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How To Build A Comprehensive Social Media Strategy

How To Build A Comprehensive Social Media Strategy image 5241db5f50c119.45299637

Do you have a social media strategy?

Now, be honest. Do you REALLY have a social media strategy? Is it a comprehensive social media strategy or just a bunch of piecemeal tactics — SEO? content? Facebook?

Did you tie metrics to your strategy to monitor and improve your ability to reach your goals?

Create a comprehensive social media strategy

Goals

Start with goals — SMART goals. Goals should express the aims of the business and fit with your mission. And, don’t just create goals related to the end game — making money, increasing market share, or other conversion type objectives. Set goals for all the elements that build to reaching these end objectives, ie. customer satisfaction (sentiment), quality, responsiveness, etc. Now, create objectives for elements specific to social media, such as content marketing goals, SEM goals, SEO goals, etc.

KPIs

Your KPIs (key performance indicators) come straight from your goals. Which metrics represent measures of each element in your goals.

Strategy

Next, you create a strategy. Your strategy should include both an environmental scan and an internal audit of your current tactics and processes. Building on these internal and external factors, you should identify opportunities to improve.

In developing your strategy, carefully consider where you’re likely to get the most return on your investment. Today, I met with a prospect who was overly concerned because his Google+ page wasn’t showing up when you Googled his business. OK, if everything else is going RIGHT with your digital marketing, you can worry about little things in hopes of getting just a few more conversions out of what you’re doing. But, prioritize things. For instance, this prospect had NO content marketing strategy — which has a major impact on your SEO. And, face it. Organic search is how most folks in his target market would find his business. That’s where he should focus first — on building traffic through organic search via content marketing rather than little elements like his image showing up.

Implementation

A great social media strategy doesn’t help much if you don’t have equally good tactical plans for implementation. Break down your strategy into individual actions necessary to accomplish elements of your strategy. For instance, maybe you’ve determined you need to add Pinterest to your social media strategy. What do you need: an image and about for the profile, some pinboards related to your brand, and a plan for posting to your pinboards. Be sure to identify the who, what, where, how much, etc necessary for each element.

Social media analytics

Ah, now we come to the core of many social media strategy problems — assessment. You need to map your performance against your goals to determine if you’re meeting your goals. What do your KPI metrics look like?

I look at some metrics, such as traffic, shares, and likes on a daily basis. Other metrics I look at on a weekly basis. However, I know some very good people out there who NEVER look at their metrics. And, that’s a mistake.

You need to not only prove the ROI of your social media strategy, you need to constantly tweak your strategy to optimize your ROI. You just can’t do that without the proper tools in place to show you what’s working and what isn’t.

  • Which content gets the most shares”
  • What time works best for posting content?
  • Who are your influencers or those influential in your market?
  • Where do visitors go on your website and are there elements on your website that would help you convert better?

Goals not tools

So, why did MOZ title this whiteboard “Goals not Tools”?

Good question. Because certainly you need tools to run a successful social media campaign — tools to manage your content marketing strategy, tools to assess performance, tools to help evaluate the environment.

Hmmmmm.

Figured out the answer yet?

The title doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use tools to help with your social media marketing, it means you should think in terms of goals then find suitable tools to help not the other way around. The choice of tools depends on your strategy, not the other way around.

And, inherent in all this is sound understanding of social media marketing. Social media marketing isn’t advertising and social platforms aren’t just another channel for spreading your brand messages.

Social media marketing, at its core, needs to be about helping folks solve their problems. Heck ALL marketing should be about helping folks solve their problems and doing it better than the competition. After you take care of delivering solutions, all that’s left is letting people know you can help them and encouraging them to let others you have something of value.

Need Help

We’re here for you. Whether you need a complete social media marketing strategy or some consulting to optimize your existing social media marketing, we can fill your digital marketing funnel. We can help you do your own social media marketing better or do it for you with our community managers, strategists, and account executives. You can request a FREE introductory meeting or sign up for my email newsletter to learn more about social media marketing.

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Comments on this Article: 4

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  1. Thank you, Angela! Understanding social media is key and unfortunately not every brand is aware of that! The key purpose of social media platforms is SHARING content, not self-promotion, and advertising your brand will not help anyone gain a large following and create a solid reputation for your brand. Thank you for sharing these tips with us!

  2. Harry says:

    To set and track SMART goals, you may want to check out http://www.GoalsOnTrack.com/, a very nicely built web app designed for tracking goals, habits, and todo lists, and supports time tracking too. It’s clear, focused, easy to navigate, and most of all, really works!

  3. James H. says:

    One goal social media managers often underestimate is a good Online Reputation Management (ORM) strategy. Make sure not to overlook this crucial aspect in your company’s goals or else all efforts in SEO will be pointless.

  4. Gracious B. says:

    Useful information on how to build a successful social media strategy. A campaign cannot succeed without a well thought out strategy created much before actually launching the campaign. Proper planning can make the difference between success and failure of a campaign

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