2018 was a whirlwind of change across social media platforms. Facebook’s algorithm changes and privacy concerns pushed the company into controversy. Instagram transformed from a picture sharing platform to a business tool by rolling out its business features. It also crossed the 1 billion user mark. Brands got bolder, louder, and even controversial. Customers demanded that brands get real and conscious about their launches.
Combine all this with the predicted trends for 2019 can leave any social marketer feeling paralysed. What direction should you move towards?
However, the bigger question is do you even have a strategy. A social media strategy can push your brand to the frontlines. This blog will explain how you can create a plan for 2019.
Step 1: Create goals that align with your business goals
It’s the obvious first step, isn’t it? If you don’t understand the objective and goals of your business you won’t be able to create an effective strategy. You need goals to measure your return on investment (ROI). However, before you sit down to create goals make sure that they are:
Setting S.M.A.R.T goals will ensure that your actions lead to real business results.
Step 2: Understand your audience
Understanding and knowing your ideal customer is the ideal way to turn social media followers into customers. Why? When you know your customer, you will understand the kind of content they like, share, and comment on. This will help you create content that your customer wants to engage with.
Therefore, the first step is to create a buyers persona. Once you have that the next step is to Utilize social media analytics to gain further understanding. These analytic tools will help you gain information like who your followers are, where they live, the languages they speak, and how they engage with your brand online.
These insights will help you run ads that are better targeted towards your target audience.
Step 3: Choose Your Social Media Platform
Every single social media platform is designed for a different kind of audience and therefore must consist of different types of communication. Don’t have assumptions without any real data backing up your claim.
You may think your business needs to be on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. However, if you are a beauty brand, is LinkedIn really needed? Maybe Snapchat will be far more useful for your beauty brand than LinkedIn. Choosing your social media platform will ensure that you don’t waste valuable time and money on social platforms that won’t give you a good ROI.
Step 4: Create A Content Plan
Now that you have done the preliminary research, it’s time to create a content plan. The first thing you need to do is create a posting schedule. Your posting schedule must consist of the content, date, and time at which you will publish something on a particular channel. Your communication and time at which you post on Facebook might be vastly different from LinkedIn. Your content plan is a great place to collate all the information you need before posting on a platform.
The next step is to mix your content. For example, you may decide based on your goals that:
50% of your posts will drive traffic to your website
20% of your posts will be curated from the web
20% of your posts will help you reach your goals (lead generation, sales, etc)
10% of your posts will be about company culture.
Alternatively, you can also stick to the 10-20 rule:
80% of your content will entertain and educate your audience
20% of your content will promote your brand
Finally, when you have your content ready, use a scheduling tool to bulk schedule your posts.
Step 5: Monitor. Analyse. Optimize. Repeat.
The key to a successful social strategy is optimization. The social space changes very often and it’s important that your social media strategy does too. How do you go about doing that?
Monitoring and analysing your social networks is step one. As you start tracking your results, you will gain a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t. Contrary to what you may think, monitoring your posts open ups a host of opportunities for you to experiment. You can test different posts, campaigns, and strategies against each other and optimize your plan to lead to better results.
At the end of the day, the only thing that stays constant is change. Your social media plan and strategy must constantly evolve according to the industry and trends.