How to create a social media marketing strategy

Social Media Specialist
Updated February 03, 2023
Lauren Taylor
Social Media Specialist
If you want to arrive at success, you need a good plan or really good luck. This article is about the plan. We won't tell you about the luck since we haven't got a major in voodoo. But we promise to explain how to create an effective social media strategy in detail. Thus, you won't need any voodoo to get your brand growing organically on social media.
Reading time — 10 minutes

What is a social media marketing strategy?

A social media strategy is a marketing plan. It describes how you can achieve your brand's goals using social accounts.

A social media strategy is the first marketing plan you create when you decide to present your brand on the internet. All future social media marketing plans are created in accordance with it.

Assume, your goal is increasing brand awareness. Social media can help you to reach people who don't know about you yet. You should decide what social networks to choose and what you will say to the users. This is your social media strategy.

Why do you need a social media strategy?

First, let's see why you need to create a social media strategy. Understanding this will help to build a better strategy and get back your eyes that may have rolled up when you were charged with this red tape.

Effective social media marketing plans. A social media strategy is a path you choose. When you see your way clearly, you know how to make another step to come closer to the goal. Besides, you can plan the steps ahead.

If you have a strategy, then social platforms you choose and posts you schedule in future planning are never random. You can figure out the best options. And everything you do contributes to your success.

React quickly. Even the best plan can't cover all the unexpected. When you know your current priorities, you can come up with a solution that turns the unexpected into another step toward your goals. Even if the unexpected is usually considered something negative.

For example, you got a bad review in the comments. If you look at your strategy for social media marketing, you can tell what is important for your brand. Thus, you know how to react. There is no hesitation to laugh it off or apologize.

Objective results assessment. You may be disappointed with how some metrics are changing. Or you may be blinded with happiness seeing the changes in other metrics. But you should focus only on the metrics that are important for your current social media marketing strategy.

Objective assessment is important to make decisions that are good for your brand and to say whether you are going the right way.

As you can see now, creating a social media strategy is worth your effort. It can be a great help in promoting your brand on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and other social networks effectively. And it's not difficult if you follow the guide below.

Read about TikTok marketing to get a better understanding of how to promote your brand on this social network.

How to create a social media strategy

Here are 6 steps to create a social media strategy for better marketing results. They are mostly searching and analyzing information. No worry, we explain everything to make this homework as little head-hurting as possible.

Step 1: Define your brand's goals

Define your brand's goals to create a social media strategy. We want all your eyes here. These are goals that go beyond social networks. Remember, the whole marketing hustle and bustle is for promoting your brand, not just social accounts.

Here are examples of a brand's goals to include in your social media strategy:

Choose 1–2 goals at a time when creating a social media strategy. Then, you are likely to arrive at success. Choose more only if you are sure you can pull them off.

Step 2: Study the audience you are dealing with

You can create a social media strategy that will cause organic growth only if you know your audience. You already know what you want. Now let's find out what the audience wants. Because your success lies where the wants meet.

These are what you should know about your audience on social media:

  • age;
  • location;
  • interests;
  • attitudes;
  • preferred platform.

When you understand your audience, you know what works for it best. You know what platforms it resides on, so you know where to post. And you know what it likes, so you know what to post.

Put two and two together and you'll know how to use social media to achieve your brand's goals. For example, you will know what to post to increase brand awareness or build a reputation.

Learn how to put the two and two together:

Fine, how do I know all that about my audience?

Use your statistics on social networks that you are going to include in your social media strategy. Then, you will be able to create a plan for your audience specifically. Such accurate customization means the best results.

You may need different approaches on different social networks. Consider your audience statistics on each of them.

You can also ask people in your posts and Stories directly. Ask what they like, what they think about a hot topic, etc. Not all followers will answer, sure. But the most active will do this. And they are the part you may want to focus on because they are the most interested in your brand and the most likely to buy your product.

For example, in Instagram Insights you see sections for age and location. You can know the interests by checking the number of likes, shares, comments. The more of them a post gets, the more interesting the post's topic to your audience is. You can know the attitudes by checking the polls' results, besides, reading comments is also a good option.

If you are just starting out, you can use average industry statistics. Statista.com is one of the websites to check. Use these average figures to create a social media strategy for the first time.

Step 3: Know what your rivals do

Check your rivals' accounts to create a social media strategy. You may also get useful insights from spying on their ads. Pay attention to what they do for marketing success. You can try doing the same. But only take after good examples:

  • The rivals' accounts should promote a brand in the same industry. Then, your situations are similar. And their strategy is applicable to you.
  • The accounts you monitor should be presented on social media for years. Then there are chances their success is not accidental and they know what they do.

Don't follow the rivals' social media strategies blindly. You should understand why they do this and not that, and why it works. Then, you can know whether this will be good for your account. Include in your marketing strategy only what will work for sure.

