My first question to new social media clients is “Do you have a social media strategy?” I’m always surprised that the answer is no. So do you need a social media strategy?
What is a Social Media Strategy?
Although most clients say they don’t have a social media strategy or at least don’t have one formally written down, they generally have the workings of one. A social media strategy is basically a summary of everything you hope to do on social media and underpins all of your social media activity to ensure you’re working towards a defined set of goals.
If I’m defining a social media strategy for clients I will always ask the following questions?
- What are your goals for your social media channels?
- Who are you targeting with your social media content?
- How active are your competition in the social media space?
- What resources do you have in terms of content, time, people and budget?
By understanding the above it allows you to start adding some context to your strategy.
Defining your social media strategy goals
Defining your goals and objectives allows you to understand the type of content you need to produce for your channels, the frequency in which you need to post and the calls to action you need to include within your posts.
Sprout Social advise that your key goals should be one of the following:
- Increasing brand awareness
- Generating leads and sales
- Growing your audience
- Increasing your community engagement
Content differs dependent on your goal, for example, if you want to generate sales leads then you need to ensure you have a clear call-to-action with each post. If you want to grow your audience then your post frequency will be higher than if your want to simply increase your community engagement.
Defining your social media audience
Once you’ve set your goals you’re able to define your audience. Age, gender, hobbies and interests are all factors that can define what content to produce, how often you should post and when to post. It will also help which channel to focus on too, for example, millennials and Generation Z use Instagram whilst women vastly outnumber men on Pinterest.
Understanding your competition
Your competition can be your biggest knowledge bank. Not only are you able to identify areas of opportunity, ‘borrow’ some ideas but you can see how their audience is engaging with their content and which content appears to be the most successful.
Identifying your resource limitations
Finally, your time is not endless, nor are your pockets. By understanding your resource limitations it will allow you to focus on a more defined strategy. Financial limitations may impact whether you outsource social media management or how much quality content you’re able to generate. Time and content limitations may effect the frequency of posting.
What are the benefits of a Social Media Strategy?
Social Media Today identify 7 key advantages of an effective social media strategy:
- 1. It creates direction, the same direction as your business goals
- 2. It allows you to measure and improve
- 3. You save time with focussed content creation and channel targeting and pre-planned posts
- 4. You create a consistent message and brand that your audience can relate to
- 5. You remain active, no breaks in content, no missing an event
- 6.You’ll be prepared for the unexpected
- 7. You can create bigger, better and more joined-up campaigns
So, should have a social media strategy? A resounding yes. Spending time defining your strategy, creating a subsequent content plan will allow you to be far more cost-effective than ad hoc posting.
Need more resources, Influencer Marketing Hub provides a great guide for creating a marketing strategy, but if you want 1 to 1 guidance and support with your social media support, have a look at what 2DOG Marketing can do for you.