Whether you are already dabbling in social media marketing or are in fact a complete newbie to the confusing world of likes, tweets and favourites, this article aims to outline how even you can craft a winning social media strategy.

A well thought-out and creatively executed social media strategy can prove to be incredibly effective for any business – and also available at quite a low cost if managed and implemented correctly.

But, how do you put together an effective social media strategy in the first place?

Set your goals

When generating any goal, it should always be tied back to your business strategy:

To achieve [interest company goal here], on social media we are going to [insert social media goal here.]

This is because social media isn’t a stand alone tool, instead it is a fully integrated part of any digital marketing ecosystem. And, as such, it needs to play its role in achieving ‘the greater good.’

For example, if your company was looking to expand into new market areas, your social media strategy could include shorter term social media goals such as:

  • Discover influencers who can amplify your business message
  • Partner with influencers and other brands to start to grow into other market segments
  • Publish, share and promote branded content that demonstrates your company as knowledge leaders and experts in the new targeted market areas.

By justifying a social media strategy against your top level company goals, not only will it have the biggest impact, but it too will allow any C-suite members to see tangible benefits of social media and how it can be used to achieve wider aims.

But what if there are no top-level goals?

If you find yourself in a situation where you’ve sat down but can’t think of any tangible top-level goals to align your social media strategy with, don’t panic! Where there is a will there is a way…

As an alternative, you can align social media goals with general marketing agendas: increasing brand awareness, increasing website traffic, driving new leads and revenue growth, pushing brand engagement, building a loyal community, increasing mentions on and offline i.e. in the press or even learning more to further understand your audience and customers. Any of these, or indeed a combination of the above would be a perfectly justifiable alternative to align your social media strategy with.

Now, it’s time to talk tactics

Once your social media goals have been set, you are then in a position to translate these into specific tactics which are most likely achieve these goals. These will be your daily to-dos.

So, going back to the previous example, if you were looking to expand into new market areas by discovering influencers to amplify your business message, the following tactics could be used to achieve this goal:

  • Develop a list of say 50 promising influencers who are well placed and who may be open to sharing sponsored posts
  • Message each influencer individually about the possibility of partnering
  • Establish monthly sponsored posts to be shared over a 3, 6 or 12 month period

In the same way, if we were aiming to use branded content on social media for the same end, our specific tactics may look something like the following:

  • Research topics that are ‘hot’ in the market sector you wish to branch out into.
  • Create varied content that addresses key questions, topics and news items that people are talking about.
  • Establish a monthly content plan of when to share this content most effectively, include in this weekly or fortnightly sponsored/promoted posts as this will allow you to reach a wider audience in the segment you wish to break into.

Although the above two examples could be adapted to achieve similar goals, the specific ‘on-the ground’ tactics that you will need to develop and implement will need to vary depending on your individual customers, offering and business type.

Additionally, it is key to remember that once you have begun implementing your social media strategy, you can tweak your tactics and plan according to the feedback and results you begin to get.

Sort out your priorities

No matter your size, every marketing team – whether that’s a whole floor of experts or a one-man band – has its limits. Consequently, it is important to prioritise your goals and tactics to reap the most benefit. The best way to do this is by implementing a social media marketing plan.

To create this marketing plan you should give a hierarchy of importance to your goals – the best way to do this is to plan to implement a strategy aligned with the most pressing company aims.

Alternatively, you can organise all social media activities in a descending benefit order. I.e. Complete those first which have the highest possible ROI for the least time and effort spent. In other words, it’s a matter of evaluating value vs. complexity to complete those easy wins first.

Once you have your priorities in order you can then assign tasks and completion dates to people. When setting times on tactics it is very important to be realistic – the last thing you want to do is to spend all this time creating a highly detailed social media strategy then to find out you won’t be following it.

Check, check and check again

Like all marketing activities, reporting is absolutely crucial when it comes to effective social media marketing. Reports let you know where you are succeeding and which aspects of a campaign need tweaking. With social media, reporting and split testing posts and promotions can allow you to reap the highest ROI for the minimum spend.

Thus, it is key to monitor all your social activities as you go to adapt and even change your social media strategy as you go; let it evolve according to what works – as social media relies on real people, nothing is certain nor set in stone.

Let us help you get started with your social media strategy

So there you have it, the key stages to crafting a winning social media strategy. If you’d like to find out more, head over to our social media page or get in touch where one of our fantastic team members would love to discuss your options and the best way forward.