5 step eBook to a social media marketing strategy win
Your social media marketing strategy should never be set in stone. Whether you’re halfway through the year, or just halfway through Q1, if you spot an issue, change it! This eBook will show you the steps you need to flip your results around - with added social media strategy templates to help along the way.
What is the key to making a social media marketing strategy a success?
The short answer - flexibility.
The long answer - this eBook.
I’ve put together the key steps to help you:
- Understand your current position,
- Find and solve your major issues,
- Monitor your future results to prove your strategy success.
Whether it’s the start of your strategy, or you need to 360 after a poor start to the year, this eBook will help you form a strategy that will work for your brand.
1 - Report on your past digital marketing
To plan for the future, you must look to the past. You can’t improve your social media marketing plan without first assessing your current efforts.
What’s the best content? Which social networks are most effective? How does your social media presence compare to your competitors? These are the things you need to know if you’re going to improve.
You need a report…
A social media report should always provide an overview of past results.
How to write a social media report
Writing a report isn’t easy. But it is achievable. Here are some elements to consider when writing yours.
Target your report to your audience
The information you need to include in a report will change depending on your audience. And each person will be thinking about what the results mean to them.
Try to understand your main KPI for the person you’re presenting to (typically, driving sales, but it could be different), then shape your results to that KPI. You might think that social media post you created was a success after it gained huge engagement. But if you can also prove that engagement led to more sales, everyone will think it’s a success.
Provide insights, not data
Nobody wants to be bombarded by numbers. They want results. Share insights that make a difference, and keep back the data that doesn’t.
And ensure every change has an explanation. If there was a spike in mentions, provide the reason that caused it. If your sentiment dropped, show people why. And better still, how it can be improved.
Don’t forget to provide insight analysis in your reports, to add meaning to your data.
Social media moves fast. So must you. You need to report on your successes regularly, to understand exactly how your strategy is working at any given time.
How regularly? That depends on who you’re reporting to. You should report for yourself on a daily basis (automated reports and alerts can help manage this), while your C-Suite may only need a report every quarter, or maybe half-year.
Read other reports to inspire yours
How do you know if your reporting is effective? Take a look at what other companies are doing, and get inspired.
To help, I’ve included an example social measurement report in our social media strategy eBook, so you can see just how a global brand may report on their results.
2 - Find your past challenges - and provide the solutions
Now that you have a comprehensive report on your previous period, your biggest problem should be highlighted.
Still not sure what that is? We’ve listed the 9 biggest problems that can sink your social media marketing strategy:
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Once you’ve identified yours, you need to provide solutions. Here’s an example of the sort of issue and solution you could be faced with:
What’s sinking you
It’s easy to keep flooding your social channels with content. But if that content isn’t engaging your audience, your strategy isn’t working. You could blame the algorithms, but that’s not going to get you anywhere. Instead, think about the content you’re sharing, and shape it more effectively to target your audience.
How to stay afloat
For this, competitor analysis is your friend. Generally, you and your competitors are fishing in the same pond for clients. Take a look at how they’re handling the market, to see what content of theirs is engaging (or not engaging, if they’re struggling in the same way as you).
This will help you identify the content your audience loves, the times that they’re more active, and even the medium they prefer to consume (If your consumer market prefers to engage with blog posts, your podcasts are a wasted effort).
TBH we're surprised she didn't order a Dragon Drink.— Starbucks Coffee (@Starbucks) May 6, 2019
Starbucks demonstrates how to trendjack to drive social engagement.
Look to the trends too. Relevance is essential for engagement, and being up to date with what’s happening in your community, will help drive more personalized conversations. When a coffee cup appeared in an episode of Game of Thrones, Starbucks joined in with the ensuing conversation. That topicality drove 101.4k engagement, pushing a conversation that was worth the equivalent of $2.3 billion media value.
Finally, if you haven’t incorporated video into your content mix yet, it’s time to step up your game. And it’s easier than you think with user generated content (UGC) videos. 90% of consumer’s purchasing decisions are led by UGC, while video can generate up to 288% more engagement than traditional text or image content. Combine the 2, and you get maximum impact with minimal outlay.
Other problems and solutions
What if you’re stuck with one of the other problems listed? Grab my download. I’ve covered all 9 with a deeper dive into the problem, and what you can do to solve it to save your social media marketing strategy.
3 - Define and measure the metrics that matter
Success is defined by how you look at it. So when you’re planning your social media marketing strategy, you need to define the metrics that will demonstrate success. And that’s not just for you, but for management too.
Social media goals are difficult to quantify. But not impossible. It’s all down to your data maturity - how efficient you are with managing data across your company.
If you want to show results from your social media channels, you need to understand your main company KPI. What is it every person in the company should be working towards?
Generally, it’s making sales. So to demonstrate results, you need to be monitoring the metrics that lead back to this. To show exactly what you do on social drives company revenue.
