: To increase leads, increase revenue, get new clients or perhaps increase newsletter sign-ups and your database.
#2: Social Media Foundations & Branding
When we are doing a social media strategy for a client we go through a ‘foundations’ process which either involves setting up the platforms in a consistent and optimised way. Or going through any existing platforms and making sure they all match from a branding perspective, making sure all the profiles are optimised for mobile, doing the SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and including it in the profiles, having converting call to actions and other seemingly small foundational tasks that many people overlook when setting up their platforms.
“Without a solid foundation, you’ll have trouble creating anything of value”
The basic foundation process also involves a strategy around branding … I bet when you think branding you think colours, font and style. Which is super important to your social media … making sure you have a consistent style and brand across all your platforms is essential. But what about knowing who your target market is, coming up with your ‘pitch’ or sales blurb for your social media ‘about’ section (FYI, the about section is searchable in google) or making sure your persona and language is consistent across your platforms.
#3: Social Media Content
Like goals, there are many purposes and possible outcomes to creating great content. I’ll go out on a limb here and say being strategic about the content you create, have on your website and share on your social media can mean the difference between a successful business and a stagnant or failing business.
“The strength of your social media is determined by the strength of your content”
It’s a critical part of your social media strategy and should include content that resonates with your potential customers and answer their questions from a buying cycle perspective. Content needs to take into consideration that people like to digest information in different formats, it should vary between being educational, sales orientated, entertaining, inspiring, branding focused and purely for traffic generation. Does your content answer your customer’s pain points, solve their frustrations, help them achieve their goals, learn something new or inspire them?
#4: Social Media Planning
Once you have your goals set, your foundations and branding looked after and your content sorted …. what now?
You have to make an actual plan of what you are going to post when, why and how.
A big part of a social media strategy and the #1 time-saving aspect of making the effort of doing the strategy process in the first place, is to come up with a social media planner. This is the holy grail of the strategy process and will allow you to focus on what to post each week at a glance. It will give you clarity around the type of content you are posting and make sure you keep a healthy balance between Visual Content, Benefits & Features, Client Content, Products & Services, Inspirational and Personal Content.
There are several versions of a social media planner which will suit different styles of people; some will want to ‘wing it’ more, some want a general idea to follow and some will want to plan the month in advance with all the details pre-planned … I fall into the latter category so don’t feel weird if you are a fan of super planning like me 🙂
Here is an example of a simpler planner for brand that makes candles and natural skincare products.
#5: Automation & Scheduling
There is no point having an amazeballs social strategy if you have to take ages to implement the final distribution steps manually. No one wants to be tied to their social media platforms every day, so this is where the automation tools and the scheduling process come into it. This part will enable you to schedule your week, fortnight or months worth of content distribution in advance. There are of course exceptions to the automation rule and you have to put in a bit more effort with some platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, however, this part of the process will allow you to come up with a process or checklist to follow on how you are going to get your kick arse content out there in the simplest and efficient way possible.
“If you automate a mess, you get an automated mess”
One mistake a lot of people make is to jump on the automation bandwagon without having done the other 4 steps. Sure it will save you some time and make your life a little easier, but the quality of your content and the ultimate goals you hope to achieve will still be lacking. Hence you will find that your social media efforts may go stale, you won’t be converting, getting people engaging and generally you will start to feel that social media is just not worth it.
If you don’t implement a structured social media strategy, you may find that your social media efforts go stale, you won’t be converting your fans into customers or getting people engaged in your posts and you may start to feel that social media is just not worth it.
So before you get down on your social media, think about how you can implement a social media strategy and revive your online presence now.