How to develop a winning social media strategy


It is common knowledge that social media is one of the marketing tools that helps you interact with new users, promote your business, and sell your brand to a target audience.

But what do you need in order to achieve an impactful social media campaign?

There are third-party tools to help you generate content and track social engagement with your audience, and there is this guide. A social media strategy

In this guide, you will learn that the norm of pictures with lengthy captions and trendy hashtags is not always the best. Let’s find out why together!

What is a social media strategy?

Simply put, a social media strategy is a plan that outlines your social media goals, how you will create content, the approaches to achieving them, and how to interact with your audience.

The plan does not have to be stressful or complicated. Just get a simple and specific goal that you understand and can achieve. Ultimately, your strategy should attract your target audience across social media platforms and keep them engaged.

Why have a social media strategy?

Increase your Reach: Why stay in one locality when you can reach across the country and even extend globally? That is the power of social media. As of July 2022, approximately 59% of people worldwide use social platforms.  That’s around 4.7 billion potential customers and audiences passing you by. Twitter, for instance, announced just last week that it has exceeded 8 billion user minutes per day.

Improve Brand Awareness: This is about a brand’s identity and whether it is a household name.  A measure of the extent to which brand information and impressions are known.  For example, in Ghana, until recently, every toothpaste was Pepsodent, and every powdered washing soap was Omo.  All antiseptic is Dettol, while Pampers took the lead in diapers.

Customers choose the products or services that first come to mind when needed. That is why improving your visibility, especially on globally accessible social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, TikTok, and Youtube, is essential.

Enhance Engagement: Engagement can be viewed as an interaction between a brand and its users. Following accounts, commenting on and liking posts, reposting content, and using branded hashtags are all forms of user engagement. Engagement is getting personal with your users, and you can do this with unique hashtags or products to attract users and get them to promote your company out of their own free will.

KFC Ghana, for instance, retweets posts from customers that publicize their services.

Establish authority online: Everyone wants to know their purchase was quality. With everyone touting their brand as the best, it behooves you to prove your brand’s worth to your audience.

The best way to do this will depend on the platforms you choose.

On LinkedIn, for instance, publishing articles will be a prime opportunity for your brand to demonstrate extensive knowledge of subjects relevant to your industry. You can also share articles related to your company or brand on Facebook and Twitter via post links.

Offer social customer service and support. Helping customers is an amazing way to build a positive relationship.  A prompt response to customers’ questions or demands shows them how valuable their business is. It is also better to respond on social media than to have customers send emails or track down company contact numbers and chat with a bot while waiting for a response.

MTN Ghana, for instance, has initiated a Twitter support account to help customers.  This may not be feasible for your company, but allocating attention to customers online is ideal for building their loyalty.

7 steps to help you build a successful social media strategy

Now that you understand the benefits and basics of a social media strategy, we can get into the steps to create one. Here are seven steps to creating a successful social media strategy.

Research about your audience

In order to create personalized and engaging content, you need to understand who your audience is and what they want.  Identify your users’ demographics, interests, desires, and problems and meet their needs.  Let’s face it: what is appropriate for a corporate lady might not be suitable for a market woman. It is best not to try to please everyone; you might lose key targets in that attempt.

To know the audience, conduct market research through online surveys, customer interviews, or setting up focus groups.  Another way is to create a picture of your ideal customer using social networks that combine buyer profiles and insights, such as BuzzSumo.

Investigate your competitors.

Competitor research is not for you to copy another company’s brand style. It is a crucial part of marketing that helps you understand what your competitors are doing in the social world. You can observe their metrics and learn a thing or two, like:

The frequency of their posts, Messaging style, number of followers, accounts they follow and advertising style.

By understanding all these, you can either emulate what’s working or take a completely different approach to winning over your audience.

Choose social platforms

The idea is not just to be active on social media but to choose appropriate platforms for optimization. It might be confusing initially, and there is the temptation of posting across all social platforms and having to compromise on quality.

I suggest you choose social platforms based on the following reasons:

Facebook: Over the years, Facebook has steadily become the oldest and biggest social media platform. Presently, the new updates offer ideal ways to engage with your audience. There is the option of using Facebook Live to chat with users on video and share short videos. It is time to kick out the old perception of Facebook and get on with the new Facebook. Also, Facebook is more popular with people aged 25–34.

Instagram is fun and exciting. Instagram with reels serves as the perfect visual platform.  This app has proven to be a successful hit amongst the younger generation and has seen several significant updates over the past few years.   It’s a great platform to showcase products and connect with influencers to grow your brand. The addition of in-app shopping features has made it easier for companies to advertise their products.

LinkedIn: LinkedIn is the place to be for B2B businesses and provides opportunities for B2C businesses too.  Content types that work well on this platform are blogs, whitepapers, eBooks, and industry-related content.  LinkedIn is seen as a professional app and must be used as such. There is also the option of growing an audience organically or with paid advertising.

