social-media-strategy

Simple 7 Step Social Media Strategy (SlideShare)

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Note: Pick up this free bonus guide that will walk you step-by-step through the strategies listed here plus tips that aren’t included here!

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Step 1: Listen, Analyze and Compare (click to tweet)

To start, you’ll want to poke around different social networks and do a little research on where your target audience spends time.

 

Identify people/brands who have the audiences you’re trying to attract.

Some places to start: Influencers in your niche, competitors, top customers, business partners, employees.

Once you’ve identified and followed these accounts; listen, analyze and compare what they are doing. What’s working? What isn’t?

Social media research tools: Topsy, Klout, Followerwonk, Google Trends ,Buffer and Twitter Trends.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • How will I be unique while sticking to types of highly shared content in my niche?
  • What opportunities have my competitors overlooked?
  • What kind of content do influencers in my niche create/ share with their audiences?

 

Tips to get you started:

  • Your competitors and customers will give you a good guide for how-to be active on social media.
  • Use tools like Topsy & BuzzSumo to find the most popular content and profiles.
  • Use social media to keep tabs on competitors & customers.

 

Step 2: Choose Your Platforms (click to tweet)

Next, you need to decide which social networks you’ll sign up for based on where your target audience spends time.

 

Not every business needs to be on every social network. For example, restaurants don’t need to have a presence on  Houzz, a home design social network.

Be sure you have a purpose for being on each social network you choose.

Once you’ve selected your social networks, it’s time to sign up and brand your pages. Be sure to keep them consistent.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Do the networks I selected have the audience I’m trying to reach?
  • How will my approach vary on different networks?

 

Tips to get you started:

  • Don’t get caught up in every new social network. See how each platform evolves before diving in.
  • Platforms like Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn are requirements in every business’s social strategy.

 

Step 3: Research Content You’ll Create & Curate (click to tweet)

It’s important to research popular content and conversations to direct the tone and topics of your social media posts.

 

How does what you found in step number one impact the kind of content you’ll create/curate?

While it’s important to be unique, there are certain types of content that simply perform better in your niche. 

Know what they are, focus on creating/curating around those topics.

Content research tools: BuzzSumo, Topsy, Google Alerts, Flipboard and Feedly.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What are the most popular types of content in my niche?
  • How will I attract people who read/share similar content?
  • What resources do I need to create superior content to what is currently available?
  • How can I repurpose what I already have?

 

Tips to get you started:

  • Follow people who regularly share great content so you can re-share with your fans.
  • Keep a list of popular content ideas you can refer to anytime.
  • People interact more with visual content, be sure to use more visuals in your campaigns.

 

Step 4: Identify Your Manager / Team (click to tweet)

Now it’s time to decide who will manage your social media accounts, even if it’s just you, you need to know the responsibilities.

 

Depending on your needs, choose your social media manager and/or team.

Roles that you need to consider:

  • Who creates/curate the content we’ll use?
  • Who will posts content on a consistent basis?
  • Who will interact and engage with your audience?
  • Who will watch for and act on opportunities?
  • Who will build relationships with influencers?

 

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Do I have the time to do this? Will I need help?
  • How many hours per day/week/month will it take to meet my content demands?
  • How will my team ensure seamless branding and messaging across all our social accounts?

 

Tips to get you started:

  • Understand social media is rapidly changing and your team needs make continuous learning and adapting a top priority.
  • Your social media manager should be tech savvy, creative and organized.

 

Step 5: Humanizing & Engagement Plan (click to tweet)

It’s important to remember that social media is about being social, here how-to not seem like a robot online.

 

How will go about actually being “social” so you don’t sound like a robot?

  • Ask influencers and fans questions. (Bonus: Feature their answers in content)
  • Monitor all your social interactions regularly and engage with the people who share/comment you content, they are your fans!
  • Join communities and groups to create new relationships.
  • Write like you talk, be spontaneous, transparent and reachable.

 

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What people will I regularly reach out to and share content and ideas?
  • Who will I establish beneficial relationships online?
  • How does my target audience affect my tone online?

 

Tips to get you started:

  • Monitor all mentions of your brand and content to see who’s talking about you.
  • Getting influencers to share content significantly boosts your reach.
  • Use Facebook’s ad re-targeting feature to turn website visitors into fans.

 

Step 6: Build Your Toolbox (click to tweet)

There’s a bunch of great tools that you can use to help save time and focus on the initiatives that are driving results.

 

Make sure to find a combination of research, monitoring, automated posting and analytics tools.

Download our free guide: 150 Most Powerful Marketing & Sales Tools >>

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What aspects of my social media do I want to automate?
  • How do the tools I choose work together?
  • Which tools am I willing to pay a premium for?

 

Tips to get you started:

Here’s a list of out favorite social media tools: Buffer, Topsy, BuzzSumo, Bitly, Snip.ly, Social Mention, SumAll and Canva.

 

Step 7: Select Metrics To Track (click to tweet)

Finally, decide why you’re on social media in the first place, how does that affect the metrics you need to track?

 

Depending on your business goals, are you using social media to find new customers? Build relationships with current customers?

How does that impact  the metrics you will track?

Important metrics to track:

  • Engagement (comments, likes, etc.)
  • Traffic/Leads Generated
  • Content Views/Shares
  • Sales Metrics
  • Online Reviews

 

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What are my main goals for social media? Retention? Awareness? Sales?
  • How are you going to determine whether social media is actually making a difference in your business?

 

Tips to get you started:

  • Identify key performance indicators and keep track of them on a regular basis.
  • Use these results you gather to better understand your customers so you optimize your campaigns.

 

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Brian Downard
bdownard@eliv8group.com

Brian Downard is the author of this blog and Co-Founder of ELIV8, a consulting firm that helps entrepreneurs and business leaders grow their revenue in a digital world. Brian writes about strategy, marketing, leadership and being an entrepreneur.