How to Create a Social Media Strategy

How to Create a Social Media Strategy

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Syed Aquib Ur
Syed Aquib Ur Rahman
Assistant Manager
Updated on Dec 26, 2023 19:31 IST

Every demographic around the world uses social media. Having a business profile on relevant channels is not enough until the company creates an effective social media strategy that speaks to its audience, engages them, and makes them loyal. Considering the readers to be new to strategising effectively, the blog provides a go-to framework to build upon on their own. If you are one, follow along!   

social media strategy

Let’s explore what a social media strategy is and how to create a plan for 2024. Social media marketing is a powerful and wide-reaching online marketing tactic. It supports a wide variety of businesses and industries when it comes to brand awareness, influencing purchasing decisions of customers, etc. 

But if you go on posting on social networks without a measurable strategy, you will not get results. It will also not help your brand reach the right audience. 

Also, consider that a social media strategy is not created in a vacuum. Your business will need other strategies too for content marketing and SEO along with a social media strategy. 

This blog post will take you through all the steps in creating a comprehensive social media marketing strategy. It will help you improve your business’s social media presence, increase engagement rate and ultimately, drive traffic to the website.

  1. Importance of a social media marketing strategy
  2. Defining a social media strategy
  3. Creating a social media marketing strategy

Importance of a Social Media Marketing Strategy

Let’s dive into some core facts and figures to know why you should be creating a social media strategy from scratch when you do not have one. 

  • More than half of the global population are using social media. 
  • As of this coming year, Meta (formerly Facebook) will cross 3.05 billion users (Oberlo).
  • According to Conviva, Instagram’s social streaming services provide 81% engagement and Facebook, 8%
  • LinkedIn’s ad revenue is expected to cross 15,145 million by 2024 (Statista). 
  • The time spent on social media is growing every year. It may cross the two-and-a-half hours of daily average use in 2024 (Datareportal).
  • According to Smart Insights,  46% of social media users use social networks to purchase.

Now, these stats tell you that a good social media marketing plan can help your business expand. With it, you can overcome these broad challenges 

  1. Reaching a wider and the right audience across relevant social platforms
  2. Beating your competitors by refining your strategy
  3. Measuring return on investment to understand if the marketing efforts are paying off

Let’s explore more reasons why you should create one. 

Helps You Accommodate Changing Marketing Trends

Also, according to a HubSpot research, the social media goals keep changing year after year. In 2021, social media marketers gave 34% of importance to brand awareness. In 2022, this importance has risen to 39%. Now, in 2024, AI will take centre stage in powering copies and strategies, and even for task delegation, according to the recent SEMrush's Social Media Trends Report. 

Also, in the previous year, 34% of importance was given to increasing revenue. This year, 33% of importance will be given to nurturing relationships with customers. 32% will be given importance to customer service and retaining existing customers. 

Gets You Ahead of Your Competitors

A social media strategy also looks into the competition. And most likely, your competition will use Google APIs or Facebook APIs to segment customer data. They do that to personalise communication to the right audience at the right time. 

If you do not have such data, it will be hard to reach out and grow your business. You will be spending more money on campaigns. 

Defining a Social Media Strategy

It is a blueprint or summary that documents how your company will communicate with the target audience through social networks. This plan is a detailed outline of social media goals aligning with the overall business strategy.  

Overall, the summary tries to answer these important questions

  • Which type of content do you want to engage your audience with?
  • Who are your competitors and target audience?
  • Which social media platforms will let your business thrive?
  • What are the best times to post on relevant social networks?
  • Why are you using social media for your business?

These questions are more or less answered through the following elements. 

  • Social Media Audit – It looks into the inconsistencies in communication and your business’s social media presence.
  • KPIs – Key performance indicators can be clicks, likes, engagement, etc.
  • Community – It comprises your followers and target audience
  • Social Media Presence – The ideal social network where you have your target audience. It can include LinkedIn, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter, TikTok, etc

Creating a Social Media Strategy

Follow these steps to create a social media strategy.

Set Measurable and Realistic Goals

It is essential to set goals with which you can measure your efforts. It is the most important stage in setting up a strategy.  

This will also help you answer the question ‘Why are you using social media for your business?’. 

There are several ways to go about it, too. Generally, social media managers will use a SWOT analysis or PESTEL analysis. Some even use the SMART goal tactic. 

SWOT Analysis

SWOT, aka, Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats is a helpful framework that is quick. It helps you know where you may lack, the areas which are your strengths, etc. It helps you make decisions that look into your weaknesses, too. It stops you from making unrealistic goals. 

PESTEL Analysis

PESTEL framework, on the other hand, helps you determine your company’s position according to five different factors. They are – political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and legal. 

PESTEL analysis also impacts your decisions as it gives you a clear picture of how a business is perceived against the region’s political climate.

If you apply it to social media, you can see that some states or countries do not use certain social networks. Then you can find out where your target audience hangs out the most. And clearly, your local competitors are also not going to use the less populated platforms. 

Similarly, the technological factor also comes into play here. If the demographic you are targetting is older (let’s say, 50 to 70 years old), chances are they won’t be using social media as much as the Gen Zs or the millennials. 

SMART Goals

The SMART analysis covers the following. 

  • Specific: It helps you determine how clear your business goal is
  • Measurable: You have to identify which metrics are important for your business
  • Attainable: This will show you whether you have adequate resources (budget & team) to meet your business goal through a social media plan
  • Relevant/Realistic: As you can guess, this factor helps you get a clear picture of whether you will be able to achieve your goal with your resources
  • Time-bound: This means that your deliverables have to be covered within a specific time frame or deadline

SMART goals are extensively used among social media marketers today. It is an all-inclusive framework that helps in growing your audience, communicating with them, etc within your limitations. 

