Social media, as we know, is one of the key growth tools for many businesses in 2022. We have so many platforms to utilize, from Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, TikTok, and more. Keeping up with all your business’s social media accounts can be a daunting task, specifically, without a developed social media strategy.
We like to describe your social media strategy as a map; a map that will provide you with all directions to reach the end goal of building brand affinity. Without the use of a strategy, you probably find yourself aimlessly posting and trying to desperately come up with new content ideas to stay relevant to your followers, without seeing any results or growth in your accounts.
Unfortunately, many brands tend to overlook and underestimate the strategy that goes into creating a successful social media platform and hope to someday go inexplicably viral, which is an unrealistic goal. The best way to expect and notice growth and success within your social media accounts is to develop a strategy.
At 2XL, we believe that every business needs an effective social media strategy in place, to plan goals, and key performance indicators (KPIs), understand your target audience, find your strengths and weaknesses, track growth, and much more. In this guide, we go over the five reasons why it’s time for your brand to finally invest in a strong, professional social media strategy to drive business growth.
1. Organization and Consistency
Organization is one of the keys to success in our eyes as marketers; this is one of the reasons we love a well-planned strategy. With no declared strategy, you’re essentially creating content and coming up with ideas as you go, on the spot. There may be a vague direction you’re aiming for but no actual strategy as to how you will get there.
With a social media strategy in place, you’ll get the direction you need from understanding your target audience, to your brand voice, to the type of content you want to create, how you are creating it, where you are posting it, and how to schedule it. Depending on the type of content, we like to use scheduling tools including Hootsuite, Later and Sprout Social, which are the three tools that we recommend to clients.
Consistency in your content will not only be achieved in terms of consistent posting but also a consistent brand voice. With an established social media strategy, you’ll have decided on your brand’s voice and by planning your content ahead of time you’ll have the extra time to ensure your captions and content are both consistent with your brand’s voice and image.
Branding is a key pillar to growth, and we always take pride in creating social media strategies and executing them, to fully resonate with the brand.
2. Save Time and Be Prepared for the Unexpected
With your content planned out ahead of time, you’ll never need to worry about coming up with last-minute content ideas to post (unless there is a hot TikTok trend that you need to get on asap, of course)!
Let’s discuss why it’s important to be prepared for the unexpected. Say you have someone on your team in charge of social media, but they have unexpectedly fallen ill and are incapable of working, leaving you to have to pick up their work.
With your content already created ahead of time, all you will be responsible for is ensuring the post and stories, and any additional assets are all released on time, as well as understanding the daily engagement strategy. It’s always important to be prepared!
3. Achieve Your Goals & Focus
While creating your strategy, you’ll need to identify what your business’s goals are for social media. As an experienced agency in this space, our recommendation is to set SMART Social Media Goals. What makes a smart goal? Let’s break it down.
Specific – the more specific you are with writing down a goal, the easier it will be to see what you’re attempting to achieve clearly. For example, a specific goal is: Grow TikTok followers.
Measurable – you must know how to measure success. For example, you want to double the number of existing TikTok followers.
Attainable – it is key to have a realistic, attainable goal. For example, can you realistically double the number of your TikTok followers?
Relevant – a relevant goal must closely align with your business objectives (which you should have already established before moving on to your marketing or social media strategy). Ask yourself – does this goal support my business’s objectives, vision, or values?
Time Specific – Last but not least, give your goal a deadline! For example, I want to double my TikTok followers within one month.
Some common social media goals include:
- Increasing brand awareness
- Managing brand reputation
- Increasing traffic to your website
- Improving community engagement
- Boosting conversions or sales
- Lead generation
- Delivering customer service
- Gaining market insights with social listening
4. Understand Your Social Media Performance
Tracking performance and seeing how your social media accounts are growing is key to success. We believe that performance tracking is of the utmost importance in the digital world. With your goals in place, you’ll be able to better track the performance of your social media and truly understand if your strategy is working to achieve them.
Tracking also helps you find the missing pieces; perhaps you are growing, but you aren’t quite reaching your exact goal. With tracking properly, you can take a step back, observe, and find a new tactic to reach that goal.
