How many times have you sat down at the end of your busy business day with a big mug of coffee (or a midweek wine, this is a judgement free space)...and suddenly you realise you haven't posted on your social media all week.
Panic ensues, so you pick up your phone and desperately try to find something to take a picture of. Maybe your cat, maybe your shoes, maybe the sandwich you're about to eat. Everyone is confused and you've just wasted your time posting to social media without an intention and clear strategy can really damage your business and definitely waste your time. However, when you post with a plan you know exactly what to post and when to post it. This grows your business, saves you time, and ultimately pays the bills. Worry not, for I'm going to teach you how to create your own social media strategy in just six simple steps.
First of all, I would like to say something that I hear a lot from clients that come and work for me on their strategy. So many business owners think of strategy as an overwhelming and overused word. It's very fluffy and high level and not very approachable. But it REALLY isn't as complex as you might think.
I want you to think of your social media strategy, as a conversation between you and your customers...that's all!
Once you get these tips down, you can revisit them once every quarter, or every 6 months, to ensure that your social media strategy is WORKING for your business...because that is what it's all about!
1. Get clear on your business goals baby!!
The first stage of creating a solid marketing strategy is to get clear on your business goals at this stage in the game, you need to be clear on what metrics you're going to use to measure that business goal's success.
For example, if your business goal is to create a more engaged audience, the metric you would use is your engagement rates. Check out sites like Phlanx.com to do this. However, if your business goal was to start and grow a YouTube channel, the metrics you would look at is subscriber count and viewing time on all of your videos. Getting clear on those metrics early on will really help your success with continuing to go along the path of getting these business goals done.
I personally measure my business goals quarterly. I then break these quarters down into the months within the quarter, and then these months are broken down in two weeks. To download my goal setting template, click here. This templates breaks down your quarterly goals into monthly goals, and weekly goals from there!
2. Get clear on your conversation.
The second part of the marketing strategy that is all about getting clear on your conversation.
This is the basis of your strategy is made up of three parts:
- Who you are speaking as: this part considers how you talk, what language do you use. Are you a formal Fred or a chatty Kathy? Think of how your brand would interact with clients in a coffee shop. What would you say, how do you want them to feel, why would they want to interact with you?
- Who you are speaking to: This is similar but in reverse. What gets your client going, what are they passionate about? Once you've got this down, you can talk to them in your conversational style about the things that are interested in. Simple!
- What it is that you are saying to them? This looks into the topics and conversations that you want to talk about. If you're a yoga teacher, you might want to cover a handful of topics, such as yoga practises, healthy living and mindfulness. This is all about gathering data, listening to your audience and working out what they want from you!
3. Competitive analysis.
This part includes a little bit of research and homework. Pick 3-5 fellow businesses and see what is it they are up to, be sure to chose a range of businesses that are your size and compare against industry leaders. What kind of language do they use? How do you they interact with their audience in the comment section? This can work one of two ways: you can either see what they are doing and feel inspired to make your own go at that style, or you realise that style just isn't for your brand and doesn't resonate well, and so you take a different path. Either way, just ensure that it is a different approach, you don't want to be copying someone else's business just because it works for them.
4. Where are you going to show up online?
Something I like to consider first and foremost when helping my clients chose their platforms is a simple question: what platform do they ENJOY using? If you try and remain consistent on a platform that you simply don't enjoy posting on, guess what? You won't be successful. Some people love the feel and assets of Facebook, others like the fun and fast pace of Instagram. Nail that down before thinking about this further.
However, demographics also need to be considered. Naturally, different platforms have different demographics, and you need to be sure that these align with your brand and it's mission. Some examples of how these demographics could sway:
* Pintrest users are 71% female.
* The majority of TikTok users are between 18-24 years old.
While this isn't a hard and fast rule, it should be a factor to consider when choosing your platforms.
5. What are you going to say?
Let's face it...THIS is the fun part. When you are walking around the supermarket and get that lightbulb moment of "WOW...that would be such a great blog post" or "CRAP! What wicked Reel idea". This is the process of getting all of those thoughts organised into some sort of structure.
During this phase, you can map out your fundamental content pillars, you may have heard these be referred to from the amazing Jenna Kutcher as the JK 5, these are the overarching topics that you know you want to post about. You'll want a range of around 3 - 5, and these will be the basis of your content creation. They don't have to be set in stone, and will often change from business to business, and business owner to business owner alike, it is truly unique to you and your audience.
A great way to get the ball rolling is to write down ANY question that you receive from your audience or your clients. I have a note section in my phone where I jot down any and all queries that I get through DM's, during my coaching sessions...anything. I can refer back to these and know that people want to hear me talk about this as a topic, and so I'm never stuck for content ideas. Looking at analytics on your previous content is also a great way to ensure you are making relevant content that your audience want to hear.
6. Content creation.
Many clients come to me and have it in their mind that this section alone is a social media strategy, but as you can see from this lengthy blog post...that simply isn't the case. Without the work that comes before creating the content itself, the content will fall flat on it's face, which will waste your time and quite frankly, will not pay the bills.
This section is all about creating a content calendar, creating graphics, writing up captions, blogs, recording videos, and all the wonderful creativity that comes with this final step.
This is a constantly evolving stage, as with all of the strategy. Some content you put out there might not work, your audience might not want to read blogs but might be lapping up your IGTV's, so always be sure to be footloose and fancy-free with your content flexibility.
So...that's a wrap on how to build your social media / digital marketing strategy. Each step plays a part, and is essential for building a sustainable and effective strategy.
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