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Creating a winning social media marketing strategy

Your strategy will include each step you take before and during your social media campaign. Every post, comment, like, message and reply should have a purpose when it comes to marketing your brand.

The advanced advertising features that social media can provide make it a great channel when it comes to meeting your digital marketing goals. Here, we’re going to highlight the key steps we take to create a solid strategy for our clients. 

Set your goals

The first step to creating a great strategy is to establish your campaign goal. This could be anything from gaining more followers or increasing conversions, to having a higher position on Google.

At Summon, we always start by finding out about our clients brand, products, aims and current marketing strategies. Once we have a better understanding of those things – we can create a clearer picture of how a social media campaign can help.

Choose your target market 

Who do you want to target on your social channels? You might already have an idea of who your target audience is from your previous or current digital marketing campaigns. If you’re a new business and you’re using social media as a starting point, then you’ll need to do some research and work out your market.

You can research your industry and find out what people are talking about. Which category do they fall into in terms of age, demographics and interests? Are your competitors interacting with a specific group of people? You can read a bit more about social listening here.

Once you have a picture of your target audience, you’ll find it easier to create a plan that includes high-quality content that resonates with them.

Create a buyer persona 

Think about which type of people you’re targeting – are they young, old, in a specific industry or location? A buyer persona (or a customer persona) is a profile of your absolute ideal customer. You will base it on a combination of market research and real data on your existing customers.

Every business will benefit from creating a buyer persona – whether you’re just getting started or you’re a larger, more established company. You’ll find it easier to tailor your social media messaging to your audience and build stronger relationships.

Your persona will impact a number of things; including your language, the time you share posts and your ad formatting. We suggest continually reviewing your buyer persona because it can change as your business develops. 

Choose your channels

How do you know which channel is best for you? Here are a few things to think about if you’re not sure:

  • Audience – How many people actively use the platform? Are your target audience active and is there an opportunity for you to engage with them?
  • Activity – What type of activity does the platform have? For example, are users interacting with other brands in your industry?
  • Tools and features – Which platform is offering the most features that will benefit you? Do you have a brand story to share on Instagram? Live stream ideas for Facebook? Or, do you have regular company updates you could share on Twitter?
  • Paid social ads – Does the platform offer enough advanced paid social tools as well as organic posting?

Depending on what you want to achieve, you can use one or multiple social media platforms. Each has its own pros and cons – so, to make things easier, we’ve highlighted the main uses of the major platforms below.  

  • Facebook – Facebook is known for its advanced targeting options and ability to reach an exact audience. You can advertise based on age, interests, online behaviour and location. You can also use Facebook to keep up with any changes to your audience (e.g. their occupation). It offers useful split testing tools to keep track of how many impressions, clicks and conversions your posts are generating. Facebook ad formats are ideal if you have a clear call-to-action, such as sharing a post or buying a product. 
  • LinkedIn – LinkedIn is all about building valuable networks and connections in your industry. It’s a popular platform for any business aiming to reach a group of professionals. You can target your posts towards users in a specific location, industry, job role, education and more. LinkedIn offers paid social advertising tools to improve performance.  
  • Twitter – Twitter has become a place for users to contact companies instantly without the hassle of making a phone call or writing an email. If you want to speed up your customer service, you might benefit from using Twitter to communicate with users.

    It can also help you keep up with trending topics so that you can create more relevant and engaging posts as a result.  Sponsored posts can help you reach out to an even wider audience.
  • Instagram – The platform is used by companies of all sizes to drive traffic, generate brand awareness and encourage conversions. Instagram advertising tools allow you to reach people who match your targeting criteria – even if they are not following your account. Instagram insights allow you to track how many people see and interact with your sponsored ads.

We’ve linked each of the headings above in case you want any more information. Remember, it’s also good to consider other platforms such as Snapchat and Pinterest – especially if you’re targeting a niche market. 

Do a competitor analysis

If you find out who your competing brands are, you will be able to check out what is working for them and what isn’t before you post. Competitor analysis is all about spotting trends and improving your own campaign as a result.

For example, if you notice users are interacting the most with your competitors at a specific time of day – you could schedule more posts at that time.

Create a social media calendar  

So, once you’re happy with your research, it’s time to start planning your content. You’ve probably already got lots of ideas floating around at this point – but pulling them together into one clear calendar is a key part of your strategy. You’ll be able to refer to your calendar throughout the campaign to keep track of performance.

If you want lots of engagement, retweets, likes, shares, and all the good stuff – then it is essential to be creative! Luckily, there are plenty of formatting options when it comes to social media, here are a few:

  • Infographics 
  • Livestreams (interviews, how-to videos etc.)
  • Images 
  • Videos 
  • Blogs (a great way of linking to your site)
  • Interactive content (e.g. polls)

Your calendar can help to ensure you’re sharing a variety of content. Users will be more likely to keep engaging with you if you’re keeping it exciting and fresh. Other benefits of a calendar include:

  • Provide fresh content – A clear record of your organic posts and your promoted ads will help you to avoid oversharing the same message or using the same format too often.  
  • Remember key dates – Special dates and holidays are an opportunity to share relatable content, increase brand awareness and reach out to more users. 
  • Avoid repetitive messaging – If you’re using multiple platforms – your calendar will prevent any cross-platform errors. It’s good to change your posts slightly depending on the platform you’re using. 
  • Establish your posting frequency – If you’ve already set up your social media account – how often do you post? Does this need to change? Are people interacting more at a specific time?

What next?

Organic social posting and paid social campaigns can undoubtedly get you closer toward your business goals. With the high levels of competition on this channel – it helps to have a strategy you are happy with.

If you need help creating your strategy or you have any questions about our social media services, please get in touch. 

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