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How to Create a Social Media Strategy


how to create a social media strategy

When was the last time you felt confident about your social media?


If you’re unsure about what content to post and find yourself doubting your content the moment your finger lingers over the “post now” button, it’s time for a solid social media strategy.


Having a social media strategy in place means that every post going forward is based on the goals you’re looking to meet.

Your social media strategy will take the guesswork out of posting, streamline your process, and, most importantly, drive results.


The key word here is strategy. Being strategic about the type of content you produce will ensure it resonates better with your target audience, leading to increased engagement, brand awareness, and business growth.


So, what do you need in your social media strategy? Let’s take a look.


1. Define Your Goals

First and foremost, you need to know your goals. The more specific your goals are, the better.


Your goals will guide the rest of your social media strategy, so ensure you spend time thinking about what you want to achieve with your social media.


Goals for Social Media

Your goals for social media will depend on your overall business objectives. After all, social media is just one part of your overall marketing mix. All your marketing needs to work in tandem to support your business goals.


This is great news because you probably already have goals for your business. From here, you can determine your goals for social media.


To give you some ideas, common social media goals include:

  • increase brand awareness

  • drive website traffic

  • generate leads

  • increase engagement

  • increase sales

  • increase bookings

  • increase conversions

  • provide customer support


The SMART Framework for Goal Setting

We recommend you use the SMART framework for goal setting. This is a very common framework to help you set goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.


An example of a smart goal for social media could be: increase Instagram reach by 20% in three months


Specific: Prioritize increasing Instagram reach

Measurable: You want to increase your reach by 20%

Achievable: Is this goal achievable? Consider the reach on your past posts

Relevant: Supports overall business and marketing objectives

Time-bound: 3 months


2. Understand Your Audience

Next, you need to take a deep dive into your audience.


Understanding your audience, their interests and what drives their purchasing behavior will be valuable knowledge for your strategy.

Think about it this way: it’s much easier to buy a great birthday gift for someone you know well than it is to pick something for an acquaintance. This is because the more you know about someone’s interests, the better you are equipped to pick out a present they will love.


It’s the same with your audience. The better you know them, the better you can tailor your content around their interests and what will appeal to them.


Creating Audience Personas

A common way to help you understand your audience is to create personas. You’ll want to get as detailed and specific as possible for each persona, detailing information like demographics, interests, and behaviors.


You can use your social media analytics to learn more about your current audience, and further fill in the info based on your understanding of your target audience.


Let’s look at an example.


Demographics:

  • Name: Fiona Williams

  • Age: 27

  • Gender: Female

  • Location: New York City, NY

  • Occupation: Marketing Manager

  • Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing

  • Income: $70,000/year

  • Marital Status: Single


Background:

Fiona lives in a trendy apartment in Brooklyn and works as a marketing manager for a tech startup. She has a passion for fashion and loves to stay updated with the latest trends. She is very active on social media, especially Instagram and Pinterest. She enjoys following fashion influencers and brands for fashion inspiration.


Psychographics:

  • Interests: Fashion, beauty, socializing with friends

  • Values: Quality, sustainability, self-expression

  • Lifestyle: Busy urban professional, enjoys nightlife and social events


Social Media Behavior:

  • Favorite Platforms: Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok

  • Engagement: Highly engaged, frequently likes, comments, and shares posts

  • Content Preferences: Fashion tips, outfit inspirations, behind-the-scenes content, user-generated content, influencer collaborations, and brand stories

  • Devices: Mostly mobile, occasionally desktop for work


Goals:

  • To stay updated with the latest fashion trends and styles

  • To support brands that align with her values, especially sustainability


Challenges:

  • Finding time to shop with her busy schedule

  • Balancing her desire for new trends with her commitment to sustainable and ethical fashion


See how detailed we got with this persona? The more detail you have, the more real your persona will seem. Imagine creating content to cater to this specific persona’s interests.


This would be pretty easy since we have so much background info already, right? Having a clear understanding of your audience will make it easier to create the right content.


3. Conduct a Social Media Audit

Once you know your goals and audience, it’s time to look at the current state of your social media accounts.


We have a free social media audit template that walks you through the steps of auditing your own social media. You can find it here.


The goal of a social media audit is to identify what’s working and what’s not. From there, you can define actionable steps to improve your profile.


Analyze your profile and your analytics, and don’t forget to research competitors and assess their profiles, too.


There are many things to be learned from your competitors, like what type of content performs best for them.


A great tip is to take a closer look at their comment section. Is their audience asking a lot of questions or voicing concerns?


These could be opportunities for you to create content around. But remember, it’s about learning from them and building your own strategy, not about copying their strategy.


You’ll need to assess the following:

  • Profile picture

  • Bio

  • Highlights

  • Pinned Posts

  • Posting frequency

  • Post-performance

  • Performance insights

  • Engagement

  • Hashtags

4. Choose the Right Platforms

We often choose platforms without much thought, and this can be detrimental. After all, you don’t want to waste your time and energy posting on a lot of different platforms if your target audience isn’t favoring these platforms.


Focus on a couple of key platforms that make sense for your brand, rather than spreading yourself too thin.


LinkedIn and TikTok, for example, have very different user bases. If your business sells new technology to improve the business’s workflow, your best bet would be LinkedIn. If you’re in the fashion space selling handbags, TikTok would be better suited for your business.


