Creating a Social Media Marketing Strategy

By Lauren Inggs - May 29, 2017

Perhaps you've heard great things about social media marketing and what it'll do for your business. Maybe you've already started developing a plan for how you're going to gain leads and visitors through social media marketing. And that's great. No really, it is. Social media is a powerful marketing tool, and if your social game is on point, you're going to see some good results.

But there's one thing you need to remember if you’re going to be successful. Effective social media marketing is not a standalone discipline. Maybe that's a controversial statement to make. I'm going to stand by it, however, because I've witnessed it firsthand working at Struto.

What do I mean by saying social media isn't a standalone discipline?

In B2B marketing, social media is one just marketing tactic within a broader marketing strategy, and not a campaign all by itself. Test the idea for yourself: Are you running social media with the end-goal of generating likes and shares, or do you use social media to move the needles of traffic, lead generation and conversion?

That's right, social media success can be an effective tool to support your overall marketing campaign goals and objectives, but it's not a goal in itself.

It stands to reason then that social media needs to be informed by a well thought out marketing strategy and executed within a digital marketing campaign with established goals, and not executed without the support of an inbound marketing strategy.

So, What Does a Solid Social Media Marketing Plan Look Like?

An effective social media marketing plan is one that works towards the achievement of your business's overall marketing objectives and goals. It works alongside other inbound marketing activities, delivering measurable data, along with contributing to lead generation and conversion and boosting engagement with not only prospects but customers as well.

3 Key Elements to Developing a Social Media Strategy

#1 Your Buyer Persona

Your buyer personas, or target audience, are responsible for driving all the marketing decisions you make. This goes for an inbound marketing strategy, and is certainly true when creating a social media marketing strategy. Before jumping into any social media activities for your business, you need to ensure your buyer personas are well-researched and clearly described.

This allows you to target your content, whether curated or created, and to ensure it's relevant and helpful to your fans and followers.

#2 Your Overall Marketing Goals

Social media marketing done correctly can do wonders for your website's traffic and lead generation. But to decide which social media marketing activities will bring you the greatest amount of wins, you need to be able to look at your overall marketing goals, and then decide on social media marketing goals that support them accordingly.

Remember to develop both your inbound marketing and social media goals around a SMART framework. This means they need to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.

#3 Your Budget

While it costs nothing to create a social media account, social media marketing does require effort, which relates to labour costs. Creating content and taking the time and resources to maintain your accounts will have an impact on your marketing budget and the portion of it designated for social media marketing.

Additionally, social media advertising can be a valuable tool if you have resources within your budget to allocate towards it. If your overall marketing goals are best supported by the addition of paid advertising on social media, you can add it into your social media marketing strategy, provided your budget will allow for it.

Having a marketing strategy in place is crucial to seeing your social media marketing succeed. If you're already well underway with your marketing and you're looking to get your social media marketing on the go, here's how you can create a social media marketing plan. Need a little help? I'm here to answer any questions you might have about inbound marketing or social media. Just ask away!

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