Are you seeking to optimize your social media marketing strategy? Excellent! This is an opportune moment to do so. With an increasingly competitive environment, abundant content, and numerous networks, a concise strategy provides the necessary direction to reject endeavors that do not align with your objectives.
For this reason, we have compiled a comprehensive manual on developing a social media marketing plan from the ground up. Whether you are a novice to social media or wish to reassess your priorities for 2023, this guide offers comprehensive coverage.
Using sites like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for business purposes is known as “social media marketing.”
Using social media to spread the word about a new product release is an example of social media marketing. Social media marketing includes responding to comments made by customers. Social media marketing also includes producing interesting content that explains your company’s mission and history.
Social media management abilities and software are essential for this type of advertising. You need a social media marketing plan just as you do for the rest of your marketing approach.
Having established what social media marketing is, let’s go through some steps for building a strategy. Watch the video we’ve embedded below to see how you can develop a plan using the information in this article.
“Strategic Goal Setting for Business Success”
The process of developing a social media strategy begins with clearly defining your objectives. According to the 2021 Sprout Social Index™, the most common goals for social media are to increase brand awareness (58%) and drive community engagement (41%). These objectives continue to be important for social media teams as they face new challenges in 2023. The 2022 Sprout Social Index™ identifies several key challenges faced by social media teams, including talent acquisition, validating return on investment (ROI), executing social media campaigns effectively, allocating resources efficiently, and leveraging social media as a strategic business function. In anticipation of these challenges, brands are already formulating goals and frameworks to overcome them in 2023. Whether your focus is on expanding your team, growing your follower base, or fostering a more engaged community, clarifying your social media goals is the crucial first step toward achieving them. Your objectives will shape your social media marketing strategy and determine the level of time and effort required for your campaigns.
“Future-Focused Social Media Goals for 2023 and Beyond”
It is imperative to establish pragmatic social media objectives. It is advisable to commence with smaller targets that enable gradual expansion of social media endeavors in a practical and cost-effective manner.
Outlined below are a few instances of social media marketing goals that companies of varying magnitudes can strive towards.
Goal example 1: Increase brand awareness
Getting your name out there is a crucial step. If you want your brand awareness to stick around, it’s important to avoid coming off as overly promotional. Instead, you should prioritize content that highlights who you are and what you value.
Goal example 2: Generate leads and sales
Followers don’t randomly buy anything from you, whether it’s online, in-store, or through your social accounts. You can use social networking as a moneymaking opportunity. Do you, for instance, inform buyers about price reductions and special offers? Do you connect your social media profiles with your product catalog? Do you offer special discounts to your followers?
Goal example 3: Grow your brand’s audience
In order to expand your fan base, you must first promote your brand to people who are unfamiliar with it.
Finding the most relevant conversations about your brand and sector is an integral part of expanding your audience. Without actively listening for or monitoring specific keywords, phrases, or hashtags, digging through your social channels is next to impossible. Keeping tabs on these discussions allows you to rapidly broaden your base (and penetrate adjacent demographics).
Goal example 4: Boost community engagement
Since interaction is the name of the game on social media, it’s beneficial to test out novel approaches to attracting new followers.
Consumers are interested in content that showcases a company’s products and services as well as its personality and client testimonials, according to Sprout Social’s 2022 IndexTM research.
What Kinds of Content Do Social Media Users Want From Brands?, an infographic by Sprout Social IndexTM
Because of this, businesses need to try several forms of communication and content. Does your company, for instance, encourage the usage of hashtags and user-created content?
Asking a question, even a basic one, can boost participation. If you treat your customers well, they will gladly sing your praises to others.
Goal example 5: Drive traffic to your site
Very elementary. Social networking can help you reach your goals of increasing leads or website traffic. Monitoring conversion rates and clicks on URLs in social media advertising and promotional posts can help you estimate your return on investment.
Any number of these objectives might be pursued, and doing so can shed light on which networks to focus on. Instead of trying to do too much with your social media marketing, focus on a few key goals. You should choose a couple and organize your troops around them.
