I don’t know about you, but the word ‘strategy’ used to make me automatically think of something time consuming. Well, wasn’t I wrong! In the first blog post of our 2 part series, we dish out the dirt on how to swiftly build a successful social media strategy in 5 easy steps.

1 – What are our social media strategy goals?

Before laying the first brick to social media strategy success, we need a plan in place. What is our aim? Maybe it’s to grow our community, engagement or promote a new service. Whatever the aim, be sure to keep this at the forefront of the social media strategy going forward. Be realistic when setting a timeline to achieve objectives. It can take a long time to build a large following of relevant followers on social, the keyword relevant. Don’t compromise quality for quantity and remember that good things come to those who wait.

2 – Who is our social media strategy targeting?

We should know our audience inside out. Who are they? Where do they live? What do they like? What’s their favourite publication to read? Meltwater’s Media Intelligence platform allows us to listen on social so that we can see key positive and negative themes talked about by our audience and our industry – we can then tailor our offer and social media strategy to the demand.

After searching the term Asos, we can see those talking about the brand on social media are interested in deals and voucher codes – especially via Unicodes. This suggests that it is students creating a buzz. If we know these kinds of insights we can adapt content for our social media strategy accordingly, for example running more competitions.

3 – Which channel shall we start with?

Don’t be a jack of all trades and a master of none when it comes to choosing a platform, start by concentrating on one or two. Think about which channel’s characteristics are most aligned with our social media strategy goal. If we want to tell our brand story, consider Facebook. If we want to keep a continuous flow of content going, Twitter is the man.

4 – How often should we post?

Frequency of posts really depends on the respective platform we have chosen to execute our social media strategy. On Facebook, it is advisable that we post at least twice a day. We recommend testing your Facebook page using LikeAlyzer; the search analyses the page to offer support on how to improve our social media strategy; frequency being one element of analysis. As mentioned, Twitter is often used to post more frequently; this is due to short life of a tweet and the way in which our newsfeed works. That being said, we should only be posting if we have something valuable to say, but if we know what is valuable to our audience, as shown in the Asos example above, then the sky’s the limit!

5 – What kind of content should we post?

The kind of content we post again depends on the chosen channel for our social media strategy. On Facebook, choose a combination of an image + link or an engaging video. On Twitter, the going gets tough due to the character limit. An image represents 23 characters and a link, 22. This leaves us with only 78 characters to convince our audience to click, hence the importance of a visual treat! As for the content itself, it depends entirely on what interests our audience. Again, the use of a monitoring tool to stay in touch with our target and developing trends proves crucial.

Stay tuned for part 2, where we’ll offer the final 5 steps towards building the yellow brick road towards a successful social media strategy.