7 Steps to Develop a Social Media Strategy

Posted by Nanika on 28/07/14 9:43 AM

Is your business on social media but struggling to get the right customer engagement levels and increased sales you’re looking for?  Have you set up a presence on most popular social platforms, which you seem to regularly update but aren’t necessarily getting the results you expected?

The key to social media success is to stop focusing on the tools. Focus all your efforts on your audience instead. Forget you’re a brand for a while and behave like a human interacting with his fellow beings. So what do people like in you, why should they listen to you or even talk to you? Why should they invest in your product or service? These are just some of the questions you need to answer.

On a more serious note, you need to put in much more thinking and have a well planned and thought off strategy behind your efforts on social media. Follow these simple 7 steps to build your way up to a great social media presence.

7 Steps for developing your Social Media Strategy

1)   Define your social media goals.

Carefully list out at least 3 to 4 of your business's social media goals. This will give you a clear direction to work with. Without thinking about achievable, measurable objectives your efforts will be aimless. Also remember to align your social media goals with your overall business goals; they should not be stand-alone. Few ideas to help you put on your thinking caps:

-       Build Awareness

-       Launch a new brand/ product

-       Create Loyalty

-       Increase Sales by X%

-       Drive footfalls to your local store

2)   Conduct a social media audit for your brand & it’s competitors

List down all your current social media initiatives to date and focus on learning what’s working and what’s not. Follow your competitors closely to see who’s doing it right and how they are using social media to interact with others. You might even want to consider performing a SWOT analysis for your brand’s social media presence to put things into greater perspective.

3)   Understand your target audience.

Begin with creating target audience profiles of your existing customers. This gives you an insight not just into their demographics and psychographics but also other essential traits that you might otherwise miss out on. This will also help you make better, more consistent decisions while culling out your strategy.

Listen to your audiences' conversations on social media carefully: where they are, what are they saying, when are they saying it, why are they saying it? Use available social monitoring tools to dive into their discussions or comments – positive and negative.

4)   Layout your social media landscape.

Based on your research in points 1, 2 and 3 above, identify the key tools you will be using to engage with your audiences. Don’t carelessly choose to be there because everyone else is but strategically select your primary and secondary platforms based on your audience’s usage of these media and how well they tie in with your overall social media objectives.

5)   Develop your content strategy.

Some questions you need to think about include what type of content can you use across the chosen platforms? Which content resonates with each of your audiences on these platforms? Do you have any existing newsworthy or interesting brand content that you can spin around and leverage upon? Who will be creating your content assets on an ongoing basis and what is your content marketing plan going to be? How often will you be posting, at what time and how will you be tracking performance?

As a part of your content strategy, develop an editorial calendar for each of your social platforms that enlists important dates, sample content topics and conversation themes, media assets you will be using and how you will be re-packaging and marketing the content. Also remember to draft your content well in advance to avoid any setbacks.

6)   Layout your social media policy guidelines and internal communications processes.

Your social policy guidelines will give everyone working on your social media an in-depth understanding of your brand and it’s tone of voice. It’s also important to list down a set of do’s and don’t’s for anyone representing the brand publicly.

Develop an internal communications process beforehand for your content approvals and to align any customer queries to specific departments. Managing your time well on social media is a crucial key to customer satisfaction.

7)   Monitor your progress closely on an ongoing basis.

Write down a list of KPIs on which you will be measuring performance across all key platforms in addition to your overall goals. Remember to look at quantitative and qualitative achievements. Examples of quantitative KPIs include increase in followers, engagement levels, visits to website, direct conversions etc. Qualitative KPIs on the other hand involve measuring changes in user sentiments over time, increase in brand recognition or recall etc.

Create monthly reports benchmarking your performance against the goals you had set up. Constantly tweak your efforts as and when required to measure up to your KPIs.

Hope this gives you a clear picture on how to get started on your social media strategy development. We specialize in helping companies create and implement their social media strategies. To know more about our services, get in touch with us here.

Topics: Social Media

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