How to write a social media strategy

How to write a social media strategy

Now, I am not one for creating 365 page strategy documents that no-one reads and that end up gathering dust in the CEO’s drawer.

If that is what you are looking for, I’d probably stop reading now if I was you.

Don’t over complicate matters. This simple guide will help you develop a quick and effective social media strategy.

1. What problem does your product or service solve?
If we take my business as an example, the problem I solve is – “I don’t know how to market my business on social media”.
If you are a dentist, the problem you solve is – “My teeth look like Bugs Bunny”.
If you are a restaurant, the problem you solve is – “There is nothing in my fridge for dinner”.

2. Who is your ideal customer?
This is the bit which is really easy to try to skip but like anything the things that are worthwhile doing are sometimes the hardest.
If you already have customers, then picture your favourite customer in your mind. What is his/her name, are they married, do they have kids, where do they live, what car do they drive, what’s their favourite TV show, what social media channels do they use, what newspapers/magazines do they read?
If you are a start up and don’t have any customers yet then imagine your dream customer and ask exactly the same questions above.
Now, whenever you are creating content, ask yourself, would my ideal/imaginary customer like this, comment on it or share it?
If the answer is no then back to the drawing board.

3. What phrases are your potential customers Googling?
Handily, Google provides you with a nifty little tool called Keyword Planner which will suggest potential phrases your customers may be using and show you how many searches there are for this phrase on average each month.
You need a Google Ads accounts to access this free tool, but if you register it doesn’t commit you to spending any money so please make use of it.
Your instinct will be to choose the phrases which have tens of thousands, if not millions, of searches. STOP!
You will be much more successful if you choose niche areas, which fewer people are searching for, as you are more likely to be found.
For example, for my business the phrase “Facebook ads” has 100k searches per month but the phrase “social media tips” has only 1k.

4. Create social media content your customers are already looking for
Ok, so you have done your keyword research, now pick 5-10 key phrases which will inspire the content you plan to create, whether that is a blog post or a Facebook caption.
This way you are creating content, which you know your customers are already searching for online.
For example, one of my key phrases is “social media analysis” so I have based one of my training courses around this entire topic.
I already know up to 1000 people are searching for this information every month, so it makes sense to provide them with the information they are looking for.
So, I know some of you will be shaking your head reading this, thinking how exactly does this make me money? I appear to be giving a lot of information away for free.
This is the analogy I always use. You wouldn’t read a magazine, which was simply full of adverts. You buy a magazine because it has an interview with an actor you admire, or you like their fashion features or their latest news on supercars. The adverts are part of the package but they are not the reason you buy.
Social media is no different. Why would anyone follow a Facebook page which just pedals adverts? You need to entertain to and intersperse your editorial content with adverts.

5. Choose your channel
I know some of this can be overwhelming especially when you are first starting out.
I know, because that is exactly how I feel. If I read a blog post or listen to a podcast about something new in social media, I immediately want to try out the new, shiny, exciting thing.
But resist…My best advice is to pick just ONE social media channel as you start out and one style of content i.e. blog, podcast, photography, video or sharing other people’s content about your sector.

6. Why am I doing this?
This isn’t some existential question about life on earth. This is the key to everything.
What is your goal from your social media marketing. Is it to increase your income? Is it to raise awareness of your brand? Is it to build an audience, which you can then market an, as yet, unspecified product or service to?

And that’s it!

Set out your strategy with these 6 simple headers, add some answers underneath and you’ve got yourself a plan. Just make sure it doesn’t end up in a dusty draw somewhere. Ideally make some super, funky graphics out of your answers and frame them in your office so everyone sees them every day and you are all working from the same hymn sheet.

Good luck.

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