Top 6 Ingredients for a Successful Social Media Strategy
A successful social media strategy will help your business tackle its goals with a sense of delicious purpose. Having no social media strategy is a recipe for disaster. Here are the top 6 ingredients needed to build a winning social media strategy from scratch.
1. Preheat Your Goals To 450°
First, you want to set goals that make the most sense for your business. What do you hope to accomplish by using social media? Some examples of possible goals you may consider include:
- Increasing brand awareness
- Driving traffic to your website
- Generating new leads
- Growing your revenue
- Boosting brand engagement
- Building a community around your business
With over 3.8 billion users on social media, it’s become one of the best places to promote your brand. Setting goals will help you develop highly targeted, relevant content that will increase your results and help you achieve what you’ve set out to do. But where do you begin with setting these goals? Let’s start with the SMART goal framework: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely.
- Specific Goals: Make your social media goals as specific as possible so you can easily track success.
- Measurable Goals: You need a way to measure the progress and improvement of your goals. Every goal you set needs to have a key metric.
- Attainable Goals: Setting goals that are challenging is a good thing – but you don’t want your goals to be totally out-of-reach. Make them hard, but don’t make them impossible.
- Relevant Goals: If your goals aren’t relevant to your business – or to your target audience – then you’re not going to see the results you want to see.
- Timely Goals: Deadlines hold people accountable. Without deadlines, we tend to forget or “put off” completing the task. Setting deadline goals will help you stay on track and complete your goals.
2. Measure Your Target Audience
Every social media site has a different target audience. Statistics show that Pinterest has more women users than men users, and the majority of Instagram and TikTok users are millennials or Gen Z’s – for example. Instead of trying to be on every social media site out there, focus on those where you know your core audience is the most active. Here’s how you can begin researching your target audience:
- Compile data on your existing customer base and current social media audience to identify who your buyer persona is.
- How old are they?
- Where do they live?
- What are their spending habits?
- What’s their annual income?
- What types of challenges do they face?
- What stage of life are they in?
- Who is most likely to purchase your product or services?
- Research which social channels your audience uses. Ideally, you want to be where your customers are. If your customers spend most of their time on Instagram and Facebook, then you should spend most of your time there as well.
- Conduct competitor research. Do an analysis on your competition and see what they’re doing. You can benefit from what they’re doing in a lot of ways – and also what they’re not doing.
- Understand what your target demographic wants from your social channels. Is your buyer persona looking for a product or service that will make their lives easier or better, for example?
3. Mix Together Your Essential Metrics and KPI’s
Social media isn’t all about creating engaging, relevant content – although, that’s a big part of it. However, it should also be very data-driven. Depending on your goals, certain metrics will prove to be more important than others. Some metrics you may consider looking into include:
- Hashtag Performance
- Number of Organic Likes
- Number of Paid Likes
- Bounce Rate
Chances are if you’ve already outlined your SMART goals, you probably have also already identified the most important metrics and KPI’s you want to measure. Without these metrics and KPI’s, you won’t have the proper tools to determine if your social media strategy is effective or not.
4. Add A Dash Of Content
And sprinkle that everywhere! Now that you’ve established your goals, your target audience, and the metrics and KPI’s you’re going to measure, it’s time to create engaging social content. It’s important to not forget the main purpose of social media, and that’s for connection. You want to connect with your users before you try to sell to them. Here are some tips to help you create meaningful and engaging content your users will love:
- Show, don’t tell by using photos on every post
- Get professional photos taken – or take them with your smart phone
- Share testimonials on your page
- Host contests and giveaways
- Use the right hashtags
- Add social media buttons on email newsletters
- Utilize both stories and posts
- Add engagement tools, such as puzzles, polls, and quizzes
- Tag influencers and bloggers when relevant
5. Set It For The Right Amount Of Time
But don’t just set it and forget it. Building your social media strategy takes time. Not only do you want to make sure you post consistently and at certain times, but you also want to make sure you’re there to engage with your followers. Every social media platform has a bit of a science to it, and certain times of the day people are the most active. Do some research to learn when your users are most likely on social media – and when they’re most likely to stumble upon your content. If you’re not going to be available to check messages, respond to reviews, engage with their comments and answer questions, then you should hold off on posting until you are.
Similar to when a customer calls your business, they’re looking to interact with you and exchange dialogue in one way or another. Don’t leave them hanging for too long, or they may go elsewhere!
6. Bake It To Perfection
Like with any recipe for success, sometimes a little trial and error is needed to make it perfect. Now that you have a solid understanding of what your social media strategy looks like, you can look at the ways to improve upon what you’re already doing. It’s also important to understand that if your social media strategy feels like it has gone flat over time, it’s not always because of something you did. Marketing changes constantly, and sometimes what worked months ago won’t work now. But how will you know what’s working, what isn’t, and what needs improving?
First, you should go back through your goals, target audience, and key metrics. Are your goals specific enough, easily measurable, attainable, relevant to today, and have you set a deadline for yourself to achieve them? Is your target audience still the same, or has it changed? Are you reaching the people you want to reach? And last but not least, what are your metrics telling you? Other ways that you can tell if your social media strategy is working include:
- Vanity Metrics (likes, favorite, shares, retweets, etc.)
- Sales and Conversions
- Website Traffic
- Your Workload
- Return On Investment (ROI)