Today, the average person on social media is exposed to various forms of content than they were, let’s say, a decade ago.
According to Statista, there are 4.26 billion active social media users worldwide, and that number is projected to reach six billion in 2027. As more and more brands are joining the social media race every day, we are guessing as to what’s going to happen to people’s attention span on social media.
Well, if you haven’t guessed it already, the attention span of consumers is narrowing to another level. In 2000, it was 12 seconds. Now, 15 years later, it’s shrunk significantly to 8.25 seconds.
So, what’s the secret sauce to keep your audience hooked and interested?
There’s no denying that a key ingredient for successful social media marketing is having an, engaging strategy.
If you’re not well-versed with marketing concepts like your brand goals, target audience and the value you’re bringing to them, then it’s difficult to achieve the best results on social media. It requires more than just “thoughtful and authentic content” to make your brand indispensable for the consumer.
Whether you want to create a great brand identity for your business or level up as a marketer, developing a marketing strategy is essential.
Create a Marketing Strategy for Social Media in Six Steps
It’s interesting to note that Marketing plan and social media marketing strategy often overlapped.
To break it down: A strategy is where you’re headed. A plan is how you’ll get there.
One of the simplest ways to create a personalized social media marketing strategy is to ask yourself the 5Ws and 1H:
- Why do you want to incorporate social media into your plan?
- Who is going to be your target audience?
- What are you going to share on social media to increase the likelihood of your brand?
- Where are you going to share and network?
- When are you going to share?
- How will your strategy appeal to the heart of your audience, rather than the head
Here’s another interesting thing to note about strategy.
What works for one channel may not necessarily work for the other.
You can have a strategy for each of your social media channels, such as a Facebook marketing strategy, an Instagram marketing strategy, a LinkedIn marketing strategy, and so on, which all lead up to your final social media marketing strategy. Each channel plan should be distinct, and you should have a specific, defensible reason for participating in each one of them.
Social impacts all corners of the brand, and it should be more like air (everywhere) than water (you have to go get it). Thus, the first step in the process is to think intelligently about your overall social media strategy.
1. Identify your brand goals and mission
Just because social media channels exist doesn’t mean you have to add them to your marketing arsenal. First, streamline your focus and figure out why you primarily want to use social media. Are you on social media to accomplish your brand objectives? Like, Awareness? Sales? Loyalty and retention?
Goals come in all shapes and sizes, so here are some good ten social goals that you can focus on:
- Increase brand awareness
- Drive traffic to your website
- Acquire leads and customers
- Grow revenue (by increasing signups or sales)
- Boost brand engagement
- Become a thought leader in your niche
- Build a community around your business
- Provide social customer service
- Increase mentions in the press
- Listen to conversations about your brand
For example, the marketing team of HubSpot uses social media both to increase their brand awareness and drive traffic to their content, while their Advocacy team uses social media to provide timely customer support.
2. Research your target audience
It’s very important to identify who are you targeting on social media. What are the demographic and psychographic characteristics of your prospective customers? How does that impact what you can and should attempt on social media?
If you know your audience well, then you’ll be able to position your brand in a way that will speak to your audience well.
For instance, if a travel and lifestyle brand (like Away) know that its target audience loves to read about new places and travel tips, it shares such kind of content on its social media profiles. Alongside that, they try to make a deeper connection with their audience and have some fun along the way.
Another great exercise here is to find the right prospects, if you want to earn sales and revenue for your business. Not everyone is interested in your product or offer, so you must market your company to people that are.
With the help of customer personas, you can attract more qualified leads for your business.
There are different ways available to build marketing personas. But, again, you can use the 5Ws and 1H.
Another key component of creating marketing personas is understanding where you fit into the equation.
If your business has been running for a while, you already have a good sense of your target audience. To put it to good use, you can share it with the team or use it for your future reference.
For example, Starbucks’ target audience mainly consists of 22-60-year-olds who are financially sound and tech-savvy. These are the people who are targeted the most by Starbucks via social media platforms such as Instagram.
