To answer this question, we need to see what is social media marketing first and then we can talk about creating strategies and plans for it. People always have been using marketing strategies throughout the history of mankind. In the previous decades, there were limited options for advertising, like TV commercials, print ads, billboards, direct mail, direct sales, etc. But they all were pretty expensive while the marketers could not estimate these marketing plans’ effectiveness and they usually could not really aim for the correct audience.

A social media strategy is a well-thought-out plan that outlines how an individual or a business intends to use social media platforms to achieve specific goals. It involves defining the target audience, choosing the right platforms, creating engaging content, and determining the frequency of posts. A social media strategy is crucial because it helps to focus efforts, build brand awareness, increase engagement, and drive desired outcomes such as website traffic, leads, or sales. It provides a roadmap for consistent and effective social media marketing, allowing individuals and businesses to connect with their audience, showcase their expertise, and stay competitive in the digital landscape.
What is a social media strategy?

What is a social media strategy?

Today marketing is a totally different story. We have access to digital marketing platforms alongside traditional platforms like newspapers, TV and radio stations, etc. Marketing is much more effective, inexpensive compared to traditional ways, and much more applicable on digital platforms. Marketers now have direct access to the correct audience through different channels like search engines, websites, emails, social media platforms, etc.

Social media marketing seems to be the most popular one among them since it makes delivering marketing messages to a highly targeted audience much easier. This way:

  • More and more people will learn about a specific product and/or service
  • Marketers can have more interaction with the prospects
  • It is much cheaper than those traditional advertising methods
  • It will help marketers to collect market insights and target audience data to help them understand their potential customers better
Social Media Strategy

Different content can be used in social media marketing. It can include text, visuals, polls, articles, etc. Although, your content might never get the proper exposure that you wish, without content advertising. For that, you need to use the advertising options provided by different social media platforms like LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. There are different options like:

  • Image ads that are attractive images that include some text, CTAs, etc.
  • Text and post ads that advertise a product or service that is interesting for the audience.
  • Video ads that feature favorable reviews and customer testimonials that are praising the product or services
  • Lead ads, through which marketers can collect information from those users who show interest in a weekly newsletter on the LinkedIn company page or regular updates of the company page and website.

Social media marketing can also be used to create a brand and drive your audiences to it. This way you can engage with them, create an online identification, engage with content, and find the content that works for you. Social media platforms also let marketers target audiences with demographic aspects like gender, age, location, language, industry, etc. Bear these in your mind, whenever you are social media marketing:

  1. To set goals that are qualified and smart.
  2. To understand your audience by engaging and connecting with them.
  3. Set up a social media calendar to be active regularly.
  4. To use tools like Buzzsumo, IFTTT, and Buffer for lead generation, creating an email list, setting buyer personas, etc.
  5. To perform visual storytelling through images and videos.
To perform visual storytelling through images and videos

We will talk about the tips above, more in a minute but now is the time to see what social media strategy is. It is a document summary of everything you are trying to reach on a social network platform like LinkedIn. They tell you if you are on the correct route or not and will give you the why, the how, and the where of your social media marketing efforts. A correct social media strategy includes every social platform that you are active on them and plans how to use them to reach your goals ASAP. It also will demonstrate the roles and responsibilities and the reposting schedules. Now, why do we need a marketing strategy?

You need these strategies to increase your brand awareness, customers’ trust, showcase your product in the right place and right time, etc. The statistics suggest that one out of every two individuals (including children) use social media platforms nowadays. So obviously, these platforms have a huge potential to generate proper leads. But at the same time, your competitors are all active on the very platform probably and they are having the same offerings. The other thing will be the fact that users get distracted easily on social media networks.

why do we need a marketing strategy?

All of the above reasons are shouting that you need a social media strategy to plan your way how to stand out from the mentioned crowd, attract focused and active followers, and create an atmosphere that can lead people from getting to know your brand phase to the purchase phase.

