Having a Social Media Strategy is essential. If you have a product to launch on social media or you want to make your online presence more reliable, you need to create a social media marketing strategy.
What is that? Well, it’s a plan.
A social media plan that wins the hearts and the minds of attracting new customers.
A resonated strategy is the most precious resource you have.
Remember the words of the great military strategist Sun Tzu in “The art of war”:
“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy are the noise before defeat.”
To clarify, tactics, even in marketing, may change month by month or according to the latest news, data, or tools – but your strategy is always here, ready to lead you to your customers’ hearts.
Without a defined plan, with its steps and research, you may risk losing time, money, and clients.
Today we are going to see together why you need a strategy and ten steps to achieve it.
Are you ready to win the battle of the marketing game?
What Is a Social Media Marketing Strategy
“A social media marketing strategy is a summary of everything you plan to do and hope to achieve on social media.”
This definition by Hootsuite is clear and straightforward, yet it is crucial for your social media marketing strategy.
We did not write “if” you need one. If you want to have a substantial presence online that will help your brand awareness and conversions, you need a strong strategy.
Not having one would mean not to have any guide. You would lack focus, your communication may be uneven, and you may appear unprofessional – or worse, you may not know how to face events like a reputation crisis.
Why You Need a Strong Social Media Strategy
A proper social media marketing strategy works like a compass.
You will never be lost – at least, we hope so – it will define and guide your actions, and you will know exactly where you are if you are going good or bad if you need to fix something if your customers are angry with you and why.
Thanks to the strategy, you will know precisely what you are communicating, how, and why. You will also know where do you want to go and which steps you have to follow to reach your goal.
Plan your strategy document right now, and you will be safe and happy for a long time. Remember that the more specific, the better.
In addition to that, if you can plan your strategy in almost every detail, also the ones that look useless right now, the procedure will be more cohesive, more reliable, and effective – and this will be clear in the execution.
Moreover, you will have a substantial document that will be here every time you need it.
If you are not convinced yet, maybe a bit of math will get the job done:
“Marketers who document strategies are 538% more likely to report success. Those who document processes are 466% more likely to be successful, too. 88% of marketers who set goals achieve them.”
We call it a strategy, and for a good reason.
Therefore, we decided to show you ten steps to plan it, according to great marketers and experts.
Shall we see those steps?
10 Steps To Define Your Social Media Marketing Strategy
- Set goals
- Define the audience
- Define competitors
- Identify your current social presence
- Set your metrics
- Define your channels
- Define your content, timing, and T.O.V.
- Create a calendar
- Prevent the crisis
1. Set goals for your Social Media Strategy
Without goals, you can not do anything. Selecting them is the first step for a successful plan. More precisely, you need to set S.M.A.R.T. goals – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
That is the first thing you want to do because it will affect every other action you may do. Remember to keep your metrics and goals realistic, because otherwise, they may negatively affect your perceptions, your parameters, and even your spirit.
It does not matter the reason why you want to use social media. The important thing is that you have it clear in mind.
For instance, the goal “I want to increase my fan base and my conversions of at least 10% through an editorial plan with three publications at week” works pretty fine.
On the other hand, “I want more fans because I want to become like Amazon”, does not.
2. Define your Social Media Audience
You have to learn everything you can about people that may buy your products or services.
It is so crucial because, if you know them, you will be able to provide useful pieces of content that will satisfy their need for news and information – and your reputation will increase.
They will like your content. Therefore they will share it and leave comments of appreciation.
This is why you should do two separate things – some social listening and monitoring at first, followed by the creation of your buyer personas.
The first step will let you know who your target people are, what they believe, and what they want to see on social media. In this way, it will be brighter for you to show them to keep them interested.
This will allow you to collect all the data to build a set of buyer personas. Our advice is not to exaggerate – three or four models are enough. Thanks to these models, you also will have some precious hints on what to publish on your content plan – but we are not here yet!
You can do it manually with the old piece of paper, or with templates, or even leveraging the power of artificial intelligence to get dynamic buyer personas.
3. Define competitors
Goals and audience are not enough.
In fact, to plan your social media marketing strategy, you also have to know your competitors.
If you are wondering how, the answer is pretty simple – if you are using social media, they are doing it, too, and you can look at what they do.
As Hootsuite says, “A competitive analysis allows you to understand who the competition is and what they’re doing well (and not so well). You’ll get a good sense of what’s expected in your industry, which will help you set social media targets of your own.”
However, do not forget that knowing what competitors do does not mean you have to copy them.
You will be able to find out if they have some weaknesses or if they do not guard a specific platform that may be useful for your brand, and take advantage of these bits of information.
4. Identify your current social presence
You learned everything about other people. Now it is time to discover something more about yourself.
Thanks to social media tools, you can easily have a picture of your work on social media.
This way, you can start asking yourself important questions to improve eventual weaknesses and highlight strengths.
For example, you could understand which types of content does work and which one does not, what your audience likes the most, which channels your target wants the best.
In addition to that, you can also know something more about your online reputation and what your customers think about you, even concerning other competitors.
It is a precious moment of knowledge – do not waste it!
