Updated : Jan 25, 2021 in Not-Supporting

Social Media Marketing: Eight Steps to Create a Successful Social Media Marketing Strategy

Are you ready to launch your social media marketing strategy for 2021? I see you’re shaking your head there. That’s not good at all, so sit down and grab all the lessons you can get here. 

Anyway, social media marketing is one of the fastest-growing and highly effective digital marketing specialties nowadays. Social networks have become one of the major communication channels in today’s online universe. 

They have become fundamental tools for brands that deploy a well-planned social media marketing strategy to generate leads and sales.

We just want to make sure you clearly get this: To build a successful social media strategy is not rocket science. However, if you don’t carve out time to create your social media marketing strategy for 2021…all your marketing efforts may yield zero results. (You wouldn’t like that, would you?)

There are lots of benefits your brand stands to enjoy by having a social presence. This includes engaging actively with customers – both existing and prospective ones – as well as an increase in sales and lead generation.

On top of those, it is one of the most cost-effective ways of boosting your reputation.

In this brief 8-step guide, you will learn steps to follow to create your social media marketing strategy.

But let’s clear up some basics first.

What is a Social Media Marketing Strategy?

A social media marketing strategy is a well-detailed plan and summary of everything an organization or brand wants to achieve on a chosen social media platform. It also includes what you, as a brand, need to do to get there. 

To build a successful social media strategy, you need to outline everything from your time-bound goals to your target audience and your content or posts. 

It also requires measuring your overall performance and making tweaks here and there for maximum profitability and outcome.

Therefore, your social media marketing strategy for 2021 should allow you to readily address and plan everything you aim to do to make your brand highly successful across your chosen social media channels.

Every organization, irrespective of size, needs a well-organized social media marketing strategy. One of the reasons is—it will also enable you to optimize every social media activity to reach your ideal customers.

Does creating a social media marketing strategy seem like an investment that is too big for your brand? Then consider the simple fact that more than 40% of the world’s population are on social media. And these social media users are becoming more intelligent and even more discerning by the day.

Therefore, it is no longer business as it used to be. If you must reach your target audience, you need to grab their attention, earn their (rare) trust, and be as consistent as can be. It is about showing up every single day, whether you like it or not, whether it’s comfortable or not. A well-crafted social media marketing strategy can help you achieve this.

Most Popular Social Media Channels in 2020

The following are the top 9 most popular social media platforms in 2020-2021, arranged in no particular order:

#1. Facebook: 2.45 billion monthly active users.

#2. YouTube: 2 billion monthly active users.

#3. TikTok: 800 million active monthly users.

#4. Snapchat: 360 million monthly active users.

#5. Reddit: 430 million monthly active users.

#6. Twitter: 330 million monthly active users.

#7. Instagram: 1 billion monthly active users.

#8. LinkedIn: 310 million monthly active users.

#9. Pinterest: 322 million monthly active users.

As you prioritize your social media platforms, you should consider which particular channels have the best features, target audience, etc. Determining this accurately will help your brand succeed in achieving its marketing goals and objectives.

Be careful that you don’t spread yourself too thin, though. This is by far the most common mistake that even big organizations make. Do not attempt to win followers on every social media platform out there. 

Be focused; start with one or two social media platforms that offer the highest chances. Then, when you have got them down and have automated the two, launch your social media strategy on the next one, and so on. 

8 Steps to Create A Highly Successful Social Media Marketing Strategy

So, if you are ready to create your social media marketing strategy for 2021, follow the steps outlined below.

Step 1: Research Trends, Your Audience, and Competition

Carry out a social media audit for your social media activities. This enables you to get to know more about your target audience. 

You will also be able to analyze what your competitors are doing so that you can make plans to beat them at their game. This is the first step to fully understanding where you stand.

Start gathering valuable real-world data on your prospective customers to build close-to-perfect buyer personas. This will help you understand their requirements and inform you of the precise message, the right format, and the tone that easily connects with them.

As soon as you identify your target audience and their needs, start making use of social media analytics to readily identify the period they are most active on the platform.

Carry out a competitive analysis to understand precisely what they are doing. This helps you identify who your social media targets are as well as enables you to track any opportunities in the areas where your prospective customers are under-served.

Engage actively in social listening by keeping track of your prospect’s ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes.’ This will also help you determine how your current campaigns are doing.

Step 2: Set Measurable and Time-bound Goals

Next, you need to identify your marketing goals. Your goals must be measurable and time-bound as it helps to observe your performance which further guides future actions. 

Start by tackling smaller, easily attainable, and pocket-friendly objectives. From there, you can start scaling up your social media efforts.

Step 3: Determine Budget and Set Aside Resources

It doesn’t matter whether you are an established brand or a small/medium business. It is crucial to apportion a very healthy budget as well as the right amount of resources for every one of your social media activities.

This starts with your goals or objectives. Rank them based on priority. And then, start allocating your spending as well as other resources according to the priority of your goals.

