As an entrepreneur, you probably wear an incredible number of hats. You’re the CEO, CMO, COO, and basically every three-letter C acronym you can think of for your business. Unfortunately, when it comes to social media marketing, the insane amount of information out there can be super overwhelming. There’s no doubt you’re juggling a lot, so I’m here to make your life a little easier. If you’re ready to create a badass social media marketing strategy, this one’s for you.
1. Start with your WHY
A successful social media marketing strategy must start with your WHY. If you’re planning on creating social media accounts because all the cool brands have them, you’ll fail before you start. It is important to understand WHY you want your brand to have a presence on social media. Spend some time brainstorming. Your social media marketing goals should align with the goals of your overall marketing mix. If your company is prepping for a new launch or looking to increase its client base, those goals should carry over to social media.
Like with any strategy in your business, goal setting is key. There are a number of methods to do this. One of the most popular is the SMART method. Write out each goal in a specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely way. Another great technique is setting Hard Goals that are heartfelt, animated, required, and difficult. Take your time, as this first step sets the stage for the rest of your social media marketing strategy.
2. Do Some Serious Research
Creating a really sound social media strategy requires ample research. This is hands down the most time-consuming step, but it’s also the step that differentiates mediocre social media marketing from badass social media marketing. These should be the three main focuses for the research stage:
· Narrow Down your Niche
I hate to break it to you, but marketing to everyone is as effective as marketing to no one. Take a good look at the essence of your brand and narrow down your target segment. Get specific! There are millions of users on every social media channel. The right (and profitable) niche is waiting.
· Hone In on Your Ideal Clients
Once you have a good grasp on your target niche, take it one step further and define your ideal clients. Go beyond outdated, surface-level demographics. Think about psychographics as well. Maybe they have a certain personality, are obsessed with specific TV shows, or love a particular type of activity. Give them names and stories. No matter how you define them, you should know your ideal clients inside and out.
· Understand the Channels
Once you know WHO you’re marketing to, you need to know WHERE to find them. Not all social media channels are created equal. Do your research to understand all your options. Learn which channels your ideal clients love. Where do they spend the majority of their time? Plan to strategize for those first. I often get asked, can’t I have accounts on all social channels? While you absolutely can, you want to be incredibly strategic on the platforms that will give you the greatest ROI and best potential to achieve your goals.
3. Create New or Optimize Your Existing Account(s)
Whether you’re starting from scratch or ready to revamp and revitalize, elevating your social media profiles should be your next focus. Each social channel has unique profile requirements, so be sure to optimize accordingly. Profile photos, bios, header images, call-to-action buttons, and website/direct links should all align back to those initial goals you set. Be strategic in your bio copy as well as your profile photo choice. Use keywords to make finding your profile as simple as possible. You’ll want to be clear about who you are, what you can do for your audience, and how they can contact you to make it happen.
4. Get Inspired
Finding inspiration is an essential but often overlooked step in creating a killer social media strategy. Please spend some time exploring amazing social media campaigns both in your industry and outside of it. It will make all the difference when you’re ready to implement your own. I frequently see many small business owners diving right into content creation without really knowing what speaks to them. An effective social media strategy should feel authentic to your brand. Check out the social pages and marketing campaigns of brands you love, even if they’re not in your industry. Peep the competition (never copy) and use hashtags to explore new accounts you may never have heard of otherwise. Get to know the latest social media trends and think about how they may fit within your brand strategy.
5. Build Out Your Content Approach
Now comes the fun part! The content portion of your social media marketing strategy needs to blow your followers away. Start by creating sets of content pillars or themes that will act as your content roadmap. This piece should also align with other areas of your content marketing plan. Each pillar will be a general category that sets the direction for all posts that fall within it. Well-defined content buckets help ensure your social media content will be valuable, organized, engaging, and consistent. Tie this back in with your research. Each post should be tailored toward what your ideal clients would be interested in consuming.
6. Create Your Social Media Content Calendar
Once you’ve narrowed down your content pillars (I usually recommend four or five), it’s time to create a specific, all-encompassing social media content calendar. I promise this will be a true lifesaver for staying organized and on-target with your social media marketing plan. Though some may choose to create a loose overview, I recommend sitting down and dedicating the time upfront to outline a calendar that includes your pillars, captions, graphics, hashtags, and posting schedule. (I swear your sanity will thank me later.)
7. Launch and Engage
It’s go time! Now launch that baby, and breathe a sigh of relief – you did it. This is where that content calendar is a true blessing as you won’t be stressed scrambling to decide what to post every day. Don’t just stop after sharing the post itself. As you’re building an audience, be sure to engage as much as you can with those who follow you and those you are targeting as ideal clients within your niche. It’s social media, so BE SOCIAL. You need to show your developing audience that you genuinely care and can’t wait to get to know them. Be their resource, and let your brand’s personality and unique tone-of-voice (link to tone of voice blog) shine through.
8. Review and Re-adjust
It can take a few months to really understand how your new social media marketing strategy is performing. Give yourself some time to grow. (No matter how badass you are, you likely won’t be a social star overnight!) As your strategy unfolds, review your insights to see what resonates most with your audience. Evaluate the posts based on all metrics including your likes, shares, comments, and saves. Begin to make tweaks as you see patterns emerge. You may want to go heavier on a particular content pillar or totally go back to the drawing board on a different one as well. Either way, a successful strategy is fluid rather than set in stone. Continue to make tweaks and re-adjust by measuring your progress against your goals. Another great thing about social media is the personalized access you have to your ideal clients. Ask for your audience’s feedback, and adjust from there!
It’s Time to Build Your Badass Social Strategy
A badass social media marketing strategy is a strategic, purposeful process. Understand that a successful strategy does take time and energy. There’s just no way around it. However, if you follow these steps, you can ensure that effort will be well worth it. Are you still unsure of how to kickstart your social media plan? I’m here to help. Download my book of services here, and let’s chat about how I can help bring a badass social strategy to life for your brand.