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Social Media Strategy Complete Guide: How to Create a Social Strategy That Converts

Laura Dascau
Laura Dascau
Table of Contents

Looking back, when the only way of marketing products and services was via talking, we now realise the importance of social media marketing.

Things are a lot easier when you don’t have to get out on the streets, use a loudspeaker and scream about what you sell.

Now you can do it on social media platforms, where a lot more people are active and they can find out about your brand even from a different country or continent.

Let’s find out together everything about social media strategy and how to do it properly.

Social Media Strategy - Tips & Tricks

  1. What is a social media strategy
  2. Why do brands need a strategy for social media
  3. Steps to cover when creating a social media strategy
  1. How can Socialinsider help you create an optimized social media strategy
  2. The benefits of a social media strategy
  3. Tips & tricks for social media marketing strategy on every platform
  4. Social media strategy template

1. What is a social media strategy

Social media marketing is a type of internet marketing that uses social media platforms to market brand’s products.

The perks of using social media marketing is that you can use social media platforms to directly address your audience and fuel conversations, instead of just talking into the thin air, through other media, hoping the target audience listens to you.

Through social media marketing, you manage to tell your story in an authentic way, while also getting the chance to receive a response, an opinion from your audience.

This talk with Dorien Morin-Van Dam about how to create a social media strategy can add up to our guide.

2. Why do brands need a strategy for social media

This question is as unnatural as asking yourself why you need to breathe. It is clear that you need a strategy in order to survive on social media.

Without a social media strategy, you're essentially flying blind. You have no sense of direction or idea of how much you're progressing.

Posting randomly will prevent you from creating a cohesive social media brand identity that people can love and easily recognize.

To thrive on social media, you need a powerful strategy, with a handful of people behind that really know how to work together to accomplish the brand’s goals.

Through your well-planned social media content, you will manage to increase brand awareness and deliver personalized content.

That in turn will result in improved customer service and a better way to direct users towards your site and increase traffic.

Just like in a game of domino, this will impact your ability to convert leads and convince people your product is the right answer to their needs.

Social media networks frequently roll out shoppable features that help marketers ease the purchasing experience.

As a result, your social media content strategy should use shoppable content to influence potential customers' purchasing decisions and eventually boost sales.

After learning the benefits of having a social media content strategy for your brand, let's look at how to develop one that will set you apart from the competition.

3. Steps to cover when creating a social media strategy

Learning how to plan a social media strategy tests all your limits, teaching you that you have to look at your marketing strategy from every angle.

Developing a top-notch social media strategy for your brand is a process that requires a lot of patience, research and expertise before it goes into effect.

Here is our step-by-step guide on how to create a social media strategy to fuel your brand’s chances for success.

3.1. Identify your audience

When launching a new product or service and preparing your marketing campaign, you have to design it based on your target audience’s preferences.

visual with the cartoon of a woman face and a man face near the characteristics of a buyer persona

How else could you attract them and establish meaningful connections with them?
While using a social media analytics tool to look at demographics, you will manage to learn more about your audience.

screenshot from socialinsider dashboard with metrics about followers for socialinsider's instagram

3.2. Specify your goals

What do you want to achieve through your new social media campaign?

This is the question you have to ask yourself before you get started. Your social media goals have to be in line with your brand’s values and perspective, promoting your products.

visual with primary social media goals with a chart with purple and yellow

By using social media platforms to promote your services and products, you can attain:

  • improved brand awareness
  • more sells
  • bigger and more engaged community
  • a sense of brand sentiment
  • tracking your brand’s performance

Set your main goals when designing your social media strategy and you’ll be able to attain your ultimate goal, by achieving small victories along the way.

Decide which one is your main focus and go from there. See what you have to do to obtain that goal.

visual with a yellow round form and social media goals examples in it

Plan your strategy thoroughly so you can establish realistic and measurable goals and manage to reach them one by one.

3.3. Check your competition

Like in any other field, your silent fight against your competitors should also be a key step in your social media strategy.

Always keeping your eyes on the prize is not enough. You have to be aware of your competitors, assess their social media performance and presence and see what products and services they deliver.

a white table on a purple background with competitive analysis

Think about how you can become better than them. What differentiates you? How can you steal their thunder, and, most likely, their clients?

