How to Create a Social Media Strategy – Part I
With 4.6 billion users and countless platforms, the social media landscape seems more like the Wild Wild West compared to its early years. (Let’s take a moment of silence for the heyday of cat memes and inbox chain letters.) With near-constant changes in trends, algorithms, and user behaviors, you need a solid social media strategy to navigate this virtual wilderness successfully. Without it, you’re traveling through it blind — and if you can’t see your audiences, they can’t see you.
That’s where a social media strategy comes in. A social media strategy establishes goals, defines tactics to reach them, and identifies the metrics that measure progress. Here are the six steps TechArk uses:
- Ask the right questions
- Connect with the right tools
- Establish Content Focal Points
- Craft Stellar Content
- Publish in the right places
- Monitor Performance
In this post, we'll be covering steps 1-3 — let's dig in!
Step #1: Ask The Right Questions
Creating a social media strategy can be overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be! Take a deep breath (or five), and start by asking pointed questions to uncover the best path forward.
First stop? Define your business goals. What are you trying to achieve through your social media presence, and why? Is it more sales? Greater website traffic? You have to know what you’ll be measuring the success of your social media efforts against.
Next, think about your audience. Who do you serve? How do you benefit your target audience? Build out their personas, including their likes, dislikes, hobbies, etc. This will help you craft content that truly speaks to them.
Then, examine your competition. How are they engaging with customers? Are customers engaging back? What platforms are they using? What type of content do they create?
Finally, consider how much time and effort you can reasonably put into your social media efforts. This might change over time, but start with what you know is realistic for your current situation. If you can only manage posting twice a week, then start there. If you're a one-person team but don't have knowledge about graphics or videos, factor some training time into your efforts.
Step #2: Connect with the Right Tools
Speaking of skill-building, we get it... not everyone is a champion graphic designer or champion wordsmith. That's ok! Using tools like Canva, Grammarly and Adobe can easily boost your content creation efforts by offering professional designs and writing guidelines. (TIP: If you need images, but budget is tight, check out Adobe Stock's free gallery, or royalty-free image sources like Pixabay or Unsplash!).
If time is your greatest concern, there are scheduling tools that help streamline your posting process. Platforms like Hootsuite or eclincher can schedule days’ (even weeks’) worth of content across multiple platforms at once.
Finally, don’t forget the value of training tools! Resources like Facebook Blueprint and Hubspot Academy offer social media training to help you understand how to get the most of your social platforms.
Step #3: Establish Content Pillars
We love visuals, so here’s a helpful one…Think of your business as the larger neighborhood, and content pillars as the houses that make up that neighborhood. If you’re a furniture store, your content pillars might include “Outdoor furniture,” “Indoor furniture,” and “Sales.”
Using content pillars ensures that the social posts you create are relevant to what your brand has to offer. And in case you’re wondering, no... not ALL of your posts have to tie back to a content pillar (we’re personally huge fans of using GIFs and memes just for laughs). But we DO recommend the 80/20 rule for consistency - 80% business or sales-related posts, 20% personal or non-business posts.
Social Media Marketing Services from TechArk
Building and maintaining a strong social media strategy can be rewarding, but it requires ongoing efforts to be effective. If you don’t have the time or knowledge to tackle your social media marketing needs, we can help!
TechArk offers several digital marketing services, including social media marketing. We’ve helped businesses build strategies that work and get results. If you’re interested in how we can maximize your business potential, contact our experts today to learn more.
In the meantime, stay tuned for Part II!