How to prepare an effective strategy for social media?
The following words are associated with the concept of strategy: goal, problem, action, resources, coordination, decision.
Objective. Most companies have a vision and mission that sets goals. The problem is that they are not real, only wishful. They tell others what we would like to be, not where the strategy will lead us. For example, the university has the mission of “being the most recognizable university in the country and its graduates will easily find employment in managerial positions”. Uhm … maybe fries for that? Sounds proud, but such a mission has every university in the country, because each of them wants to be the best. This is a wish and not a realistic strategic goal to be achieved.
Problem. Usually, something prevents you from achieving your goal. It may be low brand / product / service recognition, lack of funds for development, too high production costs, poor sales department or a thousand other things. Identifying the problem is, in my opinion, the most important phase in developing a strategy. We can have a huge machine that doesn’t work. In panic, we replace the next elements, losing time and resources, when it turns out that somewhere one screw has become tangled – the cause of the problem.
Actions. To achieve the goal, we must take specific action. Of course, they are aimed at eliminating problems. The selection of appropriate tools and actions is one of the easiest elements of the strategy – provided that we have unlimited resources.
Resources. They are always few. This limitation forces us to think creatively. How to put what we have in action so that it is enough to solve the problem? You have to start thinking “out of the box”, that is, use the same resources for two different actions, or prioritize problem solving so that solving one reduces the resources needed to solve the next. Two more things are connected with resources and activities in the strategy, namely decisions and coordination.
Decisions. Usually we don’t have the comfort of resources to solve all the problems immediately. Many global companies make tough decisions to abandon some of their operations. Thanks to this, they can direct more resources to another place, to a different activity and problem. No sentiments can influence our decisions. Everything must have a solid business foundation, be calculated for PLN. I know two proverbs that illustrate this passage well:
“If something is for everything, it is for nothing”
“Better to be the best baker in town than the worst lawyer”
Coordination. Timing is always the most important thing, as is the ability to simultaneously manage and monitor. Thanks to this, we gain a chance for even greater savings. However, this requires us to have advanced prediction skills, thanks to which we are prepared for upcoming events.
From the elements described above, I have created my own definition of marketing strategy:
“Strategy is actions aimed at achieving a specific goal by solving problems thanks to decisions using available resources in a coordinated manner”
A good social media strategy cannot be detached from the whole communication plan of the company. It should be an integral part of it and arouse the interest of those users you care about thanks to engaging content, properly adapted to each of the social channels.
For this to happen, it must be based on reliable analysis based on hard data and knowledge of changing trends, as well as the expectations and needs of recipients. It may sound like a complicated process, but in reality it doesn’t have to be.
Define your goals, target group and the most important message
You can use social media to build and increase brand awareness, or create an engaged community around it. You can also treat them as contact channels and support for your customers, or platforms on which you promote your products and services striving to increase sales.
There can be many reasons and purposes for their use. Remember that your goals must be specific, realistic, time-limited and measurable.
- increasing sales by X% in a specified time,
- getting a certain number of leads,
- increasing engagement on your social media profiles,
- increased conversion, website traffic, online store sales, etc.
Think about what goals are most important to your business.
Let’s assume that you run a small business, e.g. an e-commerce fashion boutique brand – you have your own online store and want to use the potential of social media to increase sales.
In such – and any other – situation, presence on social media should be treated as a long-term project. Before you start planning your strategy, you need to answer some basic questions:
Who are your potential recipients, what is your target group?
Do you want to target your content to all potential buyers or only to a specific segment? How do you define them?
Who is your most desirable, perfect customer?
Who are your current recipients? What is their profile?
Who are your existing customers?
What is your key message? What do you really want to tell your recipients? What do you want them to remember when they come across your messages, posts, messages?
Of course, on the Internet you can find much more detailed questionnaires to help build strategies for social media activities. However, the answers to the above questions are a good start and actually sufficient. A well thought-out action plan must first of all take into account the definition of goals, target groups and the main message.
Specifying recipients allows the right selection of content. These are the two most important ingredients that should form a logical whole. Another element is the indication of specific forms of activity – that is, the selection of appropriate social platforms that can give the best results, determining the optimal time to publish content, the selection of forms and types of messages and tools. We will come back to this later in the article.
Which social channels should you choose?
Another thing you need to think about when creating your strategy is the choice of specific platforms. How to do it? First of all, find out where your potential recipients are, which networks are used most often. It is equally important to recognize development opportunities, differentiation of activities and data analysis, which are given by individual platforms. Without proper analysis and regular monitoring of statistics, it may not be possible to measure the effectiveness of your activities.
Let’s return to our example of a boutique fashion brand. You sell clothes, shoes or other fashion accessories. Social media gives you wide opportunities to present your offer. The broadly understood fashion industry sees the greatest potential on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook (because – “everyone is here”).
HOW TO PREPARE AN EFFECTIVE STRATEGY FOR SOCIAL MEDIA?