How to Create a Social Media Strategy in 7 Steps (Updated for 2021)

Research shows that 84% of consumers will buy from a brand they follow on social media over a competitor. Do you have a social media strategy?

According to Hootsuite a social media strategy, or social media marketing strategy (or plan), is a “summary of everything you plan to do and hope to achieve on social media.” From choosing the best social media platform to figuring out what type of content to post, creating a social media strategy that aligns with your small business’ objectives can be overwhelming. 

But having a thorough social media strategy can yield your business wonderful results. In this guide, I’ll walk you through the steps to creating a social media strategy in 2021. 

Defining Your Ultimate Social Media Goal

The first step in creating a social media strategy is defining your ultimate social media goal. Your ultimate social media goal should be aligned with the objectives of your business. What do you want out of social media? Most marketers choose these social media goals for their social media strategy:

  • Generating leads and sales 
  • Increasing brand awareness
  • Growing an audience
  • Building community engagement
  • Increase website traffic

Research your target audience

The second step in creating your social media strategy is to research your target audience. Learning where your target audience spends their time online will help you choose the best social media platform for your business. Some factors you will want to consider about your target audience includes:

  • Demographic data such as age, gender, and marital status
  • Psychographic data such as values, motives, and influences
  • Behavioral data such as use case, intent, and existing knowledge

Do you want to know how to use this information for even more than social media strategy? Sign up below and receive an invite to our upcoming marketing bootcamps.

Study your competition

The third step in creating a social media strategy is to study your competition. It is good practice to complete a competitive analysis for competitors on each social media platform. Having a small business, it is important to learn what is already working and what needs improvement from your competitors to best maximize your own social media strategy.

Determine your purpose for each platform

The fourth step in creating a social media strategy is to determine the purpose for each social media platform your small business will use. There are unique functions and capabilities of each social media platform. For example, most users on Instagram use the platform to get inspired, find and explore interests, share passions and create connections. So your purpose for Instagram may be to grow an audience.

Your small business’ purpose for each social media platform doesn’t need to be anything elaborate and detailed. The purpose should be a one sentence statement that defines why you exist on that platform. 

Knowing why you exist on the platform will help you determine realistic key performance indicators and what type of content to create for your audience.

Setting marketing goals (key performance indicators)

The fifth step in creating a social media strategy is setting marketing goals. Establishing key performance indicators allows you to track the progress of your social media campaigns and determine what is and is not working for your small business on the chosen social media platform(s). 

Your key performance indicators will be determined by your ultimate social media goal. For example, if your ultimate social media goal is to increase the size of your audience, an important key performance indicator will be the number of followers your profiles have. 

When setting marketing goals, be sure to make sure that the goals are SMART for your small business. SMART goals meals that the key performance indicators for your small business are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

Create a content plan

The sixth step in creating a social media strategy is to create a content plan. Your content plan should accurately reflect the ultimate social media goal for your small business. When creating your social media plan, you will need to consider these factors:

  • The type of content your audience enjoys and responds well to
  • The voice of your brand so your audience connects with you
  • The type content that gets the most attention from your competitors
  • The time when you audience is most active

No matter what your ultimate social media goal is, keep in mind when planning your content that brands get the best results when they focus on selling just 10% of the time.

Audit your social media accounts

The seventh and final step to creating a complete social media strategy is to audit your social media accounts. Be sure that you are tracking the following:

  • What is and is not bringing results?
  • Who are your social media profiles attracting?
  • And, any other factors that relate to your ultimate social media goal

While auditing your social media accounts is not actually part of creating an initial strategy, it is imperative for long term success with your social media strategy. Social media audits can tell you exactly what and when to adjust your content to better meet your key performance indicators and ultimately your social media strategy’s goal.

Need Help Creating Your Social Media Strategy?

Let’s work on your social media marketing strategy during one of our marketing consulting sessions when you apply to work with me 1-on-1. When we work on your social media marketing strategy together you will receive a full social media audit and your social media marketing plan of action with ongoing consults.

You will also walk away with full marketing strategy and guidance through implementing your marketing strategy every step of the way.

Click here to apply to work with me 1-on-1.

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