Looking to fine-tune your social media marketing strategy for 2022?
Good! Now’s the perfect time to make it happen.
In a world with more competition, content and networks than ever, a precise strategy gives you the focus needed to say “no” to efforts that don’t serve your goals.
That’s why I've put together a comprehensive guide to creating a social media marketing plan from scratch.
Whether you’re totally new to social or want to double-check your priorities in 2022, this guide has you covered.
Set goals that make sense for your business
Take time to research your target audience
Establish your most important metrics and KPIs
Create (and curate) engaging social content
Make your social presence as timely as possible
Assess what’s working, what isn’t and how to keep improving
1. Set goals that make sense for your business
Let’s kick things off with a quick question:
“What do you want from social media, anyway?”
Social media strategy planning starts with your goals.
Whether you want to build a larger following or a more active community, taking the time to define your social goals is the first step to reaching them.
Either way, your goals will define your social media marketing strategy and how much time and energy you’ll need to dedicate to your campaigns.
Below are some sample goals that businesses of all shapes and sizes can pursue.
Increase brand awareness. This means getting your name out there. To create authentic and lasting brand awareness, avoid solely publishing promotional messages. Instead, focus on content that emphasises your personality and values first.
Generate leads and sales. Whether online or directly through your social profiles, followers don’t make purchases by accident. For example, are you about alerting customers about new products and promos? Are you integrating your product catalog into your social profiles? Are you running exclusive deals for followers?
Grow your brand’s audience. Bringing new followers into the fold means finding ways to introduce your brand to people who haven’t heard of you before.
Growing your audience also means discovering conversations around your business and the industry that matter the most.
Boost community engagement. It pays to explore new ways to grab the attention of your current followers. This means experimenting with messaging and content. For example, does your brand promote user-generated content and hashtags?
Even something as simple as asking a question can increase your engagement rate. Your customers can be your best cheerleaders, but only if you’re giving them something to do.
Drive traffic to your site. Simple enough. If you’re laser-focused on generating leads or traffic to your website, social media can make it happen. Whether through promotional posts or social ads, keeping an eye on conversions and URL clicks can help you better determine your ROI from social media.
Any combination of these goals is fair game and can help you better understand which networks to tackle, too. When in doubt, keep your social media marketing strategy simple rather than complicating it with too many objectives that might distract you. Pick one or two and rally your team around them.
2. Take time to research your target audience
Making assumptions is bad news for marketers.
Only 55% of marketers use social data to better understand their target audience, making it a huge opportunity for both leaders and practitioners. Much of what you need to know about your audience to influence your social media marketing strategy is already available. You just have to know where to look.
Remember: different platforms attract different audiences
Don’t spread yourself too thin. Instead, focus on networks where your core audience is already active.
3. Establish your most important metrics and KPIs
No matter your goals or industry, your social media strategy should be data-driven.
That means focusing on the social media metrics that matter. Rather than focus on vanity metrics, dig into data that aligns directly with your goals.
What metrics are we talking about? Check out the breakdown below:
Reach. Post reach is the number of unique users who saw your post. How much of your content actually reaches users’ feeds?
Clicks. This is the number of clicks on your content or account. Tracking clicks per campaign is essential to understand what drives curiosity or encourages people to buy.
Engagement. The total number of social interactions is divided by the number of impressions. This sheds light on how well your audience perceives you and their willingness to interact.
Hashtag performance. What were your most-used hashtags? Which hashtags were most associated with your brand? Having these answers can help shape the focus of your content going forward.
Organic and paid likes: Beyond a standard Like count, these interactions are attributed to paid or organic content. Given how much harder organic engagement is to gain, many brands turn to ads. Knowing these differences can help you budget both your ad spend and the time you invest in different formats.
Sentiment. This is the measurement of how users react to your content, brand or hashtag. Did customers find your recent campaign offensive? What type of sentiment do people associate with your campaign hashtag? It’s always better to dig deeper and find out how people talk or feel about your brand.
An effective social media marketing strategy is rooted in numbers. That said, those numbers need to be put into a context that aligns with your original goal
4. Create (and curate) engaging social content
No surprises here. Your social media marketing strategy hinges on your content.
At this point, you should have a pretty good idea of what to publish based on your goals, audience and brand identity. You probably feel confident in which networks to cover, too.
But what about your content strategy? Below are some ideas and inspiration that can help.
5. Make your social presence as timely as possible
Timeliness is arguably more important than ever for marketers.
Not only are you expected to put out fresh content on a regular basis, but also always be “on” for your followers.
But you can’t always expect customers to operate on your clock. Timeliness is a tall order when you’re strapped for resources or are part of a small team.
Let’s look at some ideas to maximise your schedule and your time spent on social.
Post at the best times to engage
Quick question: when is your brand available to engage and interact with customers?
You might see some recommended times to post late in the evening, for example. But if your team isn’t there to communicate, what’s the point of posting at the “preferred” time?
Instead, try to ensure your social media or community managers are available and ready to answer any product questions or concerns when you post.
And that leads us to our next point.
Respond to your customer questions and shout-outs ASAP
Your customers want speedy responses. In fact, 47% believe that strong customer service defines a best-in-class brand on social.
Whether it’s capitalising on a compliment or responding to a question, businesses shouldn’t leave customers hanging.
6. Assess what’s working, what isn’t and how to keep improving
By now you should have a big-picture understanding of your social media strategy.
However, it’s important that you’re able to adapt your strategy throughout the year.
Without continuously analysing your efforts, you’ll never know how one campaign did over another. Having a bird’s eye view of your social media activity helps put things into perspective. This means looking at your top-performing content and adjusting your campaigns when your content stalls.
There’s no denying that a lot of social media is a matter of trial and error. Monitoring the metrics behind your campaigns in real-time allows you to make small tweaks to your social media marketing strategy rather than sweeping, time-consuming changes.
And with that, we wrap up your social media strategy guide for 2022 and beyond!
Putting together yours doesn’t have to be a drag.
If you set actionable goals and address each of the steps above, you’ll already be way ahead of the curve when it comes to your social media marketing strategy.
If you need help growing your Social Media chat to me here!