That you finally want to learn how to build your social media marketing strategy for 2021 is a smart move!
Building your social media marketing strategy has many benefits you probably didn’t know much about.
They will make your business grow and outperform your competitors.
Although social media is not what it’s used to be as thousands of people including brands are turning in everyday.
Statista has it that there are over 3.6 billion social media users around the globe and the users will even hit 4.41 billion in 2025.
By implication, the competition dramatically increases and a lot of effort is now involved to build a social media strategy and succeed.
There are users who can’t boast about the outcome of their social media marketing effort.
To see your audience turning into a customer on social media in 2021, you don’t just want to post about your business and go to bed.
You need a strategy.
And building a good social media marketing strategy will help you grow your business.
The difficulty in achieving a business goal with social media, however lies in working without a good strategy.
In view of this, walking you through how to build a social media marketing strategy is very important.
With this post, you’ll be able to identify the key steps to build an effective social media marketing strategy and improve your performance in real-time.
TABLE OF CONTENT
- 1 What is social media marketing?
- 2 How to create a social media marketing strategy
- 2.1 1. Set goals with your business in mind
- 2.2 2. Know your audience
- 2.3 3. Know your competition
- 2.4 4. Choose social media platforms
- 2.5 5. Open or optimize your social media accounts
- 2.6 6. Create and share engaging content
- 2.7 7. Create a schedule for posting content on social media
- 3 Conclusion
Social media marketing is a digital marketing strategy to promote a business across a social media platform.
You can promote a business on social media by sharing important information about the business with your audience.
Whoever that has shown interest in your industry will find out about your content without necessarily being your follower.
If the content is engaging, it will trend.
And so many people who discover your brand in the process will like, share and comment on it.
You can also build a community with your social media page and begin sharing relevant content about your business – products or services.
Those that benefits from your page will voluntarily follow you and always watch out for more content from you.
The moment your audience start engaging with your content, so many people will get to know your brand and establish a long last relationship with you.
This will enable your customers to seek immediate support from you.
According to UnMetric, businesses that use social media for marketing have better chances of establishing a good and effective relationship with their customers.
Social media makes it easier for brands to get instant feedback from customers and improve on their services.
Based on this, you can therefore refer to social media as an engagement tool used online to achieve a business goal, such as brand awareness, audience targeting, web traffic, sales and so on.
The following are the best steps you can take if you really want to create a social media marketing strategy that works for your business in 2021 and beyond.
1. Set goals with your business in mind
If you want to create a social media marketing strategy from scratch, the very first step is to set your goals.
Your social media marketing goals have to align with your business objectives.
What goals can you set to use social media for marketing?
Let’s say you want to use social media for customer support, your goal must include answering customer queries and you must stick to it.
This will save you from doing other thing which its end result is different from your original objective.
Goal-setting can help you identify the kind of resources, tools and metrics you need to achieve an objective.
For example, your goal will determine the kind of social media platforms to choose.
Assuming your plan is to demonstrate how your product works.
We all know that video content will do that quite well using YouTube or the likes.
Without setting your goals, you might not know what platform will give you the best results.
This actually means, before you can achieve anything, you must know what to use to achieve that thing.
It’s natural to lose interest in something when the journey is rough. But the moment you remember your goals, you will bounce back.
You don’t want to set a goal and still fail.
What you want to achieve with a goal can motivate you to do all that is needed to accomplish the goal.
For this reason, it is believed that goal-setting motivates and helps greatly boost performance.
A study shows that students that set goals at the beginning of a semester have the tendency of outperforming those without a goal.
Goal-setting for building a social media marketing strategy, however can be used to add value to your business process.
As found by Buffer in its 2016 State of Social Report, goals for using social media include:
- Creating brand awareness
- Sending traffic to a website
- Generating leads for a business
- Growing revenue due to sign-ups and sales.
- Increasing audience engagement with brands
- Building a social community for a band to have good relationships with customers
- Providing effective support for customers
- Getting others to mention your brand etc.
Meanwhile, what to achieve with social media marketing varies from business to business, brand to brand and person to person.
But of all goals, it was found out that most marketers (85%) used social media for creating brand awareness.
While social media can help your business in so many ways, you must set your goals to get the best business results.
Goals that aren’t specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound can be difficult to achieve.
Against this, you have to make sure your goals are not complex.
