If you didn’t know this about me already, a little over a year ago I worked in PR for a major non-profit in the city. During my time with them, I learned so much about the importance of planning and implementing a good social media strategy. At any one time, I would be juggling three or more digital campaigns, each with very specific goals, which was fun but also a lot of work!
In this blog, I’m going to share some of what I know about social media and how to create a kickass strategy of your own.
What is a social media strategy?
I once read a quote, “Running a business without strategy is like taking a road trip without a map.” Sure, you may end up somewhere magical but it’s more likely you’ll end up lost and wondering how to reach your destination. Much like a map, a social media strategy is a plan created to help you reach your goals online, across all of your fav social channels…
A strategy asks that we get clear on what we would like to achieve and explore how to progress and kick butt. Maybe you’d like more followers, more people to know about your product, visit your website or even complete a purchase. The good news is, once you figure out the right strategy for your brand anything is possible.
How does a social media strategy work?
A social media strategy deconstructs your vision, breaks it down into smaller steps and provides you with some direction (things to try that maybe hadn’t crossed your mind). Again, it’s about knowing what you’d like to achieve and figuring out – with a certain level of trial and error – how to make magic happen!
For example, if your goal is to “get more followers” then you might decide to try:
- Creating a posting schedule/scheduling updates to an app like Hootsuite.
- Designing posts with clear, consistent voice.
- Incorporating popular #hashtags.
However, if your goal is to “achieve more sales” then you might need to take a more promotional approach instead:
- Designing pretty marketing imagery.
- Highlight your full product range or focus on a single product’s fab features.
- A small, but targeted/specially crafted advertising campaign.
Different goals require different strategies. In the same way reaching a specific location requires a specific route; a map that takes you to the city can’t also take you to the beach.
How do you implement a social media strategy?
Every strategy needs a goal, or else how will you know if it’s been freakin amazing or a big flop? Always have a clear picture of what you’d like to accomplish and exactly how it will benefit you or your business. Nobody wants to waste a tonne of energy on a goal that, in the end, did very little except steal time away from more important things.
- Better brand awareness
- Greater product purchases
- Unique website visitors
- More social media follows
- Improved engagement levels (conversation: mentions, replies, likes, shares, etc)
- Positive associations or reputation (PR)
- Improved loyalty
- Deeper connection with target audience/sense of community
… WHY? HOW WILL IT BENEFIT YOU?
Also remember to make all of your goals measurable as this sets a benchmark for comparison: 10 sales, 100 website hits, 1000 new followers. If your goal is to reach 1000 followers and you only reach 908 would you still consider the strategy you used to be a success?
Next, figure out what actions to take and any resources that are needed to kick off your kickass strategy. Do you need to create a posting schedule? If so, who will do that? Will you need to download a free scheduling app? Could you benefit from changing the tone of your brand or adding more spark to your posts? What will you need to create the content (photos, fonts, software)?
Lastly, implement your strategy. Just start doing.
If you can, avoid spending too much time in the goal setting/planning stage because you can easily fall down the rabbit hole. Don’t get me wrong, it’s crucial to have a good plan but balance is key (ie. if you spend a week planning, spend a week doing). And remember to keep track of how your strategy is performing: Are people paying attention? Is it getting the response you’d hoped for? Are you slowly, but surely moving toward your goal?
Social Media Strategy Steps
- Set a goal
- Make it measurable
- Break down the steps
- Gather any materials
- Implement > start sharing
- Keep an eye on how it’s all going
- Modify whatever isn’t fiery magic
And if at first you don’t succeed… Oh who are we kidding girl, you got this!