Creating a Social Media Strategy
There’s a lot of noise in social media, so it’s crucial that all businesses create a focused campaign that stands out and connects with it’s business objectives and purpose. These top tips will assist in creating a social media strategy summarising everything you plan to do and hope to achieve on social media.
SET ‘SMART’ GOALS
Establish social media marketing goals that link to your clearly defined business objectives. Ensure these are SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. Without goals, you have no way of tracking your success.
EVALUATE YOUR EXISTING SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE
Log all your followers, likes, engagement rates and activity on all current social media channels so you can measure the success of your strategy.
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
In conjunction with your marketing department, create personas of your target market and choose the channels to include within your strategy, based on this information. Research the many social networks available to match your audience. For example, if you are targeting a professional audience, LinkedIn may be your best option.
ANALYSE YOUR COMPETITORS
Identify the leaders in your market and take a look at your competitors’ social media profiles; a great deal of inspiration can come from evaluating what posts work and those that don’t. Also, consider how you will stand out from your competitors – social media is very noisy.
DEFINE YOUR BRAND AND VOICE
Your strategy must clearly state the personality of your brand that must shine through in all communication. Even though you may choose to incorporate many social media channels within your strategy, the voice must remain consistent and must be selected based on your community.
CREATE A SOCIAL MEDIA CALENDAR
List as many dates as possible that could relate to your company (launch dates), society (public holidays, events) and the broader market within your industry (conferences, thought leaders).
Brainstorm posts/content that can link to the relevant dates and schedule these into the calendar. Consider further, more general creative ideas and add those to the time-sensitive ones ensuring there is a mix of industry insights, images, news and testimonials. Remember to consider what it is your audience is interested in.
There are many social media publishing tools (e.g. Hootsuite) that allow you to schedule messages in advance making it easier for you and your team to coordinate campaigns.
THE ‘RULE OF THIRDS’
Avoid the temptation of posting content purely to drive sales. If you follow the ‘Rule of Thirds’  you will attract and maintain an engaged following;-
1/3 converts readers, generates profit and promotes your business
1/3 should build your personal brand, including personal interaction
1/3 should include industry led content
TRACK, EVALUATE AND REVIEW
Use the analytics of your chosen social media network within your strategy and evaluate the findings. Not every piece of content will work as expected so don’t be afraid to optimise success or pursue a different direction.