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Creating your social media strategy

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Every tweet, every status update, every caption should be guided by your overarching social media strategy.

In this blog we explore the core components of an effective social media strategy.

Objectives and goals:
Understanding what you want to achieve with your social media activity enables you to respond swiftly and alter your path of you’re not getting the results you’re expecting. Your objectives should be linked to your broader marketing strategy to support your overall business direction.

Social media audit:
Take a look at what channels you’re currently using and how they are working for you, and importantly how your social media presence compares to that of your competitors. Check out who is maintaining the channels you use, what purpose they are serving and how often they are updated (having an unmaintained social media account is more damaging than not having one).

Define a mission statement for each social network profile you operate, this will help to shape your actions and define a new direction is the channel becomes less effective. Remember also that now every channel is going to be suitable for your business!

Improve or create social media accounts:
Once you’ve completed your audit, start to look at what networks best meet your social media objectives. New accounts should be built with a broad audience in mind and existing accounts should be refined to bring them in line with your current business objectives.

Gather social media ideas from competitors and other companies:
If you’re looking to establish a social media presence it’s likely because you know your existing customers and prospects have accounts too, it is also highly likely that your competitors are active. Don’t feel like you have to reinvent the wheel, if you see something is working, look to incorporate it into your strategy; similarly look at things they are not doing and use this as a means of differentiating yourself and attracting new customers they may be missing.

Analysing consumers’ habits i.e. what and why they share, can also be a useful way to help you learn how to phrase your information.

Look to the social media giants for inspiration i.e. those companies who’ve nailed it, who simply do a brilliant job of social media. Follow them and learn everything you can.

Create an editorial plan and calendar:
A good social media marketing plan should incorporate a timetable of content creation, editing, and publishing. You should itemise dates and times you are intending to post blogs, Twitter messages, Facebook posts, etc. and what they’re subject matter will be.

Allocate your resource carefully. A good rule of thumb is to assign:

  • 33% of time to promotional content i.e. designed to convert visitors and drive sales;
  • 33% of time to sharing content from thought leaders and education;
  • 33% to content based on personal interactions and building brand awareness.

Monitoring, evaluating, and refining
Constantly review your networks to see what needs adjusting. Use analytics to track page visits and monitor the reach of each social media campaign.

A good social media plan should be constantly changing. You should be constantly looking for emerging networks, new challenges. Most importantly you need to remain flexible and prepared to adapt your strategy as the need arises.

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