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7 Steps How to Develop a Social Media Strategy Step by Step

Developing a social media strategy that works for your business can be challenging. There are so many platforms and options available that it’s hard to know where to start. Aside from that, if you don’t have a well-developed strategy, it will not work. However, you will definitely see results if you plan and strategize your social media marketing correctly.

In this article, I will outline for you a step by step process for developing a social media strategy that will help you reach your target audience and build a strong organic presence online.

Step 1: Define your business goals

People shaking hands and speaking about business goals and social media strategy

The first step in developing your social media strategy is to define your business goals. What are you trying to achieve with social media? Are you looking to increase your brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, or generate leads? 

When you set your goals, you need to make sure they’re realistic. One way to do that is by following the S.M.A.R.T model. This means that your business goals should be:

  • Specific: Well-defined, clear, and not open to interpretation
  • Measurable: Can be measured through a specific criteria or metrics
  • Achievable: Should be attainable
  • Realistic: Relevant to your business and within your reach
  • Timely: Includes a clear timeline to create a sense of urgency

After familiarizing yourself with the S.M.A.R.T goals model, it’s time to set your social media strategy goals. Some of the examples can be:

  • Increase brand awareness

When people browse through social media, they should see your brand and your business. You can achieve this by posting on a regular basis posts that give real value to your target audience.

  • Get more website traffic

Social media can help you get more website traffic by publishing promotional content that explains how your products or services help to solve real life problems or achieve the goals that your target audience are trying to solve or achieve. 

  • Generate more leads

Generating more leads will help you increase sales and grow your customer base. You can do this by posting free content like an e-book. You can also put a good cover image with all your contact information on your social media accounts. It will also help if you set up a web page or business page with all the relevant information that your audience should know. 

  • Engage with your audience

Using social media the right way can  help you create a close connection with potential and current customers. You can do this by answering every comment on your post, responding to social media messages,and integrating user-generated content.

Once you have set clear business goals, it’s time to move to the next step: learning about your target audience.

Step 2: Research Your Target Audience

Target people at work in social media strategy

Now that you know what you want to achieve with your social media strategy, it’s time to research your target audience. Who are they? What platforms do they use? What content do they engage with? The more you know about your target audience, the better equipped you will be to reach them.

One way to do this is by drafting your customers’ demographics. This includes information such as their age, gender, location, interests, and income. This will give you a general idea of who your target audience is.

Take note that each social media platform attracts different customer demographics. For example, Millennials and Gen Z mainly use Instagram and YouTube. Meanwhile, well-educated individuals frequent LinkedIn because the platform is highly populated with industry-specific content. Knowing this information will help you adjust your messaging and ads on each social media platform.

Once you know more about your target audience, you can look at what kind of content performs best on each social media platform.

Step 3: Know What Type of Content Performs Best on Each Platform

When creating social media content, one important thing to keep in mind is that each platform is different. What works on Instagram might not work on LinkedIn and vice versa. That’s why it’s important to know what kind of content performs best on each platform.

Computer dispalying Social Media platforms in social media strategy

Here’s a quick rundown:

  1. Facebook. According to Hubspot, the best-performing Facebook posts are newsworthy, informative, and entertaining. If you need to make an announcement or share an article from your blog, Facebook is a great platform to do it.
  2. Twitter. Twitter is all about brevity. The ideal length for a tweet is between 70-100 characters. That’s why this social media platform is perfect for sharing quick updates, industry news, and interesting facts.
  3. LinkedIn. This is an excellent platform for B2B companies and thought leaders. The contents that perform best on LinkedIn are articles, infographics, and videos that offer insights and industry news.
  4. Instagram. This platform is all about visuals. The best-performing Instagram posts are creative, colorful, and visually appealing. If you have a product to sell, this is the perfect platform to do it.
  5. Pinterest. Just like Instagram, Pinterest is also a visual platform. The best content to post on this site are infographics, images, and videos that provide helpful tips and information.
  6. YouTube. This social media platform is perfect for brands that want to share video content with their audience. The best-performing YouTube videos are entertaining, informative, and inspiring.

Step 4: Develop Your Content Strategy

Now that you know what works best for each social media platform, it’s time to develop your content strategy. What kind of content will you create? How often will you post? What tone will you use?

Your content strategy should be aligned with your business goals. Here are some  examples:

  1. If your goal is to increase brand awareness, your content strategy should focus on creating content that will introduce your brand to new audiences. This will include short but interesting stories about your business or testimonials from your customers. You can also use unique hashtags that lets your audience identify your brand,
  2. If you wish to increase traffic on your e-commerce website, it should have a social share feature that lets customers share their purchases on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or other platforms. 
  3. If you want to increase your community engagement, you should focus on creating content that will encourage your audience to interact with you.  This can include polls or questions that prompt your audience to leave a comment on your post. 

Here are other more content ideas to get you started:

  • Blog posts
  • Industry news
  • Tips and advice
  • How-to guides
  • Case studies
  • Infographics
  • Photos
  • Podcasts
  • Product videos
  • Social media images
  • Testimonials

Your content strategy should also be aligned with the platform you’re using. As we mentioned earlier, each social media platform is different, and what works on one might not work on another. That’s why it’s essential to tailor your content strategy to each individual platform.

Step 5: Creating a content calendar

After you’ve developed your content strategy, you need to think about how you will execute them. Create a content calendar to help you stay organized and on track.

A social media calendar is a list of all the social media posts you plan to create. They should be organized by date. If you’re using a social media management tool, it can be a spreadsheet, a Google calendar, or an interactive dashboard.

man holding content calendar planning social media strategy

Example of Google Calendar

When planning your social media calendar, make sure you audit your existing social media accounts and take note of the following:

  1. When was the last time you posted on each social media platform?
  2. What kind of content got the most engagement?
  3. When is your audience most active on social media?

This will help you get an idea of how often you should be posting on each platform and what kind of content your audience is most interested in.

After you have answered these questions, it’s time to think about what will be on your calendar. For each post, a social media calendar usually has one or more of the following:

  • When it will be live, and at what time
  • Which social media platform and account it will be posted on
  • Links and tags that need to be added to the copy and creative assets, like photos or videos.

Step 6: Measure Your Results

After you’ve created your social media marketing strategy and executed it, it’s time to measure your results. This will help you determine what’s working and what’s not so you can make the necessary changes to improve your social media performance.

To measure your results, start by setting up social media analytics. This will give you insights into how your audience is interacting with your social media posts. For example, Facebook Insights shows you information like how many people saw your post, how many people clicked on it, and how many people commented or shared it.

Once you have social media analytics set up, track your progress over time by looking at the following metrics:

  1. Number of followers/fans/subscribers
  2. Number of interactions (likes, comments, shares)
  3. Number of impressions (how many times your content was seen)
  4. Number of clicks (how many times people clicked on your links)
  5. Number of leads (how many people signed up for your email list or bought your product)

You can track all of these metrics manually, but we recommend using a social media reporting tool to make it easier. A social media report will give you an overview of all your social media activity in one place so you can see how you’re doing and where you need to improve.

Step 7: Analyze and adjust your strategy as needed

After measuring your social media results for a while, you can start analyzing your data and making the necessary changes to your strategy. If you’re not getting the results you want, don’t be afraid to experiment with different content types or frequency of posts.

If you don’t keep looking at how your work is going, you’ll never know if one campaign did better than another. Getting a big-picture view of what you do on social media can help you see how things fit together. 

Conclusion 

Developing a social media strategy doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming. You can easily create one that will help you achieve your business goals by following these steps. Make sure to plan and strategize thoroughly so your efforts will not be wasted.

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