Nowadays everybody seems to be a specialist in social media marketing strategies.
However, one thing is to handle your social media platforms at a user level and a completely different story is to design and create a social media marketing strategy.
If you want to create a social media strategy from scratch or to become a Social Media professional, we have prepared a treasure map or checklist that you can follow to pass from user level to ‘Pro’.
Note everything down or save this article in your Favorites folder to have it handy as it might often be useful.
Now, let’s get down to business.
Who develops a social media strategy?
First, it must be clear what your role is within the social media pyramid:
Are you a Community Manager or a Social Media Manager?
You must have your tasks well defined to understand what your role is.
And decide if you are born to be a Community Manager or a Social Media Manager.
There are multiple professional categories within the social media sphere. In an ideal world these categories would be:
📌 Social media strategist
It’s the person responsible for developing the social media strategy step by step and deciding the methodology.
📌 Social Media Manager
Person in charge of implementing the strategy within the team.
📌 Community Manager
This role is in charge of uploading publications and executing the social media strategy under the social media manager supervision.
📌 Content Curator
This person is responsible for searching relevant content for any specific brand in other blogs or news to share on social media platforms.
“In the real world, the limits are not clear and you will often have to assume all four roles or parts of them”
This explains why it is so important that you must know how to plan a social media strategy if you work in this world.
How to develop your social media marketing strategy step by step
First Step: RESEARCH
First, you must know the rules of the game and analyze the game board before you start planning.
To do so, you should observe and research how social networks work in order to ask the right questions.
This way you will get the right answers that will help you to design your strategy.
Game Board → Social Networks
✅ Question 1
How many social media platforms are there and which one is the most trending?
It seems that only Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Linkedln are relevant.
However, depending on the service or product that you offer and the geographical area where you work, Pinterest or Google My Business might amaze you with unimaginable results.
So, before you make any decision based on what the crowds do…
Stop and analyze all the social media channels available in depth.
Otherwise, you might disregard a social media channel that could bring you great results.
Write down the most adequate social media channels for your brand according to your analysis and keep asking yourself questions.
✅ Question 2
Where are my social media competitors?
Now it’s time to analyze your competitors.
Discover which strategies they are applying to the social media game.
You will get lucrative conclusions:
⚡ You will get ideas that will serve as an inspiration source for your strategy or to make a SWOT analysis.
⚡ You will be able to compare results as an indicator of how well or bad of a job you are doing.
⚡ You will find blind spots in your social media marketing strategy to avoid recurring mistakes in the future.
⚡ You will discover prospective customers. If they buy from your competitors, why aren’t they going to buy from you?
In short, analyzing your social media competitors will help you to design your own strategy and always be alert.
Add the result of your social media competitors analysis to your briefing and advance in your checklist.
✅ Question 3
How do top companies use social media?
Let’s be honest.
Big advertising agencies have more staff and resources to successfully execute social media marketing strategies.
If you are not one of them, you can learn from them.
⚡ Discover which social media channels they use and how they do it.
⚡ Check how many publications they make and which format they use.
⚡ Find out how much money they invest in advertising and which social media channels they use to make promotions.
How do you do this?
Don’t worry, Metricool has done it for you.
Read our last social media study where we analyze business accounts and their strategies.
I am sure that you have extracted some interesting conclusions.
Put them into practice and let’s keep going.
✅ Question 4
What do users say about your brand?
It might be the case that your company is not on social media yet.
That doesn’t mean that users are not talking about you or about something related to your sector.
This last question is one of the most relevant and you might be surprised by the answer.
The best way to analyze and discover what users are saying about your brand is through social listening.
Social listening will allow you to know:
⚡If users have a positive or negative impression about you.
⚡What topics interest them the most.
⚡How they see you.
⚡What their worries are and what they expect from you.
To put social monitoring into practice for your brand or business, you need to have the right tools
These social listening tools will help you find out what people are saying about your brand online using keywords. Keep track of information and respond to messages and comments from the platform:
In addition to social listening, with social monitoring, you can monitor what happens on social media.
