Looking to build a social media marketing strategy for your business?
You have reached the right place.
Social media marketing is all about interacting with your target customers and audience so that they are aware of your brand.
To boost sales and increase brand awareness, you should create unique content to promote your business and products on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Social media marketing is extremely valuable and useful for your business growth; therefore, your strategy will vary according to the type of social networks your audience and customers spend their time on.
In this guide, we’ll cover all the fundamentals of building a strong social media marketing strategy that is beneficial for your brand.
Whats on This Page
- Whats on This Page
- How to Plan a Social Media Marketing Strategy
- Why Do You Want to Be a Part of Social Media?
- 1. Set Relevant and Realistic Goals
- 2. Competitor Analysis
- 3. Find Your Social Media Target Audience
- 4. Select The Right Social Media Channels for Your Audience
- 5. Account Setup for Social Media
- 6. Create Quality Content
- 7. Best Times to Post and Content Planning
- 8. Promote Social Media Accounts for Marketing
- 9. Be Social – Engage with The Audience
- 10. Work with Influencers
- 11. Analyze Analytics for Social Media Marketing
How to Plan a Social Media Marketing Strategy
The main element of creating social media marketing has an optimized strategy. Without a strategy, you might not be able to post on social media platforms.
For this, you should understand your specific goals, your target audience, and what they want to achieve results on social media.
Whether you want to market your business through social media or to become a successful social media marketer, creating a social media marketing strategy is important.
The best way to build a social media marketing strategy is to ask and answer these 5 questions.
1. Who Is Your Target Audience
Have you ever thought why targeting the audience is important for social media marketing?
It is to determine who your buyers and audience are so you can target their interests and needs appropriately.
To ensure this, think about the people you’re trying to reach, and why, and what, when, where you are going to share.
For example, if your company sells joggers, and you know that your audience might like to wear stylish athletic clothing regularly, you can share such content on your social media accounts.
By considering your audience, you’ll be able to decide what content will attract the type of followers and customers you hope to achieve and how you can create unique content to keep your followers interested.
If you already have a good sense of your audience, you might make a note of all these things and share it with your marketing team so that they can use it for future reference.
Now since you got a better hint about your audience, you should think about the type of content or theme you need to share on social media profiles.
With the billions of users around the world, some of the people or your followers looking at your profile have also seen your competitor’s content. That’s why you must have engaging and unique social media content that stands out and provides people a reason to click that “Follow” button and relate with your brand.
For solving this, make use of ideas your competitors are sharing and uniquely promote your products and services. Also, take advantage of the other features offered by the platform you’re using.
For example, you can conduct a contest or giveaway or create live videos on Facebook to share the latest details about a new product.
Huckberry (an outdoor and adventure brand) shares their content and photos of the outdoors on their Facebook profile.
Lastly, use your current promoters and customers to help you generate content by reposting their content. You can also encourage them to use a hashtag to share their experiences and pictures with your products.
Now you must be thinking about the best time to share your content with the audience and customers. For this, you should consider the behavior of your audiences, ie. When do they use social media to explore the type of content that you’ll share?
For example, Athletes might be on Instagram while they are relaxing down after their workouts. People who love to travel might be active on social media networks during the weekends or work breaks, planning their next trip.
Therefore, it depends on your target audience, the best time to post.
The next step is to choose a social media platform for your brand to be on, i.e., the platform for sharing your content.
Again, this will depend on your target audience. You need to understand which platforms are mostly used by your audience and the reason behind this.
For example, food lovers might scroll down through Facebook or Instagram to see new recipes or food categories they love the most.
The next thing to consider, what is the best factor that describes your brand. Considering the above example, are you posting appropriate food photographs to attract users to browse your profile?
Before you dive into this, remember your brand, products, or services should not be on every social media network. It has been researched that you should have a complete profile on 4 social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, as these would show up on the first pages of Google upon searching for your brand.
Why Do You Want to Be a Part of Social Media?
This depends and relates to the social media goals you have set either to promote your products, drive and increase traffic to your website or to serve the best services to your customers.
We have 11 social media goals to focus on your brand awareness and drive traffic to your content and audience.
1. Set Relevant and Realistic Goals
One of the problems faced by many businesses involved in social media platforms is that they have never spent their time setting social media marketing goals. They just know they need to be on social media, but do not know why they are there.
For planning and setting your social media goals, you should think about what you want to achieve and create a SMART goal (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.)
The goals depend on the type of businesses, so choose your goal and let your goals decide the rest of your marketing strategy. Some general social media goals can be:
You will likely opt for more than one social media goal that is beneficial for your business.
2. Competitor Analysis
Before diving and checking about your target audience, spend some time researching your competition and, most importantly analyze their approach.
