So 2020 has certainly been a test for everyone and an even greater emphasis has been placed on the need to get your business noticed online, as doors were closed to try and contain the spread of COVID 19. But let’s not focus on COVID - lockdown or no lockdown social media can play a vital role in helping your business establish a reputation and reach new audiences.
However, the question is, where to start? Here we’re going to take a look at how you can break down the process of planning your social media strategy to make it feel a whole lot simpler! This is the process we aim to follow when taking on any new client for digital marketing support, and it can really pave the way for successful campaigns with half the stress!
Goals are essential to keep you on the right track - but you need to ensure any you set are specific to you as it’s so easy to get caught up in what you hear from other business owners and feel like you’re way behind - you aren’t! Your goals should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound). Without these, you’ll have no way to measure your return on investment. Start off small to allow you to scale up your efforts without feeling overwhelmed. An example could be ‘We’ll use LinkedIn to generate 4 leads from HR professionals in the next 3 months.’ or ‘We will post on Instagram 3 times a week.'
2. Who are your competitors?
Once you’ve set some goals it’s time for some detective work. Having an idea of what your competitors are doing is going to help you create content that clearly works with the same audience you’re trying to target, as well as giving you ideas of how you can stand out from the crowd with your own efforts. Take a look at the content they’re posting from the language choices to the imagery - the goal here isn’t to steal ideas, but to see what’s working to inform your own campaigns.
3. Who do you want to target?
There are so many resources out there to provide you with insights on how you should target different demographics - and they’re very helpful to a point. If you’re a B2B business or targeting professionals then LinkedIn is probably the place for you - but make these decisions based not only on demographic data but also on that competitor research you completed. There is no magic answer for any business - so make sure you’re taking the time to really drill down who your audience is and who your dream customer would be. Consider creating a customer persona to keep you focused too - and always have this in mind when creating your content, would they find it interesting? Would it grab their attention? Would it make sense to them? And most importantly, does it inspire, educate or inform them?
4. Pick your platforms
You don’t need to be everywhere - and you’ll run yourself ragged trying to create content for every social media platform out there. Select two to focus on based on where you find your audience is - then, once you’re in the swing of posting engaging content regularly, branch out into another platform and see how you go. Take the time to ensure your pages/profiles are set up properly with branded cover images and all the correct contact information - this will help you look professional and ensure your audience knows how to get in touch with you!
5. Draw up a calendar
There’s nothing worse than it getting to 5pm and suddenly remembering that you were supposed to post your latest product that day. There are countless programmes and apps out there to help with post planning, but a simple Word document (or Google doc for collaborating), is all you need to set out your plan for the month. Aim to set some time aside and plan your posts a month, or at least 2 weeks in advance. Pick dates for them to go out and try and stick to them - it’ll ease the pressure on you to remember to post, so you can focus on running your business!
6. Schedule, schedule, schedule!
Another vital tip if you’re struggling for time is to make the most of scheduling tools! Log in to Facebook Creator Studio to schedule your Facebook AND Instagram posts in one place, try out TweetDeck for Twitter, and Hootsuite has some free features for LinkedIn scheduling too - the other tools are all completely free! Say goodbye to the days of frantically posting - schedule your content and focus on interacting with your audience and trying out other features such as Stories and going Live!
7. Assess your results
A vital step in ensuring your strategy is successful is evaluating your efforts. Some posts will do better than others - and it might surprise you where these wins lie! Make the most of the analytics available within all of your social networks and maybe even compile a report for yourself. Remember to take a look at your Google Analytics too so you can see just how much traffic is coming from your social media efforts. Just having a look and dismissing those figures isn’t going to help you - you need to face up to some of the fails and replicate those areas that have worked for you.
Phew! There we have it - 7 steps to help you compile your social media strategy for 2021. We hope you’ve found this helpful, but if you have any questions then please email us! Our team are always happy to offer up advice or even step in to help when you need us. We’re already working on our 2021 content and we can’t wait to share it with you!