How to Build Your Social Media Strategy
Posted by Taylor Munson on Mar 10, 2022 8:00:00 AM
If your business is on social media, you should have a strategy to guide your efforts. Otherwise, there's no organized approach to meeting your goals. Creating a social media strategy unique to your business goals will help you maximize your time and focus your efforts on what matters most.We get it, social media can feel overwhelming in the days of TikToks and Instagram reels. Trends are constantly changing and it can feel impossible to stay on top of content creation, engagement, tracking results, and more.
With that in mind, our social media team put together this go-to guide (along with a free downloadable version of our Social Media Roadmap) for creating a social media strategy for your business in 2023.
8 simple steps to creating the perfect social media strategy for your business
#1: Establish Your Goals for Social Media
Sometimes organizations will join social media and immediately start posting sporadic content without much thought or reason behind it. While it is important to create content and keep it flowing through your social channels, it’s even more important to have a strategy behind that content.
Before anything, you have to ask yourself why your business is on social media.
- Do you want to drive traffic to your website?
- Do you want to start creating a community around your products?
- Do you hope to increase product sales or generate new leads?
- Do you want to incorporate social media as an additional channel of customer support to existing customers?
No matter your reason for being on social media, you have to have goals to guide your content.
As you establish these goals, make sure you're realistic about what you feel your business can accomplish on social media.
#2: Determine Your Target Audience
Has your company taken to the time to create buyer personas? There are a lot of users on social media, and in order to have the most success, it’s best to hone in on your target audiences to get the right message to the right people.
A few things to consider when you narrow down your target audiences are:
- Geographic location
As you build your target audience, you’ll also want to consider which social platforms they’re on. Each social platform has its own unique demographics, so make sure you’re spending your time on the right platforms. For example, Instagram tends to be most popular among younger users, so if your target audience is a younger demographic, this could be a great platform for your business to focus on.
💡 Pro Tip: According to recent research from HubSpot, the top way marketers are finding their audience on social media is by looking for relevant online communities, such as Facebook Groups and subreddits.
#3: Choose the Right Social Platforms for Your Business
The number of social media platforms available continues to grow, making it harder and harder for businesses to determine which platforms they should be on. In fact, HubSpot recently found that the biggest challenge marketers are facing with social media in 2023 is determining which platform(s) to invest time and resources in.
It’s best to start small, and start with what’s tried and true: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn are all established platforms with a large number of users, providing the best opportunities for your business. Other popular social media platforms to consider are YouTube, TikTok, and Pinterest.
#4: Take Time to Complete a Social Media Audit
Performing an “audit” sounds like a daunting task, but a social media audit is truly just taking the time to see what’s worked and what hasn’t in the past. This will help lead the direction of your social media strategy going forward.
Start your social media audit by reviewing the social media platforms your business is currently on (if you’re already on social media). Take note of how your content is performing, the level of engagement you’re getting, and how your social media presence compares to others in your industry.
Approach your audit from a place of wanting to improve.
Some questions to ask yourself during a social media audit are:
- Which networks seem to be working best for your business?
- What kind of engagement is your content receiving?
- How often and when are you posting?
- Which types of content are performing best?
- How does your social media presence compare to others in your industry?
- Are there new opportunities for growth in the future?
Collect as much information as you can and take time to analyze. After taking the time to review what’s working and what’s not, you’ll have a much clearer picture of what areas your business can improve on social media and where to start investing your time.
#5: Start Building Your Content Strategy
Now it’s time for your business to shine through amazing content! Creating your content strategy should be easy now that you have your audit complete and your goals, audience, and channels solidified. These will guide your content strategy as you determine what type of content you want to share.
Your content plan should include the following:
- Content topics you want to focus on. Do you want to highlight your services? Share customer testimonials? Post recent blogs? Highlight staff members? List out all the content topics you want to share regularly on your social channels.
- Content types you plan to include. Do you want to incorporate photos into your content? What about infographics, video, link previews, polls, or livestreams?
- Hashtags to be used throughout your content. We recommend incorporating hashtags throughout your content to help with discoverability and engagement. Use hashtags that make the most sense for your industry and target audiences.
If you’re looking for more guidance on your content strategy, one popular rule for social media content is called the 80/20 rule: 80% of your content should educate, inform, entertain, while 20% directly promote your brand, products, and services.
Another one is the rule of thirds:
- ⅓ of content promotes your business and generates profit
- ⅓ of content focuses on thought leadership through sharing ideas and stories
- ⅓ of content involves engagement with your audience
Ultimately, there’s no exact formula when it comes to your content strategy. What matters most is that you focus on the content that makes the most sense for your business and goals.
💡 Pro Tip: Consider optimizing your content for each platform, as every platform has its own best practices.
#6: Research the Competition
Social media provides plenty of opportunities to monitor your competition, and we strongly recommend you do so. Consider who your competitors are on social media. Keep tabs on these pages not only to monitor the competition, but also to gain insight and better understand the social media landscape for your industry.
Spend some time conducting a competitive analysis every few months. A competitive analysis can:
- Help you gauge who your main competitors are
- Give you content ideas and inspiration
- Provide more insight into your target audiences
- Allow you to find opportunities where you can potentially add value
- Help you continue to refine your social media strategy
#7: Execute Your Social Media Strategy
You’ve done the research and taken the time to build your strategy. Now all you need to do is execute! Easy, right?
Well, sort of. This is the time to be realistic. Consider your overall budget, resources, and time availability. Make sure you have a plan in place for the who, what, when, and how of executing your strategy. If your strategy is too much to execute, go back through your strategy and adjust to make it achievable for your time and resources.
In order to successfully carry out your social media strategy, you’ll want to account for the time needed to:
- Create content regularly
- Build your audience
- Engage with your followers
- Conduct social listening and competitor research
- Monitor performance and determine areas of improvement
- Adjust social media strategy as needed
#8: Analyze Results
One of our values at Tribute Media is #AlwaysBeLearning and we like to apply that to social media, too. There is always more we can be learning when it comes to social media, as constant change is the nature of these platforms. That’s why analyzing the results of your efforts is a crucial part of a successful social media strategy.
When it comes to evaluating the results of your social media efforts, there are a lot of metrics you can track. Circle back to your overarching goals as you consider which metrics are best to monitor for your business.
Here are a few social media metrics we recommend you track:
- Engagement metrics (likes, clicks, shares)
- Audience metrics (impressions, number of followers, audience demographics)
- Conversion metrics (conversion rate, number of leads)
- Social Listening metrics (mentions, sentiment score)
- Customer Service metrics (response rate, reviews)
Ready for a final piece of advice? Be patient. Creating a social media strategy is only the first step. Long-term success on social media is a slow and steady journey. As long as you stick to your strategy and are constantly improving, you’ll start to see the results you want.
Written by Taylor Munson
Taylor is Tribute Media's social media specialist. When she's not hanging out in nature or socialing the medias, you might find her indulging reality shows or re-watching Parks and Recreation.