Research your target audience and select your networks
It’s bad news for marketers when they make assumptions.
According to the Sprout Social IndexTM 2022, almost 60% of businesses regularly utilize social data. Social data provides invaluable insights for leaders and practitioners alike.
Sprout Social IndexTM infographic demonstrating the prevalence with which businesses make advantage of social data
The information you need to shape your social media marketing plan based on your target demographic is readily available. It’s a matter of knowing where to look.
Marketers may speed up their target market analysis with the correct software. You don’t need a background in data science or market research to get started.
Remember: different platforms attract different audiences
Consider the current makeup of social media user bases. If you want to know which platforms to focus on and what kind of content to put out there for your brand, go no further than these data. Consider these lessons learned when you develop your social media marketing plan for 2023:
Ads on Facebook and YouTube tend to do well because of the large number of high-wage earners who frequent those sites.
The Sprout Social IndexTM for 2022 found that 69% of consumers and 64% of businesses expected to make the most use of Facebook over the next twelve months. 51% of consumers and 35% of marketers are also planning to use YouTube.
Instagram and YouTube’s dominance among Millennials and Generation Z users is a testament to the appeal of audacious, visually arresting content that is brimming with individuality.
Over sixty percent of Pinterest’s global users are women.
Because of its highly educated user base, LinkedIn is a great place to get specialty information that goes into greater depth than what you might find on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter.
The American market is TikTok’s most avid user base. Some 73% of TikTok users say they feel more connected to brands after interacting with them on the app.
While demographics like those above are helpful for pinpointing the general location of your target audience, it’s also crucial to familiarize yourself with the specifics of each social media platform before deciding where your company should have a presence.
Brands that attract massive audiences typically have many online identities. Big chains like McDonald’s and Starbucks can afford to establish locations all over the world, but what if your company is medium or small?
Here’s a quick rundown of the most popular social media sites to help you decide where to focus your efforts:
Twitter is an easy and effective place to begin for most companies. There’s a reason why Twitter is still the go-to medium for customer service: it requires minimal setup and provides a place to talk back and forth with followers immediately. Learn all you need to know about hashtags, tagging, brand voice, and social media etiquette to succeed in social media marketing.\
Facebook is essential for traditional stores who want to attract local clientele. It’s a great place to create a loyal local following because users can check in and leave feedback. In addition, they provide a remarkable chatbot functionality that may supercharge your marketing and customer care efforts.
Due to a recent change in the platform’s algorithm, some companies are finding it challenging to expand their Pages and maintain regular communication with their fans. As a result of its ability to help businesses rise above the din of constant algorithm updates, Facebook’s advertising platform has become the standard by which all others are measured.
Instagram is fundamentally a social media platform for sharing photos and videos. The platform is an important meeting place for traditional stores, online retailers, and influencers, and it actively promotes originality on the part of brands. It’s all about coming up with creative ways to showcase your product, whether through striking images or amusing captions.
LinkedIn is a social media platform that focuses solely on professional connections and news. It’s a treasure trove for business-to-business (B2B) networkers in particular. In search of a CEO, marketing director, or other influential person to contact? They’re probably around here somewhere.
Pinterest is widely recognized as one of the most effective social media platforms for marketing, specifically targeting Millennials. Like Instagram, Pinterest is primarily a visual social media platform where products are featured prominently.
YouTube’s vibrant and involved user base belies any doubts about the site’s legitimacy as a social network. YouTube is a terrific place to host your videos if you’re already creating them, as video is the best-performing sort of content across practically every social network.
In September of 2021, TikTok surpassed 1 billion users, making it the most popular social media platform in the world. The hyper-personalized algorithm of the short-form video app is as well-known as its viral trends and niche communities. TikTok marketing has revolutionized the way businesses interact with their target audiences.
There are more than 15 different social media outlets available to your brand; nevertheless, you shouldn’t use them all. Instead of trying to control every possible platform, think about which ones make the most sense for your sector and audience.
