10 steps to building a social media strategy that WORKS!

Not seeing the results you want from social media yet? Here are 10 steps to building a social media strategy for your business that WORKS!

In today’s digital world, social media has been promoted from tactic to a strategic pillar in any marketing strategy. As a result, so many businesses come to Marketing for Mums knowing they need to be on social media, but don’t know where to start. Or they have created a page and started posting content without a clear goal in mind and as a consequence feel disheartened with their progress.

This experience has inspired me to create a 10 step process to building a strategic social media strategy that will deliver results for your business – one that every small business should be following.

10 steps to building a social media strategy that WORKS!

I am guessing some of you may be thinking ‘10 points!! Already that feels too hard’. If this is you, my message is simple: read on, take from this what you can realistically achieve in the time you have, start small, learn what works and build from there.

Small, consistent steps in the right direction will take you further than a burst of enthusiasm that can’t be maintained!

1) Be clear on your objective

Your first step should be to think about what your business needs and build a strategy and plan around that. For example, are you a start-up that wants to build brand awareness? Do you have a healthy number of followers with whom you want to build deeper relationships? Do you want to engage with influencers within your industry? Do you want to drive traffic to your website?

By clarifying your objective you can focus your thinking and define meaningful measures of success.

2) Describe your target audience – who are you talking to?

Once you know your objective, you need to consider who you want to be talking to- your target audience. It is helpful to create user personas (a description of a fictional person that represents your ideal customer- their needs, goals, and behaviours) which should include how, why and when they use social media. Ideally you will have some customer research or alternatively talk to some of your customers to help clarify this.

3) Identify which social media platforms you should use to reach your target audience

I have seen businesses create pages on multiple platforms and randomly post on each, rather than driving a regular conversation on the ones that are likely to deliver the best results. Use your work on the Personas to understand where you should focus energy.

Choose platforms that align to your business type, for example Pinterest and Instagram are great if you have a visual business where you have a steady stream of images to post and Business to Business services perform well on LinkedIn which facilitates discussion on topical business issues.

4) Develop a platform strategy

Having chosen your platforms, you need to define the strategy that will engage your audience to listen to you above the noise of others. Quality content and flashpoint ‘hooks’.

5) Develop clear, measurable targets and KPIs to ensure your strategy is working

Setting clear targets enables you to track and measure success. They should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timebound). The KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) must tie to the objective for example the effectiveness of a brand awareness campaign should be measured by Reach and Impressions and Engagement by Shares, Likes and Comments.

If you already have pages, review the platform analytics data over time and use this knowledge to help you set your targets. If your pages are new, set a short term target, for example, for one month, review the performance data and then produce new targets with this insight in mind.

6) Perfect your platforms

When someone visits a page, you want to make sure it looks great, the messaging and images clearly and succinctly tell your story and that there is an obvious call to action if someone wants more information. There should also be a consistent brand identity across all your platform pages.

7) Find and engage with influencers

Finding and engaging with influencers that reach your target audience is crucial for the success of your social media strategy. Influencers could be people that produce great content for you to share and / or who have a high numbers of followers who trust their opinions.

If an influencer with high follower numbers shares your content, you are extending your reach and building credibility with their followers. Once you have identified who your target influencers are, you build your strategy for engaging and developing your relationship with them over time.

8) Develop a content strategy that connects with your audience

Ultimately success on social media will be driven by putting great content in-front of your target audience that engages them. It could be fantastic business insight, beautiful images inspirational stories or videos that make them laugh. Think about what content works on each platform for example a cute video of your baby isn’t going to work in the ‘business’ environment of LinkedIn.

Only approximately 20% of the content should be about you or your business. When you’re striking up a conversation with someone, how quickly do you get bored if all they do is talk about themselves? Present a rich source of interesting content that provides an incentive for people to return to your page, in a way that encourages comment and interaction.

Consider building a content plan; topics you want to comment on, significant focal points in your calendar that will require promotional work e.g. seasonal activities, significant events or product launches combined with ‘flashpoint’ offers and incentives.

9) Advertise

It is undoubtedly possible to have some success on social media without paid for promotions, however sadly we are seeing a decline in organic performance. This results from platforms updating their algorithms to favour paid content or rich media such as Facebook Live, Instagram Stories or Twitter Moments.

All brands should consider investing a small amount of budget in paid for promotions, for example boosting posts that are working for you or creating bespoke adverts tied to a campaign or incentive.

10) Test, measure, reflect, refine, report

Like anything in life, you’re never going to know if it works until you try it. Test your content strategy on your platforms by posting & then review the platform analytics data based upon your KPIs set. Post more of the content that’s working & reflect on the posts that aren’t as successful.

Maybe leave a gap and try them on a different day or time of day or try a different topic altogether. Ultimately build on what’s working & repeat this evaluative process at least weekly with a detailed monthly review. A basic weekly report that focuses on your primary KPIs can provide you with a consistent review structure that can be used over time to track progress.

Do you have a business idea but don’t know how to take it to market? Do you want to create a buzz around a new launch? Or do you need to define and deliver a marketing plan for continued business growth? Find out how Marketing for Mums can help.