20 Results-Driven Social Media Content Ideas
July 21, 2017
9 Tactics To Grow Your Influence In Your Industry
August 10, 2017

how to create a social media marketing strategy

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🤔 Would you like to generate leads and sales from social media?

🎯 Are you looking for a simple, step by step approach which shows you how to create a social media marketing strategy that works?

👇Whether you like learning from videos or reading, I’ve got you covered.

Webinar: How To Build A Successful Social Media Strategy

🎯 Daniel Knowlton loved doing this webinar with Sendible last week!

👇 In the webinar, Dan walks you through 8 areas we focus on when developing social media strategies for our clients;

☑ Outline your objectives
☑ Research
☑ Choose the right social networks
☑ Social Media content
☑ Social Media engagement
☑ Social Media growth
☑ Performance measurement
☑ Tools

Posted by KPS Digital Marketing on Thursday, 6 July 2017

 

STEP #1 Outline Your Objectives

The first thing you need to think about when developing your social media strategy is; what do you actually want to achieve?

Outlining what you want to achieve from the start will give you focus. It will guide your social media strategy in the right direction.

Example Social Media Objectives

To whet your appetite, here’s some examples of the kinds of objectives social media can help you achieve;

🎯 Generate new leads and sales.

🎯 Nurture leads.

🎯 Increase brand awareness.

🎯 Increase brand advocacy.

🎯 Drive website traffic.

🎯 Boost brand engagement.

🎯 Build a community around your business.

🎯 Improve customer service.

🎯 Increase mentions in the press.

🎯 Increase your influence in your industry.

🎯 Build relationships (potential customers, current customers, influencers etc.)

 

STEP #2 Research

Doing research is an important part of creating your social media strategy. The #1 objective of doing this research is to compile external data that will help you develop a more effective strategy.

When doing your external research, you need to answer the following questions. Answering these will help you learn from what is already working.

🤔 What are they doing on social media that’s working really well?

🤔 What social media platforms are they using?

🤔 How are they using each platform?

🤔 What type of content are they posting?

🤔 Who are they having conversations with on social media?

🤔 How often are they posting? Etc…

There’s 3 core types of social media users you need to focus on when asking the above questions;

Social Media User 1: Other businesses in your industry that are smashing it on social media.

Social Media User 2: Competitors

Social Media User 3: People/ businesses/ brands (not in your industry) that are smashing it on social media.

 

How do you find these 3 types of social media user on social media?
Social Media User 1: Other businesses in your industry that are smashing it on social

Influencer Identification Tools

Use tools which rank and identify how influential social media users are in a certain industry or on a specific topic e.g. Buzzsumo, Followerwonk, Klout.

Search Google

Search Google e.g. ‘Top [enter business type] on social media’, ‘Best [enter business type] on Facebook’ etc.

Search Social Media

Use the search bar in each social media platform to manually search and identify accounts in your industry with a lot of comments, shares, video views etc.

Social Media User 2:  Competitors

In most cases, the quickest way to open all of your competitor’s social media pages is to go to their website and scroll down until you see social media icons.

Right click on each icon and choose ‘open in new tab’.

If your competitors don’t have links to their social media accounts from their website then you’ll have to manually go on each social media platform and search for them.

Social Media User 3: People/ businesses/ brands that are smashing it on social

I’ll make this really easy for you, here’s a list of some of my favourites. Don’t just listen to what they say on social media, watch what they do.

STEP #3 Choose The Right Social Networks

To choose the right social networks for your business, you need to consider the following 3 things;

1. Which social network(s) are your ideal customers paying most attention to now and in the future?

2. Which social network(s) make sense for the skills you/ your team have?

3. Which social network(s) will you/ your team enjoy using?

I’ve written a detailed article on this which will make this step super easy for you;

>>> How To Choose The Right Social networks For Your Business <<<

 

STEP #4 Plan Your Social Media Content

Content is one of the most important elements of your social media strategy. This step is all about understanding;

1. How to plan your social media content for each month.

2. How to come up with content ideas that drive results.

 

How to plan your social media content for each month

Follow these 3 steps to plan your content each month.

1. Plan content around what is happening internally in your company

Firstly, look at your internal company calendar to see what you have planned for the following month. Once you see what is going on, you can plan some content around specific interesting things happening within the company.

The whole idea of sharing this kind of content is based around storytelling. Show your audience what is going on within your company. Let them get to know your team etc!