Combining these two strategies helps you improve the reputation and position of your brand
Now you have all the information that will help your research.
If you skip this part, it is impossible to draw a successful social media marketing strategy.
So, keep all this info and conclusions in a safe place and let’s go to the next step.
Second Step: Draw a plan
If we emulate the legendary A-team Hannibal’s famous quote:
“I love it when a plan comes together”
It reminds us that we must have a plan.
If you want to execute your plan successfully, first you must build it.
SOCIAL MEDIA PLAN
Now use everything you have learned from your research and mix it together with the knowledge you have about your brand.
Then, it’s time to start drawing your social media plan so you can complete your social media marketing strategy.
Define the generic objectives for your brand:
⚡Improve your reputation.
⚡Drive traffic to your website.
Link each objective to one or several strategies. That is, decide what you are going to do to reach your goals and how long it will take you.
Example: Create Branding
→ Increase brand awareness. Gain 20% more followers and improve 15% your social media engagement in two months.
→ Advertise on Facebook and retarget users that visit the web. This is a way to make an impression on users and get well-known.
→ Take actions with microinfluencers on Twitter and reach more people who don’t know you yet.
→ Start a conversation with users on Twitter, etc.
SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT PLAN
Once you have defined your social media plan and the social media marketing strategy that will help you to accomplish it, then you must start your content planning.
The content plan is the guidance document that will help you to decide what should be published and what should not.
If you still have more doubts about how to carry out this step, here is a guide on how to make a detailed content plan for social networks.
In this document you should determine:
- The posting frequency on each social network,
- The topics to share,
- The type of content,
- The periodicity, etc.
Also, you must determine who is going to do these actions: Yourself, a third person, a team, etc. and create an editorial plan for your company blog.
Both a social media and a content plan are vital to ensure a successful strategy for your social media. But there is a third plan that is crucial.
Google Chrome Extensions for Social Media
Chrome extensions are a great tool for social media managers’ work lives.
There’s a huge range of functions to get the most out of your time and help you focus on other tasks while they do the work for you.
We can’t control everything.
Having a crisis plan for social media means being ready for any disaster that your community might face.
Without this plan it is complicated to fight social media trolls or any other attack that your social profiles might suffer.
Be careful, there are many fake profiles posing as trolls or accounts you can trust. That’s why we have an article that tells you perfectly how to detect fake profiles on social networks.
The best tip:
You should prepare a crisis protocol beforehand to react fast and smart.
Third step: EXECUTION
SOCIAL MEDIA PLANNING
The moment of executing the strategy has arrived and to do so, you can use the help of social media planning tools.
⚡ These tools allow you to know the best time to publish on social media, that is, to discover when your audience is active.
⚡ You can schedule your content anytime with social media planners.
⚡ They help you to get the most out of your time and not leave anything up to fate.
⚡ Forget about Excel templates and have all the info handy.
Keep this document handy:
✅ Use the right dimensions for your images and videos
A great planning with poor-quality and pixelated pictures is doomed to failure.
Social media publications include plenty of images and videos. This is why knowing the right dimensions and sizes is a must.
If you need image banks to get content for your creations here I leave you free image banks.
✅ Use emoticons carefully to stand out
The use of emoticons highlights your publications. However, if you don’t use them correctly, users can perceive you as lacking professionalism or being careless.
So check out the article above to learn how to use them properly and in which social networks you should include them.
✅ Shorten the URLs that you share
URLs shorteners are great allies to help you extract valuable data from the users that click them.
Data is like gold on social media.
✅ Share content from third parties [sharing is caring]
Content curation is a strategy itself. It’s crucial to know what type of content your audience wants and from who.
It helps you to keep your social media accounts alive and share content that interests your users.
✅ Create contests
It will improve your social networking account engagement and increase your visibility.
✅ Use mobile apps for you daily work
You’ve most likely had a work emergency that caught you off-guard away from your desk: a picture that you didn’t post correctly or a post that you didn’t schedule at the right time; working as a social media manager keeps you on your toes.
Fortunately for you, there’s a huge range of apps for social media on the market for any situation so that you can keep on top of your social media work: for designing, managing content, editing videos, etc.