Datareportal.com says that more than 4.74 billion people used social media platforms in 2022. Which is huge, considering the human population of 8 billion. You should always consider older people who cannot really relate to the internet, children under the age of 5, and people with no internet access. There are many benefits to having a social media strategy. A good social marketing strategy can:

  • Traffic control

You need to be able to control your website and LinkedIn company pages traffic for generating leads and to have that traffic, you are to interact with your target audience. But it might not be possible to update your website on a schedule. That is where you can use social media with a good strategy to keep your prospect updated on what is happening in your company, establish brand personality, increase your brand recognition, etc. You can also link your company website to your LinkedIn profile and posts to increase your website traffic.

  • The image

It is important to be active on different social media platforms to demonstrate yourself as a trustworthy and credible brand in a specific industry, but at the same time, you can lose the image of your brand while doing it. This matter usually happens when you have different people manage your accounts on different social platforms and so there are different tones of writing posts and articles, etc. this can cost you to lose your audience easily for the uncoordinated posts which can destroy your online image. A social media strategy is to help you make sure that you keep your brand image strong on every platform.

  • The connections

Social media platforms’ ultimate goal is to help their users to find some proper connections. But it is just so easy to get overloaded by connections that are not suitable for you on social platforms. A social media strategy can help you to build a strong and suitable network in a proper platform that is good enough for you and your business. That means less time and budget for more lead generation.

  • Get ahead

Communication with your customers and prospects is a key factor in outshining your competitors. A good social media strategy can tell you which group of people on LinkedIn or other platforms you are to talk to and persuade to increase your web traffic.

  • Return on investment (ROI)

It is hard to keep posting and being active on different social media platforms when you see no return on investment. A social media strategy can help you define the aspects you need to consider in every platform to measure your success in them and decide which one you need to focus on.

  • Align your social media and business goals

Your social media goals are to assist your business to reach its purposes, otherwise, you are just wasting your resources. A smart social media marketing strategy can harmonize them and give you the perfect starting point for any marketing objective.

  • Target audience

Social media strategy identifies your target audience/ consumers. It is one step in creating a social media marketing strategy to get to know your target audience. It will give you the buyers’ persona to know your ideal customer’s features. As Zach William says: “publishing content on social media without knowing whom you are publishing it for is like aimlessly shooting at a target!”

  • What are you better at?

What are you doing better than your competitors on social media platforms? You need a thorough analysis to answer this question. A social media strategy helps you with this analysis and gives you the data you need to beat your competitors on any platform.

There are so many other things that make it necessary to have some social media marketing strategy for your business’s success. I just mention the more important ones and you can always find more online.

Steps for social media plans and strategies

Steps for social media plans and strategies

As you got to understand by now, it can be hard to plan a social media strategy. It can be complicated even with a team full of social media and digital marketing professionals, not to mention the situation when you do not have such a thing. It is a fact that there are so many social media platforms and they are constantly assigning new features and releasing updates for their platform. For instance, once I wrote this post about how to like a post as a company page on LinkedIn and posted it on my company page and the CUFinder website. It was after just some days that LinkedIn decided to have an update on this aspect and they actually provided a much easier way to like or leave a comment on as a company page. Let me tell you that it was devastating for me because now, I needed to create another post and these updates never stop! This makes everything so much harder. At the same time, we all know that having a successful business depends on having a suitable social media strategy to be active on these social platforms. So here we are going to tell you how to create a social media strategy in general.

A social media strategy is your plan for how to create and manage your social media content, including texts, articles, visual content, engagements, etc. LinkedIn is a great place for more than 55 million companies to advertise their products and services and also to prove themselves credible to attract prospects.

A social media strategy is your plan for how to create and manage your social media content, including texts, articles, visual content, engagements, etc

Although social media marketing strategy can differ considering different things like demographic aspects, goals, platforms’ limitations, etc. there still is a general instruction to plan one.

