SOCIAL
SOCIAL
SOCIAL

STRATEGY AND PLANNING

Winning at social media may not be an easy task, but we assure you that it is doable! Planning a successful social media strategy can be challenging and time-consuming; that’s why you need a solid understanding of some basic steps that will get you going. Your marketing strategy for social media should summarise everything you plan to do and achieve on social media platforms. So, the goal is to curate a strategy that is specific, attainable and measurable to help guide you through your social media day-to-day tasks and actions.

There are millions, if not more, of social accounts, sharing their messages and gaining followers every day. The competition is fierce, and your goal is to cut through the noise and make sure your voice is heard! A goal that may at first seem impossible to achieve. However, when you invest time and effort into a clear social media plan, trust us, it pays off. The biggest step is to create a successful social media marketing strategy that helps you decide what to post, who to follow, how to reply to comments and how to communicate your message flawlessly. All these simple daily activities should serve a purpose that you have in mind and in your strategy.

 

Why is it essential to have a social media marketing strategy?

 

Having a solid strategy in place is a vital part of your growth on social media, it will, later on, dictate everything you do. Devising your overall plan is the first step before digging deep into each social platform in detail. For each platform, you will find yourself enhancing and catering the strategy to fit best your target audience and the nature of the platform itself.

To start strategising, it is imperative to determine what your business or brand wants to achieve from its social presence. Your goals may be to increase brand awareness, generate new leads, grow revenue, drive traffic to your site, boost engagement, build a stronger community or provide customer service. Focus on a few goals to plan your social media marketing strategy around and feel free to revisit them as you go.

 

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Audit your current social strategies and performance

 

Before you get going on the new social strategy, you need to examine and evaluate your current efforts and progress. It is crucial to understand what is currently working for you and recognise opportunities that you can grow in your upcoming strategy. So take your time and reflect on your current social media presence and performance. Below are some of the questions you need to explore as you conduct your social media audit.

 

 

  • Who is engaging with you across your social channels?
  • What is currently working for you, and what is not?
  • Are you using the right platform to reach your target audience?
  • What type of content is working best in terms of engagement?
  • Do you have a consistent and clear brand tone and identity?
  • Is your page’s content visually appealing?
  • What are your competitors doing?
  • How is your performance in comparison to your competitors?

This audit should help you understand the purpose behind each of your social accounts and how maintaining your presence on it is rewarding to your business. Go through the data you have collected and analyse the findings and learnings, even if it’s a bit overwhelming to go through everything, it will help broaden your understanding and help you reach better tactics. This audit will be a strong foundation for your strategy, make sure it’s backed up with real data and not gut feelings, assumptions and vanity metrics. When you gather your answers, you will have a solid starting point for your strategy and how to go about enhancing your results.

Part of the audit is also to look for impostor or fraudulent accounts using your business names or products and report them. And make sure your accounts are verified across different platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok or Twitter.

Learn about your audience and industry

 

Understanding your audience and learning about them is the first step to creating successful and meaningful social media content that will encourage them to engage with your brand. When creating content, the goal is to cater it to your targeted audience to get them to comment, share and engage with you on social media platforms. Your ideal audience and followers can turn into customers for your business and drive in future sales and conversions.

Start by creating “buyer personas”, these potential followers and customers that you have in mind will help you humanise your audience and cater to their wants and needs. Think clearly about what you can offer to them and how to connect with them on social platforms. Your buyer personas should not be created based on mere assumptions, check real data and research to build on your previous findings in your audit and enrich your answers to these questions that we explored earlier:

  • Who is connecting with you on social media, and who do you wish would connect with you?
  • Are you using the right platforms to reach your target audience across different demographics?
  • Which platforms attract your target audience more, to which you should dedicate more effort.

Gather real-world data by researching and looking at studies that will help you understand the latest social media trends and user behaviour. Is Facebook a better platform to attract older generations? Do your research, and you will find the accurate and up-to-date answer. Understanding social media demographics is essential to your strategy since it helps you set up your marketing personas and understand your audience and their preferences. You can use demographic data to widen your audience and target new customers on their preferred social networks. 

You can look at your current social media analytics on Facebook Business Manager, Instagram Business, Twitter Business Analytics and Snapchat for Business. These free tools provide valuable data about your followers, their language preferences, their locations and how they interact with you on social media. The data will help you refine your social media strategy and enhance your targeting.

 

Social media competitive analysis and industry trends

 

Another significant area that you should consider is conducting competitive analysis and understanding your competitors on social media. Besides going about your regular page analysis to your various accounts on social channels to check your performance and enhance it, you will need to look at the competition in your industry. Of course, you already know your main competitors, but now you want to identify and focus on the ones that are active on social media.

Conducting competitor analysis will help you understand who is your competition and how are they performing across social channels. This will give you a clearer vision of best practices in your industry and enable you to set realistic social media targets for your business. By doing so, you can also find new opportunities by focusing on social networks that your competitors may have neglected or put little effort into. While competition may be higher on other networks, it is smarter to focus on ones where your audience is underserved.

It is also vital to understand your position in the industry to find the perfect strategy for you. If you’re a startup or SME, that means you’re in the activation phase, in which you will need to concentrate your efforts on brand awareness and communicating your vision in an innovative way to stand out from the crowd of competitors. If you’re already established in the market, then engagement, creating a community and making sure you’re approachable on social channels could be your strategy’s focus areas.

 

 

 

Create your social media content calendar

 

Planning your social media calendar and posting schedule is an essential part of your marketing plan. Of course, you will need to post some spontaneous posts to stay on top of social trends or post content related to certain occasions. The calendar should list the date, time, content and creative of your post and can include both your organic posting and campaigns. Having all your social media content in one place will enable you to space your posts appropriately and publish at various times to get better exposure.

The calendar will also allow you to mix things up and maintain a specific ratio between different posts and use of multiple formats. The posts in your calendar should have a purpose to serve and to support your business goals, for example, drive traffic to your website, generate sales, boost brand awareness or attract engagements.

Once your calendar is ready, you can use scheduling tools to automate the posting process. Don’t forget to interact with your followers after posting and make sure you dedicate time to community management. The goal is not to just show up on news feed and throw your content out there; it is to communicate a message with your audience, hear them out and make sure you respond to them.

 

Evaluate and modify your strategy 

 

There’s simply no way you will get everything right from the first time you create a strategy for your business. This is a significantly vital part of your digital marketing and business success, which means you have to make sure you test it, evaluate it and modify it when necessary. When you start implementing your strategy and looking at the results, you might find some things are not working as anticipated. In this phase, you can reach new learnings by tracking your data and performance, which can help you enhance your social media marketing strategy. Reevaluate your strategy every now and then, especially if your performance appears to be deteriorating or not improving as expected. So, keep testing, reevaluating and adjusting to reach new findings and refine your strategy!


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