Have you reflected on the power of social media platforms lately? I have decided to dig into it and I went browsing for data. I wasn’t surprised by what I found. I have known for a while that social media platforms are huge. Yet, it is still very impressive.
Facebook is by far the largest platform with 2.4 billion users. YouTube and WhatsApp also have more than 1 billion. LinkedIn currently has over 610 million members. Thinking that we are 7.7 billion people in the world, and that 3.5 billion are online, these numbers are just insane!
Hopefully, by looking at these numbers, you will come to the same conclusion as me. Social media platforms should be included in your Inbound Marketing strategy! Yet, as an entrepreneur or a startup owner, it is often hard to find the time to implement such a strategy.
That’s why, in this blog post, I’ll tell you what worked for me in the startup where I work. So, continue reading if you want to find out how to create a successful social media strategy in 6 easy steps.
1. Create Social Media guidelines
Before starting posting, you need to take some time and create some guidelines. There are 2 reasons for creating these guidelines. First, it will help you structure your future posts. Second, it will be easier for you to delegate to someone else when needed.
First, if you haven’t done it yet, design your logo. Then, choose your branding colors and your branding fonts. You’ll use these colors and fonts every time you design something related to your business. That includes your website, social media posts, flyers, etc. Include your logo, colors, and preferred fonts in your guidelines.
Then, reflect on the tone you would like to use when posting on the social media platforms. For example, on Facebook, your content could be more casual than on LinkedIn. If you are a startup, it is often recommended to sound less formal. But do you want to be humoristic? Helpful? On the other hand, as an entrepreneur, your brand is you. So, keep in mind that the tone you choose will reflect on yourself.
Do you encourage using emojis? Should you always use hashtags? Write as much as you want in your guidelines. I promise you, once you have written them, you’ll feel way more structured and confident when posting.
2. Set up SoMe SMART goals
Have you heard of SMART goals yet? The SMART model is one of the most suitable models to follow when setting your organization’s goals. Without going into details, it is essential to set yourself some goals when implementing a new strategy. The SMART acronym stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based goals. Setting SoMe SMART goals will motivate you to push harder. It will also help you reflect on your strategy. Try to set up goals that are timed to be reviewed every 3 months in the beginning.
I found out that 2 goals helped me the most when setting up my own strategy.
- I’ll post a minimum of 3 times a week on Facebook in the next 3 months.
- I will gain 200 new followers in the next 3 months.
The first goal pushed me to follow my content calendar and to avoid being distracted from my strategy. My second goal encouraged me to create valuable content, to monitor it, and to optimize my efforts. These are only examples. There are many different goals you can choose from. Yet, I assure you, you’ll be happy that you set up these goals.
3. Plan a content calendar
Once you have set up your goals, it’s time to create a content calendar. Doing so will help you structure your posts and ensure that you are posting enough (you should aim for a minimum of 3 times a week). Also, when creating a content calendar, you need to reflect on what campaigns you would like to have.
A campaign is kind of a category of posts that are based on an objective. For example, one of my campaigns aims to encourage people to visit my blog. So, every week I’ll have a post that advertises my blog or a specific blog post. At the startup I work at, we have a campaign called “TuesdayTips”. So, every Tuesday, we post tips that can help and interest our target group. Chose a couple of campaigns, maybe like 4 or 5.
Once that is done, fill in your calendar with the name of your campaigns. For me, what works best is to organize my content calendar for 3 months at the time. Then, every Monday, I look at my calendar and write the different posts that are scheduled for the week. You can find helpful calendar templates on HubSpot’s website here.
4. Start posting
Now, you can start writing your posts! Try to find a way that works for you. For example, you can book a weekly spot in your schedule for SoMe content creation. Or, you could also create all of your content at the beginning of each month. Create different types of content as well. Pictures, videos and infographics are great!
But remember to follow your content calendar!
Now that you are posting, you should not forget to monitor your posts. I know there is so much data available on the different SoMe platforms. It can be very overwhelming. Yet, I would suggest that you start to watch three essential things from the beginning.
- The impressions of your posts
- The engagement of your posts
- Your number of followers
Take a look at how your posts are doing in terms of impressions and engagement. Find out if some campaigns are working better than others. Also, look at what type of content is best for your audience. Are your posts with pictures working better than those without?
Ultimately, your number of followers should increase. If not, try to find out what you can change and what you can do better.
Follow your calendar and monitor your posts every week. After 3 months, reflect on your goals. Have you reached them? If yes, awesome! What did you do that worked well? Can you learn from it and be even better next time? If not, that’s also fine. You can learn a lot from it. Take a deeper look into the data. What campaigns didn’t work well? Did you follow your calendar? Were your goals too ambitious?
There are many reasons why someone would have a hard time reaching their goals. But, in the end, it’s what you learn from it that counts.
Again, Inbound Marketing is great for startups & entrepreneurs as long as you do it right. There are many ways of implementing a social media strategy that will lead to results. The one I presented here is the one I use. I developed it while working at a startup, so I know that it can be done. If you have another way that works for you that’s great, keep going!
I’ll write more blog posts about social media strategy in the future. You can follow me on LinkedIn or Facebook to never miss them.