  • Be smart and logical about your goals

You always need to define a goal for your strategies since there will be no way to estimate the strategies’ success and ROI without a goal. Ask this question from yourself “how can I help my business on social media platforms?” this is your social media strategy cornerstone. It defines your goals, tells you which platforms are best for your goals, what type of content will be more helpful, etc. Also, be realistic about your goals, big thunder brings little rain. Start with smaller steps like considering followers, increasing the target audience’s population, increasing interaction and your website traffic, etc.

You always need to get to know your audience first, before making any kind of offer. I always suggest people see what they want and need when they are exploring social media platforms. So make a buyer personality for yourself and consider what you are looking for on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. to be able to create some personal offers. People love it when they see advertisements that are suitable for their age, location, job, income, etc., and on their preferred social platforms. Your followers are your customers and/or your prospects, so it is only logical to treat them accordingly. Get to know them, how? Explore their needs and desires to see what you need to get closer and engage with them. It is best to start with a demographical view to classify your followers. It will help you to create more focused ads that better aim for your ideal customers’ needs.

  • Know your competitors

You are so lucky that your rivals also use social media platforms as well. It means that you can always see what they are doing to attract your target audience. You need to see who your competitors are, what they do, and what strategies are they using. This gives you a perfect insight into what is happening in the industry you are working in. That means you can define some social media goals and recognize your opportunities much better.

You can always search your competitors’ company name, industry, and other keywords and see what they are posting and what their audiences think about the content they shared on their company page. This is better to be done unknown though, you just need their LinkedIn URL and an incognito tab in your Chrome browser to stay hidden. You might find some interesting changes in the way they are using their social media, encountering some interesting methods, or seeing a post or campaign that can really help you to reach your goals.

Define and get to know your target audience
  • Focus your efforts

There are a whole lot of social platforms out there. You can be active on all of them at the same time, there is no real problem with that. But let’s be honest, that is not possible to be active on every single platform and expect a good result out of it. Most SMEs do not have the time and resources to create a strong and qualified social platform presence on all of them, so narrow your options down. It also is hard to keep track of multiple networks’ rules of engagement and updates at the same time. As I said above, be realistic about your goals and start small. Are you a hardware start-up? Don’t try to work like Microsoft. It is too big of a company for you to ever get to. Just see where your audiences spend most of their time. For instance, most health and beauty products consumers browse Instagram and YouTube instead of LinkedIn and Facebook.

  • A content calendar

It is very important to have a schedule for posting content on social media as it is important to create qualified and educational content. You need to set a content calendar that considers the best time to grab your target audience’s attention to your content. It also should consider the time you will be spending interacting with your followers and connections.

A calendar will give you each content time and place, whether it is an article on LinkedIn, a Facebook campaign, an image on Instagram, an ad on Twitter, a video commercial on YouTube, etc. it defines the best time you can choose to publish a specific content on the suitable platform.

You need to set a content calendar that considers the best time to grab your target audience's attention to your content
  • Attractive content

All right, it is not like having many followers definitely guarantees your business success. You need some attractive content to intrigue your audience. Attractive and fresh content is the key to any successful social media strategy. So please have this commitment to creating new and qualified content regularly. You are to post content at least once a week, so use that mentioned calendar for this.

  • Different platforms, different strategies

You know that different social platforms attract different people. Look at each platform’s demography to see which platform is the most suitable for you. Which type of content is the best for your business? The demographic of your audience is very important and you can always search for them on the internet. But, at the same time, you need to know the delicate differences between these social platforms. Of course, huge brands like Apple, Dell, Starbucks, etc. have a tendency and required resources to be active on each and every one of these platforms. But in the case of smaller businesses, the deal will be this or that. So let’s have a look at the most popular ones here:

TikTok: is the newest social media and of course the fastest-growing one. It just took less than a year for this platform to reach one billion users, which made it the newest social media marketing treasure. The platform’s nature which includes short videos and its algorithms that make sure the more interesting videos get viral and the fact that the content of this platform can easily get to be published on Instagram and other platforms, made the brands think of newer ways to advertise on TikTok.

