A 4 Phase Social Media Strategy

By Matthew

Don’t waste your time with a social media strategy that doesn’t work. This blog post will guide you on how to create a strategy that does. “

Our common goal is to take your social media strategy presentation to the next level with strategic principles. To do this, we provide you with the basics of social media strategy as a set of tactics to achieve your goal: the effective management of social media content that appeals to users and contributes to the achievement of your business goals.

Why? because the user’s demand for informative, well-researched, and professionally prepared content is higher than ever before. It is no longer enough to simply copy content from one medium to another.

What is needed is relevant and channel-specific content that addresses the needs of the target group and provides them with answers to their questions and solutions to their problems. In order to accomplish this, a strategic alignment of content production is required.

The Core Questions Of A Social Media Strategy

A comprehensive social media strategy is very multifaceted and varies from company to company. It ranges from discussions about addressing the target group and design guidelines to community management. However, in this article we will focus on the foundation your strategy is built on and ask ourselves the following questions:

  • What do I want to achieve with social media?
  • Who do I want to address with my content?
  • On which platforms and via which content do I want to communicate?
  • How does the content production process work?

The questions stand for the following four basic pillars that support a social media strategy, as illustrated in the graphic below:

the 4 phase social media strategy target group


Are you ready to question your social media presence and put it through its paces? Then come with us on the journey and read on, because we want to convince you of the importance of a strategic approach to social media.

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Phase One: Set realistic goals for yourself. 

How about your course direction? Do you already have your social media channels up and running in your team, and do you know where you’re going? Or do you let the wind whip you and nobody really knows where the journey is going? In order for a team to pull together, they need a common goal.

The following applies: All goals should contribute to the overarching company goals and correspond to the needs of the customers. However, always keep an eye on your resources when planning. Unrealistic goals demotivate you and your team in the long run. The following are possible goals for your social media presence:

  • Brand awareness
  • Image
  • Service
  • Customer retention
  • New customer acquisition and conversion
  • Sale
  • Knowledge transfer and much more

It is best to work out the goals together as a team. In the first step, these may also be formulated generically. Once the goals have been determined, they need to be specified. A tried and tested system is the SMART formula. It ensures that your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely.

  • S-Specific
  • M-Measurable.
  • A-Attainable
  • R-Relevant
  • T-Timely

Not defining or imprecisely formulating goals is a common reason for the failure of an efficient social media presence. So that you and the team stay motivated and don’t lose sight of the overall goal, it makes sense to break down the defined goals into sub-goals.

Also, don’t forget to celebrate small victories, and along the way, keep in mind that every piece of content should contribute towards one of the goals. In order to be able to evaluate success or failure, it is necessary to make your goals measurable using key figures.

the 4 phase social media strategy map

An example of customer loyalty as an objective, including sub-goals

Your content can contribute to the achievement of goals in very different ways. Social media content can:

  • Inform your customers.
  • Convince your customers.
  • Create a dialogue with your target group.
  • Support in the decision-making process
  • Integrate customers into business processes.
  • Teach customers
  • Entertain the customers or
  • improve the image.

A big step has been taken if you and your team know where the journey should go. Next, let’s turn our attention to the next pillar of a social media strategy: the audience.

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Phase Two: Know Your Target Group

No matter how much time and money you invest in creating content, if it doesn’t meet the interests and needs of the target audience, the effort is wasted. In order to entertain, inform, influence, or educate users, it is necessary to know their needs, wishes, and concerns. Because that’s how you get in touch with them.

A common mistake in content development is paying too much attention to whether the creator, the team, or the manager likes the text, photo, or video. It is forgotten who the content was created for and who it is intended to address. Often, the content creator simply does not put himself in his target group.

To make the target group tangible for you and your team, it helps to create prototypical profiles of them. These profiles are called personas and represent user profiles that contain detailed information about the target group. This includes demographic data such as age, place of residence, education, income, shopping behavior, and interests, but also information about a person’s needs, problems, and motivation.

The more you know about your target group and then describe it, the more human it becomes. It also helps that it has been given a name. All this serves to see them as real characters that are always present during the content creation.

For example, one of our Silahub personas is called Benjamin Mathew. He is 30 years old and heads the software department of a medium-sized company. Below is an excerpt of Benjamin’s persona profile.

silahub technologies persona for social media strategy

You can get information for developing such a persona from market research, studies, customer surveys, colleagues from customer service, Facebook or Twitter statistics, or from questions or complaints received about the social media platforms themselves. Another possibility is targeted participation in discussions, for example in forums or Facebook groups, and thereby receiving information.

With defined goals and knowledge about your target group in your luggage, you are a lot closer to a good basis for your social media strategy. Next, let’s talk about proper channel selection.

Phase Three: Find Your Channels Based On Your Topics

At this point, the following applies: When selecting the channels, they should be checked for their suitability for achieving the defined goals. On the other hand, they should be selected based on where the target group is located. There is no point in being present on platforms if the target audience there is not.

