Now that you have seen everyone using social media to increase their business performance you have decided to do the same.
However, after posting all these artistic photos with great captions you are still not getting the results that you were expecting! And wondering what more should you do?
You might have heard that you need a social media STRATEGY! And then you probably thought it is something for social media gurus only or it's not even worth your time.
Let’s start by simplifying the word strategy to a communication plan, and in this article, you will see why you need such a plan and how can you create one that you can easily execute and hopefully get your expected results from.
Simply, any communication plan can be done by figuring out the following:
Objective: What is your goal from this plan
Budget: How much are you willing to invest
Audience: Who are you talking to
Message: What do you want to say
Content: How are you going to say it
Channel: What are the channels that you will be using
Let's dig deeper..
You have to identify what you are trying to achieve from using social media, such as:
- Letting people know about your brand or new product collection
- Increasing your website or store traffic
- Getting more signups to your event
- Increasing sales
Once you have identified your objective, you need to attach these objectives with specific targets and timelines such as:
- Brand awareness: my messages should reach 5,000 people in a week's time
- Website traffic: getting 1,000 website visits per month
You might ask yourself “how am I going to know what a good target looks like?", well you have 2 options to start from:
Setting an increasing percentage from what you have now, i.e. increase my website traffic by 30%
Setting a conversion target such as sales or bookings, i.e. selling 50 pieces of my new product
Take out: Your objective should be very clear from the start.
Once you set your objectives, you need to know how much you are willing to invest in order to reach those objectives, which include;
- Working time
- Content creation cost
- Advertising budget if it’s a paid campaign
Then ask yourself: “How much investment should I allocate?"
Always start with how much this objective is worth to you from a business growth perspective.
For example, I’m willing to invest $500 to reach 50,000 people of which I expect 50 of them to gain as customers in the next 3 months. Which means each new customer will cost you $10.
Is this cost feasible for me? This can be answered by figuring out how much each customer is worth from your business perspective.
Can I reach this objective with the allocated budget? And for this, you need to start testing and learning with a smaller budget and then you can optimize your plan accordingly.
Takeout: Allocate a budget that matches your business objective value.
You must reverse engineer your current or potential customers and think very well about their demographic and psychographic aspects AKA buyer persona.
- Age, gender and location
- Moving onto their interests, education level, spending power, their favorite social channels and much more
Once you defined your audience you need to categorize them into groups in order to deliver each content to its respective audience group.
Sally, 19 years old, a university student and into fashion. She is more likely to engage with your content if it is about how trendy and cool your product is when she sees it on Snapchat or Instagram story.
However, Mary, 41 years old, a working mother of 2 kids. She is more likely to check how practical and durable your product is when she sees your content on Facebook or Instagram feed.
4- The Message
Posting beautiful photos and video content is great but what you need to think about is what is the message that you want to deliver within that content.
Define what you want to say based on your objectives, whether it is:
- A Brand awareness message, new service announcement, seasonal promotion or encouraging people to visit your website
So, if you are announcing a new service make sure to mention all the service’s benefits for your customers and how they can get it or know more about it, so you don’t leave them confused about what they should do after they have viewed your content.
Take out: Your message should be bold with a clear call to action.
5- Content Type
Let’s agree that a 16 year old girl will most probably engage differently than a 38 year old woman with the same piece of content. And here is where the creative part plays a huge role in your plan.
You need to figure out how you will deliver your messages using creative content that your customers will like and potentially engage with based on each audience segment.
The key message should have different content types in order to suit each audience segment.
So, one key message can be altered to a Facebook post with a long caption, a 30-second video on Instagram, a long article on LinkedIn or even a short video on Snapchat.
Take out: Cater your content based on what your customers value instead of what you want to show them.
You might say, I will just use Instagram since it’s the most popular social channel now.
However, the truth is you should follow where your targeted audiences’ attention is.
- LinkedIn for a B2B service could get more leads or conversions than other social channels
- Snapchat or TikTok for a teen audience can generate more engagement and brand awareness than Instagram.
You need to test all the potential social channels for your audience and check each one’s results then you should decide which of those channels you should focus on.
Take out: Not every channel can fit all your audience segments; test each one and act accordingly.
To summarize, you don’t need a full 360 social media strategy to start seeing results from your social activities, just start by a simple plan thinking about the listed topics and I’m sure that you will start having better results.
Hope this article will be a good reference to your next social media plan and It will mean a lot to me if you can share it with anyone that you think needs this.
And remember "Expanding your digital presence is simpler than what you think".
Best of luck
co-founder & managing director