Every brand and business needs a custom social media strategy based on their current social media standing, goals, and resources available to them.
And while everything in social media tends to hinge on a bunch of independent factors, there are some universal, core building blocks which you need to have in place to ensure that your business gets the most out of its social media initiatives.
In this post, I’ll review eight elements behind every successful social media strategy - and why they're so important.
1. Social Media Audits
A great social media strategy is built on big-picture mentality - beyond thinking about what you want each individual post to do, you need to look at the overall state of your social media presence before you can move forward.
Make a habit of conducting regular social media audits on your channels. A self-audit can help you catch inconsistencies, learn more about what campaigns worked (or not), review benchmarks, and maybe even set new goals, enabling you to consistently improve your social media strategy.
You can read more about how to conduct a social media audit in this post.
2. Clear Goals
Defining clear goals before you begin any campaign or building a strategy can help you keep track of progress, and identify points at which you may need to ramp up efforts.
Focusing on clear goals will give you and your team direction on where to concentrate your energy, and it's key to have a defined focus to unite your overall efforts.
3. Clear Understanding of the Brand's Audience
Getting to know your audience in the most in-depth way possible is also essential to creating social media content which truly resonates with your potential followers and customers.
Ask your audience what their pain points are, find out what publications they read, and where they hang out, how much they make. The more you know, and the clearer the picture of your target audience, the better.
Figuring out these details will help you come up with ways to connect with and build a more engaged community.
4. The Right Platforms
Here, I'm referring to the right social media network(s) for your business, and becoming well versed in how those platforms work.
You should also know that just because a network is popular, that doesn't mean it'll be a good fit for your target audience, or your internal capabilities.
5. A Content Bank and Social Media Schedule
At the core of every successful social media strategy is a solid plan and editorial calendar.
Knowing what tasks and important dates are coming up will help keep your team on the same page, and give you the freedom to spend more time engaging with your audience, conducting social listening or taking advantage of spontaneous opportunities to push your initiative.
Your schedule should be based on supporting your social media objectives, and any offline marketing efforts as well. If you need help, here are some tips on creating an effective social media marketing schedule.
Creating a content bank is the second part of having a social media strategy and schedule set in place - an organized content bank will help you keep inventory of older content you can repurpose when you find content gaps.
6. Social Tools
Without tools, all us social media marketers would be going nuts.
Effective social media strategies are built on using a mix of automation and timely engagement.
Tools can also refer to network specific tools (like Instagram Stories, Facebook Live etc.) which you can integrate to increase your growth on each social media channel.
7. Analysis and Measurement
Every social media strategy should include the measurement and analysis of your efforts.
Not every part of your strategy will be a winner, but analyzing and measuring will enable you to stop doing what’s not working - and to double-down on the parts that are producing results.
8. Time for Engagement
We're at a point in social media where engagement with your audience has become a key element in growing your network.
With so many accounts, posts, and messages being thrown at us every day, we have to make the extra effort to truly become part of the community and put the social into social media.
A good social media strategy will always include time for interacting, asking questions and connecting with the people we're trying to reach. Also, algorithms take into account your level of interaction when showing your posts to your audience.
The social media landscape is always changing, but sticking to the core tactics that work will continue to deliver results. I hope this collection of tips give you a good base, and clarity to get started.
A version of this post was first published on Dhariana Lozano's blog.