Laying the Foundation for an Effective Social Media Strategy | Maven

In 2020, social media is more than posting and liking. It’s a digital realm where you establish your brand’s voice and relay consistent key messaging to your target audience. A social media strategy is a blueprint of the who, what, when, where and why of your brand. It outlines the steps that need to be taken in order to reach your goals.

Before jumping into content creation, take the time to map out three critical steppingstones that build the foundation of your strategy.

Identify your goals and objectives

When beginning any process, it’s crucial to define a clear set of goals and objectives. The goals and objectives of your social media strategy drive your efforts—from content creation, to scheduling, all the way to reporting. Identify goals that are realistic and supported by analytics, such as increasing engagement among followers ages 18-33 by 10%. When goal setting, it’s important to assess the current state of your social media channels in order to determine which goals are attainable. Everybody wants to gain thousands of followers but depending on your resources that may be too hefty of a goal. Ultimately, you want to set goals that are reachable yet show signs of progress.

Identify your audience

Who are you currently reaching? Who do you want to reach? Audience is key when it comes to social media. Without a solid follower base, your entire strategy is meaningless. Find out as much as you can about your followers—gender, age, location, race/ethnicity. The more information you have, the better position you’re in to craft content that interests them. If your current audience demographics are not in line with your goals, research the accounts that attract your target audience. Keep in mind that audiences vary across platforms. Your target audience on Facebook may differ from Instagram, and that’s okay! Be prepared with content that is appropriate for the platforms you’re using to ensure your message truly resonates with your target audience.

Audit your competitors

All’s fair in love and social media! There’s no shame in comparing accounts with your competitors. In fact, it may be the best way to gain perspective into how well your accounts are performing and what content is popular across the board. Taking a look at competitors is also a great way to better understand brand voice and see where you fall on the spectrum. Is your tone more professional while a competitor is more lighthearted? Are your posts too funny while your competitors take things more seriously? It all goes back to those goals and objectives. Where do you want to fall on that spectrum? Unfortunately, we can’t all be like Wendy’s.

Developing a social media strategy can be a daunting task, but in the long run it will establish your brand’s voice and increase reach. By starting your process with these three steps, you’re putting your best foot forward in developing a successful strategy that shapes the public perception of your brand. The best thing about social media is that it’s not static. Platforms are constantly evolving and updating along with audiences. No strategy is set in stone, so stay in tune with social trends and listen to your followers as you go.

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