23.01.2024 - Social Media

How to Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy [with Template]

Want to be the talk of your industry? A social media marketing strategy is one way to get tongues wagging online. But with so many channels out there, resources you’ll require and your own goals to work out, spreading your business’ name across the internet can seem like a challenge. 

The good news is it doesn’t have to be. There are all sorts of tips, tricks, and resources out there to super charge your social activity with. And that’s exactly what we’ll do here. Below, you’ll learn about why a social media strategy matters, what to know before you start crafting one, and some top tips on how to create a social media marketing strategy.

Let’s get started…

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Why a social media strategy is important

A social media strategy is so vital because it lays out everything – your goals, methods, audience info, and results – so, that everything you post stays consistent and on brand.

Without one, you run the risk of publishing content that doesn’t speak to the audience’s interests or your own values. And with an approach like that, your goals are only going to get further and further away from you.

There’s no shortage of reasons why a social media strategy is so important, here are some of the biggest:

  • You’ll build a strong presence online
  • You’ll increase brand awareness
  • You’ll boost leads and sales
  • You’ll get more website traffic
  • You’ll be able to improve customer service
  • You’ll give yourself the competitive advantage
  • You’ll learn more about your customers

Things to consider before creating your social media strategy

You might be full of ideas to turn your business into a social media machine. But before you let the excitement levels get out of hand, there’s a few things you’ll want to keep in mind.

Know your audience

The more you know about your audience, the more you’ll be able to create content they’ll gravitate to. Dig into your demographics by looking at things like their age, occupation, income, interests, and pain points so you can shape your message around these insights. We’ll show you how to go about doing that right here, too.

Know your brand and product

Think about the values your brand is committed to. How do these shape the way you want your brand to be perceived? And what effect will this have on your messaging across your social channels?

Whether it’s light-hearted, informal, serious or any number of different traits that fit you, the work investigating what makes your brand tick will have a big part to play in how you want to come across online.

Think about channel usage

Here’s where the research into your audience will come in useful once more. Instead of picking your social channels at random, the insights you unlocked will be able to guide you towards the right ones. An older audience will be more at home on Facebook. Younger audiences, on the other hand, might flock to TikTok if they want to follow a brand on social. Don’t make it a guessing game – use your research to your advantage.

How to create a social media strategy

Now you’re ready to start creating the social media strategy itself. Here’s what you’ll want to do…

Setting objectives

The first step of your strategy should start with the goals. Obviously, every business will have their own different objectives. But the most important thing to remember is that your social goals match up to the broader goals of your organisation. This way, everyone’s pursuing the same things and contributing to the overall success of the business.

Refining audience needs

Drilling down into your audience research in more detail is well worth doing. Notice any similarities across certain portions of your audience? Great! It’s a good idea to segment these into specific demographics.

Maybe one section shares the same hobby, or another section demonstrates certain patterns in their purchases? By exploring this, you’ll be able to identify how far up the funnel they are, and then create targeted messaging to nudge them further towards that all-important purchase.

Competitor analysis

Looking at what your competition is doing across their own social channels can be a great source of inspiration. Cast an eye over what they’re doing, and you’ll be able to see what’s working for them – as well as what isn’t.

And it’s here that fresh opportunities will make themselves known. Let’s say a major rival has a big Facebook presence, but their Instagram is lacking. Now’s your chance to make a name for yourself on this channel and grab yourself a good chunk of followers on a channel not currently serving your audience.

Map out channel usage

By now, you’ll know which channels you want to make use of. Now you’ll want to know what you’re going to use them for. You might decide to use Instagram for more visual content, product demonstrations and action shots. Facebook might be the place to publish blogs and news articles about your brand.

Or if you’re a B2B company then you might centre your strategy around LinkedIn instead, using the channel as a way to engage with others in your industry and position yourself as a real authority.  

Establish content pillars

Your content ideas will take shape even more when you identify your content pillars. Basically, these are the key themes you’ll want to focus on and communicate to your audience. They also help you to stick to your business’ goals too, and let you stay organised when it comes to your content calendar too (more on this next).

Of course, these pillars – and the content holding them up – will differ depending on your business. A health and beauty brand might choose inspirational content as one of their pillars, posting self-care advice to its followers. A law firm, meanwhile, might opt for promotional content in the form of client testimonials to get its name out there.

Plan your activity

By now, you’ll be getting the gist of something underpinning this entire article: you can’t do things slap-dash where social media is concerned. A social media content calendar, then, makes sure you never end up resorting to the ad-hoc approach.

Mapping out the what and when of your activity creates a steady stream of quality content that’s spaced out throughout the week, and posted at the right times for maximum impact. And with a social media scheduling tool to put everything online automatically, it’ll free you and your team up to focus on other tasks that require more of your attention.

Track your performance

You won’t know how successful your posts are unless you start tracking your performance – so make sure you’re putting time aside to track it! Analysing results lets you know what didn’t work so well, and what worked better than expected, so you can make the right adjustments to your strategy.

Each social channel features its own analytics tools to help you do this, letting you look at where your traffic’s coming from and going to, identify any topic trends, and see which keywords are drumming up the most interest.

Download our social media strategy template

We hope all of that has been a big help.

Ready to get started on your own strategy? We’ve got you covered with that too, thanks to our downloadable social media strategy template.

Enter your details below and we’ll send over a template for you to fill in with your goals, activity, audience info and everything else to make sure your social game stays as powerful as possible.

Want to take your brand to social but don’t have the resource to get you there? Our branding team can work with you on a social strategy that gets you closer to your goals. Head here for more information or give us a call on 0345 459 0558.