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Digital Marketing 12 min read

How to Create a Social Media Strategy Plan (5 Tips)

Ayesha Renyard photo

Written by Ayesha Renyard

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed

Dallin Porter photo

Expert reviewed by Dallin Porter

Communications Manager @ Galactic Fed

Published 26 Jan 2022

Users love social media platforms because they’re lighthearted and engaging. (Memes, challenges, dog videos, sign me up!) Businesses can take part in the fun, too—but to see some ROI, you have to create a solid social media strategy plan. 

Social media are interactive technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, interests, and other forms of expression through virtual communities and networks. 

Once upon a time, the social media landscape was dominated by a few platforms, such as Facebook. Now, there are hundreds. So how do you craft up a social media strategy plan that doesn’t feel scattered or out of control? 

The answers are right here in this blog. As part of our Digital Marketing Series, we’ve got five tips that’ll put you on the path to creating a results-driven social media strategy that’s right for your business. 

1. Set Goals 

Let’s start with the basics—what do you want out of social media marketing, anyway?

Many businesses use social media platforms for top-of-funnel activities, such as increasing brand awareness and audience engagement. But some focus on it to drive engagement and conversions, which are middle and bottom-funnel activities. Here’s a breakdown from Sprout Social

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Let’s discuss these common goals in more detail: 

  • Increasing brand awareness: It’s just what it sounds like: You want more people to learn and remember your brand. To create authentic and lasting brand awareness, avoid solely publishing promotional messages. Instead, focus on content that emphasizes your personality and values first.
  • Boost community engagement: Social media platforms are unique in the way they interact with users—they offer countless possibilities to share user-generated content, like photos and videos. Increasing engagement doesn’t always require creating full-blown challenges and contests. Even asking a simple question or poll to your customers is a way to boost engagement with your brand. 
  • Grow your audience: With billions of users, social media platforms are a great way to tap into new, like-minded audiences and grow your customer base. You can also do a competitor analysis to scope out your competitors’ social media strategy to find new ways to grow your audience. 
  • Generate web traffic, leads, or sales: 54% of users research products on social media. If your goal is to promote your products and services, make the customer journey seamless for your audience. You may also want to consider influencer marketing or integrating your paid media strategy with your social game

2. Establish KPIs and Metrics

After reading the above goals for your social media strategy plan, which one got you excited? Which one made sense for your business? Let’s say you’re a SaaS startup looking to sell subscriptions for your online streaming channel. You’ve got to compete with the Amazon Primes and Netflixes of the world—so it would be crucial to build brand awareness and grow your audience first. 

With a goal in place for your SaaS startup, it’s time to establish KPIs and metrics—to make sure you’re on track for hitting your goals. 

Source: Mark Schaefer

When it comes to growing brand awareness and growing your audience, here are some metrics that would be important to you: 

  • Followers: If you’ve got a high following, it means people are investing in your brand and what you have to say. 
  • Post reach: This shows how many unique users saw your post. Note that reach is different from impressions, which reflects how often your post was displayed. (In other words, users could’ve skimmed right by it on their feeds.)
  • Shares: Shares not only signal that you’re making your way through other networks but that you’re also a trusted brand.

If your goal is to boost engagement, you’ll want to focus on metrics like: 

  • Shares: Because users have to take action to share your content, this metric clearly demonstrates their engagement with your content. (And that they like it, too.)
  • Hashtag performance: If you’re promoting a hashtag, are others using it too? A great way to encourage this is through contests. 
  • Likes and comments: Likes are great—but comments are even better. If your audience comments on your posts, it shows they’re genuinely interested and engaged. And if others see this type of engagement, they’ll follow suit!

And if your goal is traffic, leads, or sales, you’ll want to set targets for: 

  • Clicks: If you’re sending your audience to your website or landing pages, you’ll need clicks first!
  • Web traffic and conversion data: You’ll also need to track metrics from the other side of the user journey. Whether from your landing pages or website, it’s important to dig into the data and see how many folks are coming from social media. 

3. Research Your Target Audience 

While there are plenty of social media platforms out there, we recommend focusing your social media strategy plan on the ones that:

  • Align with your goals
  • Host your target audience

Infographic comparing different social media platforms based on business goals

Source: Temple University

Since we already have your goals sorted out, let’s discuss how to pinpoint your audience. 

