Less than 50% of Alberta businesses use social media. This blog is designed to walk you through my process for developing a social media strategy that gets results.
First, you need to have a clear idea of your objectives. Specifically, your business objectives; why are you in business? For many businesses this is simple: make money. If you’re a not-for-profit, it’s slightly different (but you’re probably still focused on getting donations and signing up volunteers.) You may exist to build awareness and fundraise but in either case, you must know your business objective to build an effective social media and digital marketing strategy.The Social Media programs I offer stand out from others in the industry because they’re based on a foundation of solid marketing, communications and advertising practices. And they’re a combination of social media and digital marketing (social channels + web.) A strong strategy includes a mix of earned, paid, rented and owned.
Step-By-Step Social Media Strategy + Digital Marketing
Step One: When I work with businesses, we go through what I call a Strategic Analysis. We look at your business objectives and existing communications, marketing, advertising online and offline. This helps set the foundation for a solid social media and digital marketing strategy. [Learn How To Determine Business Objectives]
Step Two: Once we understand your business objectives, the next step in social media strategy is understanding your goals for social media and digital. It can be anything from increasing traffic to your website, building a mailing list to customer insights and generating leads. It’s important to remember that your goals should be SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.) [Learn How To Set Social Media Goals]
Step Three: Know your audience. You must know exactly who your audience is. How old are they? What gender? Where do they live? What are their interests? Which social channels are they most likely to use? Which websites? How often are they online and when? Knowing your audience is a critical step in the planning because without it, you won’t know where or how to reach them. [Learn Which Social Media Sites Your Audience Lives On]
Step Four: Do you know your current social media and digital footprint? If you’re already using social media, we will take a look (audit) and evaluate how well it’s working. An audit involves looking at your social media channels and reviewing how active your business is, the engagement level of your audience, the sentiment (do they like what you’re sharing?) and of course, whether any of this is supporting your business objectives. Completing an audit helps you determine a baseline for your social + digital strategy. [Learn How To Perform A Social Media Audit]
Step Five: Completing a Competitor Analysis can give you a tremendous amount of insight. They help businesses set benchmarks, as well as understanding of how they’re stacking up online. However, if you don’t have the time or resources to perform one, just peel it back to the basics. [Learn How To Perform A Competitive Analysis]
Step Six: Create an editorial calendar that encompasses the themes you want to cover for your business over the course of a month, quarter or year (you decide based on what works best for your business!) The editorial calendar defines the content you will either produce or curate (video, photos, vlogs, blogs, white papers, quizzes etc.) It also determines the day of the week and the time of the day you will post content to your social channels and website. This is an important part of the process because you need to make sure you’re offering value to your audience. [Example Editorial/Content Calendar]
Step Seven: Track and Analyze. How do you know if it’s working if you’re not tracking? There is no way of knowing whether your strategy is successful if you’re not tracking progress against goals and objectives. Many businesses forget or completely overlook this critical step.
A social media strategy is meant to be used as the framework for your online marketing efforts. Remember that the online world changes and your strategy must evolve and change with it. To learn more about how to develop your own social media strategy or get help, please get in touch.
What is a social media competitive analysis and why does my small business need one?
How should businesses create a plan for social media and how will they track their success?
Social media training: where to start
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