Developing a bespoke social media strategy is a very smart thing to do for a business that wishes to invest in social media marketing. All businesses and brands are different; each needing a different approach and plan in order to get the results wanted. Creating a detailed, goal-oriented social media strategy is just as important as having a rock solid business plan.
In order to create a clear and effective social-media strategy for your business, there are a few things you need to know first.
Here are the top 10 key things you should know:
- Know the goals you want to achieve
It doesn’t matter if you’re hiring an internal social media manager or using an external social media agency to manage your social media marketing. You still need to know your goals before you jump into social media; your strategy and how you measure your results rely heavily on this. You can have a priority goal or several different goals. You may want to focus on your website traffic, increasing in sales, newsletter subscription, brand awareness, etc. Write down the specific goals that make sense to your business.
- Know your online audience
Imagining what your online audience is like is very different from actively searching for their conversations and listening to what they’re saying about your products, services, brand or industry in general. Take the time to conduct searches and listen to conversations around your industry. This will help you to know and understand who your online audience is, what they’re talking about, which networks they use, what their needs and issues are, etc. You are then able to create a strategy based on this key information.
- Decide who’ll be managing your social media
It really depends on the size of your business and/or how much you want to invest on social media, but it’s important to decide who’s going to create your social media strategy, set it up and then manage it on a daily basis. They will be the person(s) responsible for your brand reputation, so take the time to think about it.
- Know which networks you should be
You don’t need to be on all the major networks. You need to be on the right network for you, this means being where your audience is. That’s why is so important to research your online audience and know which networks they use. It can be a major network like Facebook, but it can also be a smaller niche network that you didn’t even know it existed.
- Know what types of content you should post
Through researching your audience online, you can have a grasp of the type of content they like and make sense for your business to deliver. Depending on the type of industry you’re in, it can be blog posts, videos, photos, contests, news, etc. You can focus on just two or three pieces of content that work best for you or have a mix of content. Be you sure to know the content your audience expects and prefers on each social media network.
- How to integrate social media in the marketing mix
Maybe you’re fairly new to social media but have already been using other marketing and advertising methods. Social media is not a substitute for other marketing methods, but rather, it is to compliment. You need to know how to integrate social media into the whole marketing mix in order to deliver a consistent message to your customers.
- Know how to get your staff involved
Regardless of if you have a single social media manager or a marketing department in charge of social media (or even an external agency), companies that invest in social media should get their staff involved. It is quite possible that many members of your staff are already using social media, so why not motivate them to get involved in your company profiles on social media? They can be great advocates for online brand awareness and bring great ideas to the table!
- Do you need a social media policy?
If you indeed are planning to have a lot of staff involved on social media or work in a sensible industry like healthcare or legal, you need to create a social media policy in order to regulate what is acceptable or not for your staff when using social media. You need to know what that is.
- Know how to measure the results
A key part of a successful social media strategy is measuring the results based upon your goals. In order to do this, you need to know what measuring and analytic tools are available (free and paid) and decide which ones are most suitable for your specific needs.
- Know what social media marketing is
What it is and how to use social media for marketing products and brands is something that you need to know beforehand, even if you’re hiring a social media manager or an external agency. That will help you to set realistic goals and really understand the enormous possibilities there are online. You can even consider taking a social media marketing training course before you embark in social media.
These are 10 key things you need to know before you develop a social media strategy. Smart businesses get all their questions answered before even starting a Facebook brand page.
Do you have other things you think are important to know before developing a social media strategy? Share it with us in the comment section below.