Grow your social media channels.
Identify the social media channels where you can reach your target audience, to help decide which platforms to include in your marketing strategy.
These are a few methods to use:
- Review your website analytics to identify any trends in traffic originating from specific social media platforms.
- Conduct competitor analysis and identify what social platforms your competitors use in their marketing efforts.
- Research what social media platforms are popular for various demographics using reports from Statista or the Pew Research Center. Compare the demographics of your own buyer personas to the findings on the report for each social platform to pinpoint which ones are matches for your target audience.
Select two to three social media platforms to focus on for your social media marketing strategy. Handling more platforms than this before you know your team’s capacity will make it difficult to manage each channel.
Select KPIs to measure your social media content strategy and performance. Choose KPIs that will help inform you how effective your efforts are in achieving your business goals.
For example, if one of your primary goals for your social media strategy is to increase brand awareness, you might focus on metrics such as follower growth on your platforms and engagement rates, especially from tags and shares. Some social media KPIs to consider include:
- Click-through rate.
- Follower count.
- Follower growth rate.
- Likes, comments, mentions, or shares.
- Engagement rate.
- Share of voice.
- Conversion rate.
Reference studies from credible online sources such as HubSpot or other authoritative industry leaders to get an idea of how often you should post on each social media platform, and what days and times are optimal for the most visibility and engagement from your audience.
Use their research as a starting point to determine your posting frequency and timing, but measure and monitor your own social media analytics to further adjust and optimize your strategy to better fit the behaviors of your own audience on each platform.
Identify any gaps in your existing team to determine whether you will need to hire new team members, freelancers, or a social media agency to help fill additional roles. Look to fill these roles within your social media team:
- Social media strategist: develops a content strategy across platforms and collaborates with other team members to align your social media strategy with your business’s overall marketing goals
- Social media manager: manages your content calendar, determines a promotion budget, manages social media ad campaigns, and manages social media engagement
- Social media analyst: tracks and measures social analytics
- Content creator: come up with content topics and ideas based on the strategy and handle the content creation process for graphics, images, videos, and copywriting, implement user-generated content
- Editor: review or proofread content and request necessary changes prior to publication
Depending on the size of your business and the amount and type of content you will need to produce, your team might require more roles. For example, you might need a social media assistant to help with your project manager’s workload. Or if a large part of your social media content strategy relies on video, you might add a dedicated videographer or video editor to your team.
Plan content topics and formats, taking into consideration your goals for each social media platform.
Some ways to brainstorm content ideas include:
- Following trending topics and hashtags.
- Planning around upcoming holidays.
- Taking inspiration from your target audience’s interests.
- Searching forums like Reddit or Quora to discover popular conversations within your industry.
- Repurposing your recent blog posts or other web content into social media posts.
- Checking your competitors’ social media for content inspiration.
- Promoting your products or services.
- Showing behind-the-scenes footage.
- Highlighting your team members.
- Highlighting your loyal customers or testimonials.
Some tools that can help in planning content ideas include:
- Forekast: discover upcoming holidays and unofficial holidays or release dates for a variety of categories.
- Twitter’s Marketing Calendar: explore upcoming events that are likely to trend on Twitter.
- Post Planner: discover shareable content, recycle evergreen content, and manage your content calendar.
- Socialert: discover and track hashtags within your industry.
- Social listening tools, like Sprout Social, Agora Pulse, or Keyhole.
Choose content formats for each platform based on your audience’s preferred content types, the most effective formats on each channel, and make sure they align with your social media goals.
For example, if one of your goals is to increase social media engagement, you might prioritize story content on Instagram or Facebook, and focus on engaging content ideas for standard feed posts, like polls, contests, or Q&As.
Create a content calendar to keep everything organized and manage deadlines and publishing dates across your whole social media team.
Choose a tool to host your content calendar that suits your team’s needs. A few options include:
- A spreadsheet calendar in Google Sheets or another collaborative spreadsheet software.
- A free cloud based calendar like Google Calendar.
- A project management tool like Asana, Trello, or ClickUp.
Populate your content calendar with content topics, formats, deadlines, and assignees to manage your workflow and collaborate with your social media team.
Identify the tools you need to aid your team’s content creation process.
Equip your team with the tools they need to create content for your social channels. These are a few tools for creating social media posts:
- Tools for easy drag-and-drop creation, templates, and resizing for various social media formats, like Canva, Stencil, Adobe Spark, or Crello.
- Tools for creating social media videos, like Biteable, Promo, Animoto, or Ripl.
- Stock imagery, video, or vector sites, like Unsplash, Pexels, Pixabay, Adobe Stock, or Envato Elements.
- Graphic design and video software for more advanced content creators, like AdobeIllustrator, Photoshop, PremierePro, and AfterEffects.
Choose a social media management platform to streamline processes, schedule posts, and automate publishing.
A social media management tool can help your team’s workflow by allowing you to batch out content and schedule your posts in advance to save time on repetitive posting tasks. Some popular social media management tools include:
- Sprout Social.
Some platforms also offer additional features like built-in social listening and analytics if your team would benefit from a more all-in-one tool.
Use performance insights to optimize your content strategy by making adjustments to timing, frequency, or content types for each platform.
Gather social media insights from the native platforms, from your social media management platform, or from a collective analytics platform like Google Analytics. Analyze the KPIs you identified earlier to gauge the performance of your content toward your business goals. Identify potential issues or opportunities for improvement within your social media content strategy.