How to build your social media marketing strategy

Do you have your social media marketing strategy squared away for 2019? If not, we don’t blame you.

Because 2018 was a whirlwind year for social marketing to say the least.

Facebook was shrouded in controversy due to its algorithm changes and privacy concerns. Instagram finally came into its own by rolling out a whole slew of business features while also passing the one-billion user mark.

All the while brands got bolder, launching conscious and seemingly controversial campaigns as customers want to see brands get real.

Last year’s happenings combined with this year’s emerging trends have left marketers with a sense of analysis paralysis. Where do you go from here?

A social media marketing strategy will help your brand tackle its goals with a sense of purpose. We’ve broken down our social media marketing guide into the key steps you need to identify your goals, engage audiences and optimize your results.

1. Set goals that address your biggest challenges

First things first: you need to figure out what you want out of social media at large.

Maybe it’s more social-savvy customers. Perhaps it’s a larger share of voice in your industry.

Either way, remember that social media planning is a marathon, not a sprint.

Brands should strive to set goals that are actually attainable. For example, shooting for a million new Instagram followers in 2019 isn’t going to happen. By tackling smaller, realistic goals, you can scale your social efforts in a way that’s both reasonable and affordable.

And on a related note, your goals will influence everything from your budget to which social networks you’ll tackle.

2. Research your audience

Making assumptions is a dangerous game for marketers.

And thanks to the sheer wealth of demographic data and social media analytics tools out there, you really don’t have to anymore.

So much of what you need to know about your audience to influence your social media marketing strategy is already out in the open.

Take today’s social media demographics for example. Here’s a quick snapshot of data points from 2018 that are worth noting for today’s social networks.

3. Establish your most important metrics

No matter what you’re selling, your social media strategy should be data-driven.

That means focusing on the social media metrics that matter.

Because while “likes” and shares are nice to have, they amount to little more than vanity metrics if they aren’t resulting in meaningful engagement or sales.

4. Dig into what your competitors are doing

Before you start creating content, you should have a good idea of what your competitors are up to.

Doing so involves might just require some surface-level analysis. Some brands might also look into third-party competitor analysis tools to dig deeper into their competitors’ numbers.

Looking at your competition’s presence will directly inform your own social media strategy. The goal here isn’t to copycat or steal your competitors’ ideas. Instead, it’s to determine what’s working for them and how you can adapt your own campaigns accordingly.

5. Create and curate engaging social content

Your social media marketing strategy is obviously centered around content.

At this point, you should have a pretty good idea of what to publish based on your goal and brand identity. Similarly, you probably feel confident in which networks to cover.

Still overwhelmed by the specifics of what you should be posting?

Hey, we get it.

From picking the right creatives and captions to finding the balance between promotion and personality, there’s a lot to mull over. The pressure is certainly on brands in an era where 46% of users say they’ll unfollow a brand that’s overly promotional. Additionally, 41% of users say they’d unfollow a brand that shared too much irrelevant content.