By using a competitive analysis, you manage to learn everything about your competitors’ highs and lows, so you can better prepare your next campaign and get one step ahead.

Benchmarking yourself against your competitors helps you understand where you stand and what works for you and what doesn’t in terms of types of content and tactics.

a white table on a purple background with white space to complete for a competitive analysis on every platform

3.4. Perform a social media audit

Learning about your audience’s opinion about your products and services it’s pure gold.

Their feedback, being it positive or negative, can help you become better, improving your products and services as you go.

A social media audit can help you find out who are the users who are mentioning your brand on social media platforms.

screenshot from socialinsider showing mentions' metrics for socialinsider's instagram

By finding out what they say about your products and services, you will better understand what improvements you have to make to suit their needs and desires.

Moreover, you will learn to be proactive and answer their queries quickly, to avoid a comment from turning into a negative experience for them.

visual with a blue big dot on a purple background with social media audit

Improving customer service and solving their problems can help you establish quality connections with your audience.

Pro tip: Maybe you could audit your competitors too, seeing what their customers complain about and try to come up with a solution for them. Maybe your products and services are a better fit for them.

3.5. Decide which social media platforms to use

Propelling your brand on the road to success does not require to follow a certain recipe. What works for you may not work for other brands.

It’s everything about experimenting and having the courage to try social media marketing on every platform.

When it comes to experiments on social media, it’s better to focus on growing your engagement and follower count on those channels where you have already got a good start.

visual with a purple background showing how to plan your weekly content calendar

Don’t force yourself on every social media platform. Try to focus your efforts on the channel where you see your audience is more responsive.

Maybe you start by promoting your brand on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn first. After you achieve the results you set off for, you can design a plan for the rest of the platforms as well.

It’s imperative to learn about the highs and lows of every social media channel to know exactly how to dose your effort.

3.6. Optimise your profile

Regardless of the number of social media platforms you decide to be present on, make sure your profile is spot on.

Use your brand’s logo and its main colours to showcase your unity. By using the same aesthetics you have on your website will make your audience trust your social media profile even more.

Keep in mind that your brand must be recognizable.

Include your contact details, your purpose as a brand, your employees and specify what need you’re looking to satisfy through your products and services.

Make sure your short description is packed with the keywords your audience uses to search for similar products and services with the ones you sell.

Your content has to reflect your brand’s values and purposes. What solutions do you bring through your social media content to solve people’s problems?

3.7. Search for inspiration

Inspiration is everywhere, from the first page of Google to your competitors’ profiles. The important thing is to be open to newness and suggestions.

It may be surprising for you, but how your competitors interact with their audience and the way they develop content can really inspire your social media strategy.

Building a social media strategy is not an easy job. That is why you have to let your mind absorb every detail that can be used as a prompt in your social media plan.

However, remember that inspiration is not everything. Your content is. Pay attention to how you use all that inspiration.

3.8. Develop high-quality content

Content is king. And analyzing its performance is queen. I know how this sounds, but bare with me for a second.

When developing high-quality content, think about the fact that you have to address your audience’s needs while also letting your brand’s values surface.

Make sure you find the perfect combo between meme posts and educational posts, with eye-candy visuals and intriguing CTAs.

Your visuals need to be high-quality and pay attention to the filters you use. Do not use a bunch of editing or filters, unless it does justice to your post.

To have a higher engagement rate, you have to juggle with informative and entertaining content.

3.9. Create a content calendar

Now that you’ve figured out how your content should look like, you need to pay attention to how often you post and at what time.

That’s why it’s important to have a content calendar to keep count of all the steps taken during your marketing campaign.

It’s important to find out when your audience is most active, by using demographics data. Then post or schedule your content whenever you know they are online and ready to engage.

You should also try to find out how many posts you should publish on a daily basis. If you post too much, your audience may lose their interest.

3.10. Track your performance

Use a social media analytics tool to check your strategy’s performance. By keeping an eye on how your social media plan has evolved, you manage to see the progress, from one month to the other.

This will help you understand what’s your next move and how you need to adjust your social media strategy to make it work.

When using an analytics tool, make sure you track all the important social media metrics to  find everything there is to know about the evolution of your campaign.

You can compile a social media report to keep an evidence of your social media performance and later compare with the future interval.

