Create a winning social media strategy for your business in 8 steps

Step by step

Social media usage has been soaring in the Middle East. Take UAE as an example, it recorded the highest social media penetration ever estimated by 99% in 2018 Saudi Arabia also recorded the highest year-over-year growth in the number of social media users with a rate of 32%. So, social media isn’t a  luxury anymore for businesses. In this article, we’re going to give you some advice on how to develop a solid and strong social media strategy for your business that will help you shine among competition.

We’ll cover points like how to set social media objectives, understanding your customers, generating great content and measuring and improving performance.

Related: A look back at 2018: Arab social media behavior

 

Eight simple steps to set your social media strategy

Remember: “It takes years to build community and strong brand awareness and minutes to destroy it”
  1. Define Your Specific Social Media Goals
  2. Step 2: Listen and Compare
  3. Step 3: Analyze Your Audiences
  4. Step 4: Analyze your competition
  5. Select Success Metrics
  6. Identify core topics and create value
  7. Define your tone of voice and frequency
  8. Engage your audience

Let’s dive in.

Step 1: Define your specific social media goals

It is impossible to achieve your goals without defining exactly what you’re looking for. Many companies let social metrics define their goals, such as “more fans on facebook”, “more twitter followers”, “more YouTube views.” and as long as they’re achieving these goals, they’re successful.

As marketers, we know that engagement is one of the key goals. But, what type of engagement are we talking about? Is it positive engagement? The volume of comments on controversial pieces of content?

You need to go a step beyond to define specific, actionable, and reasonable social media goals.

Related: Using social media advertising to generate leads

Step 2: Listen and compare

“Listening” is an important method that’s often ignored. The reality is that your customers and competitors will give you good guidance on where and how you should be active on social media if you broaden your social listening beyond your brand name.

In this step we work on the social media listening process to know most common topics and industry buzz.

First things first, try using a social media listening tool called “mention.com” in order to track industry keywords, competitors mentions, your company’s mentions etc. This will help you set the suitable strategy for your target audience.

Next step is to work on “Google Alerts” to track any keyword on websites and to stay on the right track.

Step 3: Analyze your audiences

Who are you going to interact with on social media? What are the demographic and psychographic characteristics of your current or prospective customers? How does that impact what you can and should attempt in social media?

In this step you can use the below useful data research tools:

Related: Define your customer persona to easily create targeted marketing messages 

Step 4: Analyze your competition

Competitive analysis is a key component of any marketing tactic. Performing a competitive deep dive to get a sense of not only your competitors’ strengths but their weaknesses.

You have to start generating discussions, engagement, listening, achieve your customer’s expectation and you’ll be carving out your place in the social sphere from the start.

In this phase you can use either Social Bakers or Fan page karma. To make competitors social media analysis, which will help you set the following:

  • Posting frequency
  • Posting time
  • Recommended artwork for your industry.
  • Set the right KPIs (key performance indicators)

Step 5: Select Success Metrics (KPIs)

Ask yourself the following questions: How are you going to determine whether this is actually making a difference for your business? What key measures will you use to evaluate social media strategy effectiveness? How will you transcend likes and engagement?

Related: The don’ts and don’ts of social media marketing for SMBs

Step 6: Identify core topics and create value

A strategic social media marketing plan requires more than just publishing as many posts as you can on Facebook or tweets on Twitter.

Communication through social media is more like a community and big family. So, your content strategy needs to stray away from saying things like pay now or buy now. You need to plan valuable content for customers and support them and also clear your brand services and selling message but keep balanced.

Step 7: Define your tone of voice and frequency

Social media audiences like to stay engaged but not over-saturated with content. Finding the right balance is essential to your success, and it’s another aspect of your campaign requiring a trial-and-error approach.

An editorial calendar is a valuable tool for defining the who, what, when and where of your social strategy.

Think of the topics that you will address, the frequency, and which platforms you will use.

Step 8: Engage your audience

Social media is built around engagement, and it requires continuous input from you and your team. Social media is more than just platforms to publish content continuously. If you ask questions, you should stick around to participate in the discussion.

There are social media monitoring tools that provide instant alerts when your posts have been shared, commented on or liked.

These tools often mean the difference between dedicating your entire day to monitoring your social networks and actually running your business while remaining on the grid.

Final words

Social media marketing can be an excellent vehicle for developing online brand awareness, customer engagement, and audience growth. This requires a solid, measurable plan and commitment to develop consistent and valuable content.

In addition, it’s crucial for you to have a clear understanding of why social can be useful for reaching your business goals.

Abdelrahman Sleem
Abdelrahman is the CEO and founder of the Integrated Marketing Foundation . He completed his MBA in 2012 from Brooklyn University. He is a Digital Marketing Instructor at The American University of Cairo, and he has more than 13 years of experience in Digital Marketing. He helped train more than 10,000 people in marketing, digital brand strategy, social media marketing, online advertising, strategy and planning. He manages marketing campaigns with spending of more than $20M for different brands in the MENA region.