In today’s business climate, knowing how to make social media work for you is key to the success of your brand. But social media posts without some kind of strategy behind them can amount to a whole lot of wasted time.

You need a solid strategy to help you accomplish greater brand visibility, engagement with customers, and the conversion of future customers.

We know, however, that creating a social media strategy can be daunting. Especially if you’re starting from scratch or realizing your current strategy isn’t producing the results you need.

Each social media platform presents its own challenges, and most undergo constant algorithm changes that can leave you feeling lost.

We are here to help! Here are five steps to create a winning social strategy.

1. Set attainable goals and identify your metrics

The first step to creating a social strategy is determining what social media goals will further your brand’s goals and which metrics align the best.

The keyword here is attainable; gaining one million followers in a day is not going to happen – unless you’re Jennifer Aniston and gain 16.5 million followers in the first ten days of joining Instagram.

If you don’t have Jen’s star power, set goals that don’t revolve around the number of followers you have. Some realistic goals include increasing brand awareness, reaching a different audience demographic, attracting more in-person sales, and promoting user-generated content. In turn, your followers will start to increase over time, but of course, you may decide to get a helping hand through sites like nitreo if you want to grow them at a similar sort of rate to what Jennifer Aniston has managed to achieve. Regardless of this though, it is important that you have realistic goals to ensure that you can make a profile that you are proud of, as well as one that’s successful.

Don’t waste your time and resources on a platform your target audience isn’t using.

2. Know your audience and which platforms they use

What is the demographic of your target audience? What’s their age, gender, income, location, and most importantly which social media platform are they hanging out on? Knowing this information will allow you to start a tribal marketing strategy; in other words, a personalized marketing plan to attract and engage customers by picking apart aspects of what makes their identity, like vocation and interests. You’ll find that your customer base ‘tribe’ will all have pretty similar identities, and this is useful for promoting your brand to ensure it reaches the right people. For more information, you can look into this tribe marketing agency that’ll break down this strategy and make it easier to implement.

You’ll find that the majority of Instagram users are millennials or Gen Z, and women vastly outnumber men on Pinterest. So if you’re an e-commerce clothing boutique whose target demographic is 20-40-year-old women, you should focus on Instagram and Pinterest as major selling platforms and drivers to your website.

Think about your target demographic before you decide where you want to pour most of your social media budget and time.

3. Analyze your competition

Two companies in the same industry can have completely different social strategies. What is going to make your brand unique and stand out? Find that thing and stick to it.

You don’t build brand awareness by being flimsy – you do it by being consistent in your content and messaging.

For example, the beauty industry is saturated with different brands. Tarte Cosmetics and The Clean Beauty Box are both clean, vegan, and cruelty-free beauty brands – but they have two very different social strategies.

On the left, The Clean Beauty Box showcases its clean branding and products with professional photography and an informative caption.

On the right, you see Tarte Cosmetics connecting its waterproof mascara to a hit reality TV show, The Bachelor. The photo isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing, but it’s humorous and connects with the brand’s audience.

Neither of these strategies is better than the other. It’s just important that you’re consistent with both your content and messaging.

4. Keep your content engaging

Social media marketing is totally dependent on the content you create. Whether you’re incorporating memes, quotes, graphics, video, professional photography, or user-generated content, make sure it aligns with your social media goals and brand identity. Be intentional about how you are going to curate all of it.

Take a look at LaCroix’s Instagram and scroll through the feed. You’ll notice a lot of LaCroix’s photos give credit to another account. The majority of the brand’s visuals are user-generated photos from customers, with a caption created by the company.

LaCroix also incorporates some professional product images, a few adobe graphics, and videos alongside the user-generated photos. This blend works for well because even though there’s a variety in the kind of content LaCroix uses, all of it stays consistent with the brand and its messaging.

Anything can go viral. Even a banana duct-taped to a wall.

5. Capitalize on viral content

Remember when someone sold a banana duct-taped to a wall for $120,000 and then all these brands started posting photos of their products duct-taped to a white canvas on social media?

If you haven’t, where have you been? And if your social pages didn’t participate – don’t do it now because it’s old news. The point is, don’t miss opportunities to participate in trends that have people talking if it aligns with your brand.

Planning months ahead is great, but don’t forget to create in the present too.

We know how challenging putting together a social strategy can be. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with yours, contact us to see if your brand is a good fit for HAPPY PR.