What is a social media strategy?
A social media strategy defines how your business will use social media to achieve its communications aims and company goals. It helps you determine which social media channels are right for your business, how to create the right content that resonates with your audience and how to build a valuable online presence that drives sales.
A well-executed social media strategy provides a clear direction for what you want to achieve and the steps you need to take to get there. It isn’t a detailed plan of action – you will also need a plan but without a clear social media strategy, how do you prioritise the activities for a plan to grow your business? Think strategy first, plan second.
What is the role of a social media strategy in growing your business?
Copper Square has created a guide on the benefits of a social media marketing strategy for business owners. A strategy can:
1. Build a Strong, Organic Presence
The first reason you need a social media strategy is that it will help you build a strong, organic presence online.
You will be able to plan out posts in advance and get them scheduled ahead of time. This, in turn, will help you stick to social media rule number one: posting consistently.
Failure to maintain consistency is one big reason social media accounts stop growing. Once your business starts posting regularly, you will likely see an increase in your engagement level which will help boost your posts for future engagement. It’s a cycle you can work in your favour, especially when engagement = brand awareness.
2. Save Time
The second benefit to creating and implementing a social media strategy is that it will help you save time – and who wouldn’t want more time on their hands, especially when operating all the functional aspects of a business?
Yes, getting everything together to create a content calendar and content bank is a big task at first, but batching your content and scheduling your posts for the next week or month will greatly reduce the time you spend thinking about what to post each day. You’ll now be able to spend a little more time on other tasks, and analysing what’s working.
3. Make Sure Your Goals are Covered
Having a social media strategy in place will ensure that your social media efforts are more rewarding, and are working to support your broader business goals.
Putting a strategy together based on your business goals allows you to work backwards in creating posts which reinforce them. Goals such as:
Build your brand and reputation – One of the best ways to build your brand and reputation is to create content that educates your audience and provides value. By posting educational content on social media, you can position yourself as an expert in your field and become the go-to person for your audience.
Grow your audience – The more followers you have, the more you can promote your business. By posting engaging, relevant content on social media, you can attract new followers and grow your audience.
4. Target Your Audience More Effectively
It is vital that you know who your target audience is and in doing so will help you determine
Which social media channels do they spend their time on?
What types of content do they like?
What would they like to see from your business?
There are several ways you can gain insight into your audience’s preferences, likes and habits. Part of your strategy can include audience engagement elements such as polls or open-ended questions so you can get a better handle on your audience’s pain points, and how you can provide value to solve them. By knowing your audience inside and out, you can write posts that will capture their attention and have them eagerly anticipating your next post.
5. Influence Purchasing Decisions
There are subtle differences between the role each social network plays in the purchase cycle. For example, Pinterest is a great place for people to find inspiration and works well as a visual product storyboard. Facebook is well suited to people looking to share content and find promotions.
Without a clear strategy, how do you know what role these networks can and should play in your customers’ buying cycles? How do you know you’re not losing out on potential sales, or trying to sell to people who aren’t looking to be sold to? A social media strategy allows you to explore who your ideal customer is and tailor your marketing efforts to convert into sales.
6. Stay Ahead of the Competition
A lack of social media strategy hands the advantage to your competitors. A business with a strategy has a framework through which to plan, prioritise, execute, measure and optimise. This typically will lead to better results because the activity has direction, even if the direction needs to evolve and change as the business learns from the data insights.
With no structured approach to communication and measurement, you risk wasting resources on undirected activity. Meanwhile, savvier competitors will be working smarter at engaging customers based on clear goals, objectives and targets so performance is being measured, rather than results reported. Don’t fall behind. Always aim to be ahead of your competitors, a social media strategy will help you achieve that goal.
Copper Square helps businesses navigate the complexity of social media strategy and, through data and insights, we can advise on the right blend of social media content, and how to integrate that strategy with your wider marketing goals for business growth.
Written by Ashleigh Watson, host of Belfast Circle and Social Media Consultant & Trainer. Contact Copper Square for more details on our one-to-one consultancy support.