When things don’t go as planned, you’ll easily know before your business begins to suffer.
2. Know your audience
Another step to create a social media marketing strategy from scratch is to identify who your audience is.
Otherwise, meeting their needs can be difficult.
When you know your audience, you will be able to determine the best channels to find and target them.
Only then you can share content meant for A with A and B with B.
Because two different categories of audience might not share the same persona, your content must be audience specific to get optimum results from your social media marketing strategy.
And the best way to achieve this is knowing your audience and leveraging their data.
If your business is adult related, the data will tell you which audience will be interested in your business.
With that, you can focus your social media marketing strategy on the right audience.
So how do you know your audience?
What are the things you need to know about your audience to know who to target?
These include the demographic information about your audience most especially the basics which are:
- Interests and so on.
Other factors to consider solely depend on your business and its goals. And using an audience analytics tool will make the job easier for you.
For example, you can use any of the following:
Facebook audience insights tool can be used to analyze your audience on Facebook and get useful information about them.
You might want to know your audience by marital status, faith, average income, job, qualification or industry if that matters.
If you don’t know your audience, you might end up targeting the wrong people, which can result in a waste of time and money.
Only content that is relevant to your audience will attract more likes, comments and shares on social media.
And the moment your audience begins to engage with your content, it’s most likely that they will become your customers.
Your research about your audience does not end with your audience demographics.
You can go further by identifying which social media platform has the best audience for you.
So you need a tool that can give you insights into each social media platform you’re using and see which works best for you.
Sprout and Google analytics won’t only reveal your audience, how they engage with your business, but also which platform gives you the best audience.
This is to ensure you apply your social media marketing strategy on the right platforms and invest in the right audience.
3. Know your competition
The fact that you’re just learning how to create a social media marketing strategy in 2021 does not mean you can’t overcome your competition.
If you look around you, there are other brands which are already using social media.
You can get inspiration from them to develop your winning social media marketing strategy from scratch.
All you have to do is to analyze your competitors and leverage on their weaknesses.
A competitive analysis can help you identify who your competitors are and learn a great lesson from their strengths and weaknesses.
You don’t have to be a copycat.
The insights you get from your studies will give you clues that can help you get started.
If you find out that your audience is on Twitter and your competitors put less effort to Twitter marketing, instead of struggling with them on the other platforms where they have dominance, you can establish yourself on Twitter.
Social listening tools like Hootsuit will give you the best insights into your competitors and find out the kind of content they’re sharing and what their audience is saying about them.
To monitor your competitors using social listening and mentions, choose a social listening tool and analyze your competitors.
Your findings will entail how your competitors use social media and how most of their posts or campaigns perform.
Now, it’s over to you.
You can use all the data to your own advantage by creating a stunning social media marketing strategy.
There are tons of social media platforms ranging from typical messaging platforms to bookmarking websites.
All of them don’t serve the same purposes.
This actually means, you can’t get a desirable results with the wrong platform.
So, social media marketing is not just about profile creation and garnering followers or subscribers.
It’s about building the audiences that have the will to be your customers and not all platforms can give you that great opportunity.
The likes of YouTube and Facebook perform better than the others because their support for sharing video content across multiple channels.
However, analysis of the top social media platforms suggests the need to consider the features of a platform before choosing it.
Let’s look at some top examples of social media platforms and see how they can help you realize your marketing goals:
- Facebook – Audience engagement and Targeted Advertising
- YouTube – Giving a real-life demonstration of products
- Instagram – Building brand awareness
- Twitter – Increasing your industry authority and real-life updates
- Pinterest – Product sharing and exhibition
- WhatsApp – Giving effective customer support
- TikTok – Quick tutorials and viral trends
- Reddit – Audience research and interaction
- Vimeo – Sharing business oriented videos
- Snapchat – Events promotion
- LinkedIn – Video Promotion
Choosing the right social media platforms will make you get across to the right audience and do social media marketing at the most effective ways.
After choosing a social media platform, the next step is to create a profile on the platform. And right there a question can pop up in your mind.
What type of social media profile should I create?
Most social media platforms e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, WhatsApp, YouTube and so on, allow users to create business and personal accounts separately.
For this reason, it’s generally believed that personal content should stay on your personal profile and business content stay on your business account.
That is right!
But social media doesn’t work that way. It allows you to be exactly YOU!
