How can your business connect with customers through social media? Sometimes this question can be hard for business owners to answer. Social media requires an investment of time and money, but having an effective social strategy can help generate sales and therefore increase profit for your business.

So how do you create a social marketing strategy? Here are seven easy steps to help assist the construction of your business’ social marketing strategy.

 

1) Determine your social marketing goals. This is the most important step in the social marketing strategy process. You must define your overall social vision by setting goals before you dive into tactical ways to accomplish them. Goals should be smart (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely).

2) Research your competitors. Performing competitor research can help you garner how active and effective your competitors are across social channels. Statistics like the frequency and type of posts can help you see the overall social landscape.

3) Decide what social channels present opportunities for your business. Now that you have a better understanding of how you stack up against your competitors, it is time to determine what social channels make the most sense for you brand to be proactively involved in. You should analyze the purpose of each social channel and determine in which channels your brand can make the most impact. That may mean that you seize new opportunities that your competitors aren’t active in yet, like Google+.

4) Create tactics to meet your goals via each social channel. Now that you have determined your social goals, researched your competitors, and figured out which social channels you should be actively participating in, it is time to get creative and brainstorm how you can effectively reach your audience in your desired channels.

5) Develop your brand voice across each channel. In this step, you will decide your brand personality across desired social platforms. Your brand voice may change per channel. For instance, your brand may be informative on Twitter but quirky on Facebook.

6) Brainstorm social posts that reflect the new brand voice.  Developing an editorial calendar can help you visualize your brand personality across social channels. It can also be used to schedule posts using social management software like Hootsuite. Social management software can help ensure that you consistently post to your desired channels.

7) Executive Buy-in. In order for your social marketing strategy to be successful, it must be supported by upper management. Once you have their buy-in, it is important to socially empower and align the rest of the organization. Social media can be powerful if everyone gets actively involved.

How have you been successful in developing a social marketing strategy for your business? We would love to hear your thoughts.

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