How To Create a Social Media Strategy

A Social Media Strategy can be as simple or complex as you want to make it. To get you up and running more quickly, let’s keep it simple today. Here we go! Before you begin your journey into the world of Social Media Marketing, first decide who’s going to be reached (who’s your audience?) and then decide where you’ll end up (what’s the final result look like?). Everything in between those two should be an objective (or think of this as an action step) that, when achieved, gets you closer to the goal. There are other steps to be achieved as you climb the “ladder” of your Social Media Strategy. Read this entire blog post to get all the steps.

First: The Avatar
Describe your ideal client or customer in great detail

Write down their gender, age, annual income, marital status, age of their children (if any), interests, hobbies, location, their biggest worry and biggest dream. Give her or him (or them) a name. Write down keywords they would use to ideally find your company online. Find a picture of someone who could be that avatar.  Guess what? Your services are their solutions to their problems and worries. Based on the biggest worry, you’ll have a statement or question to display in the upper section of your homepage. Take time to craft a really powerful statement or question you can display as the first thing people see when they land in your homepage. Add a call-to-action with a lead magnet and boom! -You’ll get leads AND grow your email list (of course, you’ll need good SEO to get found, too). Now you have a very, very clear idea of whom you’re trying to attract into your community of fans, friends and followers via social media. Use my Client Mind Map to figure this out.

 

Lori Gama's Client Mind Map - figure out your client avatar

Draw a circle on a blank piece of paper. Inside the circle, write the characteristics of your ideal client. For example: “Fun to work with!” Then list the rest of the information in the order it’s laid out in this mind map: 1. Biggest problem: write down what your ideal client’s biggest problem is. Complete the rest of the Client Mind Map and then you’ll have a totally clear picture of who you want to work with.

Next: Decide on a goal.
What’s the reason for investing in Social Media Marketing or other Digital Marketing?

Here are some examples of Social Media goals that can be the end result of your strategy:

  • Raise brand awareness or increase visibility.
  • Sell X number of products.
  • Grow your email list so you can provide valuable content to subscribers on a regular basis. After a while, they’ll trust you and choose you to help them when they’re ready for that step.
  • Increase monthly revenue by X percentage over previous period.
  • Get X number of coupons redeemed.
  • Increase the number of Page Views of your website by X percentage over previous period.
  • Get X number of people to buy tickets to your event.
  • Get X new fans on a monthly basis.
  • Increase X number of shares, retweets, comments, likes and faves on a monthly basis.

Decide HOW you’ll achieve your goal

Here’s when a Social Media Expert/Consultant/Trainer may need to be hired to help you take your next steps – which would possibly be to manage your Social Media for you or train your staff to do this in-house. Before you hire a Social Media Specialist or Social Media Agency, read my blog post: A Checklist For Hiring the Best Social Media Manager.

If you decide to hire a Digital Marketing Agency or Social Media Marketing Agency to create your strategy, plan; and to implement and manage your Social Media Marketing for you, the next step is to work with the agency to define your customer avatar, your goal your brand’s promise and your advertising budget. Be sure to define what the final results should be. Use the “Decide On a Goal” bullet list above to help you decide.

Advertising Budget

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn have ad programs that your agency or specialist should manage for you, based on the agreed-upon amount your budget allows for. Not all agencies or specialists are experienced in all four of these social media advertising programs (or others, such as Pinterest), so be sure to ask before you hire. Ask to see examples, case studies or even to speak with other clients, if possible. You need to see what kind of results they  achieved for others before you hire this agency.

Facebook Ad Overview

Let’s say that you decided to begin with Facebook. Depending on what your goal is with Facebook, you could succeed in your goal with $100 per month. If you own a small business, like one restaurant with one or two locations, $100 is a workable amount to get good results, such as increasing the number of new people to come in and eat a meal. If you want a higher number of people to perform the action (subscribe to your list; attend your workshop or webinar; attend an event; or something else), then you’ll need a larger ad budget. But be sure you do A/B testing with small amounts so you can find out which ad performs best. Otherwise, you might end up wasting money.

Here’s an example of how to split up that $100 and maximize it:

Use 1/3 or $33 for increasing Likes (targeted fans).

Use 1/3 or $33 for boosting 4 strategic posts per month.

Use 1/3 or $33 for promoting your website — but use a strategic landing page so you’ll convert more people into taking a specific action (more about this in a future post).

