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5 steps for planning your company’s social media marketing strategy

WITH 2018 on the horizon, one thing is certain: social media is a critical marketing tool for businesses of all sizes and stages. Now is a better time than ever to jump on board and learn how your business can benefit from a social media marketing plan.

Social media marketing is no easy task. Far too often, companies create social media accounts and then throw in the towel when they do not see immediate results. Others maintain a social media presence because they think they need one despite it not driving any significant results.

In either of these examples, the vital missing piece of the puzzle is having a social media marketing plan that actually works.

Every action that your company takes on social networks should be part of a larger social media marketing strategy. Each post, like, and comment should be guided by a well-thought-out plan that is driving toward business goals. Though this may sound complicated, by taking the time and effort to create a comprehensive strategy, the rest of your social efforts should follow naturally.

Step 1: Take a quick look at where you ARE before strategizing where you are heading

One of the first steps your business should be taking is carrying out an audit of your current social presence. A few areas to consider as part of this step are which networks your business is currently active on; which networks are bringing you the most value; and how your network profiles compare to your competitors.

Step 2: Who are your customers?

It is important to be as specific as possible when building a buyer profile. For example, if you identified your target market as students it would be satisfactory. However, if your business identifies your ideal customer as university students living in the UK between the age of 18-25 who primarily use Instagram, you are likely to have much more success. It is necessary to include details of who your target audience is, where they come from, their age, and social media preferences. Through the understanding of these aspects, you will be able to strategically direct your social media marketing plans and attract more customers.

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Step 3: Create a social media mission statement

Now you have figured out who your ideal customer is, it is important to figure out how exactly you can help them. What needs does your customer have that your product can solve? And which content can you deliver that will answer these?

The mission statement views your digital marketing solely from the customer’s point of view and sets out how your business will play a significant part in someone’s life. As a result, the content that is produced is much more likely to connect to the customer’s emotions, in turn creating a long-term relationship between customer and company, rather than simply a quick sale.

Step 4: Create and curate engaging content

Now that you know who your ideal customer is and have a social media mission statement, it should be straightforward enough to begin to create and curate engaging content. The content is what fuels social media; so it is fundamental the creation of high quality, engaging content is top of your list of priorities. Such content includes images, videos, blog posts, eBooks and interviews.

It is also a good idea to invest in marketing tools in order to boost productivity: a secret tool for many marketers. Using these tools come with many benefits, such as the ability to schedule posts ahead of time.

Engaging content is what fuels social media

Step 5: Let the data drive you

Track, analyse, and optimize. This is the final but perhaps most important step when it comes to social media marketing success. This step involves the process of tracking your results, analyzing the data, and then making tweaks to optimize them. After analysis of the results, it is important to re-evaluate the previous steps if necessary. Let the data drive your strategy. If it is telling you that Facebook videos are your most effective platform, then consider optimizing this.

An important thing to understand is that no social media strategy is set in concrete, but rather a continuous work in progress that changes when required.

So now you have a step-by-step guide, it is time to go out there and create a social media strategy that is going to give your business the boost it needs.