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Social media strategy in 5 steps

In Online marketing op 04-03-2017

1. Establish SMART social media goals
2. Audit your social media presence
3. Introduce a content strategy
4. Measure your progress
5. Adjust your strategy

To get the most out of your social media efforts, your strategy should include the following:
- Determine which sites are most beneficial to post to and when to post to them
- Decide how large you want your social media presence to be
- Identify the right metrics to use to measure your progress towards social media goals
Consider how to engage current and potential customers online

1. Create SMART social media goals.

All business planning should start with defining clear goals, and social media is no exception. One of the biggest reasons why social media strategies fail is because goals aren’t aligned with core business values. For long term success on social media, choose goals based on traffic, leads, and sales.

Start by writing down at least three social media goals that relate to or support your business objectives. SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time based. Some examples are to increase brand awareness in key markets or to convert 30% of prospects to sales through social media. You’ll notice that these social media goals don’t revolve around vanity metrics such as Likes or Retweets.

2. Audit your current social footprint

To understand your current use and get to know what works with your audience, conduct an audit of your social media presence. Who is connecting with your business on social media, which social networks and content does your audience prefer, and what is your competition doing?

Conduct an inventory of your social media presence
If you already have brand representation on social media, do an inventory search for officially sanctioned and unauthorized pages representing your business. Take note of the number of followers, quality and quantity of activity or engagement, and whether all links work within each social profile. Delete or report any rogue or spammy accounts and consider amalgamating accounts if your business has sprawling social presence.

Get to know your customer
If your business isn’t currently represented on social media, your first step is to decide which sites are most beneficial for your business. This is a great time to connect with internal stakeholders and other teams to discover how you can better support them through social media. Invite customers to complete a quick survey (with incentive) to understand their demographic and preferred content and social media channels.

Understand your competitive landscape
Investigate what your top competitors or industry influencers are doing on social media. Do they have a large social media footprint? What content resonates the most with their followers? Do an analysis of their strengths and weaknesses and let that inform your social media strategy.

3. Develop your content strategy

Now that you’ve solidified your goals and have an understanding of your target audience, it’s time to determine what content will help you reach both. A comprehensive content strategy should include:
Types of content you will post and promote
Frequency of sharing
Engagement plan
Target audience for each type of content
Content execution plan
Content promotion plan

Create an editorial calendar as a part of your content strategy. This should map your social media goals, target audience, and campaigns against a weekly or monthly calendar. Think about what content you can share across various channels that will support your business objectives. Your content strategy may also involve creating posts in advance to be posted later. Remember to put your scheduled posts on your editorial calendar so you don’t forget about them.

4. Track your social media success

Before you get into a content rhythm, check your analytics often to see how your social campaign or content is performing. Most likely, your audience prefers a variety of original content combined with relevant, trending posts. Facebook Insights shares insights into your Facebook audience and content, while Google Analytics shows you who’s viewing and engaging with your web pages. Remember to match your analytics up with your goals to ensure you’re on the right track to success.

5. Tweak your social media strategy

With a general understanding of what resonates with your audience and supports your objectives, you can start to adjust your social media strategy accordingly. Re-write your content strategy based on your analysis and update goals as you’ve met them. Tweaking your strategy should be an ongoing process. Use analytics and feedback to guide you through updates.

By Hoorsuite.

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