I’m starting to see it more and more: business owners are FINALLY realizing that they need to do a little planning and actually have a strategy if they’re going to be successful on social media.
In the past, I found many business owners didn’t think they needed to allocate resources, set goals, or measure results in order to be successful.
They thought that a cute video of their new puppy sneezing was all they needed to blast sales through the roof <grin>.
If it were only that easy!
Updated: Feb 22, 2020
Over the years, I’ve created large-scale, detailed social media strategies and marketing plans for MANY companies. For these big brands, it takes a tremendous amount of time and resources to carry them out.
However, the good news is that the principles are the same, whether you’re a solopreneur, have a mid-sized company, or a huge, multi-national brand!
In this post, I’ll share 5 steps you can use to create and launch your own social media strategy…regardless of your budget.
Why a Social Media Strategy Matters
Do you ever wonder if a social media strategy or plan is really necessary?
Or, if maybe you can just continue to squeak by without one?According to Buffer, 73% of marketers say their social media marketing has been “somewhat effective” or “very effective”.Click To Tweet
Image via Oberlo
If you want to fall into the “very effective” category, you definitely need a plan. Here’s why:
- With a strategy, you’ll have goals you’re actively pursuing. This is going to save you time – time you would otherwise be wasting, randomly using social media.
- You’ll know which platforms your audience is using.
- And you’ll be providing the type of content they actually want to see.
- You’ll also know what’s working and what’s not…so you can do more of what works.
5 Steps to Create a Rockstar Social Media Strategy
Convinced you need a social media strategy, but aren’t sure where to start? Follow these 5 simple steps and you’ll be on your way to a rockstar-level strategy!
Step 1: Define Your Customer Persona.
This is a super-helpful strategy for all areas of your business, and your social media marketing is no exception.
Before you do anything else, take a few minutes to think about who your ideal customer or client is. Ask questions like what is their:
- age, gender and location?
- #1 struggle?
I find it helpful to really flesh out my persona! For instance, come up with a name, and then grab an image off Google Search (it’s okay…you won’t be sharing this with anyone outside your company).
Answer the questions above, and you’ve now got a complete profile of your perfect customer or client!
Step 2: Find Out Where Your Audience Hangs Out.
Image via Pew Research
Facebook is still one of the most visited social media sites, according to Pew Research.
But is that where your audience actually hangs out?
Before you jump in and commit to a particular platform, it’s important to look at the demographics for each one. Here’s an amazing resource that will help you do just that.
For instance, did you know that…
If you’re targeting females between the ages of 18 and 49, you’ll definitely want to consider Pinterest?
Or if you’re targeting highly-educated professionals who make over $75K/year, LinkedIn is where it’s at?
Or if you’re looking to reach teens or those in their 20’s, Instagram and Snapchat will be your best bet?
Step 3: Set SMART Goals.
Now that you know where your audience hangs out, it’s time to set some goals around what you want to accomplish.
Most people are goal-oriented, and do better when they’re progressing towards some defined goals.
Yet for some reason, with social media, people rarely take the time to establish goals!
I recommend starting with big, wide-reaching goals first, and then breaking those bigger goals down into smaller pieces. You can then establish performance benchmarks and timelines for each piece.
Your goals should be “SMART”: meaning, Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.
Here’s an example.
Many business owners say, “I want to use Facebook to grow my business”. But how do they know if they’re succeeding? How do they if what they’re doing is working…or not working?
Using SMART goals will remedy this: “I want to develop a Facebook strategy to drive 100 potential customers to my store in the next 90 days”.
Now you can automatically focus on activities and a strategy to support that “SMART” goal…meaning far less wasted time, and far better results.
Step 4: Measure Everything.
This goes hand-in-hand with establishing measurable goals.
Measuring does many things. First, it helps you track overall progress to your larger goals. But just as importantly, it tells you what’s working and what’s not. This will allow you to naturally make adjustments to fix your strategy…or free you up to confidently try something completely new.
Let's take our same goal from above: getting 100 potential customers in your store from Facebook promotions in the next 90 days.
To do that, you’ll probably need to run a campaign on Facebook. You could make an offer that only appears on Facebook, using either a promo code or coupon that only appears there.
Now let’s say after 30 days, you only have 12 people that redeemed the coupon. What will you do?
Well, armed with this data, there are lots of things you can do.
You can do some Facebook advertising to get the offer in front of more local Facebook users.
Also, you could mention the offer in your newsletter or send a note to your e-mail list with a link to the page.
You could do a Facebook Live in your group letting your members know about the offer.
OR, you could kill the offer and try something else completely.
The point is that measuring results will drive adjustments that lead to better results!
Step 5: Have a Content Strategy.
You thought having a social media marketing strategy was enough, right? <grin>
But I also want you to have a plan for what type of content you’re going to post to social media, how often you’ll post it, and what days and times you’ll post it.
As a general rule, you should only post promotional material about 10% -20% of the time. If you do more than that people will consider you a “spammer” or push marketer, and will disconnect.As a general rule, you should only post promotional material about 10% -20% of the time. If you do more than that people will consider you a “spammer” or push marketer, and will disconnect.Click To Tweet
So, what are you going to post the other 80–90% of the time? Post content that’s interesting, motivational, funny, useful or otherwise has VALUE to your community.
And, I strongly recommend planning out this content, creating it ahead of time using batching, and being really clear about who is going to create it, when it’s due, and when it will be posted.
As you can see, this is what we do here at Kim Garst:
This ensures we have a solid plan that we will actually carry out, so we’re constantly providing a steady stream of valuable and useful content to my audience!
If you’re feeling lost or overwhelmed by social media, or you just aren’t getting the results you want, stop, take a deep breath, and spend a little time planning.
I’ve helped many businesses just like yours develop an effective social media strategy over the years. The 5 steps above will give you a great start, but I find often a little extra experience and guidance is necessary to really make your strategy ROCK!
If you would like step-by-step guidance create your own social media strategy, I’ve created a mini-course just for you: How to Create Your Social Media Strategy.
In this training, I’ll share my best tips for finding your ideal customers on social media, setting SMART goals, analyzing your competition, and more.
Please note: This training is one of the many courses in my Business Builder’s Academy. When you join, you get instant access to this mini-course, as well as 50+ other courses and resources you need to grow your business.
Do you already have a social media strategy in place? If so, what works best for you? I would love to know!