5 Things You Need To Know Before Planning Your Social Media Strategy

What Is A Social Media Strategy?

A social media strategy is a summary of what you plan to do and achieve on your business’s social media accounts. Your strategy outlines how your business will use social media to reach marketing goals.

Your competition and customers likely use social media, even if you don’t. If you’re not a part of the discussions online, a huge chunk of your business could be lost to other businesses who are.

You can use a social media strategy to build and manage your brand reputation, scope out the competition, and communicate with your customers. And I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a ton of advantages I wouldn’t want to miss out on.

Things To Know Before Planning Your Social Media Strategy

Before you can implement your social media strategy, set aside time to plan your social media takeover. Here are five things you need to know before planning your strategy.

1. Who Is Your Audience?

Before you can begin to plan your social media strategy, you need to know who your audience is. Otherwise, you could waste time targeting the wrong individuals on social media.

You can get a good idea of who you want to target by looking at your current customers. Consider factors like age, where they live, income level, and their occupations. Also, look at their buying behaviors and personalities to better understand why they purchase from your business.

Be active on the same social media networks as your target audience. Adding content to channels where your audience is nonexistent is as effective as watching paint dry.

Once you have a good grasp of who your audience is, begin looking into their social media habits. Which platforms do they use most? What kind of content do they interact with?

2. What Kinds Of Channels Will You Use?

Determine which channels your audience uses and find out which work best for your small business. So, how do you choose social media sites for your small business?

Some platforms your business might use for social media include Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.

First and foremost, you must learn which platforms your target audience and customers are on. Then, begin researching (and testing) different channels. Start by posting on a couple of platforms to get a feel for how they work.

If a channel doesn’t seem to mesh well with your business, move on to one that has the potential to. Don’t feel like you need to settle on a channel. It takes time to find platforms that are the right fit for your business.

Think about ease of use when looking into different channels. Are the platforms easy to get the hang of? How much time does it take to use the channel? Do you need to spend extra time learning how to use the channel?

Consider tracking which channels you use and the pros and cons of each. Take notes of what you like most about each channel. Doing this can help narrow down the channels your business uses. Also, be sure you track metrics like engagements, followers, and comments.

At my accounting and payroll software company, Patriot Software, it took plenty of trial and error before I found which channels were best for my business’s social media content. Along the way, I discovered that not all channels are built for every business. A platform that works well for one company might not be beneficial for another.

3. What Type Of Content Will You Post?

According to one source, tweets with images receive 18% more clicks than tweets without them. And, 98% of posts with images on LinkedIn receive more comments. Do you see a pattern emerging here? I do.

People love pictures on social media.

Typically, the type of content you post affects how much engagement you receive. Would you want to read a paragraph of boring text? Or, would you prefer to see a relevant photo included with a short phrase? I don’t know about you, but I’d choose the latter.

When it comes to social media content, sometimes it’s better to keep things short and sweet. Condense your posts to allow individuals to read your content more quickly.

To engage customers through social media, consider also sprucing up your content. Include things like catchy text, images, and videos to attract your target audience. And, be sure to incorporate your business’s colors and logo to showcase your brand.

4. What Works For Your Competition?

You and your competition are likely chasing after the same audience. Because you’re trying to attract the same people, you need to see what kind of content works for your competitors.

Analyze your competition to determine which strategies work best for them. Make a list of your top five competitors and review their social media accounts.

Look for things like the number of followers on each channel, as well as how many likes, comments, and shares each post gets.

Determine which types of content lead to more social engagement. For example, a video may get more likes and comments than posting a photo or text. Compare engagements between posts to see what stands out and receives more interaction.

Tracking this type of information will help you determine social networks your audience is most active on. And, it can help you see which platforms and types of content might not work for your business.

5. How Much Manpower Do You Need?

After determining your audience, the types of channels you plan to use, and your content, you need to determine how many people you need to crank out the content.

Before you plan your strategy, figure out how much manpower you need. How much time will it take to create and post content? How many employees do you need to create content? Do you need one person or a whole team of people?

If you’re apprehensive about the whole social media thing, consider starting small. Dedicate one or two employees to handle your business’s social media strategy. As you grow, you can add more employees to the team.