Written by Harleen Rachael

Advanced social media strategies don’t have to be complicated — but they should be results-driven, strategically planned, and refined over time.

Here are eight easy steps to creating a social media marketing strategy that makes an impact.

#1: Set Achievable Goals

As with all marketing activities, your social media strategy should slot into and contribute towards your overall marketing goals.

S.M.A.R.T goals aim to create achievable objectives that support the wider business strategy:

Specific: Is your goal to “increase engagement”? It should be to increase your social media audience by X% or X number within a specific timeframe.

Measurable: Each goal should have an associated core metric by which success can be measured.

Attainable: Teams with unrealistic goals quickly become disillusioned.

Relevant: How will your specific, measurable, achievable goal fit into the overall business objectives?

Timely: Deadlines are important for accountability and for measuring success.

#2: Learn About Your Audience

Buyer personas are the personalization of a specific segment of your target audience. They’re widely used in content marketing so that the content created resonates with a specific audience, ranks higher in search engine results, and converts at higher rates.

Companies that curate buyer personas are four times more likely to exceed revenue and lead generation goals.

The same principle should be extended to your social media campaigns to encourage higher engagement and click-through rates, both on organic posts and paid ads.

By creating social content that is geared towards specific buyer personas, you can score higher in social platforms relevancy scores, and you’ll be creating content that helps audiences identify with your brand.

Research your buyer personas in Combin Growth searching them by relevant hashtags, locations, and bio keywords. Filter out the results based on gender, language, and other parameters.

#3: Research The Competition

If your social media performance is lagging, take a look at what your competitors are doing and if they’re experiencing more success. You can do this qualitatively and quantitatively.

For qualitative research, simply spend some time browsing their social media profiles and identifying the types of content and copy that are earning likes, comments, and shares.

Most social media platforms also offer the opportunity to track competitors’ performance so you can benchmark your results against theirs.

For example, on Facebook Insights, you can select other pages to follow. Insights will then show you their page likes, post frequency, and engagement rates so you can compare your page performances.

#4: Pick Your Platforms

Carefully research social media platforms before deciding where to dedicate precious resources.

You’ll need to extensively research two things:

  • Your target audiences and their social media preferences
  • The general audience and demographics of individual social media platforms

Once the two match up, you’ll know that’s a social media platform where you need to establish your brand.

It’s also worth researching the norms of the platform to make sure you have the time and resources to dedicate to it. Make sure your marketing team has the capacity for managing your chosen social media platforms before diving in.

#5: Set-up Accounts And Improve Existing Profiles

Each social media platform has its own profile requirements and methods of optimization. Make sure you go through the settings and options on each profile thoroughly and fill out all the information that is asked for there.

Optimizing your profiles often means better ranking in search results, particularly on platforms like Facebook and Instagram who are highly accommodating to brands wishing to promote themselves there.

Here are a few “rules of thumb” for optimizing social media profiles:

  • Make your profile photo your logo (a web design company like Chennai Creative can help you create a logo that stands out)
  • Include your business contact information wherever possible
  • Use hashtags in your bio
  • Link to your website in your “About” section or bio
  • Fill in contact information, hours, products and services you offer

#6: Create A Social Media Content Plan

Editorial calendars, or content calendars, give you a birds-eye view of your posting strategy and timing. It gives you a space to brainstorm what you should post and when.

Your social media content calendar should include:

  • Major holidays/observances
  • Industry events
  • “Fun” days that are relevant to your brand or audience (e.g. International Coffee Day is a popular observance that brands acknowledge on social media)
  • Company anniversaries or celebrations
  • Your content, links to your blog, user-generated content (UGC), videos, and whatever else is popular with your audience

There are also lots of free tools out there like Hootsuite where you can pre-schedule the majority of your content to stay organized.

To streamline the process, you can use Combin Scheduler, a smart tool for content planning.

#7: Measure And Adjust

When measuring the success of your social media strategy, be careful to stay away from so-called “vanity metrics” that look good on paper but aren’t really doing anything for your brand.

Some metrics to be mindful of on social media include:

  • Engagement rates over time
  • Your audience breakdown
  • Click-through rate
  • Actions on page

Going back to the S.M.A.R.T goals framework, every metric you track on social media should relate to one of your goals.

While each social media platform has its own version of Insights or Analytics, there are also lots of tools out there that aggregate all the data together to give you more actionable insights.

#8: Publish And Promote On Social Networks

For most social media platforms nowadays, there are three main ways to promote your social media content.

Organic Content

To optimize your organic social media strategy, research the best time to post by platform and measure when your audience is most active.

“Boosting” or Sponsored Posts

Popularized by Facebook, some platforms enable you to sponsor those organic posts so that they appear as “sponsored” posts in your target audience’s feed. The post results are then broken down by organic and paid reach/engagement.

Paid Ads

Paid social campaigns often have goals such as click-through rate or lead generation. You can set a budget and timeline for a campaign and choose where on the platform it should be displayed to your target audience.

For example, on Facebook Ads Manager you might start a click-through campaign to appear in Newsfeed, Stories, display, Messenger, Instagram, and Instagram Stories.

Final Thoughts

Creating a social media strategy can cost a significant portion of your time, but the rewards are nearly always worth the efforts if you follow a step-by-step strategy like the one outlined here. Which social media platforms will you choose?

Harleen Rachael, a writer from chennaicreative.in with over 5 years of experience in crafting content. Harleen has written for some of the top brands in the digital space like Thenextscoop.com, Graphicdesignjunction.com and a host of other authority websites and marketing gurus/influencers.