Social media is arguably the largest sales and marketing platform in the modern world. In it, businesses battle for eyeballs and engagement with the target audience.
One of the ways for businesses to stand out from the competition and turn audiences into sales is to have a fool-proof social media strategy in all their social marketing efforts.
Let’s walk you through creating an effective social media strategy through this social media strategy template that you can replicate on your own. We’ll start by defining important terms before exploring the step-by-step guide with templates.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is the use of social media platforms to promote, market, and sell products and services. Just like traditional marketing, social media marketing aims to:
- Attract and engage the right audience
- Improve brand awareness
- Advertise products and services
- Increase sales
- Offer the best customer service— before, during, and after the sale
- Monitor performance to improve and expand marketing strategies
What is a Social Media Strategy?
A social media strategy outlines your social media marketing activity plan in all your social media accounts. It involves your marketing techniques and the metrics you use to check if they effectively achieve your marketing goals.
Think of it as a framework that guides your every decision, ensuring you stick to the plan and accomplish it within the time you set. It should contain all the big goals you hope to achieve and the steps you need to take to achieve those goals within a deadline.
Further Reading: 12 Social Media Strategy Examples to Empower Your Marketing
How to Create a Social Media Strategy? Use This Social Media Strategy Template!
Creating a social media strategy can be challenging. However, this 7-step social media strategy template will help make it more manageable:
Step #1: Audit Current Social Media Status and Key Performance Indicators
In every pursuit, you should start where you (or the brand you work with) are and with what you have.
The first step is evaluating your current social media presence and reflecting on the previous strategies that led you here.
For your template, organize the following information on a sheet:
- Social Media Platforms/Channels (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok, etc.)
- Information per platform (e.g., link, handle, bio, profile and cover images, number of posts, post reach, engagement, etc.)
- Audience information per platform (e.g., demographics, number of followers, monthly follower increase rate, etc.)
- Objectives per platform
You can add more information to this as long as it helps you paint a clear picture of your current state.
As part of this step, you can also conduct a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis:
- Your strengths refer to your key assets and what you do best.
- Your weaknesses refer to the resources your competitors have that you don’t and areas you need to improve on.
- Opportunities refer to external factors, such as market situations and trends, that play to your strengths and help you grow.
- Threats are external factors, such as strong competition, that can prevent you from succeeding.
Another way to gauge your social media state is to listen to how the netizens perceive your brand using effective tools:
- BuzzSumo – It can give you information about the competition, the latest news in the industry, and where a brand is mentioned.
- Mentionlytics – It provides information on the conversations a brand is mentioned in
- Iconosquare – An incredibly helpful Instagram listening tool. It tracks the conversations about a brand, the effectiveness of the hashtags used, and the competitors’ performance.
- Socialinsider – The definitive social media analytics tool to help you better understand your own as well as your competitor’s performance on social media.
Identify Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to Track and Measure
You can’t manage what you can’t measure. So, after conducting a thorough audit, you must identify which KPIs you should track to monitor your progress towards the brand’s objectives.
Establish S.M.A.R.T. Goals that Align with Business Objectives
Now that you know your current situation, it’s time to identify your ideal situation in every KPI of every social media platform you have.
For instance, you want to increase your Number of FB Page Followers, Number of TikTok Views, or I.G. Inquiries to Sales Conversion Rate.
What you need to remember is that your goals should be S.M.A.R.T.:
- Specific – State what you want to achieve (e.g., increase the Number of Page Followers). There should be an action word. In this case, it’s “increase.”
- Measurable – You should have a KPI monitored to track your progress; in the previous example, it’s “Number of Page Followers”
- Attainable – Be realistic with your goals. Check your average growth rate and compare it with the industry average to make an informed estimate. Then, state your realistic target in your goal (e.g., Increase the Number of Page Followers from 200 to 1,000)
- Relevant – Your social media strategy goals should be aligned with your business goals. For example, increasing your number of page followers aligns with brand awareness business goals as a start-up.
- Time-bound – Set a deadline for your goals (e.g., Increase the Number of Page Followers from 200 to 1,000 by December 2022)
Here are some KPIs you may want to include in creating a social media strategy:
- Reach (post reach, audience growth, shares, etc.)
- Engagement (clicks, likes, comments, mentions, etc.)
- Conversions (Click-through rate, Cost per click, inquiries-to-sales conversion rate, etc.)
