Social Media Strategy Framework

The Social Media Strategy Framework helps organizations create an integrated social media strategy that is supported by a rosetta of internal corporate synergies. It represents the sum total of a company’s social media efforts.

The Social Media Strategy Framework is a step-by-step manual to creating an effective social media campaign. You will learn how to plan, what to post and when. This system builds on our extensive experience in the field, so you can be assured that it will produce the results you need.

 Social Media Strategy Context (Why and What)

Set up the social media strategy by providing context on the business challenges and brand strategy already established. This is why we’re defining the social media strategy.

  • Summary and agenda
  • Strategic goals
  • Business/comms challenges
  • Brand strategy overview

Social Media Audience Evaluation (Who)

Define the audience(s) that will influence your strategy. Use research and examples as appropriate to make your case. Compare that with how your audience breaks down today on web and social media channels.

  • Ideal client profile or audience overview
  • Audience analysis snapshot – current

Tactical Planning & Execution (How)

Show how your social media strategy comes to life with specific recommendations.

  • Strategy summary
  • Channel – roles & practices
  • Content framework – Topic pillars or themes
  • Creative direction – concepts & examples
  • Content publishing plan
  • Community management practices
  • Voice & tone guidelines
  • Paid media – campaign breakdown
  • Influencer program
  • Editorial or campaign calendar
  • Measurement and KPIs
  • Division of responsibility
  • Crawl, walk, and run plan
  • Implementation steps

Do a social media audit

If you’re already using social media, take stock of your efforts so far. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What’s working, and what’s not?
  • Who is engaging with you?
  • Which networks does your target audience use?
  • How does your social media presence compare to the competition?

Once you collect that information, you’ll be ready to start thinking about ways to improve.

We’ve created an easy-to-follow social media audit guide and template to walk you through each step of this process.

Screenshot of a social media audit spreedsheet for building an effective social media strategy

Your audit should give you a clear picture of what purpose each of your social accounts serves. If the purpose of an account isn’t clear, think about whether it’s worth keeping.

To help you decide, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Is my audience here?
  2. If so, how are they using this platform?
  3. Can I use this account to help achieve my goals?

Asking these tough questions will keep your strategy focused.

Look for impostor accounts

During the audit, you may discover fake accounts using your business name or the names of your products.

These imposters can be harmful to your brand—never mind that they’re capturing followers that should be yours.

Report them.

You may want to get your accounts verified too to ensure your fans know they are dealing with the real you.

Set up accounts and improve profiles

Decide which networks to use

As you decide which social networks to use, you will also need to define your strategy for each.

Benefit Cosmetics’ social media manager, Angela Purcaro, told eMarketer: “For our makeup tutorials … we’re all about Snapchat and Instagram Stories. Twitter, on the other hand, is designated for customer service.”

Hootsuite’s own social team even designates different purposes for formats within networks. On Instagram, for example, they use the feed to post high-quality educational infographics and product announcements and Stories to cover live events or quick social media updates.https://www.instagram.com/p/CRhE7aHBHB1/embed/captioned/?cr=1&v=14&wp=594&rd=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.hootsuite.com&rp=%2Fhow-to-create-a-social-media-marketing-plan%2F#%7B%22ci%22%3A0%2C%22os%22%3A8869.20000000007%7D

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Pro tip: Write out a mission statement for each network. A one-sentence declaration to keep you focused on a specific goal.

Example: “We will use Twitter for customer support to keep email and call volumes down.”

One more: “We will use LinkedIn for promoting and sharing our company culture to help with recruitment and employee advocacy.”

If you can’t create a solid mission statement for a particular social media channel, you may want to ask yourself if it’s worth it.

Set up your profiles

Once you’ve decided which networks to focus on, it’s time to create your profiles. Or improve existing ones so they align with your strategy.

  • Make sure you fill out all profile fields
  • Include keywords people would use to search for your business
  • Use consistent branding (logos, images, etc.) across networks so your profiles are easily recognizable

Find inspiration

While it’s important that your brand be unique, you can still draw inspiration from other businesses that are great on social.

Social media success stories

You can usually find these on the business section of the social network’s website. (Here’s Facebook’s, for example.)

Case studies can offer valuable insights that you can apply to your own social media plan.

Award-winning accounts and campaigns

You could also check out the winners of The Facebook Awards or The Shorty Awards for examples of brands that are at the top of their social media game.

For learning and a laugh, check out Fridge-Worthy, Hootsuite’s bi-weekly awards show highlighting brands doing smart and clever things on social media.

Your favorite brands on social media

Who do you enjoy following on social media? What do they do that compels people to engage and share their content?

Then there’s Shopify. The ecommerce brand uses Facebook to sell themselves by showcasing customer stories and case studies.

And Lush Cosmetics is a great example of superior customer service on Twitter. They use their 280 characters to answer questions and solve problems in an extremely charming and on-brand way.

Discover Social Media Channels

Is Instagram the right app to expand your brand? Does your startup need a Facebook account? Should you jump onboard on all social networks to maximise your reach?

Well, with many social media channels available, deciding which one deserves your marketing attention can be difficult. Nonetheless, the first step to establishing an effective social media-marketing framework is finding out the best social media channel for your business. If you are just getting started, this might be challenging.

Contrary to what many people believe, you don’t necessarily have to be present on every network. For the majority of businesses, it is more effective to handpick social media platforms that make more sense and are suitable to their brand rather than to spread their efforts everywhere.

That said, below are some of the main social media channels you should consider when building a social media marketing framework.

YouTube

YouTube is the best platform for businesses and brands where producing videos isn’t extraordinarily challenging or difficult. It is the best platform to build an online video portfolio, attract subscribers, and to generate organic video views. You can also use YouTube to educate your audience and establish thought leadership.

