Need some help standing out on social media? Check out these 15+ expert tips on how to create a killer social media strategy.
With over 4 billion combined active users worldwide, social media has become an essential component of any successful digital marketing strategy. While other marketing channels such as email marketing and SEO play essential roles in acquiring and nurturing customers, social media is one of the most effective ways to market your brand, build an audience, and maintain the loyalty of your existing base.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is the process of planning, creating, and posting content on social media to achieve a specific marketing goal – like driving brand engagement, encouraging sign-ups for a service, or motivating users to make a purchase. A social media marketing strategy can help you achieve your business goals – whether that’s building brand awareness, increasing your reach with specific demographics, or moving potential customers through your marketing funnel. A strong social media marketing strategy can help to track results and ensure your tactics are optimized to achieve maximum ROI.
How to Do Social Media Marketing
Parul Thakur – Social Media Marketer at SocialPilot
1. Define Your Goals
To create a successful social media strategy, it’s important to define your goals. For example, at SocialPilot, our primary goal is generating engagement and creating brand awareness for our product. In line with this goal, we regularly research our audience and followers to find out what interests them. It’s also important to understand your competitors and what their social media strategy looks like. Study them to determine what to do and what not to do.
2. Use the Right Tools
For any social media strategy to be effective, you’ll need the right set of tools. At SocialPilot, we use Tweetdeck for social monitoring, Talkwalker Mention for brand notifications, Google Analytics for reporting and tracking, and SocialPilot for social media management and streamlining our workflow.
Along with tools, it’s also crucial to pick your platforms wisely. Don’t waste your time and energy keeping up with every platform – identify the most fruitful channel to grow your business.
3. Continually Experiment
There are no hard and fast rules that work for everyone on social media – all we can do is continue to experiment. Define your goals, analyze your target audience, plan your content and then measure your performance afterward.
Once you know what works and what doesn’t, your future campaigns will be much more likely to succeed. All in all, experimentation is the key to finding what resonates with your audience.
Mike Bandar – Founder of Hopper HQ
4. Consistency is Key
When crafting your social media strategy, always keep your audience in mind, and don’t get stuck on vanity metrics (e.g. likes), says Mike Bandar from Hopper HQ. Post when your audience is online, and use a mixture of formats (such as images, social media videos, carousels, etc.) Avoid bots at all costs, and preserve authentic authority – it’s a slow burn, but it always wins in the end.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Use Humor
Parody posts are brilliant! Gently mocking standardized social trends appeals to both people who are following the trend, and those who are already getting bored of them.
Bronte Cresswell – Founder of Dash of Milk Agency
6. Focus on Your Foundations
The secret to creating on-point, on-brand social media content is knowing exactly what ‘on-brand’ means for you. Defining this will transform your business. It’s important to make sure you represent who you are, while also appealing to your audience – both of these are crucial for a successful social campaign.
When crafting a social media strategy, first focus on your brand’s foundations. They may not be the sexiest part, but they are by far the most important. Next, find the most effective and engaging way to communicate those messages and connect with your audience.
7. Know the Purpose of Your Content
Instagram Reels and TikTok videos have become a huge part of our strategy this year, but it’s important to know why you’re creating content. We ensure the content we produce and share is authentic to our clients’ brands and always focus on the ‘purpose’ behind the content rather than just jumping on a trend to check it off the to-do list.
Bilal Khan – Sr. Content Marketing Specialist at PostBeyond
8. Generate Word of Mouth
There’s no magic tool for mastering social media. No two companies will have the same strategy, however, every company should think in terms of people, processes, and tools. Today’s social media audiences are more discerning – they don’t respond as well to ads and they have access to a lot of competing content. However, we do know what audiences value most: authenticity and trust. So, think about how you can be authentic, relatable, and trustworthy.
The key to trust and authenticity is leveraging other people to speak for your brand. Ultimately, if you want to develop a thriving social media presence you need to get other people talking about you (e.g. sharing your content, engaging with your posts, etc). People trust the recommendations of their friends and family more than anyone else, so look at ways to leverage your employees, customers, partners, and advocates to generate word of mouth for your brand.