3.11. Adjust your social media strategy

Based on the social media report you develop, make sure you use the data included to adjust your social media strategy as you go.

Keep an eye on the actionable insights your social media analytics tool may offer you so you can easily change the direction in which your brand is going.

By reworking your strategy, it means you’re willing to improve your marketing game, through new content tactics that you’ll put into effect.

3.12. Use social media ads to boost organic performance

Don’t be scared to test ads on your social media channels. By boosting some of your posts, you will increase your brand’s visibility.

More and more users from your target audience will be able to see your posts and interact with your content.

You wouldn’t wanna spare them this opportunity. Maybe they will go as far as your brand’s website and add your products to cart.

4. How can Socialinsider help you create an optimized social media strategy

Creating a social media strategy requires a set of skills and a complex tool to rely on.

Luckily, Socialinsider is more than an analytics tool, having a lot of features that can help you with social audit, social listening, campaign reporting, social media reporting, competitive analysis, and cross-channel reports.

By making use of all these features, you can assess your social media performance to craft a strategy that could further help you increase brand awareness, build a community, and attract more clients.

Today I’ll show you how to use the Brands section for a cross-channel analysis and social media strategy optimization by showcasing some insights from Stabucks's analytics data.

Firstly, I added Starbucks' Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and Facebook accounts, then integrated the profiles into the brand created, like in the example below.

screenshot from socialinsider's dashboard showing starbucks' profiles

Then I clicked the “Starbucks” that appears under Brands from the left-side menu. I selected the last three months for my analysis, and this is what I got.

screenshot from socialinsider showing starbucks's profiles in brands

At a glance, you can see a head-to-head comparison between key metrics like followers, engagement, average engagement rate, and the number of posts.

When scrolling scrolling down, you will see these important metrics split into more in-depth KPIs, offering you actionable insights.

Firstly, I decided to look at the total number of followers each channel has, paying increased attention to the platform that had the biggest growth in followers since this is a great indicator of where more efforts should be put.

In Starbucks' case, even if Facebook is the platform with the highest number of followers, Instagram seems to be more successful in stirring an increased interest in the brand nowadays.

screenshot from socialinsider with audience metrics for starbucks brand

When looking at engagement, another (if not the most important) metric, for a social media strategy evaluation, we can see that Instagram is, indeed, Starbucks' best-performing platform, as we could intuit from the audience analysis data.

screenshot from socialinsider with engagement metrics for starbucks

So, you're probably wondering how to shape your social media strategy once you have this kind of data at your disposal.

In Starbucks' case, the brand decided to make Instagram its focus platform for social media marketing, which can be seen based on its posting strategy.

For being the best-performing channel in terms of fan growth and engagement, Starbucks oriented most of its social media efforts toward this channel, having at least a double posting frequency compared to the other networks.  

screenshot from socialinsider with posts metrics for starbucks

In this cross-channel analysis you also get metrics like video views, impressions and most engaging brand posts.

All these metrics help Starbucks figure out on which platform they should post more videos.

With Socialinsider, you can also develop a competitive analysis. Let me briefly show you how to do it.

I included in the same project the Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok profiles for Costa Coffee, Starbucks’ competitor. I clicked Benchmarks, I selected the time frame for the last 3 months and voila.

screenshot from socialinsider's benchmarks showing a comparison between starbucks and costa coffee

Here you can see a brief head-to-head comparison between these two cofee brands and, by selecting the metrics you want to compare from the menu on the right, you can develop a complex competitive analysis.

With the data you gather after a competitive analysis, you can add up to your social media strategy and include the things that inspired you from your competitors. This is how you’ll fuel your brand’s growth.

All these data and in-depth actionable insights you get through a cross-channel analysis and competitive analysis can help you build a strong social media strategy.

The data you obtain will give a sense of what works and what doesn’t work for you on certain social channels, while also learning about the different audiences you have on each platform.

5. The benefits of a social media strategy

When it comes to developing a social media strategy, the time and effort you have to put into this process is all worth it when you'll see the results.

To run successful social media campaigns, you need a solid step-by-step plan that can provide you with actionable insights and which you can adjust as you go.

Consistency is key when it comes to the results you obtain with your social media campaigns.