In general, YouTube is a good platform for B2B and B2C marketing, increasing brand awareness, educating your audience, and generating leads.

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Pros

  • Second largest search engine
  • Few brands are on YouTube, hence it is easier to stand out
  • Subscribers can help you to attract a regular YouTube audience

Cons

  • Producing a video can be expensive
  • Intrusive ad formats

Should You use YouTube?

If you are in a position to produce high-quality video content that makes the most from the YouTube video formats, this can be a good platform of choice. It also brings a lot of organic opportunities, thanks to its expanded online community and Google search integration. To succeed in the platform, you should create practical and useful videos, which could be in the form of product reviews, how-to videos, tutorials, and more. You should also promote your channel on other social platforms to build a bigger following.

Facebook

Facebook is undoubtedly the most popular social media platform, currently enjoying more than 2.2 billion monthly users. The platform provides a plethora of both organic and paid advertising opportunities, which explains why most B2C marketers prefer the platform. It offers endless engagement opportunities by allowing brands to encourage their followers to share, comment, and like their posts. Marketers can also leverage various posting options, including videos, images and articles linking back to their websites.

Pros

  • Highly targeted ads
  • Most popular social media platform
  • Invaluable insights on campaign performance

Cons

  • High competition
  • Difficulty in lead generation

Should you use Facebook?

If you are a B2C business with the primary goals of increasing brand awareness, providing customer service, increasing engagement, leads and conversions, you should consider using Facebook.

What about B2B businesses? Well, from what we’ve seen thus far, companies seeking to reach out to small businesses and start-ups can gain tremendous leverage by promoting themselves on Facebook. However, not so for those looking to market themselves to corporates and larger firms.

LinkedIn

With over 660 million users, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional social network. LinkedIn is the best platform to post professional resources, company news, job postings, and insightful articles.

One crucial aspect of LinkedIn is its business-minded user-base. People subscribing to the network are ready to discuss business or professional opportunities when the time is right. That aside, LinkedIn has less sophisticated ad targeting options, unlike Facebook.

Pros

  • Definitive B2B platform
  • Business-minded users
  • Ability to reach large companies and professionals (high-value prospects)

Cons

  • Higher advertising costs
  • Difficult to do direct selling

Should you use LinkedIn?

You should consider using LinkedIn if you want to connect with decision-makers and executives in your target companies. It provides a good platform to establish your brand as an industry authority by providing in-depth and data-driven content. This space also makes it easy to differentiate your brand from the competition.

Instagram

Instagram was a fast rising social media star some years back – today, it has become the social media giant that everybody is talking about!

Currently, the platform has surpassed 1 billion monthly active users and is growing much faster than Facebook, its parent company. Of the one billion users, more than 70 percent are below the age of 35, making it the best place for brands with content targeting Generation Z and millennials.

Like its parent company, Instagram has highly sophisticated targeting options, allowing marketers to pitch to the most relevant audiences. It is also purely a visual platform, thus a good choice for brands that create highly visual content such as luxury businesses, fashion, food, and travel. Plus, Instagram is known for hosting endless influencers who have wide audiences and reach. 

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Pros

  • Fast-growing user base
  • High engagement
  • Great for visual branding
  • Connections with millennials and generation Z

Cons

  • Demanding content creation
  • Less effective for website traffic

Should you use Instagram?

Instagram cannot be compared to Facebook in terms of audience size but is growing quickly. Besides, it is the go-to platform for generation Z and millennials, who are slowly losing interest in Facebook. Whereas Facebook makes a good choice for B2B and B2C brands, Instagram is great for rolling out consumer campaigns for aesthetically focused industries.

Twitter

Is Twitter still a thing? Even with approximately 330 million monthly users, Twitter’s audience cannot match Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn as far as audience size is concerned.

However, it is the perfect platform to reach a highly engaged and content-hungry audience, which makes it an ideal platform to share regularly tweet links to your blog,  YouTube videos, or  website landing pages.

Twitter is best for B2B branding, content promotion, establishing brand awareness, providing customer service, and engaging with thought leaders. However, it does require commitment as you’ll need far more tweets per day to get an engaged audience relative to other social networks.

Pros

  • Highly engaged audience
  • Organic reach reduces dependability on ads
  • Good source for traffic

Cons

  • Short content lifespan – unless you republish
  • Pricey advertising
  • Requires a lot of content
  • Limited analytics

Should you use Twitter?

With organic reach, Twitter is a good platform for B2C and B2B brands looking to capitalise on social media marketing. It is also a good backup plan if the competition on Facebook heats up. Unlike other platforms, you can directly engage with decision-makers, executives, consumer audience, and freelancers.

However, Twitter is full of noise and content clutter, plus the need for higher frequency of content makes it less tenable for overworked social media marketers!

Know where you stand

In assessing which channel works best for your organisation, you will first need to know where you stand in each of your social media channels. Here are three things you can do.

Social media audit

Conduct a comprehensive social media audit to determine how well your social media channels are performing. This will include Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) like the number of fans or followers you have, frequency of updates, and levels of engagement (likes, comments and shares).

Customer Persona Development

You need to understand your target audience. Describe the demographics (age, education, income, etc), psychographics (interests, lifestyles, and attitudes) and online behaviours of your target customers. Zoom in on how they search for content online, and determine what keywords they use.

Competitor Analysis

Identify your competitors and measure how you square against them online. Here, tools like Fanpage Karma or Buzzsumo will be handy as you can track the frequency of your competitor’s social media posts, level of engagement, as well as their most shared content.

Conclusion

A thorough, stress-free, and concise framework that helps you in strategically developing your Social Media Strategy and gaining insights and benefits from the data. The comprehensive sections will guide the reader through this process which will help you tackle issues that many businesses face when developing a Social Media Strategy

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