Social media is a big part of our everyday life, and it is a powerful tool for businesses to engage with their audiences. So, a good social media strategy plays a vital role in determining the success of your business, without a doubt.
But, the number of different social media platforms is constantly increasing and the whole environment is changing quickly. And, since each platform comes with advantages and disadvantages, choosing the right ones for you can be tricky.
Let’s take LinkedIn and Facebook for example. Historically, LinkedIn has always been a B2B oriented platform where companies can cover tasks within the entire marketing funnel, recruitment, sales, even finding investors. In contrast, Facebook is more aloof and primarily enables companies to promote their business directly to consumers through ads.
However, due to the ever-changing digital environment, we are starting to see more and more B2B companies starting to establish their presence on traditionally B2C platforms like Instagram, or even TikTok.
One factor contributing to this development could be the shift in the nature of people involved in digital decision-making – the percentage of millennials involved in those decisions is continuously increasing. Another factor could also be the way we consume ads.
Regardless, chances are you have gotten to a point before when you asked yourself “What’s the point of putting so much effort into social media marketing if you don’t see results?”. Is this just a vicious cycle where you perpetually have to change your strategy every month or so?
The short answer is yes, you need to keep going and constantly adapt. More importantly, patience is key, and even when it feels like results are slow to come, you need to persist.
But don’t worry, we’ve got you. In this article, we will cover a number of areas that will help you understand how to plan your strategy and answer the most crucial questions any social media strategy should answer:
- Who are you targeting and where do you find your users?
- What is the best time to engage with your audience – when to post on social media?
- How to choose the right social media platform?
- Are social media ads a good strategy for your business goals?
How to Plan Your Social Media Strategy
Before we jump into the details of planning a strategy for social media, it’s important to make sure we are on the same page about what is the meaning behind social media strategy. It encompasses all the strategic steps, activities, and decisions within your social media presence.
Also, keep in mind that simply because your business is present on different platforms doesn’t necessarily mean your social media strategy is reaching the right users. Instead, your social media strategy should focus on your users – who they are, where they are, when are they more active, what is their opinion on sponsored content?
These details are an influential factor that can decide whether the response from the audience will live up to your expectations. Did you know that the time when you engage with your followers, matters (big time!), and it can significantly affect the responses you receive?
Your social media presence also needs to be driven by strategic decisions that support your overall business objectives.
Asking simple questions like ‘What does my presence on a particular social media channel mean for my business?’ or ‘What do I want to achieve, what’s my ultimate goal here?’ is usually a good way how to start.
You should be able to equivocally determine how these actions fit into your overall business objectives. So, where to start?
1. Who is my target audience?
Learning about who is the audience you are reaching through social media channels is the ultimate place where to start.
Whether you are trying to decide on the best digital marketing platform for your business or determine what’s the best time to post on social media, without knowing your target audience, all those decisions will be even more challenging to make.
Regardless of what platform you pick, you need to make sure the content you’re producing matches your audience and their interests. For example, a LinkedIn real estate marketing strategy will look much different than an Instagram retail marketing campaign because each site caters to different target demographics and content types.
Social media provides you with a number of options for how to do so. Analytic tools are a powerful tool in today’s competitive digital marketing environment.
Social media analytics enables you to access the information on who are your followers, their age, location, preferences, or what content is most engaging for them.
2. Which are the right social media platforms for my business?
Now you can probably tell that the process of deciding on what channel is the best option to work with rests on your target audience characteristics, preferences, and demographics.
Apart from knowing the target audience, the choice social media platform also needs to be done respecting the ultimate goal that you want to achieve, which should be determined early in the process of planning strategy for social media.
Do you want to increase reach, generate awareness, drive traffic to your website, or is your primary goal lead generation? In fact, the different goals can have an impact on each other. Do you know what’s the relation between your website traffic and social media marketing?
As mentioned, the choice of social media platform depends on who is your target audience. General statistics on the different platforms can help you make the decision.
For example, while Facebook is a platform mostly used by people within the age group of 30-49 years, Instagram is mostly adopted by the younger age group of 18-29.
So, looking into the general information of the different platforms that are available these days can only contribute to increasing your chances of achieving your business goals by exposing your brand to the right people.
3. When should I post on social media?
Along the way of outlining your strategy for social media, you will probably come across the question of what is the best time to post on social media platforms. Let’s look into some of them.
Speaking of time, not only does it matter what hour within the day you post, but there is also a difference among the various days of the week. For example, Saturday seems to be the worst time to post on Facebook.
If you decide to engage with your Facebook audience on Sunday, the best option to do so is before lunch, since the activity is decreasing during the day. Contrarily, the best days of the week for posting on Facebook are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The best times for posting on LinkedIn are very similar to the abovementioned Facebook, with a change of the day when it’s strategically the least advantageous to post, which is, in the case of LinkedIn, Sunday.
From these examples, you can probably evaluate the situation yourself. It is smart to think twice about when you share important information, such as, for example, the launch of a new product. This way, you are even closer to planning a powerful strategy for social media.
4. Should I use ads in my social media strategy?
Getting noticed in the competitive world of today might be challenging without investing in the promotion of your business. Relying solely on organic search might not be the best idea.
So, what’s the matter with ads on social media? If you use, for example, PPC ads on search engines to promote your business, maybe you are thinking of duplicating the same ads for social media.
Well, it might not be the best strategy. Just think about it. Social media is a wonderful place where people can easily connect, share, and hold conversations. And here is the time for you to be creative.
Your ads on social media are a great space for you to incorporate engaging messages into them, rather than just highlighting your solutions. This way, your business itself can become the trigger of those conversations on social media and information that people share.
Of course, it is not a requirement for an ad on social media to carry fascinating meaning. But if you are considering trying out incorporating innovative ideas and creative messages into advertising, it’s worth knowing that they will fit well into your strategy for social media.
An aspect that can help you choose the right keywords and overall structure of the ad is listening to your audience, their comments, and shares.
If you are looking for a simple answer on what is the best social media platform for your business, you might find the answer a bit disappointing – You can never find such a general answer.
What you can do, however, is to increase your chances of reaching the right people by clearly defining your target audience. Once you understand who your consumers are, it will be easier to choose among the vast number of options.
Moreover, the time when you engage with your audience can have a profound impact on the feedback you receive. For example, hoping to achieve high engagement rates during the weekend from your network on LinkedIn might not be the best idea.
Since the platform is specializing in professional interactions, reaching these users during their free time will be quite difficult. But, trying to reach users on Instagram or Facebook during the weekend might have a very different result.
Similarly, using ads to build brand awareness and generate leads will be a great solution for some companies while for other companies it’s simply a waste of time and resources.
At the end of the day, your social media strategy has to fit your business, your business goals, your users and your values. So, we hope this article was helpful and that you are a step closer to figuring out how to plan for your unique social media strategy!