It's important to see all the benefits of a social media strategy to learn how you could replicate your success every time you launch a new social media campaign.

Here are some of the advantages you can get when developing a well-researched social media strategy:

  • Gather actionable data you can analyze, measure & use to adjust the strategy
  • Improve audience targeting across social media channels
  • Offer quality customer support and social customer service
  • Boost your website traffic
  • Generate better leads
  • Improve brand recognition and awareness
  • Develop and adjust content depending on platform and audience
  • Promote your content to help it go viral
  • Fuel the opportunity to collaborate with social media influencers
  • Provide social commerce and shoppable posts

6. Tips & tricks for social media marketing strategy on every platform

On every social media platform your brand has built a presence, your audience it different. That's why you need different social media strategies to attract your target audience.

  • Social media strategy tips for Instagram

On Instagram, your social media strategy will clearly rely on visuals and, at the moment, the most powerful type of content is Reels.

Building influencer marketing campaigns on Instagram is another way to go, since this network supports influencers. Through this type of campaigns you will be able to increase your brand awareness even more.

All you have to do to catch your audience's eye is top quality visuals and spot-on CTAs in captions.

  • Social media strategy tips for TikTok

TikTok is the most popular social media platform out there, especially for the young generations. Depending on the services and products you market, it's important to learn more about your audience in order to know how to address it.

The viral trends will help you set the tone for your video content. The key is to play with all the challenges and trends and morph them depending on your brand voice and values.

Being bold will help you. So if I were you, I'd track all the trending audios and see what you can use in your TikToks.

chart with tiktok engagement rate per post by presence of original sound
  • Social media strategy tips for Facebook

With Facebook, you will be able to reach all local customers and potential buyers in your area.

When building your brand's presence on Facebook, you should allow them to write reviews about your products and services as part of your strategy plan.

Make sure you provide them with the necessary answers and you'll see you'll be able to build a strong community on Facebook. You can amplify your Facebook metrics if you also start a Facebook ad campaign to attract even more users.

  • Social media strategy tips for X

When you don't really know where to start, you can always consider building your brand presence on X first.

This social media platform helps you build a strong community around your brand, keeping in touch with your prospects, target audience and all those interested in your industry.

X is the network where you can offer solutions to all your customers and where most of them complain in case something is not right. That's why part of your Twitter strategy should be to offer customer service.

  • Social media strategy tips for LinkedIn

On LinkedIn, your social media strategy should rely more on networking and developing genuine connections with others from your industry.

And when your connections are so strong, you can even build collabs to empower your brand since this is the perfect network for B2Bs.

With a solid LinkedIn strategy, you can fuel lead generation and improve your marketing content with the help of specialists.

Here is a useful chart from our LinkedIn performance benchmarks study that shows which is the most popular type of content that generates more clicks.

chart with linkedin average ctr by impressions

7. Social media strategy templates

Having all the necessary information about social media strategy at your disposal may not be enough. That is why we also included a social media strategy template to guide you through the process.

Click here to access your social media strategy templates.

Final thoughts

The key to a successful social media strategy is to practice what you preach and write quality content for your followers.

This way, by being real, you will attract people drawn to the most important values in life.

You need a solid team and trustworthy people around you to make sure your business is set on the path to success.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.What are social media strategies?

A social media strategy is an outline of the content that your business will post, the responsibilities of your social media team, and the social media channels you will use to promote your business.

A social media strategy includes social media goals that complement your business' overall digital marketing strategy.

2. What are the 4 C's of social media strategy?

Social Media is about content, conversations, community and connections. That is the consensus.

3. What are the 5 P's of social media marketing?

The 5 P's of marketing – Product, Price, Promotion, Place, and People – are a framework that helps guide marketing strategies and keep marketers focused on the right things. Let's take a deep dive into their importance for your brand.

4. What are the five most effective social media marketing strategies?

So here are 5 simple tips to up your social media game and successfully market your brand.

  • Create a strategy. Each platform needs its own strategy
  • Be consistent
  • Create engaging & interesting content
  • Engagement
  • Track and analyze metrics.

Laura Dascau

Laura Dascau

Content Writer @Socialinsider

I am a curious, focused learner born to tell stories to win over readers' hearts. Always embracing vulnerable authenticity.

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