Keep in mind that content should contribute to the overall goals and not just meet the needs of the respective channel. As an agency, we first consider topics that then result in the appropriate format, such as text, image, or video. Only in the last step is it decided which channel to use for distribution, because we produce content for our customers, not for Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

At the same time, you need an overview of which platforms your company is already active on and what content you publish there. If all the content is collected centrally on a table, it quickly becomes apparent how the distribution is structured. Such a content inventory could look like this:

the 4 phase social media strategy calender

Content inventory according to Doris Eichmeier and Klaus Eck

Think about which formats you can use to present your content well on the individual platforms. If your brand communicates mainly through visual images, the channels Instagram and Pinterest are suitable. So your task is to find out which platform is most suitable for achieving your goals and where your target group is located.

There are also channels that require more maintenance and therefore more resources than others, so you should also keep this in mind when choosing a channel.

the 4 phase social media strategy content distribution

Social media strategy channels and their special features

Phase Four: Work As A Team And Know The Processes

A social media strategy involves numerous workflows. Numerous people, some from different departments, are involved, from developing the strategy itself to creating content and evaluating it.

It is absolutely central to clearly define roles and assign work tasks and responsibilities to them. It also needs someone who is in charge and has far-reaching decision-making authority.

You may be responsible for creating the various text, image, and video content formats, or many different people, such as editors, video editors, and photographers. It should be noted that the content created follows the content goals and corresponds to the design guidelines.

Such guidelines are particularly important when external employees or freelancers are involved in the content production process. The guidelines ensure that content is of a consistent quality regardless of the production model and that the customer experience is consistent across all channels.

As you develop your social media strategy, keep these points in mind:

  • Who is responsible for what?
  • What competencies are available internally?
  • Where do freelancers or agencies have to be called in?
  • What guidelines are needed for content production?
  • Which tools can help?
  • How do control and optimization take place?

Editorial Calendar As A Content Control Center

Do you have an overview of the content mix on your social media channels? Do you know the main topics and the status of individual contributions? Then you seem to have everything under control and maintain an editorial plan.

Because this helps you with the daily organization and planning of content. Regardless of whether it is controlled using a software tool or a self-created document such as an Excel spreadsheet, An editorial plan ensures a structured and planned handling of contributions. If you maintain it carefully, it will point out gaps in the planning and show you how the main topics are distributed. For example, it contains information such as

  • Release date
  • Social-Media-Channel
  • The post topic
  • Content-Format
  • Content Responsible
  • Release manager
  • Deadlines
  • Processing status

Depending on the field of application, the list can be expanded with further elements. However, too much information leads to confusion. For this reason, we recommend prioritizing aspects and avoiding low-priority information. You can download a template as an example for an editorial calendar here.

Content-Lifecycle

What is your perspective on content production? Do you see it as a one-way street that ends with the release, or like us, as a cycle without beginning and end? The publication of content is far from over—not even with social media content. From the generation of ideas to the measurement of success, content goes through several processes, all of which are intertwined.

After a few ideas have been generated, they must be prioritized and assessed according to the effort involved. Hand in hand, you plan the individual contributions in the course of your editorial planning. The planned formats go into production and are prepared for specific target groups and channels. Not to mention that your content should have a high recognition value.

A uniform visual language and color scheme, coordinated with the corporate colors, helps. When it comes to publishing content, tools like Hootsuite and Canva can also make your life easier with the ability to schedule posts in advance.

The subject of social media also has a lot to do with testing. To find out what days and times your community is most active and provide them with content at the right time. In order to spread the content, it is also worth spending a little money in order to increase the reach of the content.

Try it out with a budget of 5 to 10 USD per Ad set, for example. Ads on other social media sites, for example, are also helpful for spreading your content on the social media websites.

Last but not least, it is absolutely essential that you measure success! This is the only way you can determine which content works well and what can be dispensed with in the future. It helps you and your team to gradually tailor the content even better to the needs of your target group.

When setting metrics to measure your success, it’s important that they are always related to a goal. However, it is not enough to define the measured values. The results must also be prepared in understandable and clear reports and regularly discussed in meetings.

You now know the most important pillars of a social media strategy and can assess whether your social media presence is on a solid foundation.

Conclusion

As a business owner, it is imperative that you have a social media strategy in place in order to stay relevant and engage with your audience. A social media strategy will help you to create content, build relationships, and grow your brand.
There are four phases to creating a social media strategy: research, planning, execution, and measurement.

  1. Research: Understand your audience and what type of content they engage with.
  2. Planning: Create a content calendar and plan out your posts in advance.
  3. Execution: Post your content and interact with your audience.
  4. Measurement: Analyze your results and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Matthew Sunday Digital Marketer

I’m Matthew, I write about digital marketing and technology on this blog. A digital marketer and entrepreneur, assisting people and companies in building successful online brands. His vision is to help brands reach their full potential through strategic digital marketing.

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