Step #2: Study Your Target Market
A brand’s success rests heavily on whether it can attract the right people who want its products and services. You see, customers are not the same.
They’re grouped into segments and niches that have different jobs, interests, hobbies, values, behavior, experiences, challenges, pain points, social media preferences, and purchasing power.
You need to know all of these to know who would most likely buy a brand’s products and services— then put that person at the center of your social media strategies. This way, the brand has a concrete guide in creating the visuals and writing the words that resonate with their target audience.
That person you put in the middle of your marketing efforts is your customer avatar. This fictional character describes your brand’s ideal customer, who would most likely want what you can offer.
Step #3: Study the Competition
Be mindful of your competitors’ success and learn from their mistakes and failures. Take note of their achievements, so you’ll know the industry standard and whether you’re below or above it.
You can use Brand24 and other similar tools to stay updated on your competitor’s social media performance and conduct SWOT analysis on their business. That’s how you increase your chances of getting ahead.
List your competitors and gather the following information about their social marketing strategies so you can benchmark their performance:
- Platforms used
- Number of followers
- Posts engagements
- Performance of running ads
- Social media campaigns
- Posting frequency and schedule
- Audience sentiments
Remember, in conducting a competitive analysis, your goals should be to:
- Stay in the know of the latest social media practices
- Generate content ideas for your target market
- Discover other social media platforms that can help you achieve business goals
- Expand your audience; look for other niches
Step #4: Choose the Right Social Media Channels. Set up/Optimize Accounts for Each.
Sometimes, more is not better. It’s better to dominate a few social media platforms that best serve your business than be mediocre in all of them.
Study what each platform is best for and choose which among them can best help you achieve your business goals. Also, consider where your target audience goes and follow them.
For example, if your brand is all about aesthetics and you want to attract creative people, especially ladies, Instagram and Pinterest are usually good bets because they are all about the photos.
Also, observe your competitors and note their performance on each social media platform. Gain insights from their performance.
Once you’ve chosen, you have to stay consistent in your posts. Always showing up can significantly affect your audience’s perception and how long you can hold their attention (if you get it at all).
Then, acquire tools that can help you manage the platforms you choose simultaneously. It’s just easier to, for example, have a single place where you can schedule your posts on F.B., I.G., and LinkedIn.
Lastly, set up or optimize your profile on the platforms you choose. Take note of your handles, make sure all images (especially your profile and cover photos) are seen whole within a laptop’s or phone’s screen, optimize your bio, input your contact information, make sure the links you provide work, and write a good description of your products and services, etc.
Step #5: Create a Social Media Content Strategy and Calendar
Now that you have all the information, you can start planning what content to create, what platforms to post them in, and when they should be posted (this includes post frequencies, e.g., 3x a week).
Graphic design virtual assistants can come in handy during this part. If your resources allow you to hire one, you can most likely fill your platforms with engaging visuals that can attract eyeballs.
Create a good social media content calendar that specifies each post’s date, time, and platform. Consider your brand’s important dates and events (e.g., free training, webinar, launch, promos, etc.).
Note that you should customize your posts based on your platform. Platforms differ in the following:
- Number of characters per post
- Size of images and videos
- When to post best (when users are usually active)
- Audience’s preferences on the type of content (images, videos, live, stories, carousels, etc.)
Creating a social media calendar is not as challenging as you think, especially because there are now apps designed to make these tasks more manageable. You should take advantage of these tasks to organize and schedule your content so that it’ll be less time-consuming.
Further Reading: The Ultimate 7-Step Guide to Social Media Content Creation
Step #6: Use the Right Social Media Management Tools
Find and use apps that allow you to integrate your tasks in different platforms in one place. Use an app that helps you:
- Create, schedule, and post content across all platforms in one place
- Read and respond to all P.M.s and comments from different platforms in one place
- Create post variations fit for every platform
- See all your projects in one place
- Collaborate with your team members on various tasks in one place
- Track your progress and performance based on the metrics you set
There are plenty of social media management tools out there; some are free while others offer payment structures that can accommodate the size of your business. What’s nice about some of these tools is that you can scale as your company grows.
Further Reading: The 20 Best Social Media Management Tools You Need to Know
Step #7: Track Performance and Monitor Progress. Adjust Accordingly
Constant monitoring and adjustments are significant success factors for a social media strategy. You can’t always get it right the first time; the best companies in the world don’t.