The real side of you, when dealing with other people, can trigger emotions and make your audience forever love you.
Lisa Barone in one of her articles says:
We are officially beyond the days where you can have a distinct “personal” and “corporate” tweeting style. You must decide who you are and bleed it. From all accounts.Lisa Barone
By implication, it’s one thing to create different social media accounts for business and personal use, another thing is to know how to engage your audience on each account.
Your personal stories can actually bring about trust, love and loyalty from your audience.
As for Michael Brenner, there is nothing wrong in it if the CEO of a company snaps himself while having lunch with his family and has the pictures shared with customers through the company’s social media handle.
Doing so can help the brand strengthen its relationship with the customers.
No wonder Brenner says,
There is no such thing as a work-me and home-me.Brenner
That is a BIG difference between being YOU and being another person on different profiles.
Just of recent, Neil Patel posted a picture of him and his pregnant wife on Facebook that his wife had a week left to deliver a baby.
Some might ask what his pregnant wife and the coming baby got to do with SEO since his entire life is all about SEO.
But because he was real enough to express his joy and put the business aside, the engagement rate on his page that day was a bomb.
That doesn’t mean, your audience is interested in everything that happened in your life.
You have to be strategic in sharing personal content with your audience on social media most especially if it’s not related to your business.
No rules say you can’t use a single account for sharing personal and business related content.
You can only achieve a good sense of organizing your content with separate profiles.
Assuming your goal is to create brand awareness, you need as many people as possible to find out about your brand. And this is unrealistic with a personal account if you don’t have much followers in your friend circle.
So, for the purpose of this discussion, you need a business account to build a social media marketing strategy.
A social media business account comes with great marketing features that can enhance your business performance.
With it, you can effectively market your business. It will make your audience see you as a brand and that can boost your credibility.
Hence your marketing will not be limited to people on your friend list but all users whose interests cut across to your industry.
Opening a business account
When you land on a social media platform to set up a profile, find the option for creating a business account and do all that is needed.
- Fill all forms based on your business information and required information.
- Include keywords with which people can find your brand when they search for a related business on the platform.
That will help you set out your brand image and stand out so your target audience can easily access you.
Because each social media network works differently, what they require for an account opening is quite different.
For each network, you need to know what is required and get everything in place.
Meanwhile, you can tap into our resources and learn more about how you can create a business account on the following social media platforms.
- Open a Facebook business page
- Open an Instagram business account
- Open a YouTube channel for business
- Open a WhatsApp business account
If you have an existing account on any of these platforms, you need not to open a new one. What you need to do is to optimize the account in line with your goals and let it fully represent your business.
YouTube and TikTok are developed for sharing video content, while Instagram and Pinterest make a great deal with infographics.
It’s good you’re on some of these platforms.
But the question is which of their features do you use in your strategy?
From all indications, content is the backbone of a successful social media marketing strategy.
And to create and share content that can engage your audience, some of the efforts required is adopting a content marketing strategy.
Assuming you decided to use YouTube, you needed to know how to create content and get viewers.
Your content can be in the form of text, video, audio or graphic. For video content, see all you need to know to get started with video marketing.
What is important is to inform, entertain or educate your audience and influence their purchasing decisions with your content.
Social media makes sharing content and engaging the audience much easier these days.
Based on 2021 social media trends, platforms have added new improved features and tools that you can use to make your content reach more audiences.
And these include:
- Stories – The content you share in Stories are time sensitive. With social media stories, you can tap into your audience’s fear of missing out (FOMO) and boost their engagement. By default, content in Stories lasts for 24 hours and it’s the first thing your audiences will see in their feed. You can find this feature in Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and so on. You can read more about how to implement social media stories in your strategy.
- Live streams – People have been using live streams for a long time. They have become more popular since Covid-19 has been ravaging the world. You can implement it in your social media strategy to interact with your audience without the need for physical contact. Several research findings show that the customers prefer to watch live videos from brands.
- Virtual Reality (VR) – Virtual reality is a new technology introduced to social media to make users have a real sense of being together with someone. It became popular in 2021 after the Covid-19 global lockdown.
- Augmented reality (AR) – Just like virtual reality, brands have found the need to adopt augmented reality in their social media marketing strategy. This technology can be used to promote new products, by creating dynamic photos and boost engagement.
