How to develop a custom social media strategy

You know that you need to use social media to connect with your customers and promote your brand.  And you know that this is a little more complicated than a few scattered social media posts here and there.  How can you harness the power of social media to reach target audiences, support your marketing efforts and boost your sales?

A custom social media strategy should contain summary of everything you want to accomplish through social media use.  All of your content should have a specific purpose and be very intentional.  A carefully-crafted social media strategy will guide your actions, and careful data analysis and measurement will help you determine the success of your efforts.  Having a specific social media strategy means successful plan execution.  Concise goals equal specific results.

What do you hope to gain from social media presence? A loyal fan base? More engagement with customers?  Brand awareness?  Increased sales? Better positioning within your industry?  You may desire one, a few or all of these.  Use social media to tackle your branding goals, but do so with a sense of purpose and direction. Set goals that are specific and attainable.  Identify your biggest challenges and meet them head on.

Audience:

It is important to learn everything you can about your audiences.  Who are your ideal customers? What are they looking at on social media? How do they like to receive their information? What resonates with them? Getting to know your target markets means that you can reach them on their preferred social media channels with messages that are meaningful and effective.

Competitive analysis:

Take the time to research your competition. Are they absent on some social media channels? Very present on others?  How are they reaching their customers?  This is the time to do some social media “listening”. What’s common in your industry? What types of messages and marketing tools are used? Does that make sense for your business and your customer base? What is the competition doing well…and not so well? Track competitor accounts and industry keywords. Compare this to your own reach, clicks, engagement and hashtag performance. How can you make your business stand out among the competition?

Current efforts:

After you’ve looked at the competition, take a look at your own accounts.  Should you expand your social media reach to new channels?  Or change your efforts on your current changes? What is working and what isn’t? Which networks do your target audiences use? Who is truly connecting with you on social? Are you reaching your current audiences and expanding to touch new audiences? Where should you go next? Carefully look at the answers to all of these questions. This will help you decide your next steps.

Potential for growth:

You should have a specific marketing plan and careful strategy for each social media channel where you have a presence.  The strategy should be tied to your goals. Are you seeking to increase sales, promote your brand or share your corporate culture? Make sure you are using all tools available to optimize each of your social media accounts.  Make the most of your content – whether internally-generated, user-generated or sourced from company partners.  Always find way to expand and improve your presence in each space.

Measurement:

After all of that work, it’s important to track true and meaningful metrics. This will mean different things for different social media channels.  You probably have different sets of users in each social media space, and they are probably using each channel differently. Nevertheless, social media measurement will give you a good snapshot of what messages are resounding with your customers and what campaigns have missed the mark.  As you evaluate measurement, remember that your social media strategy should be aligned with your overall marketing strategy. And don’t make assumptions. You can make an educated guess, but in the end, let the data do the talking. Trust the numbers.

Best practices in social media are always changing. Marketing experts consistently review case studies, stay on top of social media channel algorithm changes and learn about emerging trends. It is important to have social media experts on your team that understand the current, best ways to tell your brand story through the tools available in the social media channels available today.

Interested in learning more about social media strategy for your business? Contact the experts at Wild Coffee Marketing. We deliver compelling content and proven strategies to make your social media accounts shine. Contact us today to learn more. At Wild Coffee Marketing, we love helping our clients grow better.

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