There are so many ways to get customers for your business today.

You can divide them into offline and online marketing strategies.

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When you’re marketing online, social media is one of the largest channels you can use.

A social media marketing strategy is a plan that covers everything you need to do to attract customers on social.

If you fail to plan, then you’re planning to fail.

So if you’re running a social media campaign without a strategy, you’re just wasting your time and money.

But you should know how to write it, so here’s how to create a social media marketing strategy.

How to Set Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

There are several things to take into consideration when creating one and here are some of them:

  1. Know Your Goals
  2. Look at What’s Working
  3. Work on Your Accounts
  4. Look at Your Competition
  5. Create a Content Marketing Plan
  6. Know Your Channels
  7. Create Buyer Personas
  8. Budget and Delegate
  9. Test and Tweak

How to Set Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

1. Know Your Goals

This is the first step in your social media marketing strategy, it should be the first thing you do.

If you don’t identify your goals, how will you know if your campaign is succeeding or failing?

You won’t be able to react if it’s failing and there’s no way you’d be able to measure ROI.

It’s as good as pouring water into a basket, it’d never get filled.

Your marketing goals should be aligned with your business goals so you won’t just be chasing shadows.

Identify the important metrics you need to track like conversion rate and forget about things like likes and shares.

Your goals should be things you can track and measure.

They should be things you know you can achieve.

Don’t throw everything on the wall and hope something sticks.

And you know you’re working with time, so write down the exact dates you want to achieve those goals.

Make sure you actually write those goals down, maybe on paper or on a computer.

It makes you want to commit to the goal and don’t have too many goals in your plan.

Most times, too many goals will get you frustrated and you’d end up achieving nothing.

2. Look at What’s Working

Except you’re a new business with their first page or profile on social media, there’s something working for you.

And there are some things working against you.

Figure out who’s already connecting with you, and try to use analytics to discover what they’re interacting with.

Is your target in love with your short posts or quotes or even your images?

It’s something you should want to know.

Check how your audience is using your platform.

Are there more mobile viewers than desktop viewers?

Knowing this kind of information is key for your mobile optimization efforts.

Because if you don’t, you’d scare your visitors when they finally get to your landing page.

Another thing you should find out is the member of your team that’s running your social media accounts.

Even if it’s a mini team running it, how well are they doing?

You should look for their strengths and weaknesses to decide if it’s something you can live with.

You may later decide to outsource management to an agency to implement your social media marketing strategy.

And look for the impersonators, the guys who can give your business a bad name if you ignore them.

Most social media companies give verified badges to people and companies to protect against impersonation.

You should get one of these badges also to ensure your fans don’t mistake a parody account for yours.

When you’re done with auditing, if you can’t figure out how a particular account is helping your business, delete it.

It’d help protect against spreading yourself too thin so you can focus on the platforms that get results.

3. Work on Your Accounts

The first thing to do is to build and update your account having in mind where you’re supposed to be.

Are you going to achieve your goals with the accounts you currently control?

That’s the kind of question you should be asking yourself.

If the answer is no, then it’s time to get to work.

Make your accounts attractive and let them show the huan side of your business.

You’re not going to have the opportunity of installing a checkout page on your Facebook page.

So you should make visitors to your Facebook page willing to click on your checkout page.

You need pictures for this, lots of pictures.

Every company has a story, right?

How the business started and how it’s grown over the years.

Maybe you already have this information on your site’s about page.

But many of your page’s visitors don’t know about it.

So you should use your social accounts to tell that story so people will want to connect with you.

One way to have attractive accounts is to look at other accounts that are already doing it.

Those accounts don’t have to be owned by companies in your niche, any good account is fine.

When you’re updating your account on a particular platform, you should promote that page on your more active accounts.

People who connect with you on the other platforms will be able to do same on the updated one.

4. Look at Your Competition

On social media, there are two ways you can react to your competition.

The first involves spamming their pages to death so they can get a ban or some form of punishment.

And the second involves learning what’s working for them and being 10x better so you’d beat them at their game.

The first reaction puts you in danger as that spamming action can backfire and you’d be banned instead.

The second is a better reaction as it’s completely white-hat and teaches you the tactics that currently work.

You’d copy how your competition is applying these tactics and apply it to your own business.

Compile a list of names of your competitors that are winning in your industry.

Don’t compile a large list so you won’t be overwhelmed.

Just five names are fine for a start.

Look at metrics that scream “good engagement” on social media.

I’m talking things like number of shares as compared to the number of followers.

Something like posting frequency is also a great metric to consider.

You’d be posting lots of content on your pages to compete, so look at the content.

Do they have power words that get people to click on their copy?

Are they using humorous copy in their content?

What’s the response of the fans to this type of content?

When you’re gathering all this data, it’s good to know what you’re getting are just estimates.

Except you have administrator access to those competitor pages, you can’t get the exact metrics.

So try to work within those estimates as much as possible.

5. Create a Content Marketing Plan

Content marketing is one of the key parts of your social media marketing strategy.

I mean, anyhow you choose to look at it, you’re going to be marketing on social with content.

And that’s content marketing, right?

To develop a proper content marketing plan, start by looking at trends in your industry.

It’d help you set your priorities and focus on what works.

No matter the niche you operate in, engaging content always works, look for how you can start using it.

Don’t try to game the algorithm of any social media platform as it’d get you hurt in the long run.

If your content marketing plan isn’t focused on generating leads, boosting sales and improving customer loyalty, it’s time to change.

There are different types of content you can use in your plan.

But for social media, sticking with options like infographics and webinars are a great start.

Your social media handles are not the best places to submit your monthly white paper reports.

People are rather interested in more descriptive forms of content like images and videos.

