A social media strategy template will save you time and get you started on the right foot.
Social media might seem like a crowded arena to try and make your voice heard, but with the right tips and tools, businesses can develop a unique brand that will help them to gain a devoted social media base, and reach thousands of potential new customers. That’s where the social media strategy template can help!
At Matrix Marketing Group, we’ve watched and learned from the organization’s mistakes as social media marketing hit its stride. The digital distress stemming from quick social media growth has allowed us to lay out a social media strategy template that provides the steps for success. We’ve been offering social media marketing services since 2002.
Developing and maintaining a successful social media presence isnít an easy task for any business.
However, the significance of social media in the day to day lives of people means that the time and energy you spend developing your social media presence will be a valuable investment into the success of your business.
Many companies struggle to produce quality leads to social platforms, and it is because they don’t follow a tried-and-true social media strategy template. When an action results in success they have no ability to track it back to why the action was a success.
The potential reach of social media marketing cannot be stressed enough. A Pew Research Center study found that as of 2016, nearly 68% of all Americans as Facebook users, 28% use Instagram, 26% use Pinterest, 25% use LinkedIn, and 21% use Twitter.
While the scope of social media usage is astonishing, it takes patience and skill to be able to tap into this valuable resource effectively.
Exploring further, a 2016 industry report by Social Media Examiner found that 90% of marketers consider social media marketing essential to their business.
However,†a 2017 report by Wasp Barcode on the state of small businesses found that only 33% of small businesses use social media and only 32% of small businesses use social media marketing to communicate with customers and respond to consumer feedback.
So where is the disconnect? Again, it’s in the lack of follow-through. Organizations aren’t using a pattern for success, as a social media strategy template.
Businesses understand the importance of social media, but not enough of them understand that social media is a tool that needs to be used consistently.
Social media is more than just a platform to promote your brand. It is important to view social media marketing as a strategy to engage an audience in an active, and non-intrusive engagement.
Used properly, social media can accelerate a trend in which buyers can increasingly approximate the experience of buying in their local, physical communities.90% of marketers consider social media marketing essential to their business. Click To Tweet
This accomplishes four things for a business: (1) Connects existing customers with prospects; (2) Connects prospects with each other; (3) Connects a company with customers/prospects to solidify loyalty; and (4) Connects customers with customers to improve product adoption, and satisfaction.
Here is the 11 step process for your proven social media strategy template
1. Make a daily social media checklist
Itís important to put a plan in place that will direct your social media marketing efforts before you get started. Social media is a broad term for many different types of platforms that each has its own distinct feel and character.
Your business needs to decide which social media channels would suit your marketing strategy best. Which platform is best for your brand will hinge on the creation of buyer personas and ideal customer profiles.
In addition, identifying your goals before you get started can help tailor your social media presence and enhance the effectiveness of your overall strategy. If you don’t know where to start to try this S.M.A.R.T goal template.
The key is to know what you want to get out of social media and let these KPIs continually drive your actions. Sprout Social has a helpful, 7-Step guide to creating an effective social media plan for your business.
2. Plan your posts
Your company should be creating a reliable presence on its social media channels. This means planning a schedule of what, where, and when to post. This can seem like a daunting task. Here’s where the social media strategy template saves you tons of time.
With so many social media networks to organize and so much content to post, businesses often make the mistake of updating channels erratically without a plan in place. Your business needs to be posting consistently, during high traffic times, in order to generate the most responses possible to your efforts.
Forbes Magazine says that the most effective time to post on Facebook is between 1-3 pm, paying special attention to Friday posts, which receive the most activity out of the days of the week. Conversely, the most effective time to post on Twitter is 5 pm, and LinkedInís peak hours are between 8-5 pm on weekdays.
There is no need to go recreate the wheel when it comes to social media calendars.
3. Listen first
Before your first tweet, Facebook post, or an Instagram selfie, search the social platform for people talking about your business, top competitors, or industry-specific topics. This search should be guided by using words that your prospective customers would say.
For example, if you are an accountant, use Twitter to search for people tweeting about keywords: ďWho knows of a good accountantĒ in your town? The request probably won’t be as direct, but you get the picture.
Try tracking industry-specific hashtag usage using 3rd party apps, like Keyhole.co. You’ll be surprised how many people are already looking for the products or services you provide.
4. Build your base
Social media channels can seem quite overcrowded, and hard to wade through these days.
Thatís why your business needs to dig for relevant followers and communities that could potentially become a part of your own customer base.
Tools like twitter lists, curate lists of Twitter users, that help your business find relevant twitter followers, and allow you to connect with users who may be of interest to your business.
5. Use hashtags and Your Social Media Strategy Template
Donít underestimate the hashtag! Developing your use of hashtags over various social media channels can help to build a devoted group of followers. Hashtags are a great way to follow the conversation around your business.