YouTube: many believe that YouTube is not considered a social media platform. Still, it is a really huge and powerful community to make every single big brand try to get their ads played on this platform’s videos. We’ve all seen those interesting or boring ads playing before the videos start and in the middle of it. Also, many brands like Nord VPN or other brands act as the YouTubers’ sponsors and ask them to talk about their products and services in the middle of their videos. Is it effective? Well, it must be, considering that more and more brands are trying to advertise their products on these platforms.

YouTube

LinkedIn: is a perfect platform for advertising more professionally. Why? Because the platform is filled with experts in every industry. So it is a gold mine, especially if you are in B2B and B2C marketing industry, especially if you know how to create a post that makes people notice you, and also if you have a presentable profile.

Instagram and Pinterest: they both are visual content-based social media networks. Instagram is more popular though for it is just much more user-friendly and almost everyone can use it easily. There are millions of brands (big or small), online shops and even home businesses working in both of them. Yes, there is a huge market in these platforms and there are more than 1.5 billion users on Instagram and 445 million on Pinterest, ready to get convinced to buy something from you.

Twitter: a straightforward and strong starting point for many businesses. Followers can directly get interacted with and it is so simple and inexpensive to work with. Of course, you first need to get enough information and ability on Twitter marketing methods, hashtags, tagging, brand voice, etc. first. It is not that kind of social media where you just dive in and then learn how to swim.

Facebook: are you aiming for the local community? The best platform is Facebook for that purpose. It has a perfect chatbot that can help you get high-performing customer service and elevate your campaigns to the next level.

It is always up to you and your social media strategy to select the best platform for your business. So, consider different aspects of each of them and choose wisely.

Social media plans examples

As a marketing strategist, you are always thinking of different ways to make the most of every social media platform for your business. That is exactly why you can never keep up with a single strategy approach. I mean creating a social media strategy always depends on the brand’s purpose. Some are focused on growing their business, some concentrate on interacting with their customers, etc. But in fact, all of these efforts need to get connected at some point and some brands fail to recognize it. So I thought why not bring some very successful examples of social media strategies from around the world, for inspiration and learning sake?

Adding humor may seem odd, but brands figured out that when they use humor in their advertisements, more prospects get attracted to use their products and services. Think about it! Aren’t you the same? How many of the big brands that you’ve seen their ads tried to be funny in the last month? So many, right? Humor is a very complicated matter in marketing and it is a very hard decision when you decide to eliminate it against the mainstream.

Social media plans examples

One of the using humor examples is what Burger King France tweeted on March 30, 2020, right at the beginning of the pandemic and lockdown. It tweeted “En attendant l’original” means waiting for the original. At the same time, they were saying that the market is having problems with the ingredients and they were suggesting that they will only use fresh ones for their burgers even if they have to wait for them.

Sparks Notes: How is this brand even funny? They were always there, at least since I can remember and they are always killing it on Twitter. They are perfect at mixing classic and modern culture and attracting attention. Take a like at what they tweeted in the middle of the lockdown:

Jane Austen describing the Bennet daughter who just so happens to share her name pic.twitter.com/AE1erSBbIN

— SparkNotes (@SparkNotes) October 26, 2020

This actually could lead so many people to their website.

Influencer marketing is another strategy that works for so many companies. They were always important in social media marketing, in some countries they were even more important for the brands. Even though they actually struggled to keep up their work during the Covid-19 pandemic. But influencer marketing never got down or even entered a crisis.

One of the best examples of influencer marketing is Boohoo. This brand’s marketing strategy is actually based on influencers’ social media marketing. They spend a huge amount of money each year on this kind of marketing and they were so successful in recent years. One of the things that is interesting in their influencer marketing strategy is that they never stick with some limited number of influencers and are constantly tampering with their list.