Social media is the best way to keep an eye on your competitors, whether that’s about:
Social media lets you figure out what is not working for your competition and, therefore, help you decide what should or should not change your company’s approach.
These analyses can provide some good motivation for how you want to approach your social media channels and what standards you can set for your own social accounts.
If you don’t have any competitors, try to find accounts in the same niche as yours.
Lastly, reviewing and analyzing your competitors’ social media accounts can help you make sure your marketing strategies stand out to your brand.
3. Find Your Social Media Target Audience
A target audience is a group of people that you’ve recognized that you want to appeal to. This is based on factors such as income level, age, job title, location, education, or behavior.
The audience in the social media marketing strategy consists of the people who are interested in your product.
Before finding and engaging with your target audience, you should answer some questions for a better understanding – What type of content should you post? And, what type of voice you should use in that content?
This is essential so that you can speak the same language as your audience, interact with them on social media, develop brand loyalty, and purchase your product.
Once you have an understanding of your target audience, figure out where they’re mostly found active or which type of content they are most interested in.
Another way to find your audience is to survey your customers. Surveys figure out the real customers and the social media channels they prefer. You can ask the type of content they use and social media sites they like to follow.
Once you find your target audience, you can create a balanced content plan that appeals to them and begin drafting other guidelines.
Hence, developing your target audience is an important step in creating a social media marketing strategy.
4. Select The Right Social Media Channels for Your Audience
As a social media marketer, you need to determine which social media platforms you’re going to share your content on. There’s not necessarily a wrong or right option to choose which social channels your brand should use. However, it’s more about your target audience’s needs and interests and where they tend to spend their time.
For example, if you want to promote your brand that promotes joggers, then you should use Instagram as a social media platform. It is because athlete millennials cover the major portion of users on the Instagram platform.
If you’re a beginner and new to social media, it’s good to focus on one channel and grow a presence first. Facebook or Instagram are the best places to start with.
When deciding which channels to use, think about your target audience’s interests and needs, and choose wisely. Invest your time to familiarize yourself with the important social media channels, their key demographic, and what they are best for.
The best social media channels you need to consider are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and Snapchat.
5. Account Setup for Social Media
After you are satisfied with choosing your best social media channel, it’s time to sign up for your accounts. The easiest step to start with.
All the social media channels are free to set up and make it easy for you to sign up from their homepage. Some channels, like Facebook, require your personal account before setting up a Page for your business.
Here are the few important links you will need to sign up for each social media channel.
Facebook: Create a personal profile to create a Facebook business page. Creating your account is possible in seconds.
Twitter: Choose Twitter to handle to create an account on Twitter. You can update your details later on if you want to.
Instagram: Download the Instagram application on your mobile device to create your account. Select a business account for better analytics and recognition.
LinkedIn: Create a Company Page for your business by creating a personal account first.
Pinterest: You can either convert your personal account to a business account or simply create a business account first. It’s done so that you can run Pinterest ads in the future.
YouTube: YouTube is owned by Google, so create a Google account first and then visit YouTube. Customize your page with the required information.
Snapchat: Start with downloading the Snapchat app on your mobile device. Note: You can’t change your username on Snapchat, so choose a name that is easily recognizable as your business name.
All social media channels can be used on web browsers. However, they have mobile apps as well for easy access on the go.
6. Create Quality Content
Content creation is the ultimate social media marketing practice. When you create quality content, you’re providing useful information to your target audience, attracting potential customers to your website, and retaining customers through quality engagement.
At this point, you should have a good idea of what to publish based on your marketing goal and brand identity.
Don’t forget to add the importance of video and images. Visual content is more likely to be shared on social media than other types of content. Instagram has quickly grown in importance over the last few years on visual focus.
Content customization for each platform
It’s important to remember that every social platform is different. Therefore, you should customize your content for each platform.
Facebook: It is always a good approach to include some personal comments, even if you share curated content. Short videos, link posts, or images perform well on Facebook.with every Facebook post but relate them to your text.
Twitter: Twitter comes with a limitation, i.e., you can’t write more than 280 characters in a tweet. So your message needs should be to the point. You can include links and hashtags in tweets. Tweets with images are far better than without images.
Instagram: It is known for its image-based social networking, so you need to share interesting and relevant photos and short videos. You can combine these to narrate a Story (it has the advantage of sitting at the top of people’s feeds).
Pinterest: Pinterest is image-focused as people Pin images on themed boards. So you need to focus your content around a pinnable picture. Pinterest can be perfect for showcasing products, particularly for the female target audience.
LinkedIn: It is a professional social network, so you need to ensure that all the posts you share are suitable for such an audience. People read posts on LinkedIn to educate themselves, particularly anything that can help with their careers.
Hence, choose a platform accordingly and draw a step in creating a successful social media marketing strategy.