Here’s an example – if your goal is to drive website visitors, but you’re only seeing engagement increase on Instagram, something may be missing. Perhaps you can establish an incentive to drive more website visitors, such as a discount on their first order, or a spin to win. Or even a social media teaser to get users to see “the latest collection” where they can visit the link in the bio to see the full collection.
Now, another valuable tactic I like to share with my users is the fact that numbers tell all. It is super important to understand the importance of data, which is why as an agency, we put a lot of time and energy into observing and understanding analytics.
Many social media tools have built-in analytical tools, and we also use Google Analytics for all our clients. Tracking numbers can show you your growth rate and can help you determine whether you’ve had an increase or decrease in certain metrics.
5. Provide Value to Your Followers
At the end of the day, with any social media channel you have as a business, it’s very important to provide value to your followers. This is where the content creation strategy comes into play, as a part of your social media strategy. You must understand what it is that your audience is looking for, and how you can give it to them by providing them with value.
For example, some types of valuable content can include:
- Sharing motivational content
- Discussing what is trending in your industry
- Sharing tips and tricks
- Educating users on industry trends
- Busting myths within your niche
Sharing content that is relatable to your target audience (including entertainment)
It’s important to create a strong social media strategy, where you provide your followers with the value and goal of building brand affinity, rather than temporary relationships. Long-term relationships with your customers mean so much more.
Now that we have discussed the top 5 reasons why your business needs a strong social media strategy, let’s get into detail about what necessary steps your business should keep in mind to have a strong social media strategy.
Here are some tips we recommend to our clients when they are making a solid social media strategy for their business.
Research Social Media Platforms That Reach Your Demographics
As we are now living in a completely modernized digital world, there are a variety of digital marketing resources available for businesses to use as marketing tools, such as social media platforms available, when used effectively.
When building your social media strategy, before you can know which platform will best benefit your business, it’s important to first analyze your demographics. Therefore, you want to figure out the most prominent social media platforms that your target audience is most active on and for what purpose.
For this step, we recommend that you thoroughly study each social media platform to understand the beneficial features that each platform has to offer for your specific business and brand awareness. This process will help your business reach a decision when analyzing which social platform will help you build a strong social media strategy and reputation. Through your research, you will also be informed about what kind of content works best for each platform.
Further into your research, you start to realize that certain social media platforms work more effectively for some businesses than others. Therefore, your research will also help you analyze what social media platforms and user-generated content have or haven’t been working for your competition.
For example, a fashion company may want to utilize TikTok’s and Instagram Reels, as they are known to attract more of a younger audience when compared to Facebook; therefore, you would want to focus more on those platforms.
We recommend using the trial-and-error method during this step to help narrow out your platform options to ensure you are utilizing the most efficient social platform for your business.
Once you have made attempts to test out some of your user-generated content on the selected social media platforms of your choice, the trial-and-error method will let you analyze whether that user-generated content is working well with your demographics or not.
You’ll know when your content is doing well when you notice a high number of viewers, engagement, and click-to-action within your targeted demographics.
Use A Catchy Social Handle
A social handle is another term for a creative and unique username that you must have for each social media account that represents your business. When figuring out your social handle is to ensure that your handle is consistent across all your social media platforms for your business; furthermore, the handles should either be the same or like each other so your audience can easily find you when searching for your brand or business on different social platforms.
Therefore, it’s important to remember to keep your social handle short, simple, and catchy to make your brand and social media platforms easily accessible to your audience or potential consumers. Furthermore, when identifying your social handle, there shouldn’t be any spaces in between words, instead, use periods or underscores to help separate words.
Set Realistic Goals and Regulations
When building a strong social media strategy for a business, it can get very overwhelming, very fast, hence it’s important to set realistic social media goals and regulations that will help improve brand awareness and social media reputation.
When building a strong social media strategy, setting realistic goals and regulations directs businesses to meet specific expectations at a certain time. Some examples of realistic goals that you should include in your social media strategy may be managing your workload, creating, and posting creative, gathering unique user-generated content, researching SEO marketing, and more.
Setting a deadline for each goal and regulation will allow you to test out your goals and then analyze each goal to help you distinguish whether that goal has benefited your brand awareness or harmed it.