Timex: it is one of the classic influencer marketing examples. It was in the 2000s when this brand sent its analog wristwatches to thousands of influencers from a dozen different countries and that was it. They never asked them to talk directly about their wristwatches, they were just doing their thing. And what happened? It is reported that Timex experienced an ROI of 300% for this #taketime campaign.

it is one of the classic influencer marketing examples

Zoma: A problem in influencer marketing is that the brands do not know which influencers are better to advertise their product. Take Zoma for example, a mattress brand that wanted to use influencer marketing. But we do not have influencers who are focused on sleeping. So, did they give up the idea? No, they went for people who needed a good, deep, and ergonomic sleep every night, like professional athletes from some of the biggest sports organizations in their target market. You can see how it was effective for them that they decided to have a section of their home page with their “mattress influencers” photos.

Dove: Project #ShowUs in 2019

A problem in influencer marketing is that the brands do not know which influencers are better to advertise their product

In this campaign, Dove tried to recognize that beauty comes in many forms and challenge the cliché beauty standards and stereotypes through YouTube. They employed non-binary women and produced more than 600 media pieces in 39 different markets and reached over 1.6 billion people. More than 2000 women pledged to create a wider vision for beauty and it was less than a year that this hashtag got used more than 7 million times on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. This campaign was so effective that made the western media change the way they are showing beauty. More than 70% of women expressed that they believe the media, commercials, etc. are denying to recognize their beauty systematically.

#shotOniPhone

This was one of the best social media plans I ever saw. You see, Apple was and is always proud of its strong smartphone camera lenses and the high-quality images iPhone users could take. It was in 2015 when Apple started an Instagram challenge and asked iPhone users to “capture the little things in a big way.” In fact, they asked iPhone users to share their best pictures taken by their phones on Instagram with #ShotOniPhone. Then they chose 10 winners and featured their photos on Apple’s website, Instagram, and on more than 10,000 billboards in 25 countries. It was a gold mine for Apple, with more than 6.5 billion views, 24,000 influencers who mentioned it, 95% of the comments were positive and so many other results. They started a campaign with minimum expenses since they were using the content produced by their users. Those perfect shots were an amazing motif for those people who still doubted selecting iPhone over an android phone.

You see, Apple was and is always proud of its strong smartphone camera lenses and the high-quality images iPhone users could take

There are so many other examples of a successful social media strategy like Starbucks U.K.: #WhatsYourName, Spotify: #YearWrapped, Netflix: Wanna Talk about It, BuzzFeed: Tasty, Getty: The Getty Museum Challenge, and so on.

Social networking strategy for business: types and tips

An ancient proverb says: “knowledge is the key to power.” Businesses always used media in some way for marketing. In previous years they used to stand in front of their shops and invite people in to see their goods, then they used to advertise in newspapers, radio, television, and billboards, and recently they are using social media platforms along with other media types. It is very important to know different types of social media strategies to be able to choose the best one for your business.

Let me tell you once again, social media strategy is a strategy that maps out how to use a specific social media platform to reach a specific marketing or advertising goal. It usually is used in advertising campaigns to elevate brand awareness and increase the products or services’ popularity. Just like what Timex did at the #taketime campaign. So let’s see some social media strategy types, shall we?

As we mentioned, it is very important to know different social media strategies for deciding which one is more suitable for your business.

Owned media strategy

It is when you use your own media for advertising and marketing your own products or services. For instance when you upload something about a newly launched service in your company website or repost a blog about an upcoming product in your company page you are using this strategy. The owned social media can be any online account and platform that is working under a brand’s name. They can be social media platforms like LinkedIn or any weblog and website you have for your business. The more they are, the stronger your digital presence would be and you can access more and more prospects.

Owned media strategy

Paid media strategy

It is when you advertise your products or services through paid commercials. These paid ads can be in any social media like Google Ads, YouTube, LinkedIn Ads, etc. Pay-per-click advertising is a type of paid media in which the company pays a small fee every time a user clicks on its ads. There are other types of paid media like display ads, paid ad replacements, influencer collaborations, branded content, etc.