Tricky, but not impossible. To help you out, I’ve gathered input from global experts to provide your with the metrics you must be measuring to define success. For example...
Engagement metrics can be a complicated field. Although some may classify them as vanity metrics (numbers that look nice, but don’t really mean anything), engagement can be used effectively to monitor your content uptake, providing a data-baseline and springboard.
You should consider engagement in 2 forms. Active and passive.
Passive engagements are the simple gestures consumers do easily and effortlessly - liking a status, retweeting a tweet, etc. It takes little thought, and doesn’t really mean the consumer has connected with the message being shared.
Active engagements are gestures that take thought and commitment from consumers - commenting, sharing their own thoughts, reblogging you content, etc.
Active engagements show that your message has been picked-up, and is impacting your audience.
When considering engagement metrics, you’re not looking for the peaks, but the trends. If you spot one piece of content that gets a huge spike, that doesn’t mean it’s a benchmark. It may just be a stroke of luck and you hit a trend.
Instead, look for the consistent engagement. If there’s a style of content that regularly gains increased engagement levels, that’s the insight you want. Whether that’s on your owned content, or your competitors’.
“Once upon a time, quality and impact were the true measures of content. The minute we redefined what successful content was, we redefined the entire creation process. We created plenty of measurement techniques that allow us to cut corners when creating content for the sake of high engagement rates or metrics like OTS (opportunity to see).
Content marketers need to move away from looking at content as a direct route to engagement. Engaging content is not synonymous to high-performing or quality content. Engagement tactics can validate poor content driven by clickbait tactics to drive shares and re-posts. As content creators, we need to recognise just how important it is for us to shift our strategies away from instantaneously gratifying content, and towards sustainable content that focuses on bottomline business value.”
Joe Lipscombe, Director of Content and Influence, Memac Ogilvy
“One metric that was mentioned in a workshop I recently ran was 'quality engagement.' So looking beyond just likes, comments and shares to evaluating engagement by your relevant target audience. In doing so, you're sparking organic conversations, building trust and a community of folks who could buy from you.”
Joe Escobedo, Social strategy advisor to Fortune 500 firms
Business impact metrics
These tie back to the data maturity model as discussed earlier. The metrics that mean results. Sales figures, profits, company value. Even share price. Never underestimate how much social media can impact your company share price.
In February 2018, Kylie Jenner tweeted that she no longer used Snapchat. The ensuing social conversation wiped $1.3 billion off Snap’s market value. To date, the company still hasn’t recovered.
Social listening can be used to manage the aftermath of a crisis, and help you recover from a PR crisis that could destroy a company. The journey from engagement metrics to business impact metrics isn’t that long. Cross-analyze all your metrics to see exactly how your social media strategy is converting to results -
“The most important metric I think you should follow is the conversion rate. Your conversion rate gives you vital intelligence about whether your content is working or whether you offer compels your audience to take action or not. At the end of the day, conversions are the business goals you are trying to achieve.”
Mireille Ryan, CEO of Social Media Marketing Institute
More essential metrics
I’ve more global expert input and essential metrics in my download. (It really is packed full of essential stuff!!)
4 - Structure your content plan
Now, it’s all coming together. You know how you’ve done, how to improve, and how to measure the results. All you have to do is create your content strategy.
This is an entire subject in itself, that we’ll be covering very (very) soon. But until then, consider the following:
Video is the new social media star. For some of the brands that I analyzed with our video analytics, I found video drove 288% more engagement than text or image mentions. If you want to boost brand engagement and share of voice, it must be one of the types of content you include in your strategy.
User generated content
You need to keep feeding your content stream. How better, than with content created by other people. Not only does it save you time, but consumers are more likely to engage with unbiased content from influencers and other consumers. Make the most of it.
Plan your schedule effectively
When you plan your content, think global. There are more optimal times to post depending on the social media platforms you’re writing for. You can ensure you post at the best time for your message, by analyzing the results of previous posts, and by using my “best time to post on your social channel” cheat sheet. Which I’ve also bundled into my social media strategy eBook.
5 - Analyze, analyze, analyze
Finally, everything is in place and working well. All you need to do is monitor everything. And I mean, everything.
A command center is perfect for this. It allows your PR and marketing team to monitor all your efforts constantly, so they can be ready to pivot at any moment.
Then focus on monitoring the key elements that could impact your brand:
Key metrics - Constantly monitor the metrics that matter most for your brand.
Your social channels - What’s working? What can work harder?
Your industry - Is there a trend to jump on? A crisis looming?
Competitors - Is there something they’re doing that you’re not? This is so important, we created a competitor analysis guide especially!
It’s never too late
It’s always darkest before the dawn. So if things look bleak for your social media marketing strategy now, it only means that there’s still time to shine.
And if you’re shining already, you can still be a little brighter.
Follow these 5 steps, grab our eBook, and you’ll soon create a social media success to be proud of.