For example;

☑ Company/ product news

☑ Events

☑ Team activities

☑ Training

☑ Client visits

☑ Employee birthdays

☑ Team Meetings

☑ Updates on client projects

If you want to know more about how you can effectively use storytelling to grow your influence then check out the Engage With Story Podcast I did with Ben Amos below (skip to 04:30 to get to the tactical stuff).

EWS Ep #7: How to Use Story to Grow Your Influence Online with Dan Knowlton
2. Plan content around what is happening externally

Secondly, look up external, topical themes that you could potentially link social media content to. This is a nifty little exposure hack as there is a spike in interest around these topics when they happen.

For example;

☑ Awareness days (awarenessdays.com, projectbritian.com).

☑ Industry news.

☑ National holidays.

☑ Popular pop culture stuff going on at the time.

☑ Stuff to do with the economy that affects your industry.

☑ Stuff to do with popular TV shows that could relate to your industry.

☑ Current affairs you can comment on e.g. How Jeremy Corbyn is using Influencer Marketing to reach millennials.

3. Develop a set of content calendar ideas to fill in the gaps

Finally, you need to develop a set of content calendar ideas to fill in the gaps. Read the section below to work out how to do this.

 

How to come up with content ideas that drive results

The way you come up with social media content ideas that drive results is to work backwards.

When coming up with these ideas, you need to think about 3 things;

1. Who are you aiming the content at?

💡 Potential customer segments.

💡 Current customers.

💡 Influencers (people who will help spread the word to larger relevant audiences).

💡 Potential new employees.

💡 Current employees.

2. What are we trying to achieve?

💡 Educate, entertain, inspire?

💡 Engagement to increase social media reach?

💡 Get social media community to take a specific call to action?

💡 See more examples in step #1.

3. How can we make this content creative, fun and engaging?

💡 Using more creative content tools e.g. Time-lapse, Boomerang, Video editing software etc.

💡 Turn a boring piece of content into a fun interview.

💡 Add comedy into your content. e.g. our video on annoying social media habits.

💡 Do a Facebook Live interview instead of a normal post.

💡 Involve a variety of team members.

💡 Have a team meeting to come up with creative ideas.

If you’re lazy, here’s 20 results-driven social media content ideas for you.

More social media content ideas for you

Below are some of my favourite content ideas for you to steal (don’t tell everyone about them though). 😉

 

STEP #5 Outline Social Media Engagement Activities

We all know engagement is an important part of building relationships and converting prospects into customers.

Therefore, this is something you need to plan as part of your social media strategy. The best way to ensure you consistently ‘do the right stuff’ when it comes to engaging, is to develop a daily, weekly and monthly table that you can print out and tick once complete.

Below are some examples of the kinds of activities you should be doing to effectively engage your audience on social media.

Daily Weekly Monthly
Check and respond to all notifications promptly. Go to industry events/ meet ups and connect with everyone you meet on social media. Check analytics to see which posts got the most engagement.
Proactively engage with potential customer’s content. Identify 5 new prospects to start engaging with on social media. Test a new type of post which encourages engagement.
Proactively engage with current customer’s content. Share & add a detailed comment to an interesting piece of content from a prospect.
Proactively engage with industry influencers content.

Check out these awesome articles for additional engagement inspiration to fill in the rest of your engagement table;

50+ Gurus Share Secrets On How To ROCK Social Media Engagement

10 ways to increase your social media engagement like never before


STEP #6
Outline Social Media Growth Activities

Growing a social media audience of decision makers is hugely important if you want to generate leads and sales. You don’t just want to grow an audience of random people, you want people who are likely to be interested in your products/services and are empowered to make a decision to work with you.

There’s a ton of ways you can grow an audience of potential customers on social media, here’s a few to get you started.

🌱 Paid Facebook Ads (Grow a relevant Facebook audience for 10% of what it normally costs).

🌱 Add social media links in every employee’s email footer.

🌱 Grow a relevant Twitter audience with Jooicer. (10% off code via link).

🌱 Follow everyone you meet in person on social media.

🌱 Follow potential customers on social media.

🌱 Get all employees to share, like and comment on important posts once they are posted.

 

STEP #7 Plan How You Will Measure Performance

It’s so important to ensure you are generating enough ROI with the effort you put into social media.

Not only that, if you find you’re not generating enough ROI, then tracking performance will help you improve what you’re doing by figuring out what works and what doesn’t.