Each platform offers unique opportunities and user bases. It’s key to understand a platform before jumping in and posting.


Here’s a quick overview of the most common social media platforms:

1. Facebook

  • Audience: Diverse demographic, popular among older adults.

  • Content Types: Text posts, images, videos

  • Best For: Community building, customer service, product showcases


2. Instagram

  • Audience: Younger demographic, highly visual, strong presence among Millennials and Gen Z.

  • Content Types: Images, videos, Stories, Reels

  • Best For: Visual storytelling, brand aesthetics, influencer marketing, product showcases.


3. Twitter

  • Audience: Broad demographic, popular among professionals, news enthusiasts, and influencers.

  • Content Types: Short text posts, images, videos

  • Best For: Real-time updates, customer service, thought leadership.


4. LinkedIn

  • Audience: Professionals, B2B marketers, industry experts, job seekers.

  • Content Types: Articles, text posts, images, videos, job postings.

  • Best For: Professional networking, B2B marketing, industry insights, thought leadership.


5. Pinterest

  • Audience: Predominantly female, creative individuals, DIY enthusiasts.

  • Content Types: Images (pins), infographics, short videos.

  • Best For: Visual inspiration, DIY projects, product discovery, driving website traffic.


6. TikTok

  • Audience: Young demographic, especially Gen Z, highly engaged and creative.

  • Content Types: Short-form videos

  • Best For: Brand personality, user-generated content, product showcases


7. YouTube

  • Audience: Broad demographic, strong presence across all age groups.

  • Content Types: Long-form videos, shorts, live streams.

  • Best For: In-depth content, educational videos, product reviews, brand storytelling.


5. Develop a Content Strategy

Now that all the base points are covered and you have an in-depth understanding of your business, your audience, and the platforms, it’s time to develop your content strategy.


Content Pillars

Firstly, define your content pillars.


The term “content pillars” has been overused and overcomplicated on social media, but it’s really quite simple. Content pillars, in their simplest form, are topics you post about.


Take some time and write a list of all the topics you talk about on your accounts, or that you would like to start talking about based on your previous research into your target audience. You can also peek into your competitors to see the type of topics they cover.


Once you have a whole list of ideas, try to categorize them into 3-5 broad themes - these will be your content pillars.


We have a detailed article on how to pick content pillars on our blog.


Create a content calendar

Next, set up your content calendar. We typically use Google Sheets for its flexibility and cooperative features.

We offer our exact content calendar on our website.


Your content calendar is going to be the place you spend a lot of time going forward planning out your content.


One of the best, and simplest, tips is to always plan ahead. Don’t wait for the day you want to post on to come around and start scrambling together a post.


Plan weeks, or even months, ahead. Not only will this give you peace of mind and ensure you’re staying consistent, it also gives you a bird’s eye view on your content for a few weeks at a time.


Types of content

Determine the best type of content to post.


Use your past-post performance from your social media audit to see which type of posts have performed best in the past.


Consider which platform you have decided to focus on. This will play a role in the type of content you produce. For example, longer blogs are great to share on LinkedIn, whereas short snippets of text work well for Twitter.


Remember you’re not stuck with just one type of content, you can do a mix of different types of content.


6. Create Engaging Content

Once you have your content strategy in place, it’s time to start creating the content. Don’t overthink this part. You’ve done all the hard work of strategizing so now creating content will be very straightforward.


Jump into your content calendar and start mapping out your content based on your strategy.

Your content will typically consist of a visual (video or graphic) and a text (the caption).


Always remember to use high-quality graphics/videos that are aligned with your branding.


While it’s true that most social media platforms are highly visual and many people don’t read captions, you still need to pay attention to writing a good caption. This is because 1) some people do read captions and you want to wow them and 2) captions are machine-readable and will help the algorithms categorize your content.


Hashtags and keywords are an essential part of your caption, so don’t forget about them.

We’ve written a full article on how to write captions here.


7. Monitor and Adjust

The hard part is done - you’ve created your social media strategy and started to implement it.

Now what’s left to do is to continuously monitor and analyze the performance of your posts.


Remember the SMART goals you set in the beginning? Keep track of whether you’re on the right path to reaching those goals.


Pay attention to both the small picture (individual post performance) as well as the bigger picture (performance trends and SMART goals).


We typically recommend sticking to your new strategy for at least 3 months and to observe performance before adjusting your strategy.


If you notice new trends in your analytics, go back to the drawing board and implement changes in your social media strategy to account for new insights.


To track your performance you can either use the insight tool from each platform or a third-party tool. We like using Later and Sprout Social for automating posts and enjoy their analytics features as well.


The metrics you should monitor will depend on your goals for social media.

Common metrics we like to track are:

  • engagement rate

  • reach

  • impressions

  • profile visits

  • external link taps


Conclusion: How to create a social media strategy

That’s a wrap on your comprehensive social media strategy.


It can be overwhelming to start working out all the details of a social media strategy, but it’ll be worth it for the ease of creating content and the results you’ll see in your performance.


We hope this article helps you on your path to creating your very own social media strategy.


If you have any questions or are interested in working with us to create a comprehensive social media strategy, feel free to reach out!

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