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How to Create a Social Media Strategy

When it comes time to market their businesses, many Alexandria and Arlington businesses turn their attention to social media. It’s a powerful way to generate awareness, find new customers, and promote various sales and specials. However, not all businesses are finding success with social media. This isn’t because it doesn’t work, but instead, they’re not using it in the right way. Just because your company has a few social media accounts that you post to every now and then doesn’t automatically mean that your audience will grow. Those businesses that are successful with their social media marketing efforts have created a strategy game plan. This prevents them from wasting both time and money while providing them with ideas on what kind of content their audience will resonate the best with their audience. Read on to learn more about how to create a social media strategy.

Choose Your Goals Wisely

 Before you make your first Tweet or Facebook post, you need to determine what are your objectives and goals. If you don’t have any, you won’t be able to quantify your efforts and measure your success. Your social media marketing goals should closely align with your business goals. The goals themselves should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-sensitive. For example, here is a goal for a company that sells online products: “We intend to use our Facebook channel to provide customer support and service. It’s our goal to lower the average response rate time down to 1 hour by Q3 of this year.” By clearly defining the social media channel(s) you intend to use, how you plan on using them, and the expected results, you’ll be able to intelligently measure success and make any needed adjustments along the way.

Perform a Competitive Analysis

Once you’ve clearly defined your goals, now look at the social media accounts of all your competitors. You can learn a thing or two from observing their efforts. If they’re using Facebook or Twitter for content marketing, you’ll be able to see precisely what is—and more importantly—what isn’t working for them. You’ll also be able to spot potential opportunities. For example, if your competitors are only making posts about ongoing sales and promotions, you can take that opportunity to create some thought leadership posts that offer advice or add value. This could drive more engagement and build brand trust as your audience realizes that you’re not just trying to shill them a product or service.

Take Advantage of Tools

There are many social media tools out there that can help you become more efficient and allow you to discover hidden insights. While most of them are paid monthly subscriptions, there are a few free ones, such as Barometer, which will enable you to compare your Facebook page to your competitors. SocialBakers is a paid buyer persona tool that allows you to make informed decisions based upon the data of your audience. Animoto is another paid tool that allows you to create visually appealing, viral, and engaging videos. Sprout Social is a social listening tool that will enable you to monitor the social media sites for mentions of your brand name as well as your competitors.  

Perform an Audit

If your business is already on social media and nothing you’ve tried so far has worked, perhaps it’s time to perform an audit? Write down what you have done so far and look at what your competitors are doing. Growing a social media account takes time and effort, and if your competitors have been doing it for years, there’s a good chance you just need more time. You can speed things up by engaging in paid search. If you’ve already created a social media strategy and are posting engaging content regularly, maybe all that you need is a jump-start. Paid social media advertising can send a flood of traffic to your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. If your content is on point, there’s an excellent chance you’ll pick up a few new followers and sales.

Create a Content Calendar

A social media content calendar spells out exactly when what you’re going to post for a period of time, such as the next 30 days. By taking an afternoon to pre-plan your future social media posts, it will prevent you from proverbially banging your head against your computer monitor, trying to think of something engaging to post. Creativity takes a fair amount of brainpower, and some people have it more than others. If you’re the type of person who can’t swing a few hours on a Sunday afternoon to create a social media content calendar for the upcoming month, try creating a “living content calendar” by sporadically adding to it throughout the week during the times that you are feeling inspired.

Social Media Marketing Help in Alexandria and Arlington

If you need some help jump-starting your social media marketing plan or require signage or printed marketing materials, give the professionals at AlphaGraphics Alexandria and Arlington Va. a call at (703) 549-2432 or contact us via our website. We’ve helped countless Alexandria and Arlington businesses and organizations market their business and drive new foot traffic through their front door. Give us a call today, and one of our experts will set up a secure online customer portal that will allow you to remotely manage access and all of your printing and re-ordering needs!

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