Social media allows you to get a look at what is and isn’t working for your competition, and therefore helps you decide what should or shouldn’t change in terms of your company’s approach. Lastly, reviewing the social accounts of your competitors can help you make sure your marketing stands out and is unique to your brand.
Learn how to conduct a competitive analysis to discover how you can beat the competition.
Now, let’s talk strategy — there are five steps to ensure your social media marketing plan is sustainable and positively impacts your business.
How to Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy
Research your buyer personas and audience
Determine which social platforms you’ll market on
Create unique and engaging content
Organize a schedule for your posts
Analyze your impact and results
Let’s cover these steps in more detail so you can begin applying them to your business.
1. Research your buyer personas and audience.
The first step to creating a social media marketing strategy is to determine who your buyer personas and audience are so you can target their needs and interests appropriately. linksexpert To do this, think about the people you’re trying to reach and why, and how you would classify them as a group. For example, if your company sells trendy leggings and joggers, you might classify your target audience as millennials who like to wear stylish athletic apparel regularly — a style known as athleisure.
By considering your buyer personas and audience, you’ll then be able to determine what content will attract the type followers and customers you hope to gain and how you can create engaging content to keep your followers interested.
Buyer Persona Templates
Make My Persona Tool
2. Determine which social platforms you’ll market on.
As a social media marketer, it’s crucial you determine which platforms you’re going to share your content on. There’s not necessarily a right or wrong answer when it comes to which social channels your business should use — it’s more about the needs of your target audience and where they tend to spend their time.
“It’s important to be where your audience of potential customers is today, and where they might be tomorrow. It’s better to be ahead of the curve than behind.” — Andrew Delaney, Social Media Marketing Manager at HubSpot
For example, if you are going for that target audience of athleisure-loving millennials, you may want to focus the majority of your social media efforts on Instagram — this is because millennials cover the largest portion of users on the platform.
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How to Use Twitter for Business (+ Follower Tracking Template)
12 Pinterest Templates for Business
3. Create unique and engaging content.
With the billions of social media users around the globe, there’s no question that at least some of your followers — or the people browsing your profile — have also seen your competitor’s content or that of other businesses in your industry. That’s why you must have engaging social media content that stands out and provides viewers with a reason to click that “Follow” button and interact with your brand.
To help you get creative, consider the content your competitors are sharing and how you can uniquely promote your products. Also, take advantage of the features offered by the platform you’re using. For example, you can create live videos on Facebook to share the latest details about a product launch or conduct a giveaway.
Lastly, use your current customers and promoters to help you generate content. You can do this by re-posting their content or encouraging them to use a hashtag to share their own experiences and pictures with your products (similar to Frye’s Instagram hashtag that I mentioned earlier).
4. Organize a schedule for your posts.
One of the easiest ways to ensure your content is shared as planned is to use a social media management solution. These tools allow you to write captions, prepare pictures and videos, and schedule posts in advance. They also automatically share your content on schedule and monitor all post interactions and engagement for you. Social media management solutions save you time and allow you to focus on your other tasks.
There are a number of solution options available — here are a few examples.
HubSpot offers a social media tool — as part of the marketing software — to help you publish and monitor your content and create real connections with your followers. You can schedule and publish your content in advance and compare in-depth reports on your posts’ engagement to understand the performance of various platforms, types of content, and posting times.
2) Sprout Social
Sprout Social is a social media marketing and management solution designed to help your team organize and plan content creation, manage campaigns, understand engagement, and review content reports and analysis.
Hootsuite is a social media management platform for finding, scheduling, managing, and reporting on your content. You can schedule posts in advance on all of your channels at once and measure your ROI with comprehensive content analysis.
How often should you post on social media?
Now, you might be wondering how often you should post content on your social media channels.
As a rule of thumb, you should only post on social when you have quality content to share. Meaning, there’s a reason you’re posting the content. This is how you’ll strike the right balance when it comes to your posting frequency. If you post too infrequently, you’re bound to be forgotten by your followers. If you post too frequently, you’ll likely become annoying to your followers. Both situations could potentially lead to a loss in followers and a decrease in engagement.
To avoid this, there are plenty of studies and resources available explaining social media post frequency standards by industry and platform for you to follow. Every business is different, so find what works for your audience. Then, you can begin experimenting with more or fewer posts, as well as other factors such as the time of day you’re posting on social, to determine what provides the highest level of engagement.
5. Analyze your impact and results.
One of the most important aspects of social media marketing is ensuring your efforts are successful in helping you meet your goals. To determine this, you’ll need to keep track of all of your posts, on every channel. You can do this by reviewing and managing your social media metrics.
Social Media Metrics
Social media metrics are data related to the success of your posts and your impact on your audience and customers on various platforms. These metrics may include data about your level of engagement, likes, follows, shares, and all other interactions on each platform.
Here are 10 of the most important metrics for you to track:
Engagement: This includes clicks, comments, likes, and replies on your social media posts. There are also platform-specific types of engagement such as “Saved” posts on Instagram and “Pinned” posts on Pinterest.
Reach: The number of people who have seen any content associated with your page or profile is your reach.
Followers: This is the number of people you have on your profile who have clicked your “Follow” button and see your content in their feeds regularly.
Impressions: This is the number of times a post from your profile or page is seen, whether or not your audience members click on it. This is often what happens when someone is scrolling through their newsfeed, but not clicking on anything.
Video views: On Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, or any other social channel with video capabilities, this is the number of views each gets.
Profile visits: The number of people who have opened your social media page is your number of profile visits.
Mentions: This is the number of times your profile has been mentioned by audience members in their posts.
Tags: This is when your audience adds the name of your company’s profile or your hashtag to another post.
Reposts: This is when a member of your audience posts a piece of your content on their profile.
Shares: These are the posts your followers and audience take from your profile and share with their network.
You can influence all of these metrics, increase your social following, and improve overall engagement on your profile by using the same tactics you would to generate leads and boost conversions. You can also interact with your followers more frequently by talking to them, tagging them in content, responding to their questions, liking their posts, encouraging them to use your hashtags, and share your content (and you can also repost user-generated content).