Twitter: “Twitter, they say, waits for no man.” It is a platform that deals with relevant and real-time happenings.  Use Twitter’s hashtags, polls, and GIFs to effectively interact with your audience.  It allows for quick replies, and hashtags bring up trending information.   There’s a trick to using hashtags; they are key tools to help you advertise your company or brand!

YouTube: Movies, reviews, DIYs, tutorials—name any video, and YouTube has it. That is just how video-inclined it is! a fun yet educational platform that provides both relevant information and entertainment. If you’re a brand that creates a lot of videos, particularly how-tos or tutorials, this could be the platform for you.

TikTok:  With 1 billion users in 5.1 years, TikTok is the newest rapidly growing social platform.  Make use of the live recordings and short minute talks targeting Gen-Z’s in particular.

Set Targets to Meet

It’s necessary to spend time on setting targets because understanding and defining your goals will make the entire strategy simple. First, understand that marketing and business goals are different. Is your goal to create brand awareness, learn about an audience, expand your following, or track your progress? You must note that each goal involves different approaches and social media metrics.

Social media metrics:

These are Likes, comments, retweets, and other engagement measures appropriate to each social platform.   You can track the engagement measure using some built-in analytic tools in some APP

Post engagement:   The number of people who like, share, comment on, your content plus your overall views determines your engagement rate.

Mentions:   When other social media accounts mention you, this can work as a referral and convey trust from one brand to another.

Reach:  With some platforms, you have the convenience of seeing how far your post can reach, although this depends on your follower count.

For most businesses, the aim is to get more traffic or leads back to their accounts or promote specific offers. It is always ideal to set realistic and specific targets; that way, you can track progress. An ideal target, for example, would be publishing a set number of posts in a specific period.

Create your content.

Now that we’ve realized the basics of social media platforms, it is time to create engaging content and refine our approach.

Let’s get into planning content with a few simple steps:

a tone for your pages. A tone is how the world sees and associates with your brand. Note that each platform has its own personality, and you should remember the approach to use on each of them. Is it formal or informal? Does your business use humor or more serious language?

Create content themes.  Identify what your brand is about and create themes to suit your niche. For example, if you’re a hospital, you could create a content theme talking about raising awareness about an illness or virus.  Another theme could be to profile your employees and their fields of expertise.  Find what keeps your audience engaged and create themes around those.

Draw a content calendar. Too much or too little is never appropriate, so find the just-right amount for your posts. There are optimum days and times to post on each platform, I will in my next article share that with you.  For example, many marketers say that it is more engaging to post between 6 and 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.  A content schedule tool, CoSchedule, or free tools like Meta Business Suite are also available for your use.

Keep a schedule for content. It can be overwhelming to handle a social media account. On some days, you would be tempted to post a lot or not at all. It is important to draw up a schedule and keep to it for consistency.

Notwithstanding the medium or content you’ve selected and created, social media is all about quality.  This includes using high-definition pictures and videos and appropriate, edited text before publishing. You can also personalize your page by telling a story that will interest your audience.

Manage and Engage Your Audience 

The work does not end with creating and publishing your content. Social media is a place to build connections that expand into communities. The more connections you have, the more engagement and brand awareness you gain.

The key element is to be responsive. You can like or react to comments, respond to comments, or share content with your audience. If a customer has a query, try to respond quickly; it makes them feel valued. It shows that you care about their views and concerns.

Engage your community by asking questions through polls and surveys. You can also create challenges that get them to interact and respond. Engaging with an audience makes them feel like a part of your business, but it also helps you find out more about your customers.

Track and adjust your strategy to grow your following.

The point of having a social media presence is to get new followers. There are two ways to grow your audience: organically or through paid advertising. For organic content, it is crucial since you do the work yourself. For example, running a contest to win something or a day in the life of your brand

No one said it was cheating to promote one platform over another. Like your Facebook users, your Instagram or Twitter followers might be interested in your posts. However, with paid advertising, you can work with influencers or pay money to a set number of users to drive traffic to your pages.

Before getting worried about your following, you need to track the progress of your social media strategy. For example, if you were using videos to drive engagement for a month, you need to check after that month if the following has increased: If there has been an increase in engagement, then you’re on the right track. If not, then you need to restructure your timing, content, or hashtags.

Honestly, social media marketing is all about experiments. What works today may not work tomorrow, so find what works for you. Do not be afraid of failure; just be inspired to work.

What else to know

Link everything

Use influencers

Find a brand you admire and learn

Run promotions and campaigns.

Find a catchy phrase that reminds customers of you.

  1. Evaluate your strategy to know whether you achieved your objectives or not.

Daniel is a Social Media and Public Relations Expert. Leading voice in Africa’s creative industry with training from AJK Mass Communication and Research Center, New Delhi, India.

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