A beginner’s guide to Social Media Strategy

Facebook recently proved itself to be the most powerful social media platform on the face of this earth, by touching 2 billion monthly users worldwide. This was no easy feat to accomplish, when the social media landscape is littered with potential competitors with equally compelling offerings backed by strong user experience.

Social media increasingly proves itself to be a potential goldmine for businesses and a reality that they cannot walk away from. As more and more of your customers become active on social media, planning your presence on these platforms becomes more important than ever. Here is a simple blueprint for building the basic blocks of your social media strategy.

1. Understand your reasons to be on Social Media

A lot of companies got lucky during their initial days on Social. But slowly as reality dawned upon them, the fun started fizzling out because they could no longer find their purpose on social. Whether it is creating brand awareness, generating leads, monitoring competition, gaining insights or others, lay it all out.

Does this social medium deserve all my marketing time, attention and budgets? What would a 10K following mean for my business and how does that translate into revenues? How does social help me actionize my business strategy?

Thinking through the answers to these questions can save you a lot of pain later.

2. Define your ideal Buyer Persona(s)

Businesses usually start by detailing out their ideal buyer profile on paper. They arrive at this definition by answering key questions like what does my ideal customer look like, how do they behave, what are their challenges, how do they consume information, who are their influencers, what motivates them and so on.

But as companies progress, it’s essential to fine tune this definition by integrating knowledge of their existing buyer behavior gathered through CRM systems, web analytics and various touchpoints in their customer’s buying journey.

Social media can become an important source in gathering insights about your customer and engaging with them through the right messages, that addresses their problems at the right time.

3. Explore the demographics of each channel

Going by popular sentiment it’s easy to get swayed and start working on every social channel. But when you don’t see the results pouring in, this approach will eventually leave you fatigued. Each and every social platform has a predominant format and demographic that it caters to.

Understanding what this audience means to your business is essential in plowing in the right direction. For example, if you are trying to sell products to a professional B2B audience, it makes more sense for one to establish their presence on LinkedIn rather than on Instagram.

Now that you have your buyer profile outlined, its time you mapped their behaviors with this social media landscape and key-in to the right channels.

4. Draw out your action plan

With your ideal customer and social platforms set in place, think about how you would want to present yourself to the world. Does my brand have a personality, style and tone? How do I want my customers to perceive my business? What systems, tools, resources & skills do I need in place to run an effective social media campaign, all come under this step.

Clever, crisp & relevant messaging has always played an important role in the success of any brand. The social medium is no different. Put in sufficient time to develop your messages and come out with your best content plan.

Don’t sweat it out if you don’t get it right the first time. You’ll get ample avenues to get better at this craft.

5. Execute, evaluate & refine

With all the ground work done, now is the time to set your social wheels in motion. Once you start interacting with your audience, you will get real-time ideas and feedback on how to engage with them more productively.

Don’t shy away from altering your plans mid-way, if there is a better way to get value out of this entire social process. Pause at intervals to evaluate how your entire social strategy is panning out and continue to refine your social media strategy process.

Finally when it comes to a social media plan, there is no silver bullet. Eventually you know your customers better than anybody else, let it be within or outside the realm of social. And thus, every business charts its social journey differently and so must you.

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