Game Plan: How to create a successful social media strategy

Checking your tyres, packing the bags or mapping out your route – setting out on a long journey always requires some careful preparation. Whether you’re off on a round-the-world trip or you’re setting out on a social media campaign, planning ahead can make all the difference. If you’d rather things be all plain sailing, you’re going to need a social media strategy. To help you out, we’ve got together a guide for creating the perfect social media strategy.

Come up with goals

First things first, you need to know where you’re going. Coming up with some goals and objectives for your social media platforms supplies your brand with a defined, concrete direction. These goals will also give you the ability to gauge your successes and failures and shape your route forward in the future.

Whether your goals are relating to brand awareness, driving traffic or returning investment, keep your objectives achievable.

Right people, right message

To put it bluntly – if you’re not targeting the right audience with the right message, your whole social strategy will go down like a lead balloon. Each action you take on your platform should be part of a wider marketing strategy, so focusing on your audience is crucial to your success. Audience segmentation can help you discover the needs and wants of specific customer groups associated with your brand. This allows you to tailor your social strategy to whatever your audience desires. If you can seek out your audience and find an appropriate message, you’ve done half the job already.

Pick the right channels

While you should be at least visible on all the major social media platforms, there’s no point putting all your time into Facebook when your audience is more prominent on Instagram. Do some market research and find out which platform will be most effective. While each platform should be treated differently, threading together your content through cross platform promotion is also vital for improving your reach.

Study the competition

Thankfully, your competition is trying out all sorts of content formulas for you right now. Do some studying of rival brand social accounts and look for which of their posts work and which don’t. This can give you a strong foundation to bounce from at the beginning and sets aside some of the teething issues that might rattle about at the start of your campaigns.

Content plan

Finally, a distinctive, coherent and expansive content plan will do wonders for your social media strategy. The further back you can start planning, the more chance you have of reaching your goals. You can use a social planning site, such as Hootsuite, to schedule out your content well in advance too. Mixing things up with your plan is crucial to finding a diverse balance, so make sure you’re spacing out different types of content. We’d also recommend leaving some place for spontaneous, up-to-date content. The viral waves on platforms such as twitter rise and fall very quickly and they can be all too easy to miss.

Knowing which way you’re heading, finding the right tone and planning out in advance should all be crucial aspects of your social media strategy. If you can nail our five tips, you’ll be getting to your brand’s destination without a bump in the road.

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