Whether you are currently putting proposals out for social media management jobs, or you are ready to onboard a new client who just signed a contract with you, starting off on the right foot with any new client is important.
We at Social Media Pro recommend you create a social media strategy for each and every client you work with.
In this article, you will learn
- why a social media strategy is important for every business
- what you need from the (potential) client to get started and create a social media strategy
- how to create a social media strategy
Why Every Business Needs a Social Media Strategy
There are several good reasons each and every business needs a social media strategy.
It is 2019 after all!
Here is the short list of reasons a social media strategy is important to a business.
- Brand Awareness
- Customer Support
- Integration with Traditional Marketing Strategies
- Use Social Media with Intent
Any or all of these reasons should be enough for you to pause and reflect.
Ask yourself this; how can you be a successful social media manager if you have nothing to go on?
No data, not goals, no keywords, no industry knowledge?
When you create a social media strategy, you get all of those data points, and more!
TIP: If you are new to social media management, social media marketing or if you’ve never taken the time to create a social media strategy for a client before, we recommend you start off by creating a social media strategy for your own business!
Doing this accomplishes several things:
- gives you experience in completing a social media strategy
- holds you accountable for your own marketing as a social media manager or agency
- gets you an accurate understanding of how much time creating a social media strategy takes, to that you can charge accordingly.
The Needs for Content Access To Create a Social Media Strategy
In order to create a social media strategy, you need the following from your clients
- approval of this strategic project and fee, to be paid upfront
- access to Google Analytics
- list of all social channels and available data
- customer avatar information
- 3-5 competitors names
- basic keyword understanding
- other relevant information (to be asked in a customer on-boarding questionnaire)
If you have trouble getting access to this information, or if information like Google Analytics is not available, try to get as much data as you can. The more data you gather, the better research you can do, the more strategic (and accurate) you can get with your report.
How To Create a Social Media Strategy
In order to create a social media strategy for a business, you need as many ‘pieces to the puzzle’ as you can get.
Once you have all the pieces of information gathered, we recommend you do the following to create your strategic plan
Goals (and Objectives)
In the in-take questionnaire, you will have discussed the goals your client has for being on social media.
Put these goals and objectives into one document; these will be your starting point for your new strategy.
No social media strategy is complete without goals and objectives, yet often when asked ‘why do you want to be on social media?’ business owners answer with ‘because someone told me to be’ or ‘it’s the place to be seen’.
Make sure you have clear goals for each client.
Social Media Audit
Do a full audit of all social media channels and an audit of the website.
Create a spreadsheet and for each social media platform note
- follower/following numbers
- content frequency
- content type
- engagement rates
- ‘what’s missing’
For the website, note the menu options and pages displayed, and look at branding, clarity of information, ease of use, loading speed, mobile view etc.
For social media platforms and the website, note links that are broken, items that are missing and things that are not working.
Make sure you also describe the overall feel, branding and voice for each platform.
Very similar to the social media audit, but a bit more condensed, the competitor’s analysis looks at what your competition is doing really well, and where they are getting the most traction. Note what is working, what platform they are getting engagement and followers on and what they are doing to accomplish that. Take a look at their content and note what you like and dislike about it.
How effective is your, or your client’s competition, in using social media marketing?
When working closely with a client on a strategic plan, one of the things to ask for is their list of current keywords. Most likely, such a list was created when they first worked with a web designer.
If there is no ‘working list’ of keywords, you will need to create one based on their products, services, location and client avatar.
These keywords need to become part of their content strategy if they have any chance of ranking for these keywords on Google. Therefore, these keywords need to be part of your strategic social media plan.
Once you have a list, use a tool like ‘answer the public‘ to hone in on other words and phrases associated with your keywords. If you are creating a strategy for a local brick-and-mortar business, location keywords are important to get ranked for. Be sure to include those in your list.
Next, create a content calendar of current content.
List when, where and what is currently being published; include blog content in this calendar.
This calendar will be your starting point for creating a new content calendar once the strategic plan is finished.
Putting the Strategy Together
Last but not least, you are going to take all these pieces of the puzzle and put them together into a social media strategy.
If you are confused about this part, you are not alone. Strategies and tactics are often confused in many industries. Marketing is no different. We found this good explanation of the difference between marketing strategies and tactics.
So in short, you are going to take the goals and objectives and come up with ways, tactics, to reach those goals.
You might use tactics like multiple ad campaigns, increased organic posting to a certain channel, frequency of email newsletters or new blogging format with an overall goal to increase web traffic.
Whatever strategies and tactics you feel are best to work on to yield your best results, should be laid out and detailed in your strategic plan.
One last word of advice.
Once you create a social media strategic plan, be sure to keep it handy and refer to it often! We recommend you set 3, 6 and 12-month goals and revisit or rework the plan every year, building upon what has worked in the past.
Roadmap To Create a Social Media Strategy Successfully
We understand that creating a social media strategy is complex.
We have been creating strategies for years for hundreds of clients; in fact, we teach social media managers how to do it successfully.
Would you like to learn this skills and be able to charge your clients for it?
Check out our latest course Social Strategist Pro.
I am a Certified Social Media Manager, Strategist, International Keynote Speaker, Organic Specialist and Agile marketer! Blogging is my creative outlet. Running, hiking and skiing are how I recharge. You’ll recognize me on stage and online by my always present orange glasses, a nod to my Dutch heritage.