And make sure the content is evergreen so it’d bring you gains even in the future.

Set a budget for content creation, you should get the best writers and bloggers for your budget.

You shouldn’t compromise on the quality of writers in-charge of telling your brand story.

You should commit to a regular posting schedule so you’d keep followers engaged all the time.

I mean, check your top competitors and you’d see they’re consistent at what they do.

And draft a promotion strategy also, it’s part of every content marketing plan.

If you’ve written all that content, and people don’t get to see it, your effort is wasted.

6. Know Your Channels

You shouldn’t implement your social media marketing strategy on every site out there.

Your ideal customers don’t hang out on all of them and that’s something you should know.

That’s why you need buyer personas anyway but more on this later.

A platform like Facebook is like an all-rounder, so your text, image and video content will work there.

It also has more ad conversion tutorials than any other platform, so you will get help when you need it.

Instagram is your ideal platform to show off sharp images and videos of your products.

You can also hire Instagram influencers with a large following in your industry to promote your business.

Pinterest is also an image based platform but it’s better for explanatory images.

So if you want to show off how you worked with your recipes, Pinterest is where to go.

Twitter is perfect for you if you’re all about sound bites and short quotations.

If you’re a humor blogger, Twitter is the perfect place to drop your teasers.

So know the benefits of each social channel, and go for one that fits your content marketing plan.

7. Create Buyer Personas

Everybody can’t buy from you, it doesn’t matter how good you are at marketing.

Buyer personas are a representation of your ideal customers.

They let you know who you should be spending more time interacting and engaging with.

Buyer personas help you understand your customers better, you’d know what they need and love.

You’d tailor your content specifically for that market, so this will affect your content outsourcing decisions also.

If you’re already getting engagement on your social accounts, you should look into your analytics.

Check for the demographic data of those who’re engaging with your pages and other similar data.

If it’s a new account, then competitor data will help here to let you know the market to target.

When you’re done with your little research, you’d discover you have your buyer persona and your negative persona too.

Negative personas are people who are just not interested in what you have on offer.

It’s nothing personal actually.

An avid swimmer won’t care so much about your fast running shoes.

But someone who’s participating in a marathon, you can bet they would!

A fast way to develop buyer personas is interviewing customers.

You can use your newsletter or a mini blog post and ask for what they like most about your business.

And what they’d like to see also.

8. Budget and Delegate

Except you’re doing it all by yourself, which is time-consuming and practically impossible, you need a budget.

This will enable you cover hiring costs.

Start by looking at the tactics you’ve decided on applying into your strategy.

This will influence your decision in so many ways.

Then make a list of all the tools you’d need to quicken implementation.

In digital marketing, a social media marketer is as good as the tools in his arsenal so don’t ignore that.

Some of these tools will have trial periods or free alternatives so you should start with those.

But that depends on whether the free alternatives will be able to perform the tasks in your tactics.

That’s why you need to develop the tactics first.

Remember to budget for how long your campaigns will be running.

Or if you don’t need the tools monthly, do everything you need with them in a month and unsubscribe.

You should start with the tactics with the fastest ROI like advertising so you’d get spare cash to reinvest.

And delegate these tasks so you’d get more done.

Two people working on the same project in your strategy causes confusion and you don’t want that.

9. Test and Tweak

As you run more social media campaigns, you’d get perfect at the art.

Practice makes perfect and not the other way round, right?

That’s the mindset you want to have after hitting start on your campaign.

Once you’ve implemented your strategy, your insights or any other analytics tool on the social platform you’re using is what you should be looking at.

Look at the results you’re getting and compare with what others have reported.

In some industries, a 2.5% conversion rate isn’t really bad, though it could get better.

If there’s a tactic that’s not achieving full potential, you should adjust it and monitor results.

A/B testing is what you want to do at this moment.

And if not broken, don’t try fixing it, so if a tactic is working for you, stick with it.

So you now know the techniques to use when developing a social media marketing strategy.

Here are four strategies you can use with these techniques.

  • Chatbots

Customers love to know that their voices are important.

They want to know that you’re making it easy for them to complain and get their queries solved.

That’s why you need chatbots.

There’s nothing to fear, there are now chatbots that perfectly integrate with your favorite social platforms.

There are tools that help you develop these bots on your own without coding knowledge of any kind.

These chatbots can take orders directly from platforms like Facebook messenger and Facebook comments.

And they work seamlessly with most payment systems too.

  • Build Communities on Social Media

Building a passionate following on social media is a great sign of success on any of the platforms.

You can do this by making sure prospects can reach and contact you.

The chatbots you installed in the first tip will make this happen.

Tell your story on social media and make sure it’s something readers can connect to.

State why your business is different from others in your niche and how you’d help your customers’ lives or businesses.

Make sure your profile is updated with a link to your site so people can find you.

And stay committed to your content marketing strategy.

Success on social media isn’t a hit and run thing.

  • Go Live

You can now offer live broadcasts to your audience on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

The idea has taken off across industries and most influencers seem to be using it these days.

It’s a strategy that reveals the human side of your business and makes you want to engage with customers.

You should be bringing people closer to your business.

And going live is one way to do that, it also helps you create memorable content too.

  • Use Your Loyalists

Acquiring a new customer is good for your business but it’s more expensive than keeping an existing one.

So your existing customers are more likely to buy from you.

They trust you that’s why they keep coming back.

You can make more money from them by encouraging them to share their experiences with friends who’d be interested in your product.

So you make your customers happy, and they refer you more buyers.

A win-win situation if you ask me.

A social media marketing strategy is what you need to win on social media.

It’d get you followers and make you money.

Now you know the tips and some of the strategies to use.