- Social media community – A social media community is a private group created by brands to organize their audience and connect with others who share their thought system on social media. This feature can be found on Facebook and most other popular platforms. With it, you can sell your products or services and provide community based support services for your customers.
- Social commerce – You can now sell your products directly from social media platforms. Platforms introduced call to action (CTA) buttons to help brands lead their audiences to important pages on their websites and boost sales conversion. One of the buttons that gained prominence in 2021 was “Shop Now” button. It paved the way for social commerce and the first platform to added it to their website and application was Facebook. If you enable the feature in your Facebook business page, your audience will be able to buy your products directly from the platform. Social commerce can also be found on Instagram and WhatsApp.
The best you can get from the 2021 social media trends is to include them in your strategy and make your content speak your voice.
Some specific content works better than the other on social media.
And these include:
- Blog posts
- Links to external pages
Depending on your goals, whatever content you create in any of the forms above can boost engagement.
Read: best 2021 social media content ideas to make your strategy work
Part of the things you must consider while building your social media marketing strategy is posting content when those who read it are online.
No matter how great your content is, it will attract less engagement if you don’t post it at the right time.
Meanwhile, the time you share your content is as important as its quality.
Users don’t spend the whole day on social media looking for updates. They only come around at some specific times.
So, posting when your target audience isn’t online or when the competition is too high will affect the organic reach of your content, thereby reduces your engagement rate on social media.
These users are spread across vast time zones and thus log into their social networks at varying times. Given the inherent real-time nature of social media and that half of the users are suffering from fear of missing out (FOMO), your business updates need to find a regular place in the user feeds.Neil Patel
There are times your audiences are available and times they’re not.
It’s however important to know the time zones in which your audience falls across different platforms so you can post when they’re available.
With this strategy, you can get optimal engagement on social media for your business.
So what is the best time to post?
Some hold that posting on weekends yields high engagement, while the other says otherwise.
I think both the two parties are correct.
When you consider the disparities in how people use social media, you will realize that some platforms are mostly consumed on weekends, while some are best used during the week.
For this reason, I will show you the best time to post on social media.
With that, you can create your posting schedule for each of the platforms you use for your business.
Best time to post on LinkedIn
LinkedIn users are mostly business executives or professionals who are interested in content related to their business.
A study shows that 88% of LinkedIn users visit the platform at least once in a week.
Because of the nature and scope of the platform, it was found out that posting during the weekdays (Monday – Friday) and at the normal office hours (10 am – 6 pm) attracts a high engagement rate.
This is to say that brands get the most likes, shares and comments on their posts when they share during office hours, most especially on Wednesday.
Best times to post on Twitter
Users get first-hand information about what’s trending across different industries on Twitter.
This happens both when they are at home or work, most especially when they are idle – during the break time, when waiting at the bus station or traveling.
For this reason, it was gathered that the optimal time to post on Twitter during the week is between 12 pm and 3 pm.
Tweets made between 5 pm and 6 pm on Wednesdays too are quite engaging.
In fact, B2B businesses get the most CTR on weekdays, while B2C businesses do better on weekends.
For this reason, it’s very important to schedule your tweets at the appropriate time.
Best times to post on Facebook
Facebook can be used on the go, because both its website and application allow users to stay connected for as long as they want.
Posts shared on Facebook around 1 pm get more shares and the ones posted around 3 pm get more clicks.
Yet, you can still get better results when you post on specific days.
According to CoScedule, you can target the following days for better engagement.
Saturday and Sunday at 12–1 PM
Thursday and Friday at 1–4 PM
Wednesday at 3 PM
As for Track Maven, users get optimal engagement for content posted on Facebook at 8 pm on Thursdays.
You can also boost your Facebook organic reach during the off pick hours.
Once you know when to post, create a schedule for each platform and follow the plan. With this strategy, more of your fans will see your posts in their feeds and engage with them.
Marketing a small business on social media is like an invitation to a feast, “what, how and when you eat depends on why you attend the feast”.
To achieve this goal, you need to create a good eating strategy.
But in this discussion on building a winning social media marketing strategy, I want to believe you can achieve whatever your goal is as far as using social media marketing is concerned.
Find the key steps you need to create a social media marketing in 2021 and beyond.
Feel free to use the comment form below to add any other strategy that I didn’t mention and get the discussion going.