How To Start Creating A Social Media Strategy
In our last post, we discussed why businesses should start creating a social media strategy.
Before creating a social media strategy, a business must first focus on the buyer persona.
A buying persona or marketing persona is essentially a description of a business’s ideal customer (target market). A buyer persona can help companies understand their customers (and prospective customers) thoroughly, making it easier to tailor the content, messaging, product development, and services to the specific needs, behaviors, and concerns of various groups.
An example of collecting information on a buyer persona include:
Thanks to social media, companies can also examine its customer’s psychographics, such as which websites they visit, which online shops they frequently purchase from, and which social sites they like best.
Let’s dive into a few factors a business must look into to build a social media strategy.
#1 Implement Your Business’s S-M-A-R-T Goals With Your Social Media Goals
Aligning a business’s social strategy to the business objectives will make it easier for a business to create social media goals that will convert viewers into consumers. Similar to a business goal, companies must implement the S-M-A-R-T method: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely to their social media goals.
Goal Example (Overall business objectives): I Want to Grow My Business
- Specific: I will gain three new clients for my consulting business each month.
- Measurable: I will measure my progress by how many new clients I bring on while maintaining my current client base.
- Attainable: I will ask current clients for referrals, launch a social media marketing campaign, and network with local businesses.
- Relevant: Adding additional clients to my business will allow me to grow my business and increase my revenue.
- Time-Based: I will have thirty-six new clients within a year.
#2 Choosing The Best Social Media Platform
There are several social media platforms businesses can choose from, and they are the following, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, and Snapchat. Companies must evaluate which social media platform best suits their strategy.
- Facebook had 2.32 billion monthly active users worldwide.
- 43% of US Adults now gain their news from Facebook
- Just 31% of businesses use Facebook Messenger. Considering that Messenger has 1.3 billion users sending 8 billion messages between companies and people monthly, this looks like a missed opportunity for many businesses.
Businesses should implement Facebook in their strategy for the following reasons:
- to share organic news or events
- to talk to customers directly
- to manage highly targeted advertising campaigns
Facebook advertising allows businesses to deliver valuable content directly to their target market. They can also use Facebook Advertising across other services, including Instagram, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp. Adding a Facebook pixel on a companies website is beneficial as they can retarget (similar to how remarketing works in Google) those visitors with ads on Facebook.
- Over 1.9 Billion logged-in users visit YouTube each month.
- Every day people watch over a billion hours of video and generate billions of views.
- YouTube is rapidly becoming a platform of choice for teenagers. 85% of US teenagers reported they used YouTube in 2018. 32% stated that it was the online social platform they use most often.
- 70% of YouTube’s views are on mobile.
- Incredibly, more than 50,000 years of product review videos were viewed between July 2015 and June 2016.
Businesses should implement Youtube in their strategy for the following reasons:
- to advertise a complex product or service
- to get your content out there, people would rather watch an engaging video than reading
- to reach your target audience on Youtube
- Instagram passed 1 billion monthly active users in June 2018.
- Nearly two-thirds of Instagram’s users are between 18 and 34, balanced evenly overall between males and females.
- The United States is still the leading country for Instagram fans. As of Jan 2019, there were 120 million US Instagram users.
- Mention also found that 66.6% of Instagram posts contain one or more hashtags. Hashtags are essential on Instagram.
- Over 80% of users follow at least one brand account.
Businesses should implement Instagram in their strategy for the following reasons:
- To target users between 18 and 34
- To increase brand awareness
- The engagement rate on Instagram is higher than the engagement rate on any other social media platform.
- To measure the success of your campaign based on awareness, reach, and recall instead of follower counts, likes, or comments.
We will go into more detail regarding each social media platform and its benefits in our next few posts.
#3 Set Social Media KPIs
Once you’ve created a buyer persona and outlined some S-M-A-RT goals, the next step is to understand what key performance indicators, or KPIs, your business should be targeting in your social media strategy.
A Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives. Organizations use KPIs to evaluate their success at reaching targets.
Businesses must align their business goals with their KPIs. If the business goal is to increase sales, vanity metrics ( a surface-level metric made up of numbers or statistics that look great on paper but don’t correlate to business success) such as numbers of likes, shares, retweets, followers, and page views are not going to be the most critical metrics for your business to measure. But, if your goal is awareness, then the metrics your business may be most vital.
There are four categories of social media KPIs, and most of your targets should fall within those areas.
- Return on investment
- Retention (Custome Loyalty)
Reach: if your business goals in to increase company awareness and reaching as many users as possible, then reach is the KPI you’d want to focus on.
- Follower count: how many individuals follow your social channels
- Impressions: how many views your content received
- Mentions: how many times your brand was mentioned across social channels
Engagement: These KPIs demonstrate how interested your audience is and how they may be interacting with your content.
- Likes or favorites indicate that your viewers appreciate the content
- Comments show direct engagement with your content.
- Sharing demonstrates that your audience cares enough about the content that they want to let others know.
- Customer ratings and reviews demonstrate strong engagement and opinion.
- Inbound website links from social media show that your content is interesting enough for your audience to click through to your site.
Return On Investment: This KPI directly affects the business’s bottom line.
- Direct sales revenue from social media, such as orders that come in from a coupon or links into your website that lead to a purchase
- Lead conversions from social media campaigns, which may include email signups, downloads of materials like an eBook, or activations of trial software.
Retention (Custome Loyalty): This KPI demonstrates how successful a business is in terms of providing excellent customer service or consistently retaining a customer.
- Customer reviews and rating measures how your customers think about your brand and products
- Issues resolved demonstrates how well you’re doing (or not doing) in terms of taking care of your customers through social media.
- Time to resolution: The time it takes for a question that comes in from social media to receive not just a response, but a resolution.
Building a social media strategy is straightforward, so long as the social media KPIs aligns with the main business objective.