Which metrics should you measure?

This is simple. Your main focus should be measuring metrics which are in line with your objectives.

For example…

Objective Metric
Generate new leads. Growth of number of leads generated via social media.
Increase brand awareness. Growth of social media reach.
Boost brand engagement. Growth of social media engagement.
Improve customer service. Net promoter score improvement.
Increase mentions in the press. Growth in number of mentions in the press.
 Increase industry influence.  Growth of social authority score.

There are an infinite amount of metrics you can measure when it comes to social media. One thing I’d say is don’t get too hung up on the less important ones.

Yes you need to ensure you are moving in the right direction, but your time is better spent working on your business rather than spending all your time measuring metrics.

How can you measure these metrics?

Each social media platform has some form of analytics built in to help you measure metrics, some better than others (Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics, Instagram Insights etc.)

Remember, you want to focus most of your time tracking the metrics that are in line with your top level objectives (shown in the table above).

To do this, you need to think logically. See examples in the table below.

Objective Metric Measurement Process
Generate new leads. Growth of number of leads generated via social media. Have a process in place which firstly logs details of every lead that comes directly through social media as it happens. Secondly, ensure every lead that comes through alternate communication channels is asked how they heard about your business.
Increase brand awareness. Growth of social media reach. Use inbuilt social media analytics.
Boost brand engagement. Growth of social media engagement. Use inbuilt social media analytics.
Improve customer service. Net promoter score improvement. Read this article to learn how to work out your Net Promoter Score each month and work out the percentage change month on month.
Increase mentions in the press. Growth in number of mentions in the press. Use a social listening tool like Sendible or Buzzsumo or Mention to track mentions of your brand online. Work out the percentage change month on month.
 Increase industry influence.  Growth of social authority score.  Use a tool like Klout to track how your social authority score changes month on month.

 

STEP #8 Choose The Tools You Will Use

What is it called? What does it do? How much is it?
Jooicer << 10% discount link Grow a targeted Twitter following automatically. $9 – $39+ per month
Canva Online graphic design software. FREE
Giphy GIF search engine & creation tool. FREE
Sendible Social media management software. $37 – $381+ per month
Buzzsumo Helps you find the most shared content & influencers for any topic or site. FREE – $559 per month
Splice (made by Go Pro) Video editing App. FREE
Enlight Photo editing App. £3.99
Wordswag Photo editing App. $4.99
Manageflitter Twitter growth tool. FREE – $49 per month

 

STEP #9 Schedule Everything In Your Calendar

This is one of the things that has had the biggest impact on our business. Each month, Lloyd and I sit down and work out every single thing we need to do (not just social media).

We then work out who is doing each thing based on 2 factors;

1. Who has the skills/ experience to deliver the best results?

2. Who would enjoy doing the activity the most?

Once we’ve worked out who’s doing what, we then schedule specific dates and times in our outlook calendar to complete the activities.

Then, each day, we look at what we’ve got scheduled to do in the calendar to do and guess what? We do it!

This step isn’t just a great way of staying organised with your daily, weekly or monthly social media activities. It will help your whole business!

 

Over To You

Now it’s your turn to put this into practice. This is your one chance to develop an effective social media strategy that will help you generate leads and sales.

Ready, set, GO!

 

 

In the spirit of full disclosure, we have used a couple of affiliate links in this post, which means that we may get a small commission if you decide to purchase any of the tools mentioned. We only recommend tools that we use and love, so we know you’ll be in good hands. 

Daniel Knowlton
Daniel Knowlton
Dan is the award winning Co-founder of KPS Digital Marketing who was named #12 Most Influential Digital Marketer on Twitter in the world in 2016 by Onalytica. Dan is a contributor for a variety of key marketing publications including Social Media Examiner, Content Marketing Institute and Jeff Bullas’ Blog. He is also a keen speaker and has spoken at events internationally for a variety of organisations including NatWest and The Royal institute of Chartered Surveyors. Dan has a passion for helping others learn how to get to grips with Digital Marketing and is obsessed with providing value for his community.
  • Niel Malhotra

    This is an excellent description of how to start a social media strategy. The scary thing is when a company doesn’t even bother to have a strategy in the first place! I’ve seen companies waste time and money on social media without bothering to have a decent strategy thought up. Needless to say, they ended up wasting money.

    • Thanks Niel, you’re right, having a strategy is crucial if you want to generate ROI.