Career Advice - A Community Blog

Erik Larson writes about the job market, resume improvement, and career advice

Fundamentals of Developing a Social Media Strategy

Written by Erik Larson, Community Blogger | Sep 4, 2017 5:46 PM

Social media is one tool that has revolutionized digital marketing with the millions of users that these networks provide. The giant user base has also made it one of trickiest platforms to use when marketing. Apart from the broad audience, social network features evolve constantly requiring marketers to learn new ways of integrating them into existing campaigns. Businesses can easily get overwhelmed, especially when just getting into social media marketing.

Companies lose millions in marketing budgets due to lack of proper plans for their campaigns. Social media strategies are necessary because they lay the foundations that marketers follow when promoting brands. A good strategy should be tailored to help an organization achieve its various goals. Because no two enterprises are alike, social media strategies are not one-size-fits-all. Know what it takes to develop an actionable strategy before apportioning a budget towards your social media efforts.

Define Your Goals

A workable social media strategy should endeavor to meet particular objectives. What is the point of advertising on these platforms? Social networks by nature can fulfill several goals from boosting SEO to enhancing customer retention to pushing sales. Take the time to evaluate the targets that matter. Don't be overly ambitious with your strategy like trying to achieve four objectives with one campaign.

Focus on one or two and see how the plan unfolds. Ensure that your objectives are measurable. For example, if the goal is lead generation, your target may be 100 leads every month. With such specificity, it is possible to gauge how close you are to meeting the objectives. The goals of your social media strategy should be relevant, reasonable, and time-based.

Identify Your Audience

One way to avoid wasting time and money on ineffective social media campaigns is to comprehend the audience you are dealing with. Begin by clarifying your buyer personas. Are you selling to mothers with toddlers? Young adults? Retirees? Your products or services are designed to address specific needs, and those will dictate your buyer personas. Then look at the demographics of these groups. Are you targeting particular occupations? Do you want to market to consumers in a certain region? What about their buying power? Understanding all these elements will make it less complicated to create social media messages.

Choose a Channel

It is impractical to try to maintain a brand presence on all the social networks. Imagine the expense of creating messages for ten platforms and the stress of monitoring the results. When developing a social media strategy, decide where you will be focusing your marketing efforts in advance. Small businesses can start with one or two channels and move to others with time. A large corporation may have the budget to manage content on three or four sites. Concentrate your messages on the channels where your target audience spends most of its time.

A Content Plan

A big portion of your social media strategy should be about the content that will be used. Content drives social media engagement, and that is why it has to be top quality. The content plan should be as strong as any other aspect of the marketing strategy. You may select the right channel to promote your brand, research your target market thoroughly only to fall short on the material you put out for readers.

Firstly, the content plan should match the channel you are posting on and be appropriate for the audience. For instance, the text you post on your Facebook page may not be a suitable read for your LinkedIn connections. A solid content plan should strive to meet the various needs of consumers. Focus on educating and informing your audience because that is what today's consumer looks for in marketing messages.

Streamline your Management

Keeping an eye on everything that happens with your social media accounts is not an easy task but it must be done because you must know what's working. When you have social growing at a fast pace, the right tools can help you automate some functions like scheduling posts on Facebook, joining groups on Google+, and following back accounts on Twitter. A social media management and growth software minimizes the time that marketers have to spend dealing with some monotonous tasks.

Social media marketing is an excellent approach for building your brand, but it takes work. A social media strategy is critical because it gives marketers a clear blueprint that helps avoid costly mistakes.

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