Step 4: Define your social media marketing goals

Now you've got all the information you need to create a social media marketing strategy. At this point, you should use this information to "translate" your brand's goals into social media marketing goals.

Think about how social media can help you to achieve the brand's goals. Back to the example with brand awareness. The awareness increase is a brand's goal, and the social media marketing goal is increasing impressions, follower count in this case.

Here are more examples of marketing goals you may want when you create a social media strategy:

  • If your brand needs more sales, your social accounts need a higher conversion rate. Try using Instagram landing pages for this.
  • If your brand needs to build customer loyalty, your social accounts need more testimonials.

Use the S.M.A.R.T. approach when you set goals for your social media strategy:

  • Specific. Decide on particular figures you want to achieve when choosing a social media marketing goal.
  • Measurable. You should be able to measure the progress. Think about the metrics to track.
  • Attainable. You can't get a million likes in a second. But aiming at 10 likes a month is a too-low bar. Find the best in-between according to the statistics in your account or the average statistics.
  • Relevant. Social media marketing goals should be relevant to your current brand's goals.
  • Time-bound. Set a period during which you should achieve a goal. Then, you will be able to say if you succeed when the time comes.

Step 5: Decide on the directions of your future content plan

When you create a social media strategy, you need to make a rough content plan. It should answer the two main questions: where and what to post. The details must be then specified in the content calendar. But first things first, let's look closer at this step of building the strategy.

Social media networks where you will post

The most important thing is choosing popular among your audience networks. But there is more. Which and how many social networks to choose depends on your brand's goals and opportunities.

For example, if you are creating a social media strategy to increase brand awareness, you may want to choose one or two most popular social networks. This will help to reach the biggest possible number of people.

At the same time, you may want to focus on one social network in your social media marketing strategy. This will allow regular and frequent posting, higher content quality, running competitions with prizes, which are also good for brand awareness increase.

Read which social network is better for your brand promotion — Facebook or Instagram.

Content that you will post

When you've studied your audience, you've learned what it likes and what it doesn't. Include in your social media strategy posts:

  • on the topics they are interested in.
  • with designs they like. This may be vivid and dynamic videos or modest videos, for example.
  • that educate or entertain, or both, depending on what they like.
  • in a photo or video format, depending on what they like.

Post more of what your audience prefers. For example, you may have noticed posts with video reviews on celebrities' bags get more likes. Try posting more video reviews about celebrities.

If you are an affiliate, read our Instagram affiliate marketing guide. There are insights that help to create an effective social media strategy for selling brands' products.

Step 6: Make your social media strategy a shareable file

You can call it a day at this point. You know what to do on social platforms to achieve your brand's goals. Arrange your social media strategy into a comprehensible document that you can present to others.

Create a social media strategy file that includes the information and ideas you've come up with. They are what you've got when following the steps above. Divide them into sections to make them easy to read. Here is a plan:

  • Your brand's goals.
  • Your audience on social media.
  • How social media will help to achieve your brand's goals.
  • What you expect to achieve. Use metrics and figures.

We believe you need no help to write a text according to the social media marketing strategy plan, or even make a vibrant PowerPoint presentation with bells and whistles so that your team won't fall asleep while you broadcast. But you can use a social media strategy template below as well.

Social media marketing strategy template

If you create a social media strategy for the first time, you probably don't have a good example or a draft. No worries, follow the link below to get a social media marketing strategy template, start with it.

Download the social media template or copy it to your Google documents. Then, you will be able to edit it.

Adjust the social media marketing strategy template to your brand one time, and you will get a custom template for your brand.

Check the metrics of your social media marketing strategy

After creating a social media strategy and implementing it, you need to track metrics. You defined them when you were setting marketing goals.

Check the metrics to estimate whether your social media strategy works. If they change as you expected, you can say it works well. If you see the metrics change differently from what you expected, you need to take action.

For example, you created a social media strategy to increase the impression rate. But the rate seems to stick to the bottom. Think why it is so and what you can do about it. Maybe, you use wrong hashtags, then read how to use hashtags. Or your account may be shadowbanned, read how to avoid it. The audience's interests may have changed, after all.

You may wonder how often "regularly" exactly means. It depends on you. You usually need to check them to create a monthly or annual social media report. Or you may need to check them to motivate your team with the results.

To sum up

You can create a social media strategy in 6 steps:

  1. Define your brand's goals.
  2. Study your audience on social media.
  3. Consider what your rivals do.
  4. Think about how social media can help you achieve your brand's goals. Set marketing goals.
  5. Choose social networks and decide what you will post.
  6. Make all that you get in the previous steps into a sharable file. You can use a template.

Make your strategy for social media marketing more effective with organic growth tools. These 5 tools optimize your account activity, and you have time for other matters that contribute to your brand development.