6 Steps to Create a Successful Social Media Strategy PlanDCI
Every business, be it a well-established brand or an up and coming start-up, knows that social media is an essential part of a solid business strategy. A social media strategy does not simply involve setting up accounts across various platforms and expecting your customer base to magically increase. Just like with any other business plan, a social media strategy requires diligent thought and planning before being put into action.
If you are planning to integrate a social media strategy into your business plan, but are not sure of where to begin, here are six steps to help you on your way:
1. Put Your Ear to the Social Ground:
As stated before, it does not do to dive headfirst into the deep end of the social media pool. Keeping your company’s goals and mission in mind, you should first figure out which channels will work most effectively for your business. Observe the activity of your target audience: where are they more likely to engage? Assess which social channels are more conducive to your business marketing plan. Will the channel help you reach the kind of audience you are looking to target? These factors can be used as a basis when you map out your strategy.
2. Keep Your Eye on the Goal:
Goals first, tactics later. Before you start disseminating content on your social channels, make sure you know what you hope to achieve through your social media strategy. Does the strategy aim at building awareness for your brand or a new product? Or are you looking to build a loyal consumer base with a high retention factor? Each objective needs a different approach to achievement.
3. Keep Your Finger on your Competitors’ Pulse
Competitive analysis is a crucial step to be taken before you formulate your plan of action. Scoping out the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors will help you figure out how and where you need to be focusing your social goals. Identify the channels in which your competition has a social presence, and take note of how they engage with their user base. The level of engagement, type of content and the total strength of your competition’s user base are some factors you should take into account.
4. The Right Content at the Right Time
Now that you have established the channels you are going to focus on, you should set a schedule that works best for your content dissemination plan. This involves deciding the best time to schedule your social media activity, along with the type of content that should be posted to each channel. For instance, while Facebook users constitute nearly the entire age-demographic, Twitter’s user base largely falls into the young-adult sector who tend to spend a considerable chunk of their time on social networks. Therefore, scheduling a more frequent posting on Twitter is more likely to get your content noticed by your target audience.
5. Hold the Attention of your Audience
Once you have established your schedule, the next step is to decide exactly how you are going to go about it. You should remember that social media audiences have a very short attention span, therefore the key is to keep them continually engaged and inclined to visit your social channels. In addition to having a consistent social media schedule, the type of content you post is just as relevant. Posting content that encourages your customers to interact with you and stimulate your users’ creativity is sure to help you reap the benefits of your plan.
6. The Numbers are Important
Ultimately, it all comes down to the numbers. Having put your plan into action, the next step is to ensure that your social media efforts are paying off. Platforms like Twitter and Facebook come with built-in analytics tools that make it easy for business owners and marketers to track the performance of their campaigns. Right from measuring the impact of a single post to the overall traffic data, data analysis can help you assess if your social media plan matches up with your set goals.
Remember that a truly successful social media plan is a result of trial and error, coupled with lots of fine-tuning and adjustments to the various strategies within the plan. However, as long as your plan doesn’t lose sight of the bottom-line and is adaptable to the ever-changing landscape of social media, your efforts will gain fruition.