For professional marketers, social media is a given. More than 95% of professional marketers use social media to attract, engage and retain their audiences. But simply using social media isn’t enough. Marketers also want to know how effective their social media efforts are, and what changes they should make to improve their outcomes. Here are a few fundamental things to consider when planning your social media strategy.
Fundamentals of your social media strategy
The best place to start your social media strategy planning is identifying your objectives. If you know what you want to do and why, you’re already ahead of the game. What should your social media objectives include? The answer will be different for every business, but your social media objectives should support your business objectives neatly. If your social media objectives either don’t support the rest of your business strategy or don’t relate to the rest of your business strategy, your social media strategy won’t likely achieve significant results. If you take the time to connect your social media strategy to the rest of your business plan, you’re likely to see immediate, tangible and positive results from your efforts.
Once you know your objectives, you can start to develop an overall plan for achieving your objectives. Strategy isn’t usually filled with specifics; it’s more of a description of what you want to do or where you want to end up and less about exactly how you’re going to get there. “Improve sales by increasing brand awareness among adults aged 25-34” is a strategy. The statement doesn’t indicate how you intend to increase brand awareness, but it does indicate that increasing brand awareness among a specific demographic is important to your overall plan.
Social media strategy should also include tactics. Tactics are more specific routes to achieving your strategy, and you can employ multiple tactics to support the same strategy. If your social media strategy includes improved sales by increasing brand awareness among adults aged 25-34, your tactics might include Facebook advertising, a word-of-mouth campaign, blogging, the development of a smartphone application or whatever else allows you to reach your intended demographic target via social media.
Social media strategy should also identify the tools you plan to use. If 85% of the people you want to engage have Facebook accounts, Facebook advertising may be a good tool to consider. On the other hand, if only 4% of your target demographic uses Facebook, but 75% of the same group uses LinkedIn, LinkedIn is clearly the better tool for executing your strategy.
Your social media strategy should contain measurement tools to help you figure out how effective your social media strategy is. Building in ways for your target audience to respond, offering social-media-only promotions, tracking sales or sales inquiries following an advertising campaign, tracking new followers and other similar measurements can help you build a picture of the effectiveness of your social media strategy.
By incorporating these fundamentals into your social media strategy at the planning stage, you can help ensure the success of your social media marketing efforts. If you would like more information about social media strategy, or how you can build one for your business, please contact our Creative Director, Dave Ramsell or give Dave a call at (330) 243-0651 to set up a consultation.
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