Let me set the mood. It’s a beautiful spring day on a college campus. But you are stuck at your desk. It’s your first week as a Social Media Specialist. Today, you will have your first meeting with your manager. You have a social media strategy drafted and ready for review. You walk into your manager’s office to have your first one-on-one. You start discussing your ideas for a social media strategy. Your manager tells you the following, “You will not need a strategy here. You will push things out on social media.” You have a look of shock on your face.
Pushing things out on social media without any thought or goal like we were back in 2012 isn’t a good strategy.
So, what do you need to have a good foundation for a social media strategy?
Establish a goal. You want to align your social media goals with your department goals or strategic plan. You want to have realistic SMART goals.
- Specific – What do you want to achieve?
- Measurable – How will you track success?
- Achievable – Is your objective something you can reasonably accomplish?
- Relevant – Why are you setting the goal?
- Time-bound – How long will it take to finish?
Example of a SMART goal: Grow the number of monthly users on campus app by 500 within the first quarter of 2022. Optimizing our app listing and creating targeted social media campaigns will accomplish this. The campaign will run from January 2022 to April 2022 on three social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Define your KPIs. You will need to define your key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of your social media content. For example, maybe you will use engagements (likes, comments and shares) for a brand awareness goal. Perhaps you will look at link clicks to measure website traffic.
Define your audience. Figure out what type of people you want to reach with your social media content. Then, create personas for your campaigns and define their audience group by age, gender, and other factors. This is your target audience.
Research your competition. Look at the social media platforms they are using. Investigate what content and topics garner the most and most minor engagement. But remember not everything they do will work for your brand.
Choose your social media platforms. “I want to be on all the existing platforms” is never the correct answer. Instead, you want to choose social media platforms to help you achieve your goals and where your audience will be the most active. Always start with one or two platforms first. Then, test out content and experiment before adding more platforms.
Test and analyze—the most critical step in a social media strategy plan. As you begin publishing content and interacting with your community, analytics will help you understand what content is working better than others. If data reveals that Instagram reels are getting high engagement, think of ways to add more similar content. If data shows your most engaging channel is Twitter, then maybe you should double your efforts on this platform.
Constantly adjust your social media strategy along the way! With constant algorithm changes, you will have to embrace modifications in your plan.
Author: Paulette Wilson
Paulette Wilson is a social media and digital marketing professional. She loves to bring a creative approach to social media marketing by experimenting with the latest trends and tools. She has created strategic social media campaigns for news stations, nonprofit organizations and higher education institutions.
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