We all want a roadmap with simple steps on how to reach the ultimate destination. Some individuals are graced with the innate ability to know where they are at all times, but for the rest of us, maps are essential for getting from point A to point B. When we hop in the car, we can use Google Maps to find our destination and calculate the shortest route to getting there. Similarly, charting out a social media marketing strategy requires a lot of careful navigation using a proper map and setting your key destination. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as typing in an address in Google Maps. It’s slightly more complicated. Not to fret, the following steps below are organized to help you properly and effectively chart a social media roadmap to meet your objectives, create a content calendar, and follow through with results.
Before you begin your journey, let’s take a moment to identify your marketing goals.
Is your goal to gain more followers or drive more traffic to your website via social? Each objective is drastically different and would require certain tools in order to successfully achieve your end goal. If you want more visits to your website, then you need to set the goal to optimize your website. Ideally, you would want your bounce rate to be low. According to Google, “A bounce is a single-page session on your site. In Analytics, a bounce is calculated specifically as a session that triggers only a single request to the Analytics server, such as when a user opens a single page on your site and then exits without triggering any other requests to the Analytics server during that session.” Knowing what the numbers on your website are showcasing will allow you to begin formulating a plan to reach your goals.
It’s important to assess your website in order to see which pages are receiving the highest amount of visits. If you sell beauty products and see one product has the highest number of organic visits, you will naturally conclude that more consumers enjoy that product. Therefore, if your goal is to drive more traffic to your website, you should feature more original content around that product on your social media platforms.
If your goal is to gain more followers, it might require you to increase your posting frequency. The more content you post, the more impressions and engagement you might receive (depending on the content that you are distributing).
Now that you know where you’re going, it’s time to do a social media audit.
During this audit, it’s important to analyze the current status of your social media. See it as a doctor check-up. Take a look at your current follower base, engagement, impressions, website visits, and the overall health of your social presence. Why is this important? In a recent study, “according to Social Media Examiner, only 42% of marketers were able to keep measure of their social media marketing activities.” If you do not know how often you’re posting or what is being shared or how you’re social platforms are doing, how do you know if they are performing well or not?
A social media audit allows you to assess what is currently working, what content isn’t working, and how to change it to increase results. Lastly, the audit allows you to see what you are excelling at and how to deliver that content to the right consumers on each social media platform at the right time. You already know the power of social and the potential it has. But if you’re posting photos and content without a purpose, you’re watching all of your great content enter a void, floating into the black abyss. Too dramatic? Maybe. But it’s better to optimize your time effectively than to see it go to waste.
After you perform a social media audit, it’s time to gather resources.
Before you jump into hiring a completely new social media team, take a moment to see which resources you already have. Do you have an in-house designer, content writer, or marketing team in place? Start with what you already have and work your way forward with that. When building your ideal social media marketing strategy, it is easy to get overwhelmed, so begin by asking yourself a couple of the following questions below:
1. Do you already have social media platforms set up? (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn)
2. If not, take a moment to analyze which social platforms might be best for your business.
2. What resources do you already have? (i.e. Software, Content Management Platforms, Photoshop)
3. How much time can you allocate to building out a social media plan?
4. Do you have a dedicated content writer to execute original content?
5. How often would you like to post on social?
After you have your goals set in stone, and you have a tally of all the resources you have, the next is to build out your template.
“Whether it’s your first time running social media for a company, or you’re just looking to boost your online profile, social media templates will save you valuable time and effort.” Having a template is a great foundation and outline to follow. Why is a social content calendar so important? Because it holds you accountable and keeps you organized on which posts are being scheduled out on which social platform.
When building out your content calendar be wary of the fact that not all content should be pushed out on every single platform. Keep your content engaging and interesting, while making sure that you continue to keep your company’s goals in mind. Building out the social content calendar might be the most challenging stage of your roadmap. It’s where you pave the road to your adventure. This will be the narrative you want to effectively communicate with your audience.
Goals - Check. Audit - Check. Social Content Calendar - Check. Now what?
You have done all the heavy lifting. Now that you have your destination in mind, you can add it into your Google Maps, and follow the guided steps. Once you have started scheduling out all your posts in your social content calendar, it is time to see which posts performed the best. Finding the perfect balance between curated and created content will assist in achieving your goal of increasing conversions.
The next three elements of your roadmap are:
1. Assessing the Data
2. Performing A/B Testing
3. Community Management
You might be thinking that numbers aren’t usually involved on your Google Maps navigation, and you’re completely right. However, it’s extremely important when continuously building out your social content calendar. Similar to when you did your social media audit, it’s important to understand what content worked and what didn’t. Through assessing your social media insights and data you can see which posts received the most engagement, which days you get the most visitors on Facebook and Instagram, and how many impressions your tweets receive. By knowing these numbers you’ll be able to perform A/B testing with your original content. Try posting links with the preview image link and try posting content with a photo and a shortened link to see which one would perform better. This will help provide direction on how you might build out your ongoing social media strategy.
The last and most important element is community management. Not to be mistaken with community involvement and volunteering, which is also great and beneficial for your well-being and contribution to the local community. Community management, however, is the process of engaging with your fans and audience on social media. When they have a question, answer sincerely. This makes them feel like they are being acknowledged and heard. It’s a conversation rather than you talking at your followers. They are your #1 fans and advocates for your brand, so if you build a relationship with them, they will reciprocate through continuously supporting you and your company.
Now that you have all the steps. Begin charting out your roadmap, and see where your social media adventure takes you.
Have any questions? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for reading and stay tuned for more!