Nowadays social media strategy is a phrase that we hear everywhere. A huge number of companies have decided to adopt a social media strategy, often without fully understanding what it really is. All companies have to constantly re-evaluate their marketing strategy in a constantly changing business environment in order to remain competitive. This is not a matter of choice but a question of survival.
Many companies confuse a social media strategy with an action plan. There is a difference. Your social media strategy supports and informs your action plan. With specialist input you can maximize your social media effort to its full potential.
There are companies who consider a social media strategy to be something that is easy to create, something that doesn’t necessarily take a lot of effort. If your company is one of them you have underestimated the complexity of the task. This attitude is all too common and it can lead to damaging consequences for your business… such as an ineffective but costly social media presence. More seriously you risk damaging your e-reputation.
So let’s take a look at what social media strategy is and what you need to build an effective one.
The definitions of social media strategy are numerous but here is one: a social media strategy defines relationships, considers their value and sets out a plan to harness them to achieve a particular goal or set of goals*.
- First of all, determine your objectives and marketing goals.
Ask yourself a question: What do I want to achieve and what are my objectives?
Once your objectives are defined, they will enable you to react if your campaigns are not meeting your expectations. Another point is that determining your objectives and goals is the only way to gauge results and inform you that your social media ROI (Return On Investment) is worthwhile.
So what can it be? Increasing sales, improving visibility/awareness of your brand, winning new customers … are all the examples of an objective/goal. They are numerous and dependent upon the nature of your business.
You may also want to use a S.M.A.R.T. model when setting your goals. That means that each goal should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. They should not be too numerous, choose three to start with.
- Conduct market research.
A market analysis is an essential part of your strategy. You cannot move forward if you do not know your market, i.e. its size, demographics, social characteristics, statistics, trends, etc.
Include the following elements:
– PEST analysis,
– Profile your target/potential customers,
– Analyze your competitors,
– Get social media inspiration from the leaders of your market, etc.
The above-mentioned aspects are valid not only for social media strategy but also for the offline marketing strategy.
- Identify the right social media.
You don’t need to be present on all the social media. Instagram for instance is a perfect fit for a retail company but is completely useless for an it company. Facebook is a must to engage with B2C targets while Twitter is the basis of any B2B social strategy. Google Plus should always be considered as its impact on SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is crucial.
- Implement your action plan.
– Set your content plan/strategy. The most important rule here is to be, and to remain consistent. You just cannot allow your brand to be eclectic because this is not the expectation of your customers.
– Create your editorial calendar.
– Test your social media plan.
- Evaluate your social media plan.
Ask yourself a question: Am I reaching my objectives?
Measure the ROI of your social media campaign. A huge number of tools exist today that help you to measure the ROI of campaigns. They measure traffic, reach, leads, customers, rates of conversion, etc….
Run A/B tests to identify the effectiveness of your campaign.
Adjust and refine the campaign if necessary. You should always keep an eye on the results of your social media campaign as you need to know that it corresponds to the objectives you had set up. Another important point is that you need to keep an eye on the latest digital and social media trends in order to absorb them and use them to best advantage of your brand.
A successful social media strategy depends on a variety of factors, some of them mentioned above. It is a process that is constantly changing and therefore, needs a permanent and regular adaptation to our evolving reality. Keeping the points mentioned in this articles will help you to reach marketing effectiveness, help you to better understand your business relationship with your customers and attain business growth.