Therefore, be sure to neatly write out your social media goals and regulations for each social platform that you may have, as you will always refer to them when you need further guidance or want to make any accommodations.
Distinguish Your Social Platforms Tone & Style
A strong social media strategy includes spending enough time designing the tone and style of each social media platform you have set up for your business. During this step, we remind our clients that the tone and style they choose for their social platforms is what will help their audience and potential customer differentiate and distinguish their brand from others.
People love to see a brand that stays consistent with its style and aesthetics; therefore, if your desired tones and styles are working well for your business, then it’s important to keep it recognizable for your audience and potential customers.
During the process of building your strong social media strategy, give yourself enough time to be able to distinguish all the important factors that make up a brand’s tone and style.
The tone and style that you choose for your platforms will be representing your brand voice and awareness; therefore, it’s important to keep your designs consistent throughout all your social media platforms. A few features of your tone and style that we recommend you keep consistent throughout all platforms are colour palettes, fonts, and logos.
Start To Make High-Quality & Engaging Content
Embrace your creativity! This is your opportunity to be creative and have fun when gathering content and creating your content strategy for social media platforms.
One example of a great form of content is user-generated content, which is original and unique content that you gather directly from your consumers through reviews, engagement, feedback and more. When making user-generated content, it’s important to remember that you will be representing yourself and your brand through the content that you gather for your social platforms.
Therefore, we recommend ensuring that all your user-generated content stays consistent and relevant to your brand. The content you share on your social media platforms is how your audience or potential customers will distinguish your business from others, so remember to include this necessary step in your social media strategy!
You want to make sure that the content you put on social platforms is original and high-quality content. Here are a few important points to incorporate into your content:
- Make sure to use high-grade equipment instead of just a phone when gathering pictures or video content to share on social platforms
- Use effective photo editing apps to help enhance the quality of the content by adjusting the lighting
- Utilize relevant influencers on social media who can help improve your viewer engagement, sales, and brand awareness across multiple social media platforms.
Create & Schedule Monthly Content Calendars
Social media is now commonly used by many brands. Behind every strong social media strategy is a detailed monthly content calendar. Utilizing a content calendar has been very effective in helping many businesses stay on top of the activity happening within their social media channels.
When creating your monthly content calendar, you want to ensure that you are spending quality time on building the calendar because it’s important that your content calendar be detailed, well written and organized when ready to use!
For your content calendar, you would want to include all the dates that you will be posting content on your social platforms, along with incorporating the content that you gathered, a relative caption and hashtags for each post.
Once you have organized and implemented the content you want to share and reviewed your calendar, you are now ready to schedule your posts. However, before scheduling your posts, we always recommend that you use Grammarly to ensure that the information on the content calendars is neatly written and mistake-free!
There are many digital tools available for you to use that can help you organize and manually pre-schedule all your posts for the month. Therefore, it would be helpful for businesses to use these digital scheduling tools available to allow them to help them stay organized and consistent with their social media strategy, meet marketing goals and regulations, and improve audience engagement on all social media platforms.
A few examples of some scheduling tools that we recommend to our clients for scheduling their content calendar are Hootsuite, Later, Sprout Social, or Meta Business Manager Suite for social platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Analyze Your Social Media Presence
Finally, you can take a step back! At our digital agency, we explain to all our clients how important it is to review your monthly analytical reports to examine how all your social media platforms are performing. An analytical report allows you to look at your overall performance by tracking the number of viewers, engagement, and sales your social channels are receiving.
Many social channels, like Facebook, TikTok, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google Analytics, now offer automatic analytical reports that organize and narrow down the analytical numbers that you can refer to when analyzing your monthly performance and to help improve your overall business and brand awareness.
Referring to Step 3 of creating a strong social media strategy mentioned earlier, analyzing your social media presence allows you to make the necessary adjustments to your goals and regulations that were set at the beginning of your social media strategy.
Therefore, we always mention that it would be helpful for your business to make a monthly analytical report where you can neatly write out, organize, and analyze your overall social media performance. Furthermore, it’s helpful to seek continuous motivation that will benefit you to stay on top of what your audience is currently engaging with on social media.