7. Best Times to Post and Content Planning
The next step after creating content is to find the best time to post the content. One of the easiest methods to make sure that your content is shared as planned is to use a social media management tool.
You can read our reviews for the best social media management tools here.
These tools permit you to schedule posts, write captions, and prepare pictures and videos in advance. They automatically monitor, share, and schedule your content on social media networks. Social media management solutions spare you time and allow you to focus on your other tasks.
Most of the social channels use algorithms to filter the results, i.e., they post the content when your target audience is active.
Pick up one social media scheduling tool (mentioned above) and schedule multiple posts at a time.
According to studies, the best time to post content on various social media platforms are:
Instagram: Either between 2 pm – 3 pm (Thursday), Wednesday at 11 am, and Friday at 10 – 11 am, Wednesday at 11 am and 3 pm, or 9 am – 11 am EST.
Facebook: Either Wednesday at 11 am and 1 pm, or on weekdays from 9 am – 3 pm. You can also find the best time to post on Facebook is to go through your Facebook insights.
Twitter: Around 8 am – 10 am, between 6 am – 9 pm (both morning and evening), and weekends (for B2C companies).
LinkedIn: Between 10 am-noon, 12 pm, 8 am, and 10 am (for B2C companies, media, and other large organizations), and the best day to post is Wednesday.
Pinterest: Around 8 – 11 p.m. and, 2 p.m. – 4:00 a.m.
Each social network analyses its engagement and clicks through rates at specific hours and days of the week. Therefore, the engagement depends on your audience and the time to publish the content.
8. Promote Social Media Accounts for Marketing
Promoting your social media accounts means expanding your brand awareness through different channels, so more people follow you – the best way to grow your following so that all your content is seen by as many people as possible.
You can promote your social accounts in various ways.
Although content will sell your social channels, you still need to implement other ways to gain your initial following. People have to find your accounts before they can opt to follow you.
9. Be Social – Engage with The Audience
Promoting your products and services to the audience on social media is not enough. You should regularly interact with them. People on social media read, look, and watch content; however, they like to interact with others.
Once you have a diverse target audience, you can attempt to cover multiple social media networks. Use your resources wisely and efficiently.
Some businesses have found a unique way to use customize hashtags that encourage discussions and sharing and make it easier for you and your audience to search posts relevant to your business.
You can start with understanding your audience. Watch and listen to your followers and look at the types of accounts that want to follow you back. See what they are interested in, what they are passionate about, and what makes them engage with other brands.
This way, you will understand how to better engage with your customers and audience.
10. Work with Influencers
In other articles, I have explained many advantages of working with influencers. Selecting the right influencers will open the gates to reach a new audience who might have to be interested in your business and its products.
Influencers have already understood the art of social media marketing, and that is their strength. They have built a solid reputation, and have a large number of followers.
You should consider working with influencers and having them to direct their followers to your social sites. These people can become your followers too, if you select influencers whose followers match your target audience and provide quality content to people they are interested in.
We have 2 types of influencers to choose from:
Micro-influencer: It involves working with micro-influencers on a smaller scale. In this, the brands partner with individuals who have followers between 1,000 and 10,000 on social media platforms.
They are well-known in their particular area of interest and have high rates of engagement with their users. Brands can expand their reach in niche areas by following micro-influencers.
Social media influencers: Social media influencers work well on social media platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter, and are followed by thousands or even millions of people.
Social media influencers share content about workouts, health, cars, diet, travel, fashion, outdoor activities, art, beauty, and interior design.
On social platforms, search for keywords, phrases, hashtags, specific users, and tagged audience members on specific posts.
Look in the comments sections also for high-traffic posts related to your niche or type of work as influencers may have posted comments or interacted with members of your target audience there. You can get some ideas from influencer posts on your competitor’s accounts.
11. Analyze Analytics for Social Media Marketing
One of the most important features of the social media marketing strategy is to ensure that your efforts are successful and effective in meeting the planned goals. To determine this, you’ll need to keep track of all of your posts on every social media platform. You can do this by reviewing, analyzing, and managing your social media metrics.
Social media metrics are related to the success of your posts, your impact on your audience and customers on various social platforms. These metrics include data about your level of likes, follows, engagement, follows, shares, and all other interactions.
I have listed some of the important metrics that will help you to track your results.
You can track all these metrics and use them to increase and improve your social following and overall engagement on your profile. With the same social media marketing strategies, you can also generate leads and boost conversions.
If creating a social media marketing plan seems difficult, start, and focus on taking one small step at a time. You don’t have to attain everything at once. Still, if you take the time to create a social media marketing plan with proper goals, analyze analytics and consistent content schedule, you’ll develop an engaged audience that’s keen to purchase your products and services.