Research your current social media followers and prioritize the platforms where your target demographic already spends time. Additional research is required to reveal the demographics of your social media audience in the real world.
That’s why many companies utilize a social media dashboard to see how many people are following them across different platforms and how they interact with them.
For instance, Sprout’s Analytics Dashboard highlights your target audience’s demographics. It shows you which social media platforms get the most attention, so you can prioritize your time accordingly. If you want to know if you need another social media account, you can utilize analytics for that, too.
Sprout’s Group Report provides a unified picture of your social media accounts, allowing you to compare metrics across platforms and export them in a variety of ways based on time frames and user profiles.
The Team Report in Sprout Social
You can enhance the information you glean from social media platforms with data from a wide variety of other sources. This can be anything from your most popular items to your customer service software and sales data gleaned through Google and email.
Your marketing messages, customer service strategies, and approaches to social commerce will all be affected by the aforementioned factors.
Establish your most important metrics and KPIs
Your social media strategy, whatever your end goal or field, should be data-driven.
That requires paying attention to the KPIs that actually matter for social media. Dig into data that really relates to your objectives rather than focusing on vanity measures.
In what ways are we measuring success? Take a look at the breakdown:
- Reach. The reach of your post is the total number of people who saw it. To what extent does your material appear in people’s feeds?
- Clicks. This is the total number of times your content or profile has been clicked. If you want to know what makes consumers curious or makes them want to make a purchase, tracking clicks per campaign is a must.
- Engagement. The ratio of social contacts to first impressions. What this reveals about your audience’s impression of you and their openness to participation in the conversation.
- Hashtag performance. Which hashtags did you use the most often? Find out the top trending hashtags related to your company. Having these details can assist you decide what to emphasize in your writing.
- Organic and paid likes. These interactions are assigned to either sponsored or organic content, going above and beyond the simple Like. Ads are used by many companies since organic engagement is difficult to achieve. You can save money and time by being aware of these distinctions when planning your advertising budget.
- Sentiment. This metric assesses how interested people are in your product or service. Do you know if your latest promotion offended any of your customers? When consumers think about your campaign’s hashtag, what feelings come to mind? It’s always a good idea to look beneath the surface to see what people really think about and say about your business.
- Views. The number of times a movie has been viewed is tracked using this metric, however its use is not standard across all distribution channels. On Facebook and LinkedIn, for instance, a user must watch a video for at least three seconds for it to be considered a view. TikTok and other forms of online video consumption are on the rise, and if you want to capitalize on this trend, you need study up on social video engagement metrics.
Statistics are the basis of every good social media marketing plan. However, you must place those figures in a framework that is consistent with your original objectives. Deliver the narrative behind the stats and check if your efforts are in line with your vision with regular analytics reports.
It’s not a big deal. any content is the lifeblood of any social media marketing plan.
You should now have a decent sense of what to publish based on your objectives, target demographic, and established brand voice. You likely have a good idea of which channels to focus on.
But what about the way you plan to provide content? Here are some suggestions, concepts, and motivation that may be useful.
Defining your content strategy
Developing a content strategy may seem like a daunting task, but in the end, it will all come down to your objectives.
Do you want to inform your B2B clientele? Put out industry-related blogs, articles, and commentary.
Promoting something you can buy online? Share images of your products in use and of happy customers showing off their new gear.
Customer service oriented? Advice, public recognition, and news about the company are all welcome.
Branding-wise, it doesn’t matter what you share; coming up with a hashtag to pair with your content is a great idea.
Find your brand voice
Establishing a unique brand voice is a great strategy for being noticed on social media. It’s likely that you’ve encountered a brand’s social media content that looks and reads uniquely like nothing else.
Example: Discord’s Twitter account is adored by both casual users and moderators thanks to its witty, easygoing tone.
Raise your hand if you steal memes, reads the Discord tweet. You’re in no danger; I’m just curious.