Am I really saying that you can get good results with only $33 for boosting 4 strategic posts per month? Yes! I’ve been doing this for myself and for our clients for years. This one strategy alone resulted in increasing the Page Views of an online magazine by 54% within 12 days of our taking over management of the client’s Facebook. This was an increase of 98,000 Page Views.

Of course, you’ll get even better results (more targeted fans or more targeted people into your place of business or onto your website to perform a specific action) when you invest more money. My point is this: compared to a Google Ad Campaign (of which you should plan on at least $300 a month to invest), a Facebook Ad Campaign can be very lucrative and get you a shockingly good ROI when done right.

Facebook offers several ways for you to spend your ad money:

Facebook Ad Objectives

I’ll go more in-depth on Facebook Ad Campaigns and boosting posts with a few dollars ($10-$30) in a future blog post. So be sure to subscribe to our newsletter so you don’t miss out.

Content Strategy

This is the most important part of your social media marketing strategy: what emotion do you want your fans to feel and what action do you want them to take, immediately upon seeing your content?

Content should do one of three things:

  • Educate
  • Entertain
  • Enlighten

If you achieve all three of these “E’s” in one piece of content, you’re doing excellent.

Your ideal customer is scrolling through her Timeline in Facebook and stopping to look at a funny video (Entertain) or reads a picture quote with a wise message in it that feels right to her in that moment (Enlighten), so she shares it with her Facebook friends and family. Or maybe she or he sees a post that links to an article or news story about a topic she’s interested in (Educate). Click. There s/he is on the advertiser’s website (hopefully, it’s a strategic landing page, designed to get the user to perform a specific action).

Editorial Calendar
After deciding on what direction your content will go in (one of the three E’s), you should be given access to an Editorial Calendar.  In the Editorial Calendar, there will be done-for-you Facebook posts (and other social media content, such as Tweets and Instagrams) created by your social media marketing team. You’ll need to spend time reading it and giving feedback to your Social Media Manager or give formal approval for content to be scheduled.

Prime Time for Facebook Is the Same as Prime Time for TV

Content Strategy should also include research that shows when YOUR ideal customers are in Facebook: the times of day and days of the week. Most likely most of your community of fans, friends and customers are on Facebook between the hours of 7 p.m. – 10 p.m., while watching TV in the evening.

Prime Time for TV is the same for Facebook

Source: Facebook

In January, Nielsen announced its Social Content Ratings. This is “an expansion of the Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings to include Facebook conversation data for the first time. This new rating will become Nielsen’s “Social Content Ratings.” Social Content Ratings will measure conversation about original video programming from TV and over-the-top streaming providers. The new ratings will measure social media conversations during linear air-times as well as on a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week basis. There are also plans to include Instagram in this rating in the future as well.”

Important: your fans might very well be on Facebook at a different time. Another good time period is 6 a.m. – 8 a.m. because a lot of people reach for their phones to turn off their alarms when they wake up. Guess where they go next, right after turning off their alarm? Yep. Facebook. Find out the stats on your ideal audience so you can be strategic and not guess. For example: 42 percent of Latina(o) Millennials, log into Facebook first thing in the morning, while 54 percent do so just before going to sleep.

Measure the Work with Data

With so much data available in Digital Marketing, there’s no need to guess. Eliminating guessing will make you more profitable.  If you’re doing your own Social Media Marketing, you definitely need to measure how you’re doing. And if an agency is managing your marketing, ask them to include weekly or monthly reports of the following metrics:

  • Number of X that took X action (example number of list subscribers or number of new fans and followers or percentage of fans and followers who engaged with your brand this week.
  • Bounce rate of the landing page in which people were supposed to take the action you decided on. If the Bounce Rate is high (above 50%) then you need to re-design your landing page because X number of people are actually going there but X number is leaving without doing the action you want them to do. They are leaving the page without exploring any other pages. That’s what a Bounce Rate is.
  • Forms: Another metric is the number of people who filled out your contact form or called you after finding your website in Google or elsewhere. You should be asking callers how they found you. You should have a form on every page of your website. Consider adding other forms, such as a free analysis of something for the future client. For example, we offer a free SEO analysis. This captures leads.

I could list hundreds of metrics but those are a few examples of really important ones.

Now you have a good, basic Social Media Marketing Strategy. We could write a lot more details but this gets you going in a very structured and measurable direction, which you might not have ever had before. Pat yourself on the back for reading the whole blog post. I’d love to hear from you and find out if you thought these tips were helpful. Write a comment below or Tweet me.

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