As we’ve discussed before, we believe there are times when marketing can be handled in-house and you don’t hire a marketing agency. And in those instances, it’s important to have a strategy for all areas of marketing, including social media. But if you’re thinking:
“I can’t create a real strategy with my small team!”
“I AM the marketing department! There is no way I can do one more thing on top of all I have to handle alone.”
Then this post is for you. Because we believe you CAN create a great social media strategy. Follow our template to create a strategy that you can implement yourself or with your small team.
Creating a Social Media Strategy
Determine your Goal for Social Media:
You have overall marketing goals, and you probably have sale goals. But what is your Social Media Goal? Is it to generate more leads? Is it for direct sales? Is it to communicate important messages about your company or brand? Is it all of the above?
Social Media Goal Example for a Tourism department:
Our social media marketing exists to spread the word about our town, activities, events and happenings to relevant audiences to encourage them to visit (and spend their money in town!)
What are your objectives?
Objectives should be measurable and specific. Break them down for each social media account:
- For Facebook: An objective could be to grow your audience by 10% in the next quarter.
- For Twitter: An objective is to increase your engagement (those interacting with commenting on , Retweeting your posts etc.) by 25% by the end of the year.
- For Instagram: An objective could be to get 100 user-generated content pieces to re-share on your account.
Objectives are important so that you can measure the success of your campaign and see where you have wins and areas that need improvement!
Don’t forget about Audiences!
Another important piece of your strategy is identifying your target audience or audiences. We like to throw these audiences in our objectives as they are often identified once we establish what we’re trying to measure with each social media account.
Using our Instagram objective for example:
We will be targeting tourists which we know range from women ages 45-60 and Men ages 21-35.
Another piece we like to identify when putting together social media strategy is the frequency of posts. Facebook might be a 5 day a week post platform to reach your goal, while Instagram might just be 4 times a month.
Identify the Tactics you’ll use:
The next step is to come up with the tactics you’ll undertake to achieve your objectives.
Keeping with our Tourism Social Media idea, a few tactics might be:
- Create an #LoveMyCity campaign (where “My City” is the name of your city) for tourists (and residents), encouraging them to hashtag their Instagram posts from around town. Monthly a winner chosen from the submissions will receive a gift certificate to a local business. You will (with the user’s permission) repost the images and be able to have user-generated content created BY local visitors!
- Use Twitter to post about all the businesses in your area. Tell facts about the 5 restaurants downtown. Retweet and re-share content from the local coffee shop. Share tips about the best places to hike and to find a shady spot at the park!
- Facebook loves pictures and videos, so you can do mini interviews with business owners. Ask the chamber of commerce to have their members submit pictures and videos. Re-share the content from Instagram that gets a lot of engagement. Look up events going on in town and post about those or re-share posts from local business pages. Curate a weekly guide of what is happening in town to post towards the end of the week!
Content and Messaging
After identifying the tactics, brainstorm about the messaging you can use for each tactic.
A Twitter Example might be:
- Create a series called “5 Questions with….” and ask 5 Questions of all the businesses downtown, sharing them in threaded tweets, including a photo of the business or manager!
Great, but how can I actually create this strategy?
For businesses or organizations with marketing departments, goal setting and strategy should be an annual activity with quarterly updates and check ins (and monthly reporting). But for the rest of us, those without big departments, one man departments or just one person manning the WHOLE ship, how can we actually make it happen?
It’s possible! We promise. It just takes dedicated time, away from everything else.
Go to your local coffee shop, unplug your devices and jot down ideas. It doesn’t have to be something that you’d submit as your senior thesis. It can be messy. It can have lots of ideas in progress. The point is to get a strategy behind all the ideas going on in your head. Brainstorm, write down tons of thoughts and ideas.
Our next article will talk about some tactics (hey, we used that word too!) you can use to do social media with a small or one-person team.