Maybe you’re already active on Instagram. Maybe you post daily on your business’s Facebook account. Maybe you have been in business for 2-3 years and want to amp up your social media game to grow your community.
Regardless of your current activity on social media, if you’re not working and creating content geared towards a specific goal, you’re doing yourself a disservice—and maybe even leaving money on the table. Social media serves an important purpose for your business and strategy is the name of the game.
When composing your social media strategy, there are several things you need to be analyzing and taking into consideration. Here are the 10 steps to take to develop a social media strategy to grow your online community and ultimately, generate more business for yourself.
1. Determine Your Purpose For Creating A Strategy
Whether you’re creating a strategy for your own business or if you’re going to be pitching one to your boss, you need to determine the reason for creating it in the first place. Start by detailing why you are building the strategy and include details like how it should be used and who will be responsible for maintaining the integrity of the document.
2. Conduct An In-Depth Social Media Audit Of Your Business
What channels are you active on now? Take note of all active social media channels that are owned by your business. Some important things to document here are:
- Channel URL
- Follower Count
- Audience Demographics
This is also a great opportunity to seek out any accounts that are associated with your business that may be dormant or inaccessible.
3. SWOT It Out
Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Conducting a SWOT analysis of your business’s online presence will give you a clear idea of your current standing and allow you to paint the picture of where you want to go. Some aspects to consider here are:
- engagement rate
- photography quality
- content relevance
- brand sentiment.
After building your SWOT analysis, take into consideration why your strengths and weaknesses are identified as so, and start thinking about how to improve upon those aspects.
4. Take A Look At What Your Competitors Are Doing
This step is not here so that you can identify and copy your competitor’s strategy. It is incorrect to assume their messaging will resonate with your community. This is an opportunity to see where you stand in your industry. Point out key strengths and weaknesses of your competitors’ online presence to pinpoint potential opportunities for your business to shine through.
5. Set Specific Goals And Determine How To Measure Them
After completing the social media audit and SWOT analysis of your accounts and taking into consideration your competitors’ standing, you should have a clear vision of what you’re hoping to achieve through your efforts. You may wish to pursue many goals here as well as methods to track your success.
If building an active online community is your aim, your engagement rate is a great metric to track. If lead generation is more your jam, click-through rate is what you’ll want to pay attention to. The key here is to get as specific as possible and to develop key performance indicators to help track your progress.
6. Develop Channel Purposes For Each Social Media Platform You Will Use
In order to cultivate clear, consistent messaging, you’ll need to develop the purposes of your accounts. These should differ for each channel and should be easily communicated in a concise sentence. A good example is To create a clear depiction of our brand image through quality photography and branded content.
7. Cultivate The Target Personas You Are Trying To Reach
Who is your target audience and where do they live on social media? You’ll want to create content that your community values, so you need to know exactly who and where they are. When documenting your target audience, you should be noting their:
- Geographical location
- Spending power
- Personal goals
8. Build A Plan For The Type Of Content That Will Help You Reach Your Goals
Now that you have determined your goals and your target audience you can plan what type of content will help you reach those goals. Remember here that the content you create must provide value to your audience and fall in line with your brand messaging. It can be helpful to establish percentages of each type of content you hope to include that should be published per month. The more structure you create in this step, the easier it will be for you to build content in the future.
9. Establish Rules Of Engagement
How will you respond to comments and mentions? Be sure to include clear guidelines for how you will interact with other accounts and followers. Consider aspects of communication like:
Consult your business’s brand guide here if you have one.
10. Devise a plan to ensure that your strategy will continue to serve your business
Don’t stop here! Any social media strategy must be continuously evaluated to ensure that it is effective in reaching your goals. Set specific times and methods to track your success and stick to the plan. There is always room for improvement. By continuously refining your social media strategy, you can meet and create new goals and maximize your business’s potential.