How to build a social media strategy

Without a clear strategy, it’s impossible for your brand to reap the benefits of social media. Your strategy has to be much more than scheduling posts at the right time of the day. Every action you take on social media should be part of a larger business marketing strategy. So, it’s really important you consider your target audience and what you want to achieve.

Here is our six-step guide for creating an effective social media strategy:

Step 1: Create your social media goals

Firstly, you must set out objectives and goals, laying out a clearly defined direction for your brand. With goals in mind, you’ll be able to gauge success more easily and keep moving forward. Whether your goal is brand awareness, driving traffic to your site or getting a return on investment, you must create achievable objectives. A recruitment company, for example, may aim to drive more traffic to their site to raise the amount of people signing up to their job alerts. Your social media efforts should align with the overall goal of your business.

Step 2: Define your audience

If you want to create a successful social media strategy, you must target the right people with the right message. Consider doing audience segmentation, which will help you identify the specific needs and wants of customer groups. That way you’ll know what type of message to convey. Also, sit down and create a buyer persona, a detailed profile of your ideal customer. For some, buyer isn’t the right term. To pick up the example again, a recruitment company may draw up a number of applicant types and include the relative pros and cons associated with such an applicant. This will help you to envision your target audience.

Step 3: Choose your channels

Create your social media profiles and choose the networks that best meet your goals. You must take the time to think about the purpose of each network you have. Although each channel should be treated differently, as they’re all unique, you still must consider how they link together to promote your content. Cross-promotion is a great way of extending your reach.

Step 4: Look at the competition

Make sure you research the competition, as they can tell you a lot about what works and what doesn’t. Take a look at a few of the top competitors in your niche, study their content try to learn from their success and mistakes. Try to understand the key issues and opportunities you face and incorporate them into your content strategy.

Step 5: Build a content plan

Ensure you plan your content well in advance before you launch your campaign. It’s important that your content is consistent and delivers a message and real value to your audience. Your content should be ongoing and ideally, you should have posts scheduled to go live months in advance. A mix of content types is essential. A recruitment company should aim to have content based around the industries they recruit into, with a mix of light and serious topics. Also, try to leave room in your plan for regular up-to-date content you can create with a short turnaround, around a big news event or something of public interest at the time.

Step 6: Measure

The final step in your social media strategy is to measure your performance. Set out a plan on how you’re going to report on whether you achieved your goals. Some effective measurement methods include looking band metrics, traffic stats and consumer engagement. You should be continuously measuring your performance throughout your campaign, making monthly round ups of key stats to ensure your making progress.

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