Sprinters didn’t improve their running times until they started measuring them. So, if you want to be the Usain Bolt of social media you must start tracking your results.
With Metricool you can get all the relevant social media metrics to understand what’s going on and discover which strategies work best.
Data that you should consider
Although with Metricool you have access to a wide variety of information, you should especially pay attention to these two metrics:
With this metric you will discover how much your followers love you. The best indicator of all is knowing that your audience loves you.
This translates into a loyal audience, willing to recommend you, buy your products or speak well about you.
So, take care of your engagement and don’t forget to include it in your social media marketing strategy.
ROI: Return of Investment
In contrast with engagement (love), this metric is the favorite amongst business people: the economic profit.
ROI is the benefit that the company receives after some resources, money and time has been invested in social media.
Reach vs impressions
What is the difference between reach and impressions?
Impressions is the number of times that a post has been displayed and reach is the total number of unique people who have seen your content.
Message and comment management
Your community is everything for your social networks. Without them there are no interactions, no impressions, no reach… nothing!
That’s why it’s important to keep in touch with the users that make it up through comments, private messages or reviews.
Manage all these interactions so as not to leave a comment without replying or without giving like, solve doubts or thank any review.
CREATE A SOCIAL MEDIA REPORT
We have arrived to the last part of the social media marketing process.
Now it is time to create a report with the periodical performance of your strategy and with all the metrics and results.
This report is very valuable for you and your client or brand. With a report:
⚡ You can track the evolution of your strategy.
⚡ You can discover who follows you, how many new followers you have acquired and how your content is working.
⚡ You can show all your work and the outcome.
⚡ You can show the history of your results.
Without this report your strategy would be incomplete. You wouldn’t know how your work and your social media marketing plan has evolved.
Other disciplines that you should know for your social media marketing strategy
You can get better results if you use the results of your social media strategy along with other disciplines.
This could be a competitive advantage over your competitors.
So don’t miss this bonus track.
NETWORKING AND SOCIAL MEDIA
Networking is one of the most important actions in my opinion in any marketing strategy.
This strategy consists of connecting with professionals of your same activity, to collaborate and create effective synergies for both parties.
In this case, establishing links with social media marketing professionals that can benefit us when it comes to experience improvements in our professional activity:
SEO and Social media
Does social media improve the SEO of your website?
The answer is yes, indirectly.
A good social media marketing strategy should consider which steps must be followed to improve the ranking of your brand’s website.
This is why is so important that you read this document where we show you what to do to improve the SEO and include it in your plan.
Do Social Media Audits
If you already have social profiles, you can choose to do a social media audit to find out where your accounts stand. And make a plan based on that data.
How do you encourage and drive traffic towards your social media accounts with email marketing?
If you have a database with information about people interested in your brand, you have a treasure.
Email marketing with your leads is the perfect ally to increase the number of conversions and other lucrative benefits for your social media channels such as:
⚡ Increase the number of followers on your social media accounts.
⚡ Retarget people on your list through social media.
⚡Give visibility to your social media campaigns.
⚡ Promote strategic hashtags for your brand.
⚡ Don’t miss the opportunity to join forces from these two disciplines to maximize your results.
So, you have worked hard on the visual content that you are planning to share on social media.
You have analyzed your competitors and you have designed an outstanding social media marketing strategy.
Are you forgetting anything?
Copywriting helps you to persuade social media followers through your content or capture the attention of potential followers that haven’t pressed the “follow” button yet.
This persuasive writing technique will give you extra points to stand out from the rest, increase your followers and get more interactions.
It seems that when we talk about brands we refer to big companies exclusively.
A brand can be personal: for example for a public person, influencer or someone like you and me.
Social media is essential to boost a personal brand and a social media marketing strategy is crucial for both big companies or personal brands.
If this is your case:
→ You want to promote your personal brand or design a strategy for a person, click the following link:
This is a complete guide to help you design your social media marketing plan.
Other things good to know:
Now you can say: “I love it when a plan comes together”
Let us know in the comment section.