Implement an Effective Social Media Strategy in 9 Steps
One of the biggest issues with implementing an effective social media strategy is time.
When I ask people about their social media strategy for their business I often hear, “Oh yeah we have a Facebook account but we don’t really post on it.” “I think we created an Instagram account last year?” “We created an account and started posting but then no one had time to post anymore.”
If you have a similar answer you’re definitely not alone. That being said, implementing an effective social media strategy may be more simple and less time consuming than you think. It comes down to efficiency and breaking it down step by step.
In order to effectively implement a social media marketing strategy, you need to follow these steps:
Step 1: Do you even need social media?
What?! Everyone needs social media, right? Wrong. I hear this ALL the time, “Well I know we NEED to be on social media, we just haven’t gotten around to it.” Take a step back and look at the bigger picture.
What are your business goals for one year, three years, five years from now? What’s the marketing and sales plan to get you there? What resources can you dedicate to getting you there? What tactics will you implement to get you there? Will social media be one of those tactics?
If you have limited resources and your clients aren’t in the mindset to buy your product or service when they are on said social media platform, it would be wise to invest those resources in more lucrative channels.
Step 2: What channels do you need to be on?
Evaluate who your target audience is and where they spend their time, where they do research before making a purchase, etc.
Step 3: Set a goal (and write it down.)
So many people skip this step and jump right in to posting. I’m a big believer that you shouldn’t start any marketing project without having a goal or outcome in mind. Consider what you’re using the social platform for. Is it brand awareness? Lead generation? How are you going to measure the success of brand awareness or lead generation?
Step 4: Create a strategy.
Now that you have a goal in mind, how are you going to reach that goal? How are you going to get people engaged with your brand on social media? You need to create a plan for types of content you are going to post, when you’re going to post, copy guidelines, image guidelines, etc. etc.
Write this down too!
Step 5: Delegate: put someone in charge.
You’ve done the heavy lifting. Having goals and a strategy is so important and so underestimated. But having a strategy doc is like a North Star that you can keep coming back to and/or direct people with.
To start, you need to put someone in charge of implementing the social strategy. Here’s where you can get creative with your resources. Sure you can outsource to another company, but honestly, the content isn’t going to be as genuine and honest as if content was being posted from someone who is part of your day-to-day business operations.
If you have the ability to hire a marketing representative, great. But I’m not saying you need to do that either. If you have someone strictly follow the next steps, you should be able to implement an effective social media strategy in just a few hours a week- that includes time for daily engagement.
Step 6: Create a library of content. I suggest doing this once a month. Whoever is in charge of implementing the social strategy should also be responsible for gathering content. Photos are everything. You need intriguing photos to have any semblance of an engaging strategy on social media.
If you have a professional photographer who takes photos for your product or service have them gather their photos in one place to pull from. If not, have someone spend a day or two gathering photos to add to the library. In addition to photos, gather content. Ideally your own, but also content from around the web that’s relevant to your business.
Step 7: Plan it out. I suggest planning out two weeks of content at a time. Sit down for an hour or so and map out the different photos, content and captions you are going to share over the next few weeks. Make sure you’re adhering to the guidelines you created in step 4, the strategy. Once content is created (and approved if need be) schedule the two weeks worth of content out in a scheduling tool like Buffer or Hootsuite.
Step 8: Take 15 minutes a day. Once your content is planned out for two weeks, the person in charge of implementing the social media strategy will be free to engage daily in real time. This is important. Guidelines for engaging with contacts should also be outlined in your strategy. Have your social person spend 15 minutes or so a day looking for contacts to engage with.
Step 9: Evaluate. Goals are great, but if you’re not measuring whether or not you’re meeting them, what’s the point? Make sure your social person is creating monthly reports that demonstrate highlights, lowlights and metrics that help measure progress towards your goal.
It really is that easy!
The most important thing to remember about creating a social media strategy is to remember to be genuine. Social media is a platform that people use to connect with one another. It’s a place to be real. To be raw. To be honest. Not a place to push your company agenda or post stock photos.
As humans we make decisions based on feelings, in order to evoke feelings, you need to be real. I can’t say it enough!
If you can do that, then following these steps should be easy! It comes down to getting organized, creating structure and delegating.