Create a Winning Social Media Strategy in 8 Simple Steps

Create a Winning Social Media Strategy in 8 Simple Steps

December 6, 2023
(Reading time: 3 - 6 minutes)

To excel in social media marketing, you need a strategy that generates the results your small business wants to achieve. From identifying your organization’s objectives to reviewing your results, you can develop an effective plan in a few straightforward steps. This article discusses creating a successful social media marketing strategy for organizations in any industry.

What is a Social Media Marketing Strategy?

A social media marketing strategy is a plan that outlines the steps your small business will take to meet its goals for online social platforms. This strategy guides what type of content to post, audiences to connect with, and actions to encourage. Many companies rely on a social media manager or a marketing director to develop a strategy for team members.

How to Build a Successful Social Media Marketing Strategy

Organizations in any industry have the potential to use their social media presence effectively. Here are eight steps to consider when developing a successful social media marketing strategy:

1. Establish Marketing Goals

Successful social media strategies typically begin with identifying the goals that your marketing team wants to achieve. Your organization may want to improve its brand awareness, sell products, gain repeat clients, or accomplish other objectives.

Try to set SMART goals, which are specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and time-based objectives. For example, you can use the following guidelines to sell more products via social media:

  • Specific: Increase sales with organic social media posts.
  • Measurable: Generate $10,000 in sales per week via social media platforms.
  • Achievable: Since our service calls average $500, we need to sell at least 20 per week, which seems possible.
  • Relevant: We need to increase revenue, making this goal directly related to our overall objective.
  • Time-based: We have set a seven-day time frame for this goal.

2. Research Your Audience

Next, meet with your marketing agency or team to learn more about your company’s target audience. You can review your buyer personas or gather data to develop your depictions of your ideal clients. To create buyer personas for your audience, start by collecting demographic data, such as gender, age, and location. Then, use client research to add details like their primary interests, problems, and needs.

The research you conduct and the data you analyze should inform your social media strategy, so each should align with your goals. For example, your goal might be to increase site traffic by getting certain clicks on a social media ad campaign. Performing user research on your ads or A/B testing two different ads might lead you to choose specific ad copy, images, or messages to make your campaign as successful as possible.

3. Check Your Competition

After completing preliminary audience research, take some time to understand how your main competitors use social media. Review the social media platforms they use most often, the types of content they post, and their publishing frequency. Completing this review can help you determine how other companies in your industry use social media and identify areas where you could stand out.

For example, you might notice that other companies in your industry do not post frequently on a particular site. You may be able to use this observation to your advantage and attract a larger share of your target audience on this platform.

4. Identify the Right Social Media Platforms

Review your audience research, competitor data, and marketing goals to decide which social media platforms your strategy should prioritize. You may focus on that single platform if your audience is active on only one social media channel. However, if your audience uses several platforms, you may need to choose two or more that will help you reach your goals.

5. Create a Content Calendar

Next, create a list of content you plan to publish on your company’s social media channels. Your content can include everything from product updates and sale announcements to current events and behind-the-scenes images of your company. Then, add the material to a calendar so you can begin to develop a regular posting schedule.

Try to use your audience and competitor research as a guide to help create content your audience will find interesting. The best social media marketing examples tend to publish a wide range of content, including images, links, announcements, and contests.

6. Engage With Your Audience

As you publish social media content, monitor the reactions from your audience carefully. Set aside time to respond to comments, answer questions, and engage with your audience regularly.

If your social media strategy generates comments and concerns that apply to other teams, consider developing a workflow to respond effectively to your audience. For example, you might partner with customer service or sales teams to answer questions about your product’s features or pricing.

7. Track Social Media Metrics

Track your social media metrics at the end of each month to confirm that you are achieving your initial goals. You can access analytics for your account, audience, and posts on each social media platform. Try adding the data to a spreadsheet or your company’s standard report format to compare results from month to month.

Your social media marketing goals determine which metrics matter most to your company. For example, the revenue attributed to your company’s social media account will likely be the most critical metric if you want to generate sales.

8. Adjust Your Strategy as Necessary

As you review your metrics and compare progress over time, you can assess whether you are meeting your goals consistently. If you are not achieving the objectives behind your social media strategy, try to identify where you can improve and experiment with solutions.

For example, you can adjust your posting schedule to publish content when your audience uses social media. You can also change the wording of your posts or the images you publish to inspire positive audience responses that help you achieve your goals.

Conclusion

The steps above will help you develop a solid framework for your company's social media marketing strategy. With clear goals defined, an understanding of your audience and competitors, and a content plan in place, you'll be set up for success.

Remember that your social strategy is not a one-and-done process, though. As you track performance over time, continue optimizing your efforts to maximize results. Refresh your content calendar consistently and test new platform features or ad options as they emerge.

Executing an effective social media strategy takes commitment, but brand awareness, lead generation, and revenue potential are worth the effort. Don't hesitate to reach out if you feel overwhelmed or looking for additional guidance in crafting your small business's unique social media marketing plan. As a social media strategist, I live and breathe this world daily. I would happily assess your brand's online presence and provide actionable recommendations for advancing your strategy.