You can track your hashtags using the Social Mention Hashtags. Using tools can help align your companyís goals around a social media campaign and get people talking about your brand. Employing hashtags effectively can link your various social media channels and help build an overarching, unified community around your business.
Don’t forget though, each network has its own usage statistics. Just because something works on one of them doesn’t mean it will translate to the next.
6. Refine your message for each platform
There are a couple of different social media channels to choose from when tackling your social media marketing strategy.
What works best for your business? Itís important to be concise and well-directed with your marketing efforts, and that means crafting a message that fits the right social media channels.
Donít be afraid to experiment with new social media channels as well! Perhaps your business could find success using a more visual approach or start an experiment with long-form content on LinkedIn?
7. Find your community and engage with them
There are plenty of ways to engage with communities over social media, whether it’s through Facebook Groups, Twitter Lists, Google+ Communities, Quora, Reddit, or LinkedIn Groups. Take the time to find communities that align with your business’s interests and engage with them.
This ability to act human on a social network will help to enhance your brandís awareness and create a trusting, friendly relationship with those whom you engage. It also helps to understand the common concerns and points of discussion that arise in the various communities that your business is involved in.
Becoming a part of a social media community will help your business to understand the trends and desires of that community. Building a community and engaging with other users will be the catalyst to refine your social media goals.
Your place in various social media groups will help to develop your business’s message and various social media campaigns for potential customers. It is important for the potential base you are interacting with over social media to understand what your business is all about.
8. Communicate with your fans and followers
As you build your social media base, make sure that youíre communicating with followers over all your active social media channels. Read through comments and mentions that you might be getting on your various channels and take the time to respond to some feedback, or to thank a follower for their input.
Communicating with your followers will show customers that you value their feedback and time spent engaging with your brand. Communication with your social media base is key to set your business apart from the rest as relatable and trustworthy.
9. Use images with Your Social Media Strategy Template
Image sharing offers a wealth of opportunities for businesses on social media. According to marketing blogger Neil Patel, 66% of all social media posts are image-based. Images stand out and grab attention where text-based simply blend into the background.
Furthermore, images have the ability to gain interest and spark discussion on your business posts in ways that text-based updates might not.
Social media channels are awash with images, the trick is to learn how to create image posts that have character and tone that are unique to your organization. Use helpful tools like Pablo, a free image creation software that can help design and craft visuals.
10. Don’t Over-Indulge; Spend at least 30-45 minutes
If you bought a newspaper ad or radio ad, you would not spend 5 minutes on it. Plus, thereís a lot to learn, and every week, new tools and opportunities across social networks emerge.
It’s easy to get caught up in all the new content. Spend a designated amount of time each day reading and learning, listening and responding, and truly joining the conversation.
Stick to the time limit you’ve set in order to stay productive and avoid distractions. Time and effort are keys to a successful social media strategy, but as with everything else, remember moderation and focus.
11. Track and Monitor with your Social Media Strategy Template
Matrix’s favorite analogy for social media is that it is like the ďlargest cocktail party in the world.Ē Itís a room filled with people driven by one desire to communicate, share, absorb and relate while carrying on many independent conversations.
Some of these conversations can be about you, your competitors, or your industry. Some of these conversations could be people looking for a product like yours.
They will talk about all these topics regardless of whether you are listening or not. If you only remember one thing about social media, remember this; You cannot improve what you don’t track. Know where you’re starting point is and work towards a goal that makes sense.
12. Bonus social media strategy template
Take a look at our list of the top social media engagement tools on the market. View list of tools
Use these social media strategy template to improve your success.
The name of the game is awareness! You need to know whatís going on, in order to direct your own efforts to where they are needed most.
Your businessesí social media marketing strategy should be all about enhancing efficiency and keeping your efforts concise and on task. You need to analyze the results of your social media efforts in order to understand what is working, and what is not, and be able to tweak things where needed.
By staying on top of content results, your business will know how to direct its efforts in order to maximize its success on social media.
BuzzSumo is a helpful site that allows you to analyze content that is already on the web and direct your efforts when crafting your social media strategy. In addition, Sprout Social has a helpful guide to the social media metrics that you should be paying attention to in order to improve your performance.
Please share your tips and tricks that you think will help companies stick to a social media strategy template. This certainly just scratches the surface. What are your most creative marketing campaigns via social media? Drop them in the comment section below.
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*This article was originally published in 2012, and updated for clarity, and more in-depth analysis for 2017.
The Social Media Strategy Template is a step-by-step guide to what should be included in your†social media strategy.†
Why use Your Social Media Strategy Template?
A step-by-step guide to what should be included in your†social media strategy†and†social media plan†to help your business focus on critical goals and objectives.
When to use Your Social Media Strategy Template.
You should use the social media strategy template when you are creating your social media plan. The social media template will help†you†build a robust and organic presence online.