6 Critical Steps to a Winning Social Media Strategy

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Here are the six steps towards building a robust Social Media strategy for your brand. Whether you are embarking on a new direction and adopting social for the first time, or already are on social, these are the points you need to consider.

1. Know your business goals and set clear Marketing Objectives

Before you can think of your brand's social media strategy, you need to address two points. First, what are you really doing this for? What are the end goals for your business? Are you a new brand and need to establish credentials? Are you expanding territories? Launching new lines? You eant o increase brand awareness? You want to use social for customer service which wil improve the perception of your rand?

Next identify and set clear marketing objectives. These need to be specific, measurable metric driven KPI's. If you want to increase sales using social, how will you measure that? Once you know your business goals overall, you'll need specific objectives in order to attain those goals. These should be achievable, relevant to the success of your brand, and ideally, be time bound. Aiming too high is not what you want, because you want to achieve your objectives – within the time frame you set. Keep them simple and attainable.

2. Know your audience. Who do you really want to connect with?

As in any aspect of marketing, and specifically digital marketing, knowing every nuace about your target audience and your customer is key.

Read this tip:  • Customer Insights is your First Step in Digital Marketing

Marketing today is not about your brand or product – it's about the customer. Digital marketing is built around the customer, the audience you want to talk to, and getting proper insights about your customer, the consumer, their needs is what should be your first and fundamental step.

Unlike advertising as we know it, today's digital marketing is way beyond the sell-sell. It's about engaging the consumer, and moving them down the funnel from awareness to action with meaningful, relevant interactions. The first thing you need is a Customer Insight Strategy.

What you want here is to identify your key audience. Who do you most or really want to talk to? Do you have a grasp of their persona? What are their interests? Their problems (which you want to resolve), their motivations, their habits? List these. This will help you define your key target audience.

3. Find out what's going on around you – the competition, the industry, the best practices

Research what brands are doing around you? Take a deep look at your immediate competition? Look at what the industry is doing on social. You'll need to find out which social platforms are being used, and which ones are working for them. What is their content strategy? 

Use tools to look at how much engagement they are getting on which channels – and how and why. You really can't get deep metrics of other brands, but you'll have a fair idea on which posts work, which don't. Look at overall engagement (likes, comments, shares, retweets, etc). Also look at social media best practices – not just in your market, but across industries and geographies. Learn from these. Note down what you think will work you.

4. Identify your channels and your channel objectives

Who makes the decision on which social media channel your brand or business should be on? Should you just jump on every new platform that comes your way? Is your brand really relevant across all the channels you are on?

It's not just about resources, it is about how your brand aligns with each channel. It is about how your brand fits in to the ecosystem of the channel or platform, and then ensuring that your content resonates well within those parameters. You cannot be everything for everybody. You'll need some kind of audience segmentation strategy in place.

What are specific objectives per channel. You can't do on Facebook what you can, say, on Twitter. You'll need to identify these ahead of time.

Read more: Choosing the right social media channels for your brand

5. Develop a Content strategy

It's not advertising, social media is about having a conversation and engaging the audience consistently. Instead of using social as a one-way platform, the best way forward is to create content that encourages conversation, while maintaining its brand values and personality.

Your content strategy should be beyond just topic. Depending on channel, your context will differ. And so will type of content – text, images, video, links, live content etc.

A consistent posting schedule and consistent social-friendly tone of voice is crucial when it comes to keeping an audience engaged. Remember, it's all about relevant, value adding content.
Read this useful post:  Win with Content for your Brand: Give away value and usefulness

6. Identify and allocate Budgets, Tools and Resources

A lot of brands jump on to social media without considering budgets, tools and resources. This is a list but not least important step. Once you know your channels, your objectives, you should identify what tools you will need to keep at the game – not just for your social posting, but consider community management, monitoring, reporting etc.

Finally, you just can't do everything yourself. Even with a smaller, first time effort, you need to allocate roles. Identifying who will do what, and who's ultimately responsible increases how effective and efficient you can be –  and avoids confusion and overlaps.

Once you've gone through these critical steps, you'll need to address the on-going strategy. This is now about execution.

Read this:  6 Key Essential Focus Areas in Social Media Strategy (your on-going What To Do's)

Now read these posts on Social Media strategy:

•  Setting Social Media Goals and Tracking Success Made Simple

•  3 Simple ways to measure Social Media marketing success

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Thank you for this post. Often many brands want to be on all social media channels, which is usually a mistake. We need to decide what suits the brand and match the channel.


Useful reminder on what to focus on for social media strategy. It is important to align business goals first to really form a solid strategy for social. And also, having the right people doing a company's social media. If you don't have the right people, outsource it.


the right people doing a company's social media. If you don't have the right people, outsource it.



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