Are you looking to up your social media strategy game in 2024? We suggest you check out this snappy guide before your competitor does. Our 2024 Social Media Strategy Guide covers all the major social media platforms, from new and emerging ones like TikTok and Discord to the ever-popular Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Simply put, a social media marketing strategy encompasses all your brand’s actions on various social media platforms to drive engagement and increase awareness. A well-thought-out social media strategy considers your target audience, content creation, messaging, advertising budget, and platform-specific features.
Not to be confused with social media tactics that are short-term actions or campaigns, a strategy takes a holistic approach to your brand’s presence and performance on social media.
Here’s an example: you can implement various tactics like a hashtag campaign, influencer collaborations, or Instagram stories to promote your new product launch. But without an overarching strategy that aligns with your brand’s goals and values, these tactics may not yield the desired results.
Social media will continue to dominate the digital landscape, especially with the rise of mobile usage and e-commerce. As more and more businesses, big or small, join the social media bandwagon, it’ll take a well-planned strategy to stand out and make an impact.
But before we dive into the specific strategies for each platform, let’s bust a common myth — you don’t need a massive budget to excel on social media. While paid advertising will undoubtedly boost your visibility, organic growth and engagement are still possible through savvy content creation, community management, and leveraging platform-specific tools.
So, how do you write a compelling social media mission statement?
- Start with your overall business goals, objectives, and unique selling proposition.
- Identify your target audience’s interests and needs.
- List down the values and beliefs that your brand represents.
- Put it all together in a concise statement.
For example, if you’re an eco-friendly fashion brand targeting millennials, your social media mission statement could be something like:
“We’re [Your Business Name], a sustainable fashion brand that believes in creating trendy and affordable clothing while reducing our environmental footprint. We aim to inspire the eco-conscious millennial audience through informative and engaging content, product innovations, and partnerships with like-minded influencers.”
How to Choose Your Goals
The only way to know if your social media strategy is working is by setting measurable goals, tracking them, and analyzing the results.
But how do you set the right goals?
Well, there is no other way than the old-fashioned SMART framework:
- Specific: Be precise about your goals – instead of increasing engagement, set a goal to increase likes or shares by X% within Y months.
- Measurable: Use built-in analytics and third-party tools to track your progress.
- Attainable: It’s great to aim high, but setting realistic goals will save you from disappointment. Look at past performance and industry averages to set achievable targets.
- Relevant: Goals should align with your overall business objectives and social media mission statement.
- Time-bound: Setting a deadline will help you stay on track, measure progress, and reassess your strategies if needed.
Align Your Goals, Metrics, and the Buyer’s Journey
Growing your follower count, website traffic, and conversions are not the end goals for social media strategies. These metrics only serve as indicators of your success in achieving the bigger picture – nurturing potential customers through their journey from awareness to purchase.
Whether you’re looking to generate awareness, drive traffic, or improve customer retention, everything you do on social media should align with the buyer’s journey.
- Awareness: Expose your target audience to your brand and its solutions, build trust, and pique their interest.
- Consideration: Inform, educate, and engage with potential customers to convince them of your value proposition over your competitors.
- Decision: Encourage conversion by highlighting the benefits of choosing your product or service and leveraging social proof like reviews and testimonials.
- Retention: Keep existing customers engaged through valuable content and personalized interactions to increase customer lifetime value and advocacy.
Examples of Goals and Metrics to Measure Each Stage
- Goal: Increase brand mentions on social media.
- Metrics: Number of brand mentions, reach, and engagement of those mentions.
- Goal: Drive traffic to your website from social media.
- Metrics: Click-through rate (CTR), website visits, and time spent on the site from social media platforms.
- Goal: Increase conversions from social media.
- Metrics: Conversion rate, cost per conversion, and revenue generated from social media campaigns.
- Goal: Increase customer retention and advocacy through social media.
- Metrics: Repeat purchases, customer satisfaction rate, and number of positive reviews or user-generated content shared on social media
- Goal: Increase brand loyalty and customer lifetime value through social media.
- Metrics: Customer retention rate, average order value, and referral traffic from social media platforms
Learn More About Your Audience and Analyze Competitor Strategies
One of the most significant advantages of social media is the abundance of data you can collect about your audience. Use built-in analytics tools or third-party platforms to gather insights on who your followers are, what content resonates with them, and how they interact with your brand online.
You can also learn a lot from analyzing your competitors’ social media strategies. Use competitive analysis tools to compare your performance with theirs and gather insights on what works for them and how you can differentiate yourself in the market.
Here are a few things you’d want to learn about your target audience:
- Age, gender, location
- Interests and behaviours
- Preferred content types (video, images, etc.)
- Favourite social media platforms
- Income bracket
- Their level of engagement with a brand and social media content
- What motivates them to follow or engage with a brand
Here are some insights you can gather from analyzing your competitors:