These are some of the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that will help you determine whether your strategy is working:
- Engagement – This metric reflects your brand’s presence on a particular social media platform or across all platforms.
- Likes – The number of likes your social media post has on a particular platform or across all platforms.
- Follower Growth – This measures the number of new followers you have on a particular social media platform over a period of time.
- Social Interaction – The main goal of this KPI is to determine how effective your social media strategy is in fostering positive engagement with platform users.
- Social Shares – This metric tells you the accumulated number of shares your social media platform has over some time.
- Traffic Conversions – One of the main goals of most social media strategies is to drive traffic to the company’s website to convert visitors into buying customers. This KPI will tell you how effectively your strategy generates web traffic and achieves goal conversions.
- Social Visitors Conversion Rate – This refers to the number of web visitors brought by social media efforts that became paying customers. This conversion rate is calculated by dividing the web visitors by the goals completed.
- Web Visitors by Channel Source – Contrary to the social visitor conversion rate, which covers all social media platforms, this is a conversion rate based on conversion generated by a specific social media platform.
You might be tempted to stick to your strategy since you have already done the legwork for it. However, it might not yield the desired results, causing you to waste more time and effort.
The key is to think quickly and adapt to new, unexpected situations. After all, the market and its demands change now and then.
All you can do is to make sure the plan is moving along, track your progress daily, nip problems in the bud, and conduct improvement activities whenever needed.
Further Reading: 13 Social Media Trends You Need to Understand in 2024
Final Words on This Social Media Strategy Template
A successful social media marketing strategy can increase your brand awareness, allowing you to get more customers and increase your revenue. However, creating a strategy that works is easier said than done. This is where a social media strategy template will help you.
This social media strategy template will serve as a guide of the necessary things that you have to decide on and do. It will allow you to streamline your efforts so that you won’t be wasting time.
You can use the steps mentioned above as your template. They are simple but actionable steps that can make a lot of impact in the success of your social media strategies.
Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko on Unsplash
This post was written by James Limbrit, Co-Founder of Yes Assistant LLC, providers of a well-organized and flexible virtual assistant service who give you more time to focus on the big picture by taking care of the little details.
Social Media Strategy Template FAQs
Here are the steps on how to create a social media strategy template:
1. Start by defining your goals; do you want to drive more online sales, increase website traffic or increase brand awareness?
2. Brainstorm what content and topics will be used in posts and also which platforms you plan on using to reach your target audience. You may find it beneficial to research industry benchmarks to compare yourself with others and ensure competitiveness.
3. Outline the resources that are needed so that all postings are created according to the plan, including budgeting and staffing allocations if necessary.
A successful media strategy is vital for any business in order to reach its target audience. In order to be effective, it should contain five key elements: understanding the customer/audience, setting objectives and goals, choosing the appropriate platforms and channels, planning a timeline for success, and monitoring results.
Examples of social media strategies include developing shareable content, identifying target audiences, crafting messaging that resonates, scheduling posts across different channels, reinforcing content with visuals, interacting regularly with followers, and promoting campaigns among partners such as influencers or other organizations. Ultimately, a successful social media strategy should help a business drive its goals across platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and more.
To write a social media strategy brief, list out your target market and analyze the channels they are active on. This will inform which platforms to focus efforts on. Additionally, define what success looks like in terms of metrics such as likes and shares. Establishing key performance indicators will help ensure you remain focused and assist in measuring the effectiveness of each tactic employed along the way. Finally, set aside time for regular reviews of your strategy and metrics.
The seven elements of strategy often referred to as the 7 Ps, help organizations prioritize and address their goals in the most efficient way possible. The 7Ps are:
1. Planning – essential for organizations and helps them to set their vision and define the next steps needed to achieve it.
2. People – understanding what needs to be done and motivating those involved to do it.
3. Policy – encompasses everything from communication guidelines to compliance with legal requirements.
4. Physical resources – refer to things such as production materials, money, and equipment – anything necessary in order for the strategic plans to move forward.
5. Processes – need to be designed or improved when implementing strategy, often with the use of new technologies.
6. Products/services – represent everything that the organization is trying or planning to provide via its operations.
7. Programs – ensure that different areas within an organization are coordinating effectively so that their collective output meets end goals.