What exactly is a social media marketing strategy?
Let’s start with the most basic thing, which is to define what this is so abstract today. A social media marketing strategy is basically a planning of the content that you will have to publish and share on social networks over a certain period of time to meet the goals you have set (and keep the words in bold, which are what really matters.
For example, imagine you’re hosting an event… I don’t know, a WordCamp. Your goal is that there are many attendees and that the speakers are of the good, the best; of the best, the superior. In other words, you want it to be a success, go. Well, there are two ways to do it: either you’re going to jump and solve the problems as they arise, or you create a plan with everything that needs to be done, assigning people in charge, setting deadlines, etc. Which one do you think will give better results?
A marketing strategy for your blog is more or less the same, only in this case we will focus on the content we want to write and share. If you create a consistent and coherent plan, you will be able to communicate your message much better and the impact of your work will be infinitely greater.
With this I’m not telling you that everything has to be programmed to the millimeter. The tasks will have to be defined with greater or lesser precision according to their complexity and we will have to know how to adapt to possible unforeseen events… but, well, I trust you understand where I’m going.
Steps to Creating a Marketing Strategy
Okay, now that we’re clear about what we’re talking about, let’s look at the different steps we need to take to do it. And, so that you can see how much I appreciate you, I put them in a list of those that you like so much 😇
Define your objectives
The first step in any strategy is to define the objectives we want to achieve. In our case, these can be very varied: we can want to make our personal brand known, present a new product, make some functionality known, promote an event that we are organizing… So, our goal will usually be to get a certain message to the largest number of people.
However, it is very important to bear in mind that defining these objectives is only the first step. For our campaign to be really useful we need to translate those targets into metrics that we can measure. The results we get with these metrics are what will allow us to determine whether our strategy has been a success or a failure. If we cannot measure what we have done, we can consider that we have wasted our time and money.
Thus, the most important part of this first step is to come up with one or more SMART objectives:
- Specific. The objective must be clear and cannot be diffuse. For example, when we set up a WordCamp, a specific target could be that we want to have at least 50% local speakers.
- Measurable. Every objective has to be measurable. In our case, we have proposed that 50% of speakers be local, and it is clear that this is something that, once the speakers are selected, we will be able to measure easily.
- Attainable. Whenever we define an objective we have to be realistic and propose things that we can achieve. If in our community there are not too many people who have been encouraged in the past to give talks, asking for 100% local speakers is probably impossible. Maybe even getting that 50% is also impossible. In any case, there is no point in setting unachievable goals; propose something attainable and strive to achieve it.
- Relevant. Objectives can be a thousand, but only a few will be really relevant. For example, does it make sense that one of our goals is for someone in Australia to write a tweet about our WordCamp? Well, honestly, I have no idea. Now, our initial objective is relevant: WordCamps are events that aim to promote the local community, so getting local speakers visible is relevant to these events.
- Timely. The objectives have to be achievable in a certain period of time; it can’t be that they extend to infinity and beyond. In our case, for example, the objective has to be met by the time the WordCamp program is closed.
Identify your audience
To tell you the truth, I’m not sure if this is a step later than the previous one or in a way one depends on the other. It is clear that depending on the audience you have, you will have to set some objectives or others… but it is also clear that depending on the objectives you propose, you will have to direct your message to one audience or another. Well, both steps are related and influence each other, don’t you think?
Be that as it may, at some point you will have to define the person you want to receive your message. This could be your current customer base, a particular segment, or someone completely different. For example, when we were talking about setting up WordCamp, the audience I want to communicate the event to are WordPress users and professionals in a given area.
Obviously, the better you can define the profile of your audience, the easier it will be for you to create a convincing and appropriate message. So, for example, if we focus on the goal of getting speakers for our WordCamp, we will have to identify exactly what kind of speakers we want, what experience they should have, whether we want them to be local or not, and so on. Knowing all this, we will be able to investigate what their concerns and needs are and we will be able to explain to them why participating in a WordCamp as a speaker is beneficial to them.
Choose the idea (or ideas) to develop
Successful campaigns work because they usually have an idea behind them, a clear message, a concept to communicate. So once you have identified the objectives and the audience to which you are going to address your message, you need to find that idea, you need to find the magic formula to attract traffic to your website.
Normally, a good formula to find the topics to write about is to identify the problems your target audience has and expose how the solution you offer will solve them. But the creative process of generating ideas is much broader and need not be limited only to problems and solutions.
If we go back to the example of our WordCamp and focus on finding speakers, we need to identify what ideas we want to convey to those we want to give a talk. For example, we can talk about the advantages of encouraging the local community to grow, the synergies that arise between the different professionals who attend a WordCamp or the business opportunities that appear when users and professionals come together in the same place.