5. Set the Right Metrics for your Social Media Strategy
Now that you know who you are and where you want to go, it is time to start the real journey.
Select your metrics and KPIs, being careful only to pick the most relevant ones. According to your business and social media goals, identify a series of KPIs that could help you to track how your work is going.
There are a ton of metrics that you can look at. However, our advice is to stick to the most common ones – for instance, engagement, conversion, C.T.R., reach, paid, and organic views…
If you want to know a bit more about this step, here you can find and article in which we talk about KPIs and how to pick them.
How to track them?
It depends on the KPIs, and you have different analytics tools: from Google Analytics for your blog to the social network platforms for your social presence.
If you are using GhostwriterAI, you get a report similar to that here below. reported about
6. Define your channels
Now, we mean business! You have studied everything you could – now it is time to plan your actions.
Once you have learned that you can not talk to everyone, it is time to understand where you want to engage your customers.
For example, you may plan a shining strategy for Facebook, but if your customers are part of the Gen-Z, it is unlikely to find them there – better to say, you will only be able to find out their parents.
Did you choose your channels – for example, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter? It is great! Now, you have to plan what to put into them. It is time to talk about content.
7. Define your content, timing, and T.O.V.
Discover that your audience is on Instagram and start posting photos every single day will not give you any useful results.
Once you have selected your channels, you need to know what content can perform at best into them. A useful way of thinking of it is considering them by topics.
For instance, let’s say that you provide online and live courses about communication.
You could use Instagram posts to show your products or daily life, and Instagram stories to chat with your audience or share impressive materials or codes. Or even create a Facebook group for your online lessons.
Every tool has its language – find it out and use it well!
Talking about language, at this stage, you must find out your unique style. Identify your tone of voice and the kind of approach you want to use – more professional or pop? Bright and colorful, or do you want to stick to one or two colors? Are you going to show yourself on the posts or not?
Moreover, you also want to choose your timing. Do you want to post once a week? Twice a week? Three times with daily I.G. stories or tweets?
Whatever it is your answer, motivate it and do it for a reason. There is no utility in filling your Facebook page with posts that nobody is going to read. Also because you will annoy your audience!
8. Create a Social Media Calendar
You will never get out of it alive if you do not systematize your content in a calendar. It will help you to plan and execute your strategy, giving you a clear idea of what is going to happen every day.
You can create a schedule to define which channel will share which content at which time, and you can even plan the sharing of other people’s content.
For instance, it will also be useful, in case of columns or weekly appointments, to create a habit in your target. In essence, people will know that every Tuesday at 5.00 pm, you are going to air a life on Instagram about the latest communication news, for example.
You can also mix and match your content – for example, using the rule of thirds. One-third of your social content promotes your business, converts readers, and generates profit.
One shares ideas and stories from thought leaders in your industry or like-minded businesses.
The last one involves personal interactions with your audience.
The best way to keep people engaged
Mixing content is the best way to keep people engaged. Do you have informative, engaging, and promotion kind of content? Spread them, add a touch of other people’s posts, and you are done! More or less.
As Pareto said, remember the rule 80/20.
80% of your content must engage or inform, the other 20% you can dedicate it to your products.
As you may see, we’re talking about tons of new content. O.M.G.! Where can we find the time to do that?
Don’t worry – we have a solution!
Our Free Post Generator helps you in generating dozens of posts in minutes, filled with the right hashtags and scheduling time for your buyer personas.
Cool, isn’t it?
Even more than that, a calendar will also help to remind you of anniversaries or special days, so that you can prepare in advance.
However, you need to remember that it is not a fixed item.
You can, and you must change it if something is different in case of an emergency or a crisis.
For instance, would you post an article about traveling in a country that a week before went to war? Of course not, unless you scheduled that post three weeks ago and then you forgot about it.
9. Test your Social Media Strategy
You can plan the best strategy ever, but you will never know it if you don’t test it.
Even if things are going well, remember that changing is entirely natural. Especially for social media, where everything becomes different or obsolete in a minute.
Once you have your strategy, trust it and feel strong enough to test new tactics. Adjust something, try that new tool, give a shot to that upcoming idea, according to your channels and brand identity.
Your strategy will be there to remind that you have a plan and that you know what you are doing. It is your safety net. Do not be scared to jump a bit.
A quick tool to stick to your test is provided by the paper. Here you can find a link to an Experiment Canvas Template.
10. Prevent the crisis
This is a little extra, and no one likes to talk about it, but the crisis may happen.
We must face that it does not matter how careful we might be; there still is a chance that we occur in a reputational crisis.
Even if you can not avoid it, you can be prepared to face it.
You can take advantage of a community management strategy. This will allow you to control what is going on your channels day by day.
Moreover, you can write down some F.A.Q. for crisis time. You can add a series of answers shared with your team and your company. It will calm everything down, you will explain yourself, and back off without having lousy publicity.
In conclusion, if you want to have a substantial presence online that will help your brand awareness and conversions, you need a strong social media strategy.
As a matter of fact, a proper strategy works like a compass. You will know precisely what you are communicating, how, and why, where do you want to go and which steps you have to follow to reach your goal.
A strategy is a document that will be there every time you need it, as a safety net. Remember that the more precise, the better!