Eight Steps to Creating a Social Media Management Strategy and Why You Need One.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing at its core is the process of creating, scheduling, and publishing content across social media channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter in order to promote your business, products, and services, increase brand awareness and drive conversions. It includes tailoring the content for the distinct audiences on each of the platforms along with engaging with users and identifying opportunities to grow reach and engagement.
Managing social media including analyzing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is an essential component of building your business presence in the digital marketplace and getting the most out of your marketing budget.
Why is Social Media Marketing Management Important?
All of this means that building, maintaining, and managing a social media presence is essential for business development and plays an integral part in creating and implementing an effective marketing strategy.
How to Build and Manage Your Social Media Strategy
The right approach can ensure that you reach this huge audience and make running and maintaining your social media presence and campaigns manageable. Here are the steps to take so that your social media marketing strategy works from day one.
1: Set SMART Goals
Before you get started, decide what you expect to accomplish. Do you want to create brand awareness? Are you focused on generating leads? Increasing engagement? Improving customer service? Your goals should be realistic, clear, attainable, and measurable or SMART.
2: Identify your target audience
Once you have set your goals, you need to identify the right audience. You cannot target everyone, nor do you want to. Knowing who to target can be gained by using surveys and gathering feedback. Effective use of resources means understanding your potential customers, including where they spend their time and what type of content they prefer. Once you have identified your audience and where to find them, create customer profiles based on your research.
3: Choose the right social media channels
With over 200 social media networks out there to choose from, it might look overwhelming at first to try to identify which ones to target. Fortunately, you do not need to be present on all social channels, only the ones that are relevant for your brand. While Facebook is a component in nearly every social media strategy,the selection of additional channels determined by a combination of which social channels your target audience uses the most coupled with which channels are most aligned with your business goals Instagram could be a powerhouse for a restaurant, while a B2B service provider may gain more traction on LinkedIn.
4: Determine the right content
Now that you know your audience and the type of content that they like best, you are ready to determine the right type of content for your campaigns.
Creating the right content is not about just writing a bunch of articles and posts or taking a bunch of photos and then just randomly sharing them on Facebook (or any other channel) to see what gets the most likes. (If only it were that easy)! To keeping your audience and customers engaged and interested and to grow your following, you will need to consistently post high quality, relevant, and timely content.
This content should fit your brand tenants, client persona, and product type. Two key points: it should be engaging, and it should offer value to your customers. The content should also be developed to meet the requirements, preferred format, and best practices for each social channel that you choose for your business presence.
5: Create a social media schedule
Two core elements of effective social media management are content management and creating an editorial calendar along with a social posting schedule.
Once you have decided what types of content you will post and where, it is time to determine how often you plan to post and when you will post what content.
An editorial calendar for social media management provides a good way in which to organize and plan your content and postings, as well as to help ensure that your campaigns contribute towards meeting your marketing goals. The calendar and schedule can be customized for each business but should include the frequency of posts per day or week, the type of updates and information like the platforms, date, content, links, images, hashtags, and any campaigns associated with each post.
6: Content Management: Create, Post, and Test
A big and ongoing part of social media management involves creating and then publishing social media content: writing copy, creating images and videos, and identifying and curating third-party content that can be shared, such as industry news or other relevant topics. This all requires a knowledge of the best practices for each social channel along with developing a deep understanding of one’s audience by identifying what content performs best for a given audience in terms of both reach and engagement.
A good content strategy is not set in stone: it is tweaked and adjusted based on testing and analytics to identify what content performs best for reach and engagement.
7: Customer Service: Engage with your audience
An important part of building and managing a social media presence includes planning how you will engage with and respond to your followers, especially as this provides an opportunity to provide additional value and demonstrate your customer service publicly. This includes how you respond to comments, questions and concerns posted to your page, along with decisions on whether you will reach out and engage with other individuals and organizations in your industry. Best practice is to respond within 24 hours and to think carefully about your replies, as your responses will often be in public view.
This engagement has the additional benefit of helping to build strong and authentic connections with your target audience.
8: Track Performance Over Time
The only way to know if your social media campaigns are successful and helping you to meet your goals is by tracking their results over time and comparing both within and across platforms how they perform. This also helps to identify areas of improvement so that you can continue to tweak and enhance your social media strategy so as to get the most out of this channel.
How a Marketing Agency can help with your Social Media Management
Now that you have the basics on social media marketing management you are ready to get started with building your own social presence. Be prepared: posting quality content consistently and ensuring that it is done right takes significant time and effort.
You can ensure that this is done well by enlisting the services of a social media manager, whether this is someone in-house or a team member from a social media marketing agency.
A social media manager is a skilled professional with the expertise and knowledge to create a clear and focused strategy, manage content, and implement effective campaigns that establish an effective social media presence for your business and achieve your goals for social media. You can then leverage this presence to reach your target audience and even transform the way you interact with customers.
The key question: do you have the bandwidth and resources in-house to take on social media yourself?
The good news: when it comes to social media management, you don’t have to go it alone.
Our social media managers at The Marketing Collective have the knowledge and resources to manage your social media presence, ensure that your social media efforts are a success, and bring your social media game to the next level. Our team can provide expert services, including handling all of your social media activity, developing a strategy to reinvent your social presence, creating and publishing original content, responding to customer comments and inquiries, and ultimately achieving your long-term digital marketing goals.