How to Create a Winning Social Media Strategy in 5 Steps

Have you ever heard, “People don't plan to fail, they fail to plan”? Well, the secret to creating a competitive social media strategy lies in the planning. We’ve compiled a list of 5 steps to ensure you’re headed in the right direction of social media success.

How to Create a Winning Social Media Strategy in 5 Steps
  • Choose the Right Networks

Executing a well formulated strategy on a few social networks, rather than being present on many, is often overlooked and undervalued. It’s essential to build your social media strategy on platforms that help to highlight your core business goals and brand identity.

Ask yourself these questions with these major networks in mind:

  • Which type of content do you already produce?
  • Where is your audience?
  • Where are your competitors?
  • What’s the uniqueness of the network and can you leverage it?
    1. Facebook: friends connecting with friends, great for links
    2. Twitter: trending topics, real-time customer care demand
    3. Instagram: unique images, insider look
    4. YouTube: videos and podcasts
    5. LinkedIn: business connections, build personal authority
  • Clarify Goals

This is a surprisingly easy step to skip because the obvious business goals are there: get new customers and engage existing ones, but how to achieve this? Take time to discuss these goals with your team, and write them down on paper to get a picture of where you are and where you want to be. These factors are critical to consider when devising a content strategy.

If your objective is to use social media for customer care, then your content should amplify that message. Did you know that Socially Devoted brands recieve 3.5 times more interactions than their less-responsive counterparts? That’s an incredible volume of questions to answer, so your targets could be focused on Question Response Rate and Question Response Time. Learn more about best practices in our Introduction to Customer Care study.

  • Develop a Content Strategy

This is the backbone of your social media strategy. Allow your team brainstorming sessions to generate new ideas and best-practices. Don’t forget to make a social communication calendar that includes important dates, holidays, and a publishing schedule.

Consider the questions below when developing these:

What’s your tone of voice?

discuss brand values and define a handful of adjectives to describe your voice

How will it be communicated through your content?

themes: news articles, events, competitions

images, videos, albums, text, featured posts from influencers/fans

Check out the breakdown of best content types for Facebook and Twitter.

Where will you source content?

created in-house, purchase images

How often will you post & when?

Once per day can work on Instagram, but one tweet per day might fall flat.

Start by posting around the same time as your competition.

Research suggested posting times per network.

There’s no silver bullet to a social media strategy, leave room to adjust. And when you’re ready, give yourself a break and automate the process. With Socialbakers Community Management you can plan and publish your content from a single tool, with approvals, task management and planning built right in.

  • Managing Profiles

Check Your Social Media Presence

Maybe someone in the company hastily created a Twitter profile and the account has gone idle. Create a simple social media master document and log basic details such as: profile URL, login details, who has access, date created etc. This limits surprises and ensures you have control over your social domains.

Fill Out Profiles Completely

Sounds like a no-brainer, but be sure you plan for all elements of a profile: images, text blurbs, links etc. There’s nothing worse than a social media profile without a link to your website!

Cross Channel Integration

Don’t forget to tell people you’re active on social media. Begin to integrate social with other marketing channels such as the website itself, email footers, social extensions on PPC, commercials, print ads, etc.

  • Analyze Performance

To really develop a unique and effective content strategy, it’s important to understand your competitors’ social media performance, as well as yours. Create a list of your immediate competitors and see what they’re doing on social. Competitive analytics will be crucial moving forward, as you consistently benchmark your success, stay on top of industry trends and seek inspiration. Sometimes the best ideas can stem from your competitor’s actions.

Make sure you have the right tools, like Socialbakers Analytics for competitive analysis across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Linked-In, Instagram, and VK. Analytics will give you insight into which content is the most engaging for your fans. Once you’ve determined what are the best types of content, incorporate these findings to create a winning social media strategy.

Contributing Writer

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