Social media specialists have a lot on their plate. Different social media platforms, creating social media strategy, keeping an eye on brand’s social media content – it’s easy to get...
9 Steps to Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy (with Template)￼
With a plethora of digital marketing channels, platforms, and strategies, social media has become a must for small businesses and large companies alike.
And, if you don’t have a well-executed social media strategy in place, you won’t be able to maximize your results and achieve your full potential. Simple as that.
Today, we’ll guide you through nine steps for creating a winning social media strategy that will work for your brand – but only if you stick to it! Read on and let’s get started!
What is a social media strategy?
A social media strategy is a set of guidelines that define how you want to use social platforms in order to achieve your marketing objectives. It should include the goals you want to meet, the target audience you’re aiming at, the content you’ll be posting, and more.
How to create a social media strategy in 9 steps
#1 Define your goals
You can’t go any further until you know exactly what you want to achieve with your social media campaign.
And, while your social media marketing strategy won’t be a panacea for all your business problems, it will keep you focused, measure results, and make the most of your efforts.
Here are some of the business goals you may want to start with:
- Increase brand awareness
- Identify new leads
- Improve customer service
- Drive traffic to your online shop
- Boost engagement with customers
You don’t need to have just one objective – some social media marketing goals can overlap, creating a more well-rounded digital marketing strategy.
However, a good rule of thumb here is to have no more than three marketing goals in order to make sure they remain measurable and achievable.
#2 Specify your target audience
Social media allows you to drill down and target exactly who you want.
Knowing your target audience will help you determine which social media platforms they use, how they engage with content, what times and frequencies work best, what kind of Facebook ads would resonate with them best, etc.
And, before you start brainstorming ideas for content and engagement strategies, you simply need to do your homework and tackle audience research.
Check the demographics of your ideal target audience – age, gender, interests, location, language, and other relevant factors.
While there are many reports, surveys, trend compilations, and industry studies that you can use, it’s always best to get feedback and valuable insights from your existing followers and analyze your first-hand data on audience demographics.
#3 Audit your social media channels
This step is unavoidable – you need to know the strengths and weaknesses of the social accounts you’re using.
Auditing your social media channels involves:
- Verifying what kind of content and engagement strategies were used previously
- Evaluating the success of those strategies
- Checking which channels worked best to reach your audience
- Finding patterns to populate in social media efforts
- Identifying which content types and topics were the most popular
In short, with a social media audit, you’re mercilessly evaluating your channels to see what works and what needs to be improved.
The more honest it is, the better – don’t ignore weak points, and try not to build your social media strategy on assumptions.
You should also assign actions:
- Leave channels that aren’t helping you reach your goals
- Fix bugs, outdated info, old graphics
- Grow those platforms where you have the most success
- Merge elements of your social media marketing plan that overlap
- Delete content and assumptions that are irrelevant or just plain wrong
- Rewrite ideal customer profiles and any other assets that you think might not be accurate
Run a SWOT analysis to discover potential threats to your social media strategy.
Gathering all these insights manually might take you a lot of time – especially if you run multiple profiles. You can useKontentino’s Analytics to enhance your social media audit. In just a few clicks, you can quickly get a complete overview of your performance across all channels. It plays the role of a pillar for your social media strategy and shows you where and how to improve. Instead of scraping info from various sources, you get the data all in one place, ready to be further analyzed.
#4 Analyze your competitors
Can you create a social media content calendar without checking on your competitors?
But wouldn’t it be great to have a deeper understanding of their strategies so you can use them as inspiration and avoid making the same mistakes?
Conducting a competitive analysis in the social media sphere is about finding out who’s doing what:
- What content are they creating?
- What topics are they covering?
- Do they focus on only one channel, or are they present on several social platforms?
- What content strategy are they using to engage their social media followers?
- Are there any patterns in the timing of their social media posts?