First, if you haven’t already done so, it’s essential to create buyer personas. A buyer persona is fictional, but it represents real people—your customers. It’s a detailed outline of who’s researching, buying, and sharing your product. 

Beyond nailing down their demographics, put yourself in their shoes and consider their day-to-day. What do they do for work? For fun? What are their goals? Their pain points? And for this discussion, which social media platforms are they on? What do they do on these platforms? Since the average person spends 2.5 hours a day on social media, it’s also an important consideration for creating buyer personas. 

Take a look at your competitors’ followers for inspiration. If you’re a vegan donut shop, scope out other local vegan restaurants or bakeries and see who’s following their social media accounts. Can you identify any patterns? Do they line up with your buyer persona?

You can also compare your buyer persona against your own data. Take a look at your current followers and customers—do they reflect your buyer persona? You’re on the right path with your social media strategy if they do. If not, then either your buyer persona needs to be revisited, or your social media marketing strategy needs to change. 

4. Create and Post Engaging Content

Your social media strategy plan is now officially in the creation phase. 

But don’t just create any ol’ content. It has to be engaging, unique from your competitors, but consistent with your brand. (If you’re thinking, slow down Galactic Fed, don’t worry, we’re breaking these points down below.)

We’ve already covered that users love social media platforms because they’re engaging. They’re visual, fun, and interactive. (Let’s just say they’re not the place to publish your research thesis.) 

Here’s how to make your social content more engaging:

1. Create short videos: Video marketing has demonstrated its ROI for years, and more and more users are engaging with video content each year. 

Statistica graph showing users’ increased video consumption from 2013-2021

Source: Statistica

Studies show that 54% of consumers want to see more video content from the brands they support, and 72% would rather hear about a product or service through a video. So give your audience what they want and reap the rewards! Just keep the videos short and snappy. For social platforms, it’s best to keep them 15-30 seconds. 

2. Create polls, quizzes, contests, and other interactive posts: There’s always an opportunity to spin your content into a question or competition. Selling toiletries and launching a new soap scent? Ask your audience which scent they’d want to see on shelves. Or, ask them to submit a unique scent—and the winner gets a prize!

Social media poll by Airbnb

Source: Social Media Week

For every piece of content you create, you also need to ensure it aligns with your brand identity and sets you apart from your competitors. Here are two ways to do that:

1. Post content featuring your team: On social media platforms, your audience is yearning to get to know your brand so they can trust you. So keep content personable and bring your team’s personality to the forefront! Post about your get-togethers to demonstrate your company culture and highlight team members’ contributions to show how they help bring your business to life. 

2. Develop a memorable brand: You need to take the time to develop your brand—from fonts and colors to taglines. What do we think about when we hear about McDonald’s? Red and yellow, “I’m lovin’ it,” Ronald McDonald. Take a page out of McDonald’s book and make sure all your content reflects your brand. It’ll help your audience recognize and remember your brand over others. 

Tip: To stay organized, plan out your content—what you’re creating and when to post them—in a content calendar

5. Be Active on Your Social Media Accounts

Once you post your content, you’re not done yet. It’s essential to be active on your social media accounts—for two reasons. First, it’s important to interact with your audience and create that engaging atmosphere that they’re looking for. Second, it helps you build on your future strategy. 

So try to pop into your accounts a few times a day—your audience will appreciate it, especially if they’re reaching out for customer support. In fact, in this study, 47% of respondents believe strong customer service defines a best-in-class brand on social media. 

Source: Spout Social 

If you’ve finished responding to your audience, take some additional time to research hot topics and trends in your industry. There are plenty of social media monitoring tools, like Hootsuite, that can help you scan any social platform you like. Using its customizable search streams, you can zero in on essential topics, trends, and social profiles based on keywords, hashtags, locations, and specific users. 

With a finger on the pulse, you can carve out more trending and valuable content to your users. 

Get Posting—And Keep an Eye on Performance 

Yes, there are plenty of options for creating a social media strategy plan. But now you have everything you need to create an organized game plan for your business. (No more scattered papers and sticky notes—you’ve got this!)

Once you launch your content, don’t forget to check back in on the analytics. See which content is performing well—and with which users. Those insights will make your social media strategy even stronger!

And if you ever have any questions about the number-crunching, we’ve got a team that loves that kinda stuff. (Certified growth marketing nerds over here!) Don’t hesitate to reach out. 

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Ayesha Renyard photo

Ayesha Renyard

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed

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