A mid-market company’s social media strategy should be an outline and summary of everything necessary to win in the social media outlets.
It should be a manual for their actions and those actions need to be measurable to quantify success or failure. Every post, reply, like, and comment needs to serve a specific purpose. The more specific the strategy, the more effective and focused the execution will be. The social plans need to be concise and the goals need to be attainable. Do NOT plan so wide and high that the goals are impossible to measure and cannot be achieved.
1). Social media marketing goals must align with business objectives
The first thing to consider when creating a social media marketing strategy is to establish the company’s objectives and goals. Without legitimate goals, there is no way to measure the success or the social media return on investment (ROI).
Each of the goals that are set needs to be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and include a timeframe. Using the criteria listed for each of the business goals is important in that it will ensure that they lead to real business results.
2). Educate yourself on your business’s audience
Knowing who your audience is and what they like to see on social media is key to creating the content that they will engage with, comment on, and share. This is key in planning the message, the feel, and determining how to develop the social media audience into more customers for your business.
3). Study your competition and then yourself
Most of your competitors are probably already using social media to varying degrees and this presents you with learning opportunities to know and analyze what they are currently doing.
Conducting a competitive analysis will enable a regional company to understand who the competition is locally and nationally, what they do well and do poorly. Knowing your competition can unveil opportunities, determine social media targets and help to set goals. After evaluating the competition, evaluate your company’s social media presence, and determine where improvements can be made and how best to proceed with your new plan.
4). Consistently create engaging and informative content
Consistency is the key to helping followers understand and manage expectations from your brand. It should consciously or subconsciously tell them why they should continue to follow you and what value they receive from your social accounts. It also establishes guidelines for your social team to keep your branding consistent when you have multiple people on your social team.
If you have a social team, then social guidelines should be established, and all team members should be mandated to follow them closely. The guidelines should include decisions on how voice, tone, and style will be articulated to the audience, to keep all engagement consistent across all channels.
5). Test, evaluate, and optimize your strategy
The social media strategy is a very important document for your business. Even though it may be well planned, it may not be right on the first try. As implementation begins and results are tracked, you may find that some strategies don’t work as well as anticipated, and others may work better than expected.
Make sure that all data is tracked so you can see exactly which social posts and activities are driving the most engagement and traffic to your business. As the data continues to mount, constantly re-evaluate the strategy and optimize the plan as often as necessary for better results.
The information obtained will prove useful to test different posts, campaigns, and strategies against one another. Continuous testing provides the knowledge of what works and what doesn’t, so the strategy can be refined in real time.
In the social media world, things change fast. New platforms are emerging, while others go through demographic shifts. Regional businesses need to change as well. Because changes are eminent, social media strategies need to be living documents that are assessed on a regular basis and adjusted accordingly. Updates and changes to social strategies will help to better reflect a regional company’s new goals and objectives.