Latasha James, Founder and Creative Director of James + Park, gives her quick 5-step social media strategy to systematically start, test, and create content right away.
Step 1: Set Goals
“Hey Latasha, can you help me set up a social media strategy?” Absolutely, what are your business goals?
You need to know what your regular business goals are, that way we can take those goals and create social media specific goals. Then from there we can get some tangible metrics, to see how we’re performing.
The goal is to get more business, more sales, and see that track back to your social media activity. I don’t recommend buying followers, or focusing on vanity metrics. I think it’s most important to look at performance metrics, and see what post types are leading to more income for your business.
I like to always use the S.M.A.R.T. acronym to formulate my goals.
Things like how much do you want to scale your business by? When do you, realistically, want to hit your new goals? Knowing this information is important to setting attainable goals!
Step 2: Research Your Target Audience
Who are we talking to here? Who is your audience? Who are your customers? What types of people tend to buy from you? Who are you trying to reach? Are your typical clients and your goal clients the same people?
When I have a client who doesn’t know any of these answers it scares me a bit. As a business owner you should be able to tell me 5 things about your client base and 5 things about your ideal client off the top of your head. You don’t need to know the proper Google analytic terms, but you should be able to explain who you are trying to sell to.
Age, gender, geographic location, cultural references, all of these will help direct the voice you use on your social media platforms. Knowing your target audience helps you find your voice and how you want to present yourself on social media. Knowing what your target audience is into will help you stay culturally relevant.
If you don’t know your target audience, go into your page analytics and look at what type of people are already following you. Look up questions on the products or services you’re offering, and see what kind of people are asking those questions (https://www.quora.com/ is a great resource for this). Find out what social platforms your competitors are succeeding on, you don’t have to be on every social platform.
You can either use your competitors as a blueprint, or see where there is a gap in the market and fill it. i.e. If your ideal demographic lines up with podcast listeners and there aren’t many podcasts from your competitors, maybe it’s time to start a podcast! If you want to mimic your competitors check out who follows them, how frequently they post, what types of content they’re posting, what times of the day they’re posting in, and maybe other brands that their followers often follow!
Step 3: A Social Media Audit
The first step here is to get a benchmark of where you’re at right now! Give yourself a preliminary report; what are your analytics saying is working well, what are your analytics saying isn’t working.
What is your follower count at the time of this audit, what is the average amount of likes for your posts, what content is performing really well. This is more of setting the bar for where you’re at, so at the end of your campaign you can see your progress!
Step 4: Set Up the Infrastructure
This is where you will set up a scheduling tool and a process for posting. Will you be using a scheduler or will you be posting natively? How will you get the content schedules approved, or will you even need approval? For new companies I like to set up Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for social media to get their teams started off on the right (organized) foot!
SOPs include what we do and when we do it; how the content calendars get approved, how to escalate a customer service issue through social media channels, all the numbers you need to have in case of emergency, etc.
Step 5: Create a Content Calendar
I like to use Loomly, HootSuite, and Facebook Creator Studio for my scheduling tools. Regardless of the tool I’m using I like to start my calendar in an Excel spreadsheet; post, post image, post copy, link, hashtags, and fill it all in to make sure I have all components. I normally send this spreadsheet to my clients to approve before I go into my scheduler and start posting.
I usually do my calendars week by week. The internet and social media moves so quickly and you don’t want to miss any of that cultural relevance. When you do your calendars monthly you don’t leave much room for current events, so I do things weekly, but it never hurts to have evergreen posts (posts that never get old) on hand!
This is not all to say don’t post for your clients or yourself until your strategy is complete. Keep posting through your strategy process! You never know what post could click and make your strategy process a little easier. It’s okay to spend your first month fixing and testing things, promising a strategy to your client by month two or three is very normal.