Have you ever created a social media strategy?

How effective was it? Did it yield what you were after?

Creating a social media strategy isn’t rocket science. As I’m in the habit of sharing with the people I work with, data is at the heart of everything we do – from making a simple purchase at the supermarket to complex security decisions at the state level.

It can also, as I’ve seen, help you nail down an excellent social media content and posting plan. In fact, 73% of marketers believe social media marketing has been somewhat effective or very effective for their business.

If you’ve tried your own strategies and aren’t happy with the results, my post today dives into a practically foolproof plan to come up with the perfect strategy.

Identify which profiles you need (not want) to be active on

The first part of nailing down a great social media plan is identifying which platforms you need to be active on. Here, it’s important that you settle on those that make the most sense for your business.

If you’re a fashion retailer, for instance, your focus should be on sites like Instagram and Facebook. LinkedIn is an obvious no. The reverse is true for companies in the B2B sector, although an Instagram handle wouldn’t hurt for certain companies.

Don’t rely on guesswork to figure out which platforms work best. There are a number of tools out there that can help you access insights into your competitors’ social media traffic, which can help you make the most informed decisions.

Do your research on other companies in your industry and see what’s working for them – especially in terms of follower count and engagement.

Look to customer communication and insights to nail down a content strategy

Once you’ve identified the right channels for your business, the next part is all about creating and pushing out the right content.

Remember, while your products or services are similar to what your competitors are offering, your audiences might differ significantly. Cut-and-paste content is not going to make the cut, especially if you want to see results from your social media strategy. 

Begin by really diving deep into your brand’s audience – what are their interests, challenges, preferences, and habits? An equally important question to ask yourself is also what these individuals are expecting from your business.

Identify concrete ways to give your audience exactly what they want and add value in formats that are appealing to them – not what you think is appealing to them. Whether this means creating explainer videos, sharing memes, customer testimonials or blog posts, publish content that your audience wants to see.

If you’re only revamping your social media strategy and not creating it from scratch, look to your previous posts and see those that have generated the most interest and engagement. Using the analytic tools built into almost every social media platform, you can see what type of content is most meaningful to your audience.

Discover best practices for social media posting

When it comes to posting, I don’t just mean the frequency of your posts, although that’s an important part of your social media strategy as well.

Here, you also need to look into other things like promotions, hashtags, mentions, guest posts and other tricks that really define what your business is all about. 

In terms of frequency, settle on a schedule that works for you and your audience. The frequency of your posting really comes down to the kind of business you run and the content you’re pushing out. For some companies, daily posts and stories are a necessity. For others, that’s overkill.

Promotions, similarly, don’t work for every company. If you’re a business in the B2C sector, sales and promos can do wonders. B2B businesses? For the most part, not so much.

When it comes to hashtags and mentions, these no longer belong exclusively on Twitter. Mentions work just as well on Facebook and major businesses are now using hashtags on LinkedIn!

The bottom line is that you need to do some digging to find practices that are proven to work. Look for the data before you make a decision.

Create a data-driven social media strategy to make big wins 

Did all of what I said seem complicated? 

know that it sounds harder than it is. Dive into your research, chase your own data – and competitor data – to create a social media strategy that yields the awareness, outreach, and sales you’re after.

If social media strategising is far beyond your realm of expertise, however, consult professionals who can drive change to your business one post at a time