7 steps to your social media strategy

17 Feb 2014

You know you need a social media strategy. You really want to have a plan to tackle social media, to engage with your customers, improve sales and at the same time not spend entire days on Facebook and Twitter.

Well, you’re in luck! Today I will tell you the 7 steps for a social media strategy.

#1: Goals

First you need to determine what it is you want to achieve on social media. How will social media help your business?

By setting specific objectives now you can define your social media metrics later.[Tweet “Start your social media strategy by setting specific objectives.”]

There are many options and you can choose whichever are most important for your business. These objectives are used a lot for small businesses:

  • Attract new customers by getting extra traffic to your website
  • Help customers through the buying process by answering questions they may have before buying and showing them what the product can do
  • Make customer service easier by answering questions online after sales
  • Build your brand by letting more people know about your business and products.
  • Engage with fans so they will talk about you and encourage others to buy from you

Make your goals as concrete, achievable and measurable as possible. It is easy to say you want 5000 new leads through social media this year, but if you are now getting only 3 a month than it is hardly achievable. Better to underestimate than overestimate the things social media is able to bring you.

#2: Audience

You know who your audience is for your products. You have decided on the right market for it. But are all your customers and prospects online? Do you want to engage with all of them online? Or is it a specific subgroup you are targeting?

Decide who you are targeting online. Check your goals for this part as well. No use deciding your goals is to make customer service easier and then target your prospective clients here.

After you decide on the group you are going to reach out to it is good to know their characteristics. Know where they are online and how they act there, who they are influenced by and who they influence.

#3: Topics

Decide on three to five topics for your social media channels. These topics are the main issues of your customer and they should be categories or words you want to be found on in Google.

Content

You know your topics are right if you can think up and create content around those topics.

  • Brainstorm for ideas for content
  • Think of different formats for the content. Not just text but also video, images and audio.
  • Create content for the topics

#4: Choose the channels

Now you know where your target audience resides and you know the kind of content you have, it is time to choose the channels.

Different channels have different audiences and different kinds of content that work best. There are a lot of great social media demographics stats to check whether your target audience is online and where. It is up to you to decide which channels work best for your business. That might not be Facebook, but Google+ instead. Or just YouTube and Pinterest if all your content is visual. Decide wisely, keeping in mind the amount of time you have. 

[Tweet “When deciding on the channels you need to keep your audience and content in mind.”]

#5: Create an editorial calendar

With channels and content done it is time to make an editorial calendar. Plan content around your topics, keeping in mind planned promotions. Decide which kind of content goes where and where you will link to.

#6: Engage

With the channels made and the content flowing it is high time to engage with your customers. Let your current customers know about your social media channels via existing communication channels like email and website.

Reply to comments about your brand. Not only on your own channels but also ‘out there’. Use listening tools to find what is being said about you and your brand and reply.

#7: Measure

Don’t forget to measure your results so you know if your goals are met.

Measuring Success

Decide on metrics based on the goals you set and track those metrics to know whether you are doing it right or you need to adapt. Do not expect overnight chances in your data after you start social media but gradual improvements.

Planning for your business

What it all comes down to is that your small business can succesfully use social media if you know your goals and track your progress. To that end you need to plan your content to make sure your time on social media reinforces other communication.

What do you think? Do you have any special tips for your social media strategy? Please let me know in the comments section below.

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