In a world where social media are becoming ubiquitous and competition is heavy, it is important to stay on top of the game. Having a great social media strategy is a surefire way to make sure you are making the most out of your social media networks.

This article outlines the 7 steps to a successful social media strategy.

Goals

A social media strategy will often form part of an existing marketing strategy; an additional communication channel to reach your target audience. In some cases, social media may be used exclusively. This can have several causes: budgetary limits, brand image, experimentation or simply the nature of the marketing campaign. Whether it be on its own or as part of a wider strategy, it is vital to define precise goals. Goals help put everything into perspective and offer something to work towards and keep everyone involved in the campaign on track and accountable. Every social media strategy must have clearly defined goals with regards reach, engagement and following.

Target

Ok, now you have set your social media goals, but to whom do they refer? In other words, who is your target audience? It’s good to have clearly defined goals, but it is important that your social media strategy include a target audience in order to make the most out of the goals you set. If, for example, your aim is to get 1,000 new followers, it is important that these be followers that are relevant to whatever it is you are promoting. Knowing your audience is vital because it determines a number of things, including your choice of channel and content.

Brand and Competition

Your brand is vital for your social media strategy. You need to make sure that all of our channels and accounts display your logos and branding clearly in a way that is attractive and clean. The more professional your pages look, the more successful they will be. Do research on the big fish in the competition and figure out what makes them so successful on social media.

Social Media Strategy Step 4: Multiple Channels

Once you have your goals and targets set, do some research and figure out where your target audience is most active. Depending on age, social class, profession and a number of other factors, you will have to use different social media channels for different purposes. A good social media strategy uses a wide range of platforms for specific content and targets.

Content Strategy

You’ve done the legwork for your social media strategy, so now focus on what you are going to share. What content will be most engaging? Having a balance between the promotional, the informational and the entertaining is good. Content can come in the form of texts. videos, photos and graphics. Remember the golden rule: original content is usually better.

Engage, Publish, Review

Now it is time to actively invite and get people to follow your channels and get the social exchanges going. Make sure you have the ability to handle all to incoming comments, requests and feedback quickly and appropriately. Always leave a token of appreciation for references, RTs, pingbacks, and so on.

Keep Track to Improve

This is the last step in your social media strategy. You’ve had your goals set out from the start, now it’s important to keep track of your progress and make sure that you are on track to achieve them. Insights and analytics can help show you what works with your audience and what doesn’t, allowing you to alter the strategy along the way.

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