February 2, 2022

How to Create a Social Media Strategy

By: Shelby Dias

Does it really make sense for your business to have a Snapchat? If you are setting up social media accounts only because you think you are supposed to, you should press pause. First, you should develop a social media strategy for your business.

As you consider social media for your business, think about why you’re doing it. Consider who you are trying to reach and where you would be posting. Define what content you want to share, and when you want to share it.

Define Your Objectives

The reason you use social media should be to facilitate your business goals. If you are trying to grow your business, social media can build brand awareness. If you are trying to turn existing customers into advocates, curating engaging content can help. Your social media management facilitates your goals to drive leads and sales. Also, it can support your customer retention efforts.

Some objectives of your social media plan might be to:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Drive traffic to your website
  • Reach a larger audience to sell your product or service
  • Generate new leads
  • Cultivate customer loyalty
  • Measure how people feel about your business
  • Provide another avenue for customer service

Your social media content plan will be most effective when you define why you are doing it. We recommend tying your social media objectives to your overall business objectives. This helps you make informed choices about strategy.

Specify Your Target Audience

Identifying your target audience will help inform what you post, as well as where and how often you post. For example, a real estate agent targeting first-time homebuyers might share photos of happy clients after closing. However, this content may not make sense for a real estate agent specializing in commercial properties. The target audience is different.

You can get highly specific when it comes to identifying your target audience. We’ve assisted some of our clients in creating a customer profile, which is a fictional representation of your audience. This fictional profile has a name, demographic details, interests, and behavioral traits.

The purpose of a customer profile is to help you keep the focus of your social media marketing on your customer. Your target audience is made up of individuals with specific goals, pain points, and buying patterns. If you create content that speaks to them, it will be more effective.

Things to consider while defining your target audience:

  • Demographics like age, gender, job title, income, location, etc.
  • Things they are interested in
  • Which social networks they would use
  • When they would engage with your content
  • What type of content they would prefer

You should use your customer profile (and your objectives) every time you make a decision regarding your social media strategy.

Choose Where to Post

Your social media strategy can include several platforms or just one. The important thing to remember is where your target audience is. So, not every business needs a Snapchat or Tiktok account because their audience might not be there.

Different social platforms attract different audiences. It’s possible that your target audience uses multiple platforms. In that case, you should think about what interests them or what they engage with on each platform and whether you can offer that.

For example, a LinkedIn user would expect to see educational, in-depth content and an Instagram user would expect dynamic visual content. An accounting firm may choose to curate content for LinkedIn, even if their target audience uses both platforms.

Demographics by Platform

To help you choose the appropriate platform for your business, we’ve highlighted some key demographic information. The following platforms are ordered by their number of monthly active users:

  • Facebook: In 2021, Facebook had 2.91 billion monthly active users, making it the most popular platform. The largest user age group is 25-34, but Facebook usage among seniors nearly doubled from 2012 to 2019. If your target audience is older, this may be a good place to reach them.
  • Youtube: This is the second most popular platform when it comes to monthly users. More than 70% of internet users in the U.S. use Youtube. Also, ad revenue on this platform continues to climb year over year. If your team has the resources to create video content, you may want to include this platform in your social media plan.
  • Instagram: In 2021, more women used Instagram (56%) than men (43%). Although the largest age group on this platform is 25-34, it’s still one of the top three platforms preferred by teens — behind Snapchat and Tiktok. If your target audience is younger, this may be a good place to promote your brand.
  • Tiktok: On average, users spend more time on Tiktok monthly than on any other platform. Female users between the ages of 10 and 19 make up the largest demographic. Also important to note, favorable views of this platform decrease with age.
  • Snapchat: Seventy-five percent of Snapchat users are younger than 34. It’s the preferred platform for teens, and a great place to spot trends for your younger audiences.
  • Pinterest: If your social media objectives include selling more products to women, Pinterest would be a strong choice. Female users accounted for 78% of active app user accounts. In 2021, 38% of users were ages 50-64 and 34% of users were ages 30-49.
  • Twitter: If your average customer is a high earner, you may want a Twitter account. According to the Pew Research Center, Twitter users tend to be younger and to have more education and higher incomes than U.S. adults overall. These users are more news-focused and more likely to identify as Democrats.
  • LinkedIn: This platform has more than 750 million users and is rated the number one platform for B2B lead generation. The majority of users are aged 46-55.

Find Inspiration for What to Post

At this point, you’ve established why you’re posting, who you’re posting for, and where you’re posting. Now, you can decide what to post. You should aim for engaging, memorable content. This should be easier to create when you understand your audience and what they’re looking for on any platform.

While you are determining what to post, you can check out your competition. Take the time to see what they are doing well (and not so well). It’s possible they’re focused on a single platform and your audience is underserved on another. Pay attention to the type of content they are sharing and how it’s performing. You have the opportunity to learn from them, adapt and do better.

Social Media Content Ideas

  • Give your audience a peek behind the curtain. You can use stories or timed content to show a more human, behind-the-scenes look of your business. For example, let an employee “take over” your stories for a day and share more about their role.
  • Establish your authority on a subject. You can use short-form video (like stories, Instagram Reels, or Tiktok) to answer FAQs or create explainer videos about your products. You could go Live for a Q&A about a new product, upcoming event, etc.
  • Share success stories. By highlighting testimonials or case studies, you draw attention to the benefits of your product or service. For example, a dental office might frequently post photos of their smiling patients or share before and after pictures.

A large chunk of your social content should inform, educate, or entertain your audience. The remaining portion can be used to explicitly promote your brand, direct to your website, collect leads, etc.

We recommend you brainstorm all the different types of posts you could include in your content plan. Don’t forget to include the resources you already have handy. For example, a dance studio may have a team member who films rehearsals. Or, a plastic surgeon may have before and after pictures of patients. Your business may have some untapped resources for your social media posting.

When You Should Post (And How Often)

There are days and times when more people use social media. However, there’s not a universal best time to post. Your audience may engage at different times. You should experiment with the days and times of your posts to see which times lead to more engagement. We recommend starting with weekday posts in the 9 am to 1 pm window.

How often you post depends on your business and your resources. Because of the algorithms on different platforms, it’s unlikely that you’ll overwhelm your audience with content even if you post every day (or more). And you may struggle to reach them organically if you post too little.

We recommend posting at least 3-5 times a week on any account. You should consider the time you have to devote to the task and set a schedule that you can maintain.

Measure Your Performance

Remember to set specific and measurable goals for your social media objectives. If you measure your performance, you can adjust and improve your social media content plan over time.

Here are some examples of how you might measure certain objectives:

  • Increase brand awareness: Measure your followers and shares
  • Drive traffic to your website: Measure your website traffic from social media platforms
  • Generate new leads: Measure all clicks and signups
  • Cultivate customer loyalty: Measure engagement such as likes, comments, and mentions
  • Measure how people feel about your business: Monitor your reviews

Complement Your Posts With Ads

Your organic posts and ads work together to implement your social media strategy. If you’re ready to leverage social media to meet your business objectives, let’s chat. Our team can develop ads that complement your posting strategy.

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The world of advertising and marketing is always changing. From social media use to psychological messaging, every day there are new questions. We cover everything from the simple questions to the deep and complicated ones.

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