This strategy usually performs perfectly while getting used along with other social media strategies like the earn media strategy. Although it is perfect for prospect attraction, it is the worst idea to use it as a single approach. Not only it does not work like that, but it also can have a negative effect as it may seem pushy for the target audience if you overdo it.

Media dispersion strategy

So you need to use different media types to approach a large population of audience. That is the media dispersion strategy and we usually use this strategy when our audience is not on a few social media platforms, so we have to use different forms of advertisements on different media platforms like TV and radio and different social media networks. The weak point here is that, although you can access a very large population of audiences, it is hard and expensive to manage. So maybe if you are an SME, it is better not to go for this one?

Media dispersion strategy

Earned media strategy

It is considered to be one of the best social media strategies that you can use. Why is that? Because you are not paying a penny for it and it is very effective. It is the advertisement that a third party does for you for free. For example, when people saw those wristwatches on the influencers’ wrists they simply got encouraged to purchase one for themselves and probably then suggested them to other people who trusted them through blog posts, social media reposts, social media shares, customer testimonials, and reviews, newspaper and magazine articles, social media mentions, etc.

Media concentration strategy

Unlike the media dispersion strategy, this one concentrates on just a few media types to reach a specific audience. It limits the media types to a few ones based on those specific audiences’ tendencies. For example, a company that is producing crankshaft might concentrate its resources only on LinkedIn or one or two other platforms instead of being everywhere.

This is an ideal strategy for those companies which are too high-tech that only a specific audience will buy their products or the ones that are too small to be active in various media types, budget and resource wise.

Alright, so you know the primary social media strategies now, how about a checklist of tips?

  1. Learn what you can about your ideal audience
  2. Get clear on your goals
  3. Explore what your competitors are doing
  4. Analyze your current media strategy efforts

A social media strategy is a comprehensive plan that outlines how an individual or organization will use social media platforms to achieve their marketing and business objectives. It involves defining clear goals, target audience, and key performance indicators (KPIs), along with identifying the most suitable platforms for engagement. A well-structured social media strategy considers content marketing and creates a content strategy template that aligns with the brand’s message and values. It outlines the types of content to be shared, the frequency of posts, and the tactics to increase audience engagement and reach. A vital aspect of the strategy is understanding the target audience and tailoring content to resonate with their preferences and needs.

Having a well-defined social media strategy is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, it provides a roadmap for digital marketing efforts, ensuring that every action is purposeful and contributes to overall objectives. It helps in reaching and connecting with the target audience more effectively, driving traffic to the website or online store, and ultimately increasing conversion rates. A strategy also assists in measuring the success of social marketing strategies through analytics and KPIs, enabling data-driven decision-making and continuous improvement. By having a clear strategy in place, businesses and individuals can build a strong online presence, establish brand authority, and cultivate lasting relationships with their audience, leading to long-term success in the dynamic world of social media.

Conclusion

what is social media strategy? Social media strategy is a thorough plan of what you are going to do, how you are going to do, where you are going to do and when you are going to do social media marketing for your products and services. It is the social media platforms era and according to statistics, at least 4.7 billion people are using different social media platforms. so it is a gigantic market and it will be a fool to ignore it. but entering and getting successful in such a huge market needs strategies which we talked about, introduced its types and tricks, etc. you need to know and use these strategies to get the best out of your marketing efforts in social media platforms. so start using them better sooner than later.

FAQ

  • What are examples of social media strategies? Spotify: #YearWrapped, Netflix: Wanna Talk about It, BuzzFeed: Tasty, Getty: The Getty Museum Challenge
  • What are the 5 elements of media strategy? The why the who, the how, the what, when. identify your goals, audience persona, social media channels, content type, and tactics
  • What are the 5 steps to creating a social media strategy? Review your previous social media performance, define your social media marketing goals, create an audience persona, Identify distribution channels and key times to post, and see what your competitors are doing.
Oval 1 What is a social media strategy and why do we need it?

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