As a marketer that is providing marketing services to your client, you need a plan. A summary of things that you intend to do on social media to achieve the company’s goal. You need a social media marketing strategy. A good marketing strategy will guide your actions and let you know when you are winning or not.
Here are seven-step plan to help you create your social media marketing strategy.
Setting a Goal
Imagine your clients calling you for your services. They haven’t been making sales as expected for the past six months, and they need you to help. What they are asking is, why are they not retaining their customers? Why are their existing customers not interested in purchasing and so on. Then, you find out that they do not even have a clear goal. What they are planning is just to increase profits, more than they did the previous year.
For example, they are in the business of selling shoes. They want to sell more shoes: More conversion goals completed: Increased link clicks that lead to more visits to their website for more sales. Basically, more profits.
They want you to manage their social media, without a clear goal. Or they simply avoid talking about goals. You would decide to get them as many followers as possible, maybe buy followers. These many followers would probably not buy from them, then it wouldn’t be worth it.
Reaching your existing followers a little better could bring better results. Vanity metrics mean nothing without action. You should help your clients understand what’s important. Setting ambiguous goals with no clear direction will not lead to fruition. You need a proper report with numbers and statistics.
It’s important to be aligned with your client regarding what they want to achieve. With a clear goal, you can create achievable objectives.
Set SMART goals. All of these things will be important to you as the marketer. They are going to affect your strategy, your budget, and the price that you are taking since you may need to work overtime. Moreso, if you are going to give results within the timeline provided.
Reach The Target Audience.
Who is your target audience? What kind of content do they engage more with? Your client should be able to answer these questions. You as the marketer can give recommendations, but it’s important for the business owner, to have answers to these questions.
Your clients should do their own research on a few things. The data will provide insights into how best to target their audience. You will be able to refine the strategy.
Persona research; who are they trying to reach. Age, Gender, geographic location, any cultural references. Maybe, these people like sports, movies like Bridgerton, sports, video games. All these things can influence the tone and voice that you are going to use in your social media messaging. You can make jokes around them and be culturally relevant.
If they can’t give you this information, you can find it out yourself. Look at their analytics. where you can find little tidbits here and there. Do your own research, find out who their followers are. Discover what they like, what kind of events they go to, who are they following and more.
Find out what their competitors are doing. Very similar to market research. If your client is Zappos, a shoe store, you are going to take a look at Shoes.com and take a look at what they are doing to promote their shoes. What they are doing to promote their social media platforms. You can use a tool like Owler and do real-time research on companies after following them. Similarweb is a comprehensive tool that allows you to research competitors’ content, where their traffic is coming from and their interests, their marketing channels, keywords and more.
Rember, as a marketer you don’t have to use all the social media platforms. You can be focussing on one or two and doing a pretty good job. And maybe reuse content for the other ones. Your research will help you know where there is a gap. Maybe these competitors are using all these platforms but none is using TikTok, you can go with that. On the other hand, you may realize that company A is making a lot of sales using Instagram, then opt to jump on that opportunity. These kinds of insights will inform your social media strategy.
Do a Social Media Audit
Take a look at what your client is currently already doing. You have understood their goals, known their target audience and done a competitor analysis. If your client is a brand new company. Find out their target audience. Do a little research on your own to determine which platform will be useful for them. If they have an existing social media presence, do an audit.
Develop set-up criteria and take a look at some metrics. With this information, you can develop a case study. You have details of the number of followers and average engagement and what content is performing well since you started working with the client. Create a preliminary report and take a look at what’s working and what’s not.
Develop an Infrastructure.
Set up infrastructure and standard operating procedures (SOPs). An infrastructure ensures things a running smoothly. It shows the platforms you have chosen to use, how they are connected to one another and what content to produce. You also need to show your client what you will be doing and when.
This will allow your work to run smoothly. By documenting, you make sure that the idea is not only in your head. Should something happen your client can find a way of making sure an activity is done as and when it’s supposed to. Also, there will be transparency and accountability in everything you are working on.
Create a Content Calendar
Now, you put everything into motion. Use scheduling tools such as Coschedule. You can even use a simple calendar in excel or Google sheets. Post images, copy links and hashtags and send them to the client to get their approval. Some may be formal with a document, some not so much. A client may not ask for the documentation but you can record everything to help you follow up.
Create content and schedule so that you have frequent posts to share. You can arrange them month by month. However, due to changes that happen every now and then, you need to leave room for changes. So I would recommend creating your calendar week by week for the first month. Then, for the next month provide a formal strategy. In the first month, you should be testing and moving things around to find something that works.
You can price things out in terms of content that you’ll produce and the number of channels that you are going to advertise on. You now know the amount of work that needs to be done. This is indeed a lot of work. If for example, you will be doing 3 months of social media management, you can price them out individually per month. You can give different prices for each month. Keep in mind that you are going to be working a lot in that first month.