You don’t need to analyze 20 competitors in bulk – usually, three is enough to get an idea of what’s happening in your industry. You can do that with Kontentino. Pick a few competitors, add them in the Competitor Analysis section, and let the data speak for itself. Start from your direct competitors and then move on to other companies in your sector, if possible. This will provide a great starting point for a more in-depth competitor analysis, too.
#5 Set your KPIs
We have already mentioned social media marketing goals before, but they are not the same as key performance indicators (KPIs).
The former are more high-level and focus on the “what” parts.
KPIs, on the other hand, are about metrics – they help you measure if you’re actually achieving your goals or not.
Your business goals should transform into a form of SMART KPIs – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely.
This means that they should be real, quantifiable objectives that you can work towards.
So, for example, “Get more social media reach” is not a goal per se – but “Increase social media reach in my target group by 10% in Q1 2023” is.
A few good KPIs that you could match with an effective social media strategy are:
- Engagement rate of your video content
- Reach of your posts among your target audience (e.g. Twitter users or Facebook users)
- Number of leads generated from social media campaigns
- Cost per lead per social media marketing channel
- Number of new subscribers on your YouTube channel
It’s super easy to lose track of your social media KPIs in your own strategy over time, so you need to keep them in check. With Kontentino’s Analytics section, you can measure social media marketing performance and monitor all of your KPIs to check that you’re on the right path to achieving your goals.
#6 Choose social media platforms
You know what you did wrong. You know what you did right. You have your business goals, you have your KPIs. Now it’s time to figure out which social media sites are the right ones for you.
Focus on those social channels that will make an actual difference to your social media marketing strategy.
It’s also necessary to consider the type of content you can create for each social media platform – will it be effective?
The “starting point” when it comes to social channels for your social media strategy is picking one or two from the platforms below:
Then, you can complement your choice with other social channels from the list above, or pick some “niche” social media channels like Reddit, Quora, BeReal, Twitch, or even Mastodon.
Also, you might choose social media channels that are similar to each other, so one piece of content can go a long way (for example, Facebook + Instagram, Instagram + TikTok, LinkedIn + Facebook, or Pinterest + YouTube).
But first of all, pick those social channels that gather your audience and have the best potential to help you achieve your goals.
Pro Tip: Running communication on quite a few social media accounts sounds like a tough job, but with Kontentino you can manage them all from one place.
Plan ahead and have your content prepared for the next month in no time so you won’t have to worry about it, with a centralized content planning process and a bunch of automation for your social marketing strategy.
#7 Create a social media content calendar
A content calendar is an integral part of your social media marketing plan – it’s the navigating practical base of your social media strategy.
It gives you an overview of what content should be published, when, and where. This way, you won’t forget to post anything or mix it up, as usually happens with a more improvised approach.
Your social media content calendar should include segments like:
- Social media channel – which social network you’re going to post on
- Posting schedule – when and what content should be posted
- Content type – what kind of format (e.g. GIF, video, photo, text)
- Target audience – who should you reach with this post?
- Performance tracking – have you achieved your desired goal?
- Topic– you might want to separate educational content from engaging video content or pure social media ads (in Kontentino, you can use labels to do so)
- Social media budget – associated with each post (you can add this info in Kontentino)
You don’t have to create a new campaign for every new post or article. Rather, you can leverage what you’ve done before and use the same message across all channels.
This kind of social recycling is the cornerstone of successful social media marketing efforts for many brands – and allows social media managers to work WAY more efficiently.
#8 Set up a workflow in your team
A social media marketing strategy won’t create and execute itself – it needs people. We identified five crucial areas you should consider when working with a team, and called it REACT.
- R for Resources: Gathering all relevant resources, assets, passwords in one place, accessible for everyone in the workflow.
- E for Environment: Understanding goals, metrics, and decision-making.
- A for Accountability: Dividing roles, responsibilities, approval levels, and tasks within your social media team.
- C for Communication: Creating SLA for communication, meetings, and stand-ups.
