Social media marketing is not just throwing a handful of darts and seeing what sticks. It’s calculated, strategic and methodical. And while the process isn’t perfectly formulaic every single time, there are some basic steps that apply in nearly every situation.
12 Steps to a Strategic Social Campaign
This week on the BuzzPlant Blog, we’re excited to share with you a 12-step process that very closely mirrors how we work with our clients on their social media strategies. (Thanks to SocialMediaMarketo for providing the great infographic.)
- Define target audience. We never want to assume we know who an audience is. Always, always research. Maybe your instincts will be confirmed; maybe you’ll learn something new. Either way, you start with the data to back up your efforts. Google AdWords and Alexa (the website traffic site – not the Amazon device) are great tools to begin with.
- Research buyer persona. Now that you’ve identified your audience, it’s time to learn about them. Where does this demographic go for information? Entertainment? Advice?
- Research influencers. Who are the influencers in your sector? Do you know how to partner with them? Did you know that partnering with a “non-celebrity” could be significantly more effective than reaching for a big celebrity partnership?
- Identify social media platforms used by buyer persona. What kind of social media platform does your buyer use? Again, this is more demographic work. However, it’s essential to get these early stages right before creating content.
- Look at your competitors’ preferred social platforms. Time for a little competitive research. What’s the competition doing? Is it working or not? How can you take the best parts of their success and build on them?
- Produce content that addresses buyer persona pain points. Here’s where all the data and research gets pushed over to the creative team’s desk. How can you create conversations about your brand? (Hint: it’s not by holding up a loudspeaker.) Instead, focus on the things that your audience cares about. When you do this, you’ll find a connection. (Much more about this concept in my book, Finally Human.)
- Create a content bank. As you create content, be sure you’re organizing and housing it in a way that keeps it accessible for everyone on the team that needs to be able to find it. This stage is always a good time to start thinking about how you’ll scale your content in the future.
- Engage and build relationships. Social marketing is a two-way street. While creating original content is important, having that back-and-forth is absolutely essential. Identify the users you want to have relationships with and be consistent in pursuing them.
- Maintain a consistent content publishing cycle. You’ll need a content calendar to make this work. You’ll also need to learn what social media marketing, magic tricks, and pro wrestling have in common.
- Invest on getting more social followers. Increase your following and think creatively about how you can get your audience to become your advocates. (But don’t buy those followers!) Keep it authentic; it pays off on social.
- Automate sharing with tools. Automation is a part of every good social strategy. Learn the tools, whether you use Sprout Social, Buffer, HootSuite, or some other platform. They’ll save you an incredible amount of time and money.
- Evaluate your results and improve your strategy. Lastly, it’s important that you critically evaluate your efforts and look for ways to improve.
That’s it! There’s a lot that happens in between, but this basic 12-step plan covers at least 80% of what makes a good social strategy tick! Thoughts? Tell us what’s a part of your process in the comments below.
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