The challenge we face
What it looks like to be successful as a business now is entirely different than what it was even a decade ago. Not creating a seamless digital experience for clients and customers to engage in is rarely an option if you want to thrive and grow. Most businesses know this. Q1 of 2019 pinpointed the first time that phones made up over 50% of all organic searches. Ease of use and time-stretched lifestyles are at least partly responsible for the increasing need for convenient on-the-go digital platforms. This article looks at what you need to create to a social media strategy that works for your business.
It’s precisely this reason that you need to create a social media strategy and ensure its content is meaningful and memorable. We’re exposed to 4000-10000 ads a day. Ask yourself, how many of those brands do you remember at the end of the day? Some will be stored subconsciously, but most will be forgotten.
Trying to communicate your brand effectively, its purpose, and how people will benefit from it is tricky. Many do so unguided and take the route of throwing different content at all of the primary platforms without ever making a big enough impact or reaching their target.
That’s why you need to develop a water-tight digital strategy. If done right, you’ll reach more of your target, become one of the memorable brands and be poised to take on the challenges of how future technological developments shapes your business.
The 7 steps to improving your social media strategy are:
- Know who you’re trying to reach
- Identify your goals
- Get appropriate eTools to measure your goals
- Evaluate your current channels
- Identify opportunities
- Create a content plan
- Bring it all together
Creating a social media strategy is the first step to fully integrating the digital into your business. If you haven’t laid the groundwork in this first step, how are you going to see the sustainable growth you want in your business?
What is a social media strategy and how is it relevant to your business today?
A digital marketing strategy is a list of steps you need to follow to obtain measurable improvement in your business’s digital marketing. In order to work, it needs to be targeted to yours and your customer’s specific requirements; otherwise, it will get lost in the noise of all the content that’s already out there.
How do I create one?
Creating a digital strategy might seem intimidating. However, broken down into manageable segments, the process is relatively straight-forward. It still takes a lot of work, thought and a sense of originality within the framework to stand out amongst the crowd, but the pay off is certainly worth the effort. The following are ideas on how to create your social media strategy.
1. Know who you’re trying to reach.
Knowing your market segment will enable you to tailor your approach. For example, having a young demographic as your target market will mean the Snapchat will probably become an essential part of your strategising. If you’re more B2B focused, LinkedIn would be the most appropriate platform.
90% of Snapchat users are aged between 13-24 whereas LinkedIn boasts of generating 80% of the B2B leads that are derived from social media. The sometimes drastic differences between various platforms’ users highlight the fact that you need to understand the user breakdown of each platform you choose to promote your business on.
2. Identify your goals
Create a list of your goals. Start with your overall goals and then refine them to give you a clearer idea of the action you need to take to achieve them. You’ll also be able to better measure the success of each goal.
A general goal might be ‘I want to reach more people via Facebook’, whilst a specific one could be ‘I want to have a 20% higher conversion rate through Facebook’.
You can do this by creating SMART goals for every social media channel and create a strategy on how you’re going to measure it month on month or even week on week.
3. Get an appropriate marketing eTool to measure your goals
This step is essential if you’re going to have any grasp on how your digital marketing is being received. SME’s tend to neglect this crucial part of creating a social media strategy. Less than 30% of small businesses use website analytics and 18% of small businesses admitted to not tracking anything.
Using a marketing tool such as Dasheroo to measure your goals will allow you to see how effective your strategy is and tweak it accordingly. You’ll have to actively monitor this if you’re going to benefit from it.
You’ll also be able to refine your campaigns. Perhaps you’re undecided on what image to use for an ad. You could run two tests ads with a small reach and measure which one has the most engagement.
4. Evaluate your current channels
Your current channels may have some useful aspects that can be further developed, or even replicated in your strategy. Have a creative session with your staff to see how engaging brand-appropriate content can be delivered. The world of digital marketing never stands still. You need to evaluate whether your social media strategy is working or not.
Identify what’s working well, what needs to be worked on and what’s performing poorly. Scrap what isn’t working.
5. Look for opportunities
Review your content to see if anything is missing that could be generating results. Get your team together for a creative session to bounce ideas off of each other. Ask them to think of engaging brand-appropriate which can be delivered throughout the month. Repeat this action each month.
Has something been done well that can be replicated across all of your channels? This ties in with evaluating your channels and the results from the eTool. It’s about interpreting the results and taking action to fill any gaps in your strategy.
6. Create a content plan for each month in advance
By this stage, you should have a good awareness of what kind of content is engaging your target market the most. Take that knowledge and plan what you’re going to post and when. For example putting items such as ‘customer feedback’, ‘industry news’, ‘sales pitch’ and so forth into your plan will give you and your team a clear view of how content is going to be divided up through the month
Struggling to find fresh ideas? Use keyword research, websites like Answer The Public can help you generate new angles. Use the results to create a monthly blog plan.
7. Bring it all together
Bring these steps together to help you run your digital marketing. Steps 1, 2, and 3 only need to be done once and you’re set. 4, 5, and 6 are an ongoing process, although they will get easier with practice.
Remember, for your social media strategy to work, your marketing as a whole needs to be seamless. Gone are the days when one-off campaigns produced long-term business growth.
Where do you go from here?
There’s lots to do to ensure your social media strategy is up to scratch. Even with a step-by-step list, it can be overwhelming and difficult to do well. If you feel like you could use some expert help and advice regarding your digital marketing, whether you want training on the basics or want to outsource your marketing altogether, you can register for a free 30-minute digital marketing review or check out our free digital marketing course.