How to Create a Social Marketing Strategy

  30 min
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1. What is Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing is a powerful way for businesses to reach prospects, customers and increase brand awareness through the use of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

In today’s world, the main social media platforms have the monopoly of networks of people and brands, and by tapping into it is a way to build a company's brand, increase sales, and drive website traffic.

This definition is more practical than the general consensus definition which defines content marketing as the follow:

%QUOTE:a form of digital marketing that leverages the power of popular social media networks to achieve your marketing and branding goals.%

1.1. Why is Content Marketing important

Social media platforms are a very important channels for brands and companies to be seen as it is where most users spend a larger chunk of their time during the entire day and night.

Also to have a successful presence on social media networks you might want to study your audience habits on those channels so that you can optimize your connection and create some major leads.

Here are the main advantages of placing you bet on building a strong activity on Social media platforms:

1.2. Advantages

There are many advantages of placing you bet on building a strong activity on Social media platforms:

Grow Community with Small Budget
Learn About Your Competitors
Build Custom Audiences
Increase Your Overall ROI
Build relationships with consumers
Increase Brand Awareness
Promote Products and Services
Get to Tell your Story

Social Media Marketing is one of the most important areas of Digital Marketing, helping business brands to build their communit on a small budget.

2. Content Marketing

Social Media Marketing is a powerful way for businesses to reach prospects, customers and increase brand awareness through the use of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

2.1. Social Media Networks

There are many social networks, here are the most common:

Most popular social network to connect with friends and family, local businesses and B2C advertisement. Ages 35 and up.
Most popular network for videos, music, tutorials, documentaries and information. All ages.
Most popular for online photo-sharing and limited social interaction. Used by small B2C businesses. Ages 18-34 and Millenials.
Used for information, users broadcast short posts that can contain images, photos or links.
Best for professional networking. Used also for company and institutional.
Social platform for creating, sharing and discovering short videos. For entertainment purposes.
Mobile app that allows users to send and receive "self-destructing" photos and videos. For entertainment purposes.

In this module we’ll focus on the first part: Blog Content Marketing. As this module is important to understand in the Content Market general view, we advise you to complete it first.

2.2. Types of Content

These are the most common types of content that are published in social networks. Please note that Images and Videos usually also have a written post.

Thoughts and Opinions
News & Information
Articles and guides
Events Information
External Information
Reviews & Testimonials
Event Covers
Inspirational Phrases
External Videos
Promotion Videos
Live Videos
Story Videos

2.3. Goals

Social marketing can have different objectives:

Brand Awareness
Website Traffic
Customer Loyalty
Sales and Lead Generation

3. Social Media Strategy

3.1. Before you start

To establish a Social Marketing strategy you need first to focus on several areas that need you to develop.
Define clear goals and dates
Study your competition well
Research social Tools and Services
Differentiate yourself from the competition
Monitor and optimizing your content

3.1.1. Define clear goals and dates

The first step to build a content marketing strategy is always to set your content goals. Make sure you have them clearly defined and set up some timeline to achieve them. This will influence what choices and actions you will take operationally.

As always, it is always a good idea to select a niche theme first so that you reduce complexity, execution time and risk. You will also need to have a clear audience to helps define the contents you will distribute.

3.1.2. Study your competition well

Before choosing the platforms you will use you need to research where your competition is working on. Just choose your direct competitors and watch their activity on their main social media channels. One way to start is always to checkout their website for social links.

Make sure you take into account the different geographic regions, certain platforms might not don’t work so well depending on the countries.

3.1.3. Research social Tools and Services

One common mistake of entrepreneurs is to start from zero. We are not in the beginning of the social media era, there are lots of tools out there that can automate, analyze and improve your performance. Make sure you talk with experienced marketers to know what they’re using since they have the experience.

3.1.4. Differentiate yourself from the competition

Your content strategy study should have defined your audience and what they are looking to solve their problems. You have an excellent opportunity to create something different that catches the attention of your competitors' network. This can be done by presenting differentiated content, different formats, different communication strategy, different channels, or even by using engaging new formats for displaying the information.

Another way to differentiate yourself from the competition is by studying new ways to distribute your content. Make sure you study alternative channels such as cross content in different platforms, partnerships with other networks, and so on.


3.1.5. Monitor and optimizing your content

Use tools to analyze your content reach and to check how it can be improved. Optimization can easily reward you with multiple times your current views.

3.2. Steps to implement a Social Media Marketing Strategy

Social Media networks can be fed from all kinds of existent content like blog posts, videos or even podcasts, as well as content produced exclusively for Social Media like engaging photos, phrases embedded in images, charts, graphs or other.

To setup your a social media content Marketing strategy you should check the following steps:

Identify and Set goals
Who you’re trying to reach
Choose good visuals to complement blog posts
What channels to promote your content
How your content will support the brand
The ways in which your content will be differentiated
How you will promote and amplify your content
The metrics that define success

The answer for these questions will guide you into following the best steps to build a strong base of quality and engaging content that can promote your brand, build an audience and get leads to your sales if that's the case.

With each of the following questions you will have some decisions to take, as we detail:

3.2.1. Identify and Set Goals

The first step to build a social media marketing strategy is to define what you want to achieve. Your social media channels can enable you to achieve several different objectives such as:

Brand Awareness
Website Traffic
Customer Loyalty
Lead Generation
Service Subscription
Sale of a product/Service
Registrations (free subscription)
Download Information / Media
Reach New Markets

For each one of these goals there are certain types of content that are more suitable as we can see in that picture:

Another important aspect is to define what type of people you want to reach. To sell a product or engage someone with your brand will first need to establish one (or more) Buying Personas. This "Personna" is a description of a person that will most likely buy from you. When you set the characteristics of that person, usually, the age, its occupation and behavior you will need to know what kind of activities he/she does so that you can start choosing what content she will likely search for.

