This post was written by our friends at Nine Supply for the TurnKey Success Blog
Every social media strategy should be as unique as the brand it represents. Approaches will vary based on what you’re selling, who you’re selling it to, where you’re selling it, and of course, how much of a marketing budget you’re working with. A little planning can go a long way toward making your social accounts a valuable asset for your brand. Not sure where to start?
Here’s our 9 steps to a confident social media strategy:
Decide on KPIs
It might seem counterintuitive, but a larger follower base and higher engagement (things like likes and comments) don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand. It’s common for engagement rates to drop off as you rapidly gain followers, both due to algorithms and to the fact that social media platforms want to get you to pay to boost your posts. This is why it’s important to decide what your priority is on each social media platform. Do you value higher engagement versus just wanting to have a ton of followers? Or does your volume of followers speak louder to the companies you are pitching too? Maybe you’re an online magazine, and the daily goal is clicks back to your articles. Find out which key metrics are of the most value to your business, and let those determine your strategy and spend.
Settle on a Budget
Simply put, your budget will determine who you can work with and how much money you can put behind boosting posts. If you already have a full marketing team (i.e. with a marketing director, photographer, designer, copywriter, etc.) and if they’re active on social media and good at staying on top of trends, you might find it best to run your social account in-house. If you only have one or two marketing people on your team (or if you’re running it yourself!), consider hiring an outside team to manage this piece of the pie. In that case, they should do the next 6 things for you, with as much or as little input as you want to give. Just make sure you shop around and choose an agency with a good social media aesthetic (their Instagram page should wow you) and a portfolio of brands that have goals similar to yours.
At Nine Supply Social, we always talk about consistency. But, it’s important to play around a little, too, so you can make sure you’re confident in the practices you adopt. The things that perform best for one brand aren’t always a slam dunk for another. Choose a few things to keep consistent while you play around with variables like imagery, tone, scheduling, and hashtags. When you find a good formula, keep refining it until you’ve built a polished look and feel for your brand. Rebrands will happen, and algorithms change, but it’s important to lay a foundation that your customers come to trust, and this testing early on can help you figure out your secret sauce.
Find Your Audience
Do a quick inventory of the followers your brand already has. Who is following you? Is this your target audience, and if not, you need to either rethink your social strategy, or who your target customer is? Figure out if there’s a particular region where these people live, where they work, where they spend their money. When you have a solid audience nailed down, this will help determine the look and feel you want your social media posts to have.
Establish a Voice
For instance, if the audience you’ve decided to target is young moms, develop a persona based around this psychographic. Make sure that their values and your company values line up, and that you’re communicating this in a tone that they’ll want to engage with. Besides captions, you can showcase your brand personality in your actual posts with motivational quote graphics, funny memes, statistics, or other types of short, easily digestible written content.
Choose an Aesthetic
What’s going to stop the scroll? If you’re a CPG brand or product, you’ll want to take into account the type of packaging that you have, and the colors and branding you’re already working with, so that you can maintain a cohesive look. Look into current design trends and find a color palette that both complements your packaging and can act as a bridge into the trendy world that is social media.
Establish Some Content Pillars
When someone scrolls through your posts, they should see a variety of content, such as lifestyle and studio shots. It’s good to keep things dynamic — for instance, many brands will choose to alternate these two types of shots so that the way the posts line up (by threes), there are never two of the same kind next to each other or on top of each other.
Get Into a Rhythm
Some brands post at the same time every day, while others might post three times a week, supplementing with daily stories. Play around and see what works for your brand. If you notice that you get great engagement on your posts but actually tend to lose followers every time you post, maybe you’re overwhelming your audience by posting too often. At the same time, algorithms often reward freshness and frequency. Try working up toward a more frequent cadence as you accumulate imagery, UGC (user-generated content), and followers along the way.
Tap Into the Talent Pool
Influencers are a great way to get introduced to new audiences and collect UGC that you can repurpose on your own page. Your budget will determine the volume and star-power of the influencer you are able to work with, but even if your budget is $0, you can still find quality partners with whom to collab. Reach out to micro-influencers who seem to resonate well with your intended audience, and offer them free product. Many will do stories for free even if they won’t do a dedicated post. Ultimately what you’re looking for is results, right? Once you find the influencers that give you great results and are easy to work with, nurture those relationships and collaborate with them long-term! The partnership will seem more and more authentic as time goes by and their audience will become very familiar with your brand.
We hope these nine steps will help you build a successful social media strategy even if you’re a newbie to the scene. And if you need help along the way, head to Nine Supply’s social and website for more in-depth blogs and quick social hacks!