9. Leverage User-Generated Content (UGC)
Roxana Motoc – Head of Marketing at SocialBee.io
10. Create an Editorial Calendar
A strong social media strategy is all about staying active and consistent over time, and the best way to do that is by using a calendar to brainstorm, plan, and automate your content schedule. Start by collating all your content ideas, then assess them through these filters:
- “Will this resonate with my audience?”
- “Do I have the resources to build this type of content?”
- “Can I repurpose/reshare this post?”
- “Will I be able to share the content across multiple channels?”
- “Is the content on brand?”
Next, plan out a balanced mix of content and use a social media management tool to automate your content to be published across multiple channels. Combining social media management tools with others such as social listening, analytics and media planning tools is a surefire way to power up your strategy.
11. Create and Curate Engaging Content
You have two equally simple solutions to generate engaging content: create or curate. If you choose to create your visuals, you can rely on social media templates or even enlist a freelance designer. On the other hand – with so much content being created daily – curating has never been easier. For example, about 456K tweets are sent on Twitter every minute – plenty of which will be engaging and relevant for your audience. Following relevant accounts and hashtags across multiple platforms will give you access to an endless library of content for curation purposes.
12. Join Micro-Communities
Smaller communities within large social networks are revolutionizing the way we engage on social media. Search for relevant groups, channels, or chats and join in the conversation! Using an online community platform gives you the unique opportunity to meet like-minded people and network on a grassroots level.
Whether it’s Facebook and LinkedIn Groups or Twitter for professionals, ensure you’re bringing value to the table. By establishing yourself as an industry specialist or thought leader in small communities, you can engage with potential leads and expand your network. A group’s admin might notice your contribution and recommend you.
Andrew Barlos – Director of Marketing at Loomly
13. Understand Your Target Audience
Every minute spent getting to know your target audience and customers will save you hours on wasted campaigns. Aim to deeply understand your audience’s needs, pain points, and interests, and learn how to provide them with what they want.
14. Value Over Virality
Don’t have “going viral” as any part of your strategy. That’s like saying your savings plan is to win the lottery! Instead, focus on delivering value to your customers and aim to achieve incremental growth. Run frequent tests of new content formats and platforms between core campaigns to get a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t.
Alexandra Papp – Copywriter & Digital Marketer BrandMentions
15. Regularly Refine your Objectives
Without objectives, you can’t define your strategy or implement steps to hit your goals – you can’t score a goal if you can’t find the goalpost! Make a habit out of regularly re-visiting and refining your objectives to clarify your focus.
16. Dive into Demographics
Diving into your audience demographics and psychographics will pave the way to a powerful social media strategy. It’s easier to create content when you know what your audience wants. Using social media listening tools to stay aware of social mentions, comments, or reposts provides powerful engagement opportunities.
Darryl Praill – Chief Marketing Officer at Agorapulse
17. Conduct a Content Audit
When creating your social media strategy, start by conducting a thorough audit of your existing social media profiles and channels, as well as your existing content (blog posts, articles, eBooks, white papers, podcasts, and videos, including YouTube as well as other videos you may or may not have published).
Also make note of personnel and other resources you have access to. Who can help build and execute your social media marketing? What tools do you have subscriptions to? What communities are you a part of?
And then consider any campaigns you’ve run previously. Why did you run them? What worked, and what didn’t? What did you learn from them?
18. Build a Video-First Strategy
The best advice I can give is, regardless of the platform, build a video-first strategy. Live video offers the highest levels of audience interaction and engagement, while pre-recorded video does give you the opportunity for more structure, so consider utilizing both.
If these are new mediums for you, and if resources are scarce, start with just one video per month. That could be a live video interview where you bring on a guest expert from your industry to talk about a trending topic, or someone else from your team to chat about a new feature or product.
In order to leverage the power of video on social media, your brand also needs to be able to repurpose video content. If you’ve been creating long-form videos and are looking for a way to repurpose that content for shorter, more digestible pieces, then you need to check out Descript. This easy-to-use video editing software makes it a breeze to edit your videos like you would a text document.