Step 4: Develop Your Content Strategy

This is where you need to start building your content strategy. The content you put out will depend on the outcome of the first step, i.e. when you researched your audience. It also depends significantly on the social media channel you use for your marketing strategy. 

Start thinking along the lines of infographics, blog posts, quick tips, videos, quotes, and pictures. Moreover, make it a habit to share valuable and insightful content produced by others. This ensures that you don’t come across as an overly self-promotional brand. 

There is currently no rule of thumb regarding how much non-promotional content you should share anytime you post new content. Just make sure you don’t overdo it.

Regarding the type of content to promote, you should compile a list of highly popular keywords for the topics you want to cover or services/products. Utilize Google AdWords Keyword Planner as well as Ahrefs and BuzzSumo.

Sort everything by the social media channel you decide to focus on. This is a time-consuming process, but the outcome will be gratifying.

Step 5: Identify and Sort Out the Right Tools

Having access to and using the right tools can significantly boost your team’s productivity while minimizing errors. This makes identifying the right and cost-effective tools to make your social media marketing for 2021 a success. It’s a must for your business. 

You need tools for automating and scheduling your posts.  You need to get familiar with those analytics tools to track the performance of your campaigns. You also need tools for communicating with existing and prospective customers. 

Monitoring tools, analysis tools, etc., are a must-have for your organization, especially if you are serious about your social media marketing for 2021. 

If you can get a comprehensive, all-in-one social media management tool covering all these bases, the more economical and convenient it will be for you.

Step 6: Implement your social media marketing strategy

All the social media marketing strategies in the world will not generate any results if you do not implement them. (That’s obvious, but just to make sure we are on the same page, I mentioned it.) Strive to develop your social media marketing strategy for 2021 into an implementation plan. This ensures the work gets completed correctly and on time while meeting crucial deadlines will make all the work you’ve put into the strategy genuinely worth it.

As soon as you have started creating valuable and highly relevant content, start working out exactly how to deliver or distribute your content so that your target audience eyeballs them. There is no point in creating any content if no one will see it and consume it.

At this point, you may consider paid social media advertising. Paid social media advertising is the way to go in today’s social media landscape for several reasons, which include:

  • It pushes the reach of your content to more of your prospective customers.
  • It significantly generates a much greater return on investment (ROI) on your entire content creation efforts.
  • It helps to unlock additional insights and data about your performance.
  • It offers specific formats as well as call to actions (CTAs).

It is vitally important to have a plan or framework around your paid social media ads so that you don’t end up wasting a lot of money or the almost divine opportunity to promote content.

When marketers run large campaigns, they usually outsource the entire management of paid social advertising to reputable agencies that have vast experience in setting up campaigns, excellent management, and reporting on social media campaigns’ success.

For this aspect, you need to set aside a budget and then identify the needed human resources for your paid advertising. Make sure you pay close attention to the relevant ethical and legal requirements.

Step 7: Analyze for Improvement

This is where you need to carry out tests, measures, analysis, tweaks, and then repeat everything all over again.

One of the vital strengths of social media marketing is the ability and availability of analytics and transparent data on everything you do. The data informs you about your campaign and whether it is necessary to check out every other element to improve your social media strategy and results.

Therefore, find and analyze the metrics that matter. Understand the objectives of your business and put each one into a marketing perspective. Then, start mapping them out to social media metrics.

Do not focus only on ‘likes,’ reach, followers, views, and other ‘vanity metrics.’ You need to research sentiment, engagement, subscribers, traffic, sales, and so much more.

Adopt the ‘one post, one metric’ approach. This will give you profound clarity about each result and what they mean. Collect all the data to calculate your cost-per-metrics as well as your ROI. 

Step 8: Experiment

This is where you experiment with platforms and content that are different from what most brands in your industry or niche are doing. To do this, however, you need to set aside a small budget. Who knows, you may be lucky enough to hit the jackpot. 

For instance, TikTok and Pinterest are becoming wildly popular among audiences. But somehow, these platforms are not presently effectively utilized by organizations to reach their target audience.

On such platforms, it takes little for a well-crafted post to go viral. Therefore, identify or generate a novel or controversial idea and then amp it up to reach maximum users. 

Do not avoid reaching out to those who don’t belong to your target demographics. You may end up getting several customers there that need what you offer.

Let’s conclude things

As you may have guessed by now, building a successful social media strategy is never simple. On the contrary, it’s as complicated as some weird and odd relationships are. Besides, it is an activity that never really ends. But then, the entire process can be either organized and highly simplified or mixed up and very challenging.

However, by following the 8 steps we gave you in this post, you can easily create and develop your social media marketing strategy for 2021. 

All it will take from you is a bit of persistence and dedication. (Although, to be blunt about it, that’s not just “a bit,” actually.) But you know that already. Again, if you just do what’s needed, you will end up turning social media into a remarkable tool for attracting leads and promoting your brand. What do you say? We would love to know what‘s spinning in your head right now. 

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