- T for Timelines: Setting up deadlines, project milestones, and deliverables.
For many of the points above, you can use features accessible in Kontentino. From planning out content for months ahead, to approving posts before they’re published – you get workflow boosters directly in your panel.
#9 Analyze performance and optimize your social media strategy
Even the best social media marketing strategy can fail, for many reasons. If you don’t keep track of the performance of your content and review its delivery, no one will do that for you.
You should be checking on a daily basis if:
- You publish compelling content or need to improve it
- Your social posts are effective
- Your social media campaigns deliver results
You can track and analyze almost any data related to social media performance, however, you should focus on those that are the most burning for your social media strategy.
Some of the data you can scrap manually, but it’s social media analytics solutions that come in handy when you want to run a deeper analysis.
Analytics is just the first step, though – you need to use that data as feedback and optimize your social media strategy accordingly.
You won’t fix everything overnight, as this requires time and experimentation.
Plan ahead, review the results, learn from them, test various social media formats, and adjust your social media strategies for better performance.
Social media strategy – Free Template
Developing a social media strategy might seem like a lot to process. If you feel overwhelmed at this point – don’t worry. We created an editable social media strategy template that you can download for free:
Social Media Strategies Examples
There is much more to Nike than just clothing and shoes. It is an iconic example of how to cross-promote activities within and around the industry. They are social media savvy and creative! They also share their initiatives such as influencer collaborations and #nyvsny, just to name a few.
They have a few social media accounts on Twitter alone dedicated to particular sports, countries, or even cities. This allows them to localize and personalize their content. If you run a global brand, or a brand that is present on a few markets, that might be a strategy worth pursuing.
Lesson for you: try to make social media content out of everything that is happening in the company – you might be surprised at how much content you get “out of nowhere”.
If we were to choose a few brands that rock on TikTok, Chipotle would be near the top of the list. It’s one of the first companies to enter and use the full potential of TikTok.
With witty content that contains various types – from hilarious material on how to wrap gifts using a Chipotle bag, to reactions and trend-following videos – everyone will find something for themselves.
And so did Chipotle, using the platform to generate stable viewing figures in the thousands (or even millions) for each posted video.
Lesson for you: entering another platform won’t hurt, and if you can be one of the first brands to test it – even better!
On social media, SpecSavers massively rely on real-time marketing. They do so multidimensionally in the form of social media posts related to the latest events,
or even directly under posts from other accounts in the form of comments.
This way, SpecSavers have established themselves on social media as witty and relevant to the point that other brands keep repeating them (with varied impact).
Lesson for you: real-time marketing is not a fad. While you don’t need to be the next SpecSavers, spare some time for social media listening. Keep an eye on mentions of your brand on social media and react wherever appropriate.
Oh, Netflix, where do we start? With so much video content available on the platform, it’s only natural for them to leverage that on social media.
They publish trailers, cliffhanger scenes, best bits, and lines from their plethora of series and movies.
This kind of content resonates both with those who have already watched the series (and can comment or tag others, knowing the context) and people who plan to binge watch it later on (so are looking for inspiration).
Lesson for you: do the same – if you have longer videos, try to trim them down for Reels. Do you know that from a single one-minute video, you could create even 15 various video formats? This should also give you food for thought when it comes to recording or creating any video content – keep in mind to do so in a form that can be redistributed or edited further.
Your social media strategy is set for social media success
No matter if you own small businesses or if you manage a large team, the key to success is having a well-thought-out social media strategy that you can follow through and optimize when needed.
That’s easier said than done, but once you create such a document yourself, you’ll never look back (or, actually, you will – thinking about why you hadn’t done it before).
Your social media marketing strategy is your compass, so make sure you always keep it close. In the ever-changing digital landscape, even the best social media strategies need updates every now and then.
Keep in mind the nine steps above and use Kontentino’s tools as your go-to social media management platform – they will get your social presence on point and your business objectives met.
Good luck with your social media strategy!