To establish a Persona you will need the following information:

Age and Gender
Level of income
Family status
Level of education
Job title
Professional and personal goals
Beliefs and values
Biggest struggles and pain points
Obstacles and challenges they are facing
Irrational/rational fears
Preferred blogs, social networks and websites
Influencers they trust
Favorite events and conferences

Once you define your Buying personna you will be able to choose what type of content you need to create so that it can match with his/her expectations/struggles and tastes.

3.2.2. Choose what Social networks to Use

Choosing the Right Social Media Platform for Your Business is not difficult. There are hundreds of platforms but only a few of them are mainstream. Unless your business has a certain specificity that relates to a niche platform, the list of social platforms is very narrow, here are the seven most main platform and its characteristics:

Look for your Audience
Check the Competition
Alignment with your business goals
Keep in mind your available resources

The right social platform for you is the one that includes the people which you’re targeting.

Look for your Audience- REVIEW
For example, if you have a B2B business (consumer base) you will end up using Facebook or Instagram. If you’re looking for more professional profiles you will need to be on LinkedIn. Finally, if you’re looking for a younger audience you will opt for Snapchat or TikTok or even YouTube. Of course this is an oversimplification, but the idea is valid.

Choosing one, two or three social platforms is ok however its is better to concentrate your efforts in one, maximum two, and don’t lose much effort with the other ones.

Check the Competition
One way to rightfully choose your social media platforms is to look for what the competition is doing. This is a very easy study to do. However, watch what region you're targeting because certain platforms might not don’t work so well in different countries.

Alignment with your business goals
It is also important that your social goals can be aligned with the social platform features and performance. For example if you have your audience there but the organic results or paying campaigns are too expensive for your price point you might end up investing on a network that does not give you the desired result.

Keep in mind your available resources
Social media work is both a commitment and an investment. You need to tend it, nurture it, and only after a while you’ll know if it can give you back the return. The more social media platforms you manage the more continued effort you will need to put in.

There are two simple ways to see this investment: Whether you will be the one who commits your time to it or, alternatively, you will have to spend money to hire a third party freelancer or company to do it.

One way or the other it's advisable that you commit to a low investment (time or money) initially until you can validate the results.

3.2.3. Decide on what type of contents you will publish

Once you’re clear on your goals and the platforms it is time to plan what type of content you will need to create and publish.

There are many types of content you can create, here are the most common:

These types can generate many type of specific contents depending on the purpose:

Information Articles
Inspiring Content
Training Videos
Customer Testimonials
Guides and eBooks
Case Studies
Educational Content

REVIEW: Exemplos de conteudos(ver imagens) Quadro com os tipos de de conteudos

3.2.4. Plan your social content

Planning your social content enables you to organize and optimize your time so that operationally you’re more focussed in the publishing part. Besides that, adequate planning allows you to outsource the publishing art to a freelancer or company.

There are many tools that enable you to plan your content and work with a team. The easiest is a simple spreadsheet, however there are powerful yet simply platforms that will help you organize and be more efficient.

There are also some social media collaboration tools that also connect to the several social networks and let you automate your posts and event tracking and monitor the results.

3.2.5. Research, Automate and Monitor

There are many social media tools that can let you do the following tasks:

Content Research
Content Planning
Teamwork and Task Coordination
Automated scheduling on social platforms
Tracking and monitor results

Some tools enable you to do several tasks, by building integrated solutions for all your social media needs. In our opinion, using all-in-one tools is a disadvantage, and we should separate the Content Research, Planning and Teamwork coordination from the actual Post automation and tracking.

Regarding the last ones, there are platforms that besides automating your publishing work can also track your social channels, giving you statistics per platform and giving you an holistic view of your performance in all the social networks as well as your progression. This however does not exclude the need to use extra tools that give you insights on how to optimize your performance.

3.2.6. Promote and distribute your content

The act of producing content should be connected with the content marketing goals as activities. If we want better results it is also normal that marketing results tend to affect the type and format of the contents produced.

Content must be produced in an efficient and timely manner so that social networks are regularly fed to grow. There are many ways to produce content, here are the most common:

Copywriting is one of the most important elements of advertising and marketing. It's the process of writing persuasive words that inspire or motivate people to take a specific action. In Digital marketing Copywriting is often referred to as the act of researching already published content and rewriting it into a new form.

Video Filming
Video filming is a low cost method to produce video content that does not need to be significantly modified. Filmed content such as interviews, a webinar, a class or event don’t require highly video editing skills which can be used to provide content for social network channels.

Video Creation & Editing
Creating new videos can be done by accessing video databases and some editing work. Normally creating short videos can be very efficient for social media engagement.

Like video filming, audio podcasts can be also created with low cost and this time of material is also popular.

Photo / Graphics
Photos and images with text can also have a very high engagement, which is extremely helpful for brand awareness and channel building. Photos can also be used to link to downloaded content which can lead to email capturing.

3.2.7. Measure results

The act of producing content should be connected with the content marketing goals as activities. If we want better results it is also normal that marketing results tend to affect the type and format of the contents produced.

The last step to an effective social media strategy is measuring the results of all of your efforts.

Using proper tacking software, whether is through customized links or from a an all-in-one publishing tool is vital and will help tweak and optimize nt only the content planning but also the content itself.

A proper analysis should be made at least once a month, while it is also important not only to track new content but also compare content that has been optimized to perform better.

A few of the most important social media metrics to measure include:

The number of times people saw your content as told by impressions and reach
The number of reactions, comments, clicks and shares your content gets
Actions performed in target contents such as registrations, referrals, newsletters and of course, sales

Measuring results and tweaking things is what generally will drive your digital marketing to success.

4. Next Steps


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