They also help you in defining the metrics that you need to improve your marketing efforts. Some important goals that you earlier read from the HubSpot research are 

  • Brand awareness 
  • Customer retention
  • Customer engagement
  • Growing your followers
  • Generating revenue

Identify Your Target Audience

Not all audience uses social media platforms equally. It is crucial to know where your target audience usually goes. 

As per Statista, 31% of Instagram users worldwide are of the age group of 25 and 34 years. One old report on Statista mentioned that male users between 25 and 34 years of age are the biggest demographic of Facebook.  In the year of 2024, they are still the largest demographic of the platform. 

Now you can focus on creating a buyer persona. You could also review our blog post on creating a buyer persona for keyword research. It is quite the same as it contains social listening, categorising your focus audience into segments (age, gender, location, occupation), using Google Analytics, etc. 

By doing so, you will also learn which social media channels are right for you. If you haven’t already created your profiles, create them after you have knowledge of your target audience. 

Some top social channels that you may want to consider depending on the type of business you have are listed below. 

Facebook – Great for B2C (business to consumer) companies. In fact, 96% of B2C companies use it for social media marketing (Small Biz Trends). 

LinkedIn – 97% of B2B marketers need to use this social media channel according to Foundation Inc

Twitter – 82% of B2B marketers use Twitter (loginradius). It is also the world’s seventh favourite social media platform according to Hootsuite. And it is used by a wide age group (16 to 64 years of age)

Instagram – There are 200 million business profiles on Instagram (WordStream).

Do a Full Competitor Analysis

This step looks into analysing your competitors who are already present on social networks. And if you are already present on the social media channels, you may want to know what your audience thinks about you. 

Then you can compare the insights with your competitors. These steps are part of a tactic called social listening. If you want to go deeper, you may want to use SEMrush or any other digital marketing tool

And if you are completely new to social listening, you may want to check out The Importance of Listening (Social Media Marketing) on Coursera or Digital Media Analytics: Using ‘Listening Data’ on FutureLearn.

Doing a competitive analysis helps you learn how your competitors are better than you. Many marketers perform a SWOT analysis. By doing so, you can figure out the strengths and weaknesses they have. Then you can look into newer opportunities and add them to your social media plan. 

Create Content that Always Engages Your Target Audience

You will need to have a clear idea of what kind of content you want to post to keep your audiences engaged. Do take inspiration from brands such as Zomato, Airbnb, etc. They have consistency throughout their social media content. 

Zomato Digital Marketing Strategy – Shiksha Online
Zomato Digital Marketing Strategy – Shiksha Online
Zomato needs no introduction when it comes to branding. Its quirky social media memes, unique campaigns, and clickworthy emails are all so memorable. Learn how today.
Know All About Airbnb Digital Marketing Strategy
Know All About Airbnb Digital Marketing Strategy
See how Airbnb uses digital marketing to grow a loyal fan base of travellers, celebrities, and influencers, among others. Its 360 marketing efforts are well worth it to explore.

You will need a proper content strategy. And you will have to be at par with new trends and the continuing ones. For instance, Instagram stories, YouTube shorts, etc are not going away any time soon. 

Instead of focusing on static images, you may look into video content as part of your content strategy for a social media plan. According to Cisco, 82% of all online content will be video content by 2022. So why not use video content to your advantage!

A social media trend that began, like, two years back, was the use of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality to create an immersive experience. In 2024, they must be integral to a social media strategy, and audiences expect that brands would integrate these technologies together (Forbes). These emerging technologies are more than capable of offering shopping experiences. Many brands are incorporating them into the marketing mix, as we speak. 

Adoption of AR and VR can be great when you want to promote your products and let audiences try them without paying for them. Some top brands that are already reaping the advantages are IKEA and Converse. 

Keep in mind that only high-quality, consistent content can engage with your target audience at all times. Having a knowledge of the latest trends will always be necessary. Explore the top social media content ideas too.

Schedule Your Posts and Be Accessible to Customers

Each social media platform works differently in terms of audience engagement. That also means, there are different times of the day or week when your audience will visit the social platform. 

According to Sprout Social, Tuesday to Thursday mornings between 9 and 10 am work for Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter. This is a general thumb rule, though, for businesses new to the platforms. 

The reason for mentioning the best time to post is that the Facebook and Instagram algorithms have ‘recency’ of a post as a ranking factor. 

Ideally, you can create a social media content calendar for this. You can schedule posts for each platform. Experts from Hootsuite say that you should post 

  • 1 to 2 times on Facebook per day
  • 1 to 5 times on Twitter per day
  • 1 to 5 times on LinkedIn per day
  • 3 to 7 times on Instagram per week

Another important aspect of your social media presence is to respond to customer feedback as fast as you can. Preferably within a 24-hour time window. Do refer to Domino’s digital marketing strategy to see how they respond to their customer complaints and feedback. 

Track Your Performance

After creating your social media marketing strategy, you would want to know how your marketing efforts are going on. Monitor your results frequently. See which posts are working and which have little to no engagement. 

Ideally, you should set up an account on Google Analytics to measure your performance based on clicks, bounce rate, net promoter score and others. Based on that, tweak your social media strategy accordingly. 

If you are new to Google Analytics, take up Google Analytics courses

Parting Thoughts

Hope that you learned how to create a social media strategy by understanding the importance of each step. If you want to excel in the field, consider taking up social media marketing courses

About the Author
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Syed Aquib Ur Rahman
Assistant Manager

Aquib is a seasoned wordsmith, having penned countless blogs for Indian and international brands. These days, he's all about digital marketing and core management subjects - not to mention his unwavering commitment ... Read Full Bio