Social media marketing is a form of digital marketing that focuses on creating and sharing content across social media networks in order to achieve your company’s digital marketing goals. Social media can be one of the most effective tools in your marketing toolbox to bring awareness to your company and help you stand out from your competitors. The key to getting it right is consistently using the right content and medium to engage with your target audience. Easy enough, right?
Unfortunately, we see a lot of companies getting this wrong. The good news is that the barrier to entry is relatively low, and this tactic can be a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes. Often, however, strategy is overlooked before jumping in.
So, to help you along the way, we have put together a handy how-to guide on building a solid strategy to stay on brand and give your audience members what they want on social media. For the purposes of this high-level guide, we will be using Instagram as our platform of choice.
Three Step Social Strategy Guide
Step 1: Determine Your Audience and Objectives
Instagram can be a great tool for brand awareness, recruiting new talent, sharing company news and driving sales. To start, be sure you map out the objective you are trying to achieve. This is important because if you don’t set a goal, you’ll never know if you hit it or not.
Once you have your objective, determine who you are speaking to. Make sure you have a clear understanding of who your target audience is, and do some research about what information is most important to them. We recommend starting by building audience personas, which can be very helpful in aligning your messages with your audience’s needs in order to hit your objective.
Step 2: Content and Medium Planning
Once you have identified your objective and your audience, you now need to determine what to showcase. It’s important to focus on aligning everything you do with the story you want your brand to tell. Come up with a plan that will deliver content your audience wants and answer key questions they have while being true to your messaging and brand standards. Some key questions to ask yourself may include:
- What information will our audience trust coming from us?
- What is our expertise?
- What is our product and why does it matter?
Step 3: Themes and Brand Consistency
Set up guidelines for both image and videos. Some examples include choosing a filter, deciding if you want bright colors or muted colors, and establishing whether to always use photos with people in them for company culture. Build a plan and stick to it. Consistency is key.
Brands That Are Doing This Well
Now that you have the foundational work done, you can get started on building out your content calendar and scheduling posts. Make sure to audit your process and your objective continually in order to pivot where necessary to hit your goals. Your strategy should evolve based on data, especially if you are new to social media marketing.
Kelsey collaborates with our technical and strategy teams to develop and manage digital marketing strategies — from sign off to launch to reporting.
Kelsey has broad agency experience with B2B and B2C clients. She holds a B.A. in Communications from the University of Colorado, Boulder.