Build a messaging strategy
As the competition for attention is at its fiercest, you might be thinking about the types of content you can share that can make it easier for potential customers to discover your brand.
For example, do you want to share more videos or pictures?
Always try to use best practices like text-based posts with high-quality images, professional videos, long-form videos on YouTube, short-form on TikTok, niche-focused hashtags, GIFs, and other attention-grabbing visuals that can make your content exciting and engaging.
You can also put-up stories and do live videos to humanize your brand and show your fun side so that people relate more to you. Show you’re one of them, and you’ll gain life-long followers.
If you follow National Geographic on Instagram, you’ll see that they’re known for their stunning images on Instagram, each one telling a story.
You can also create your own brand guidelines to ensure your messaging is consistent with brand standards. The brand guidelines can be classified into two types:
- Brand identity, which contains guidelines on your company’s vision, mission, core values, and brand tone.
- Brand assets, which include your logo, color palette for visual designs, font families, and other visual standards.
Pick your audience’s favourite channels
Not all social media platforms are the same. Each platform has something unique to offer which makes it easy to get on your target customers’ radar and capture their attention. Everything from their intended purpose to the kind of audience they have, and marketing tools are different for each platform.
According to the Pew Research Center survey, female users in the US outnumber their male counterparts on Facebook. In contrast, male users spend more time on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
Furthermore, Pinterest is known to be the best platform to target women in the 50-64 age range, while Twitter and Snapchat are considered the preferred choices of younger demographics who particularly fall in the 18-29 age bracket.
So, it’s important to find out which platforms your target customers spend most of their time on and plan your strategy accordingly.
For example, SuperDry’s social media indicates that they prefer to attract customers with highly stylized images and consider Instagram as the best platform for this.
5Set up a posting schedule
The second last key part of your strategy is to figure out when you want to share your content. You might be tempted to jump into research to find out the best time(s) to post.
Let’s take a step back and understand the audience first.
To come up with the right time to post your social media posts, you must explore the dynamics of the respective social media platforms and consider the behaviors of your target audience.
When do they interact with the platform to find the type of content that you’ll share?
Here are some examples to consider:
- Athletes might use Instagram while they are taking a break after their morning or evening workouts.
- People who love to travel and discover new places might be more active on social media during the weekends when planning their next trip (or during their lunch breaks in the office, dreaming about their next trip).
According to Sprout Social, weekdays are considered as the best days to schedule content on Facebook. The worst days to post are Saturdays and the best time to post is 3 a.m. (US Central Time). It’s quite odd but around 27% of people access social media, first thing in the morning.
The best days to post content on Instagram are the weekdays and the best time to post is around 11 a.m. And, the worst days to post are Sundays.
Nurture relations with tailored sequences
To market to any generation, you need to understand what motivates them to shop.
What do they prioritize? What do they care about?
Buying motivation is where the immediate differences between Gen Z and the previous generation, Millennials become more visible. As you know, Disney isn’t about movies—it’s about magic. Apple isn’t about technology—it’s about innovation and the experience it provides.
So, you also need to find that ONE THING in your company that is truly defining and interesting and build your social media program around that.
There you have it. The 6 easy steps to consider while making a creative social media marketing strategy. Brands looking to market their products on social media must understand that the long game is essential to success. Coming up with the best-suited strategy is an intricate process. There is a lot of trial and error involved but it’s greatly rewarding.
Once you’ve developed your strategy, review it and verify that every element you’ve added is accounted for something that you want to achieve. It should be comprehensive and scalable. The more specific the plan, the easier it would be in achieving your goals.
Having a well-put-together social media strategy can amplify the work your social media team does, it protects brand integrity across the enterprise and paves the way for additional layers of engagement, like brand advocacy, conversational commerce, sales, and marketing for distributed teams.
So, get started, follow the steps we’ve outlined for you, and make it happen.