8 Ways to Create a Successful Social Media Marketing Strategy

To excel at social media marketing or marketing on social media, you need a strategy that produces the results your company wants to achieve.

From identifying your organization’s goals to reviewing your results, you can develop an effective plan in a few easy steps. In this article, we discuss how to create a successful social media marketing strategy for organizations in any industry.

What is a Social Media Marketing Strategy?

A social media marketing strategy is a plan that outlines the steps your company will take to fulfill its goals for an online social platform.

This strategy guides the type of content to post, the audience to connect with, and the actions to drive. Many companies rely on social media managers or marketing directors to develop strategies for team members to work on.

How Can Build a Successful Social Media Marketing Strategy?

Organizations in any industry have the potential to use their social media presence effectively. Here are eight steps to consider when developing a successful social media marketing strategy:

1. Set marketing goals

A successful social media strategy usually starts with identifying the goals your marketing team wants to achieve. Your organization may want to increase its brand awareness, sell products, get more repeat customers, or achieve other goals.

Try to set SMART goals, which are specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and time-based goals. For example, you can use the following guidelines to sell more products through social media:

  • Specific: Increase sales with organic social media posts.
  • Measurable: Generate 1,000,000 sales per week via social media platforms.
  • Achievable: Since your product costs 50,000 on average, you should sell at least 20 per week, which seems likely.
  • Relevant: Your company needs to increase revenue, making these goals directly related to the overall business goals.
  • Time-based: You’ve set a seven-day timeframe for this goal.

2. Research your audience

Next, meet with your marketing team to learn more about your company’s target audience. You can review team buyer personas or collect data to develop your picture of your company’s ideal customer.

To create buyer personas for your audience, start by gathering demographic data, such as gender, age, and location. Then use customer research to add details like the person’s main interests, problems, and needs.

The research you do and the data you analyze should inform your social media strategy, so each one should align with your goals.

For example, your goal might be to increase site traffic by getting a certain number of clicks on a social media advertising campaign. Doing user research on your ad or doing A/B testing two different ads can lead you to choose a specific ad copy, image or message to make your campaign as successful as possible.

3. Check your competitors

After completing your initial audience research, take some time to understand how your top competitors use social media. Review the social media platforms they use the most, the type of content they post and the frequency with which they publish.

Completing this review can help you determine how other companies in your industry use social media and can identify areas where you can stand out.

For example, you may notice that other companies in your industry don’t post very often on certain sites or social media channels. You may be able to use these observations to your advantage and attract a larger share of your target audience on this platform.

4. Identify the right social media platforms

Review your audience research, competitor data, and marketing objectives to decide which social media platforms your strategy should prioritize.

If your audience is only active on one social media channel, you can choose to focus on that one platform. However, if your audience uses multiple platforms, you may need to choose two or more that will help you achieve your goals.

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5. Create a content calendar

Next, list the content you plan to publish on your company’s social media channels. Your content can include everything from product updates and sales announcements to current events and behind-the-scenes images of your company. Then, add the material to your calendar so you can start developing a regular posting schedule.

Try using your audience and competitor research as a guide to help you create content that your audience finds interesting. The best examples of social media marketing tend to publish a variety of content, including images, links, announcements, and contests.

6. Engage with your audience

When you publish social media content, closely monitor the reactions of your audience. Set aside time to respond to comments, answer questions, and engage with your audience on a regular basis.

If your social media strategy results in pertinent comments and/or criticism for other teams, consider developing a workflow to respond effectively to your audience. For example, you might partner with a customer service or sales team to answer questions about the features or pricing of your product.

7. Track social media metrics

To confirm that you’re achieving the goals you originally set, track your social media metrics at the end of each month. You can access analytics for your account, audience and posts on every social media platform you use.

Try adding data to your company’s standard spreadsheet or report format so you can compare results from month to month.

Your social media marketing goals determine which metrics are most important to your company. For example, if you want to generate sales, the revenue associated with your company’s social media accounts will likely be the most important metric.

8. Adjust your strategy as necessary

As you review your metrics and compare progress over time, you can assess whether you’re meeting your goals consistently.

If you’re not achieving the goals behind your social media strategy, try to identify where you can improve and experiment with solutions.

For example, you can adjust your posting schedule so that you publish content when your audience tends to use social media. You can also change the wording of your posts or the images you publish to inspire positive audience responses that help you achieve your goals.

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