Does it feel like you are spinning your wheels when it comes to marketing your company online? You spend countless hours posting to social media and seeing no viable returns? If this sounds like you, then its time to stop what you are doing and develop a social media strategy.
You can’t be everything for everybody, and in that same vein, you can’t (or shouldn’t) be everywhere on social media. Unless you are a large corporation with a dedicated team of marketing professionals at your disposal, it is not worth the amount of time and effort required to be on every social media platform. Instead, maximize your effort by selecting only the platforms that will net you the best ROI.
In today’s post, we’ll outline the steps required to develop a great social media strategy that will get your social media marketing back on track.
Developing Your Social Media Strategy
Step 1: Establish a Baseline
A social media strategy is like a road map to social media success. You know roughly where you are and where exactly you want to end up. Now you need a plan on how to get from A to B.
Start your plan by documenting what you are currently doing online. Do you have a website? Are you already on some social media platforms? What’s the average amount of traffic each platform and website receives? How much engagement do your posts generate?
Take a hard look at what you are doing now and document it. This is the baseline for your social media strategy.
Step 2: Define Your Goals
Now that you know where you are starting from, you can work on establishing a finishing line.
What is your reason for marketing on social media? Are you hoping to increase the amount of traffic directed to your website? Are you looking for more referrals? Do you want to increase the number of newsletter subscribers?
When deciding upon an end goal, it’s important to make it specific and attainable. Saying “I want to make more money” is not a helpful goal. That’s like saying you want to go to Australia. It’s an awfully big place and your plane can’t land in Australia as a general direction. Your plane needs a specific spot within Australia to touch down, whether it be in one of its cities or at a small airstrip in the middle of the Outback.
When deciding upon an end goal, it’s important to make it specific and attainable. Click To Tweet
By defining specific goals, you are giving yourself a specific place to land. It establishes what success looks like to you and shows you a way to get there.
Step 3: Define Your Target Audience
This is the research phase of your marketing plan strategy. Information is key at this point because it will show you where, when and how to communicate with your target audience.
At this point you want to get to know your ideal customer. How do they like to receive information? What content are they most likely to comment on and/or share? What are their pain points and how can your business help them? What platforms do they use most often?
Gathering this information will provide focus to your social media strategy.
Step 4: Platform Selection
Now that a better understanding of your target audience has been established, its time for platform selection. If you are the only one managing your social media presence, start with only one or two platforms. It’s better to operate a couple of platforms correctly, rather than operate multiple platforms poorly.
Once you have chosen the best platforms for your social media strategy, it’s time to optimize them. For example, if you are using Facebook do you have a detailed ‘About’ section?
What about social media handles? Do you need to create one? If you do, choose a name that users can quickly identify and associate with your company. Obscure names might be cute and funny if you are an individual, but they do nothing for marketing.
Step 5: Plan and Schedule Your Activity
The next step for your social media strategy is to plan and schedule your content.
According to Hootsuite there are two common ways to plan your activity. The first is the 80/20 rule. This model says that 80% the content posted should inform, entertain or educate your audience. The remaining 20% should be used to directly promote your brand.
The other common format relies on the rule of thirds. One third of the social media content converts readers, promotes your company, and generates revenue. One third should then be dedicated to sharing information/posts from influencers in your niche. This type of content makes your site valuable to the reader and not just a walking ad. The last third is perhaps the most important. This is where you can interact with customers, answer questions, and show the public the values of your company.
Once the plan has been established, you can then spend time deciding on your posting schedule. Depending on the platforms you choose, the posting frequency can range from a couple posts a day to a post every couple of weeks. So having a plan on when you will post and what it will say will help you market with intention, rather than by reaction.
Step 6: Track Your Success and Adjust As Needed
The final step in your social media strategy should be a regular review of your results. Are you meeting your goals? If not, which parts of the plan are working, and which ones are bearing no fruit?
As Xavier Davis stated, “Let the data drive you”.
You might not get your social media strategy right the first time, but regular reviews can help you tweak the processes to make them as profitable as they can be.
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