Of course, not every business would thrive with the same tone. The trick is to seem like a real person and not a computer. Use a tone and style that is consistent with your brand.
The importance of sticking to content themes
Numerous brands depend on recurring content formats and creative elements, ranging from graphics to Reels and beyond. These themes can aid in achieving consistency and honing a content strategy that is logical. One approach is to alternate between memes, product photos, and user-generated content while adhering to a predetermined color palette. If managing multiple sources of social content becomes challenging, employing a social media management tool can assist in organizing media libraries and scheduling posts in advance.
Here are some social media trends to think about if you want to narrow down the specifics of what you should share and make sure you’re generating creative material.
Stories and time-sensitive posts
No one is going to stop telling stories. Stories-style content is engaging and cannot be missed, playing into your followers’ FOMO (fear of missing out). This material can help your brand’s account “skip the line” and remain top-of-mind with followers by always appearing at the top of their feeds.
Two beverages and two glasses of water may be seen in the Instagram Story posted by Spiller Park Coffee.
Using stories is a great way to give your audience a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes action and add a human touch to your social media feed. Think about all the ways you can utilize Instagram Stories to cover an event or transport your followers somewhere new without them even leaving the app.
The popularity of social video platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels has contributed to this growth. The high engagement rate of short-form works means that they continue to rule the social sphere on all platforms.
According to the Sprout Social 2022 IndexTM, short videos are more appealing to audiences than extended ones by a factor of 2.5. Short-form material is also preferred by the majority of customers (66%).
Posts that show off your human side
Content that is both personal and engaging should form the basis of your social media marketing efforts. It’s okay to remind people that there are actual people behind the posts they’re reading.
According to the Sprout 2022 IndexTM, 34 percent of customers are interested in material that showcases a company’s unique voice. Take advantage of the chance to show your humanity and build trust with your audience by sharing more personable content.
Collaborate with creators
Enter the creative economy if you haven’t already. When carried out properly, social collaborations can provide remarkable results. They can aid in increasing site traffic, creating engaging content, and swaying consumer choice.
Customers, however, do care about the credentials of creators, so be selective. Creators’ expertise and credibility in using the product or service they are writing about are crucial.
Graphic from Sprout Social IndexTM emphasizing the most vital credentials of creators who collaborate with businesses
Find content makers who share your brand’s values and think about how they may assist you in making content that really stands out.
By 2024, the metaverse might be worth $800 billion. Both established businesses and innovative newcomers are jumping on the metaverse bandwagon by developing branded activations in this exciting medium.
A joint tweet from Chipotle and Roblox advertises the latter’s online eatery.
In the following year, more than two-thirds of marketers plan to allocate at least a quarter of their money to metaverse strategies.
Bring other departments into the mix
When it comes to gauging customer satisfaction, social media teams have a distinct advantage. When it comes to the internet, you are the brand’s eyes and ears. It’s not simply marketing strategy that can benefit from those discoveries. They’ll do wonders for your company.
The best social media teams will collaborate across departments with gusto and purpose.
The short answer? All of them. But don’t bite off more than you can chew. Instead, start where you think you can make the most impact. Here are a few ideas to jumpstart your strategy.
Recruiting new employees isn’t the only benefit to working with HR on social-first employer brand projects. It has the potential to entice more formidable and well-qualified applicants. To compete for top talent, many businesses are already using social recruitment techniques, such as posting engaging “we’re hiring” ads on LinkedIn.
According to the Sprout Social IndexTM 2022, the most common application of social data is in sales planning. In the context of increasingly digitized client journeys, sharing social data with your sales organization can empower reps to perform smarter. To get the most out of your internet connections, you should look into social selling.
Product and merchandising
Managing your company’s social inbox means fielding requests for new features and products. These conversations can be distilled into useful information for the product and merchandising teams with the help of a social media management platform. Together, these findings and the data from the roadmap will help you develop a strategy that will truly impress your clientele.
So, that’s it for your 2023 and beyond social media strategy guide!