Social 101: Eight Tips for Nailing Your Social Media Strategy

Let’s admit it, social media has taken over our lives. Whether it’s staying in contact with family on Facebook, sharing pics from your recent vacay on Instagram, or making business connections on LinkedIn, social media plays an important part in our day-to-day activities.

Although most businesses understand the importance of a social presence, they may need a little guidance when creating the perfect social strategy. Here are eight tips for nailing your social media strategy.

1. Understand your audience

Before launching your social strategy, it’s important to identify who your audience is (the people who are already following your brand on social)and who you’d like your audience to be (the people you’d like to have as followers).

Identify your audience
If your business already has a social presence, your first step before deploying a new strategy is identifying who your followers are. Do an analysis of your past posts and social followers using a social analytics tool like Hootsuite or Sprout Social to understand:

• Your followers’ demographics
• Your followers’ locations
• Your followers’ interests
• Your followers’ behaviors on the various channels
• Past content that your current followers have responded positively to

This will allow you to understand which past content performed the best, to curate content that will resonate well with your current audience, and to create content that is unique to each channel.

You can also do this analysis through your specific channel’s back-end analytics section.

• Twitter
• Facebook
• Instagram (you’ll have to use your phone)
• Pinterest

Identify your ideal audience
Sometimes the followers that you have aren’t necessarily the followers that you want. If that’s the case, it’s now time to do research on your target audience. If you’re a tech brand, you need to ask:

• What channels are techies on?
• What types of content do they enjoy?
• How do they behave on social?

These types of questions can be answered by doing a quick internet search. Once you understand your audience, it’s time to develop your social voice.

2. Develop your social voice

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A brand’s social media account should serve as a direct line of communication between consumers and the business. It should have a personality, be authentic, and be used to foster communication. You want to avoid sounding like a robot, and instead use the channel to have fun.

The best way to do this is by crafting a social voice and personality for your channel. To do this, ask yourself the following questions:

• What is your social mission statement? 
What is your purpose on social? How do you want your customers to feel? What are your brand’s core beliefs, and how will they transfer to your social strategy?

 What is your social personality?
Select three or four adjectives that describe your social presence. Are you insightful? Funny? Do you give advice? Love animals?

 Who are you talking to?
Knowing your audience is a very important variable in various aspects of your social strategy. For your social voice, it’s important to know who you are talking to so that you use appropriate language and tone.

3. Select the best platforms

There are a ton of social media platforms out there, but not all of them will make sense for your organization. This is where understanding your audience and your brand comes into play. You want to ask yourself:

• Which platforms do people in my target audience use?
• What type of content will I be producing, and which platforms are best suited for this content?
• Where are my competitors?
• How do users behave on the various social platforms?

A successful social media strategy takes a lot of time and energy. This time would be best spent dedicated to optimizing two or three channels.

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4. Establish content buckets

Now that you’ve picked out the best platforms, it’s time to establish content buckets. These are the varying subjects that your social content will fall into.

If you are a lifestyle brand, your content buckets may include:

• Health and wellness
• DIY tutorials
• News and gossip
• Food and drink
• Style, fashion, and beauty

Developing content buckets will help you curate the right content and brainstorm new content. Once the buckets are established, you’ll also be able to measure for success and get a better understanding of which topics resonates well with your audience.

5. Identify your goals

Before you can deploy a social strategy, you must identify your goals. You can do this by utilizing the SMART goal framework.

S: Specific → What exactly do you want to achieve?
M: Measurable → How will you know when you’ve achieved it?
A: Attainable → Is it a goal you can reach?
R: Relevant → Does this goal tie in to marketing’s overall goal? Make sure the goal relates to the bigger picture.
T: Timely → When do you want to achieve your goal? Create a timeline for your goals.

6. Pick a tool for social publishing

Publishing tools will make your social media–management life so much easier. The tool will allow you to schedule, organize, and analyze your social content through one platform. The most used social publishing tools are:

• Buffer
• Hootsuite
• Sprout Social
• Sprinklr

By doing a quick internet search, you’ll be able to find a publishing tool that fits your needs.

7. Establish your KPIs

Your social metrics should help you determine the performance of your social media campaign. To do this, you must be tracking the right key performance indicators (KPIs). On social, there are four main areas to focus on:

• Engagement: Engagement is probably one of the most important metrics. Engagement allows you to understand the impact of your social strategy and gain insights on how your followers behave. Although engagement metrics vary by channel, for the most part they measure likes, shares, link clicks, comments, and mentions.

• Audience size: As you continue to produce high-quality social content, it’s important to measure how many people you’re engaging with. You can do this by identifying audience growth rate and new follower rate.

• Reach: Reach indicates how far your message has traveled, and how many people may have seen it. You can measure reach through the following KPIs: follower or like count, impressions, and web traffic.

• Conversions: For some companies, conversions may be the best way to measure the success of social strategy. If your strategy was crafted correctly, you should be able to engage your followers and interest them in buying your product (or service). Pay close attention to which channels have the highest conversions, and use that data to determine possible tweaks to your current strategy. Keep in mind that not all KPIs are relevant to your brand and business. Be sure to pick the ones that are the most relevant, and don’t be afraid to change things up when need be.

8. Deliver consistently

To correctly build a social presence, make sure that you are delivering content consistently. Throwing out a post here and there won’t cut it. Create a social media schedule for each platform and stick to it.

Lather, rinse, repeat. Use the social goals and KPIs that you have developed to identify what worked and what didn’t. Does one kind of post garner a better response than others? Is there a specific subject that your followers engage well with? What about the best days and times? Analyze your data and use it to influence your strategy.

Social media is constantly changing, but one thing that remains the same is its importance. Whether you are new to social media management or are just looking to revamp your strategy, don’t be afraid to experiment and try out new things. There is no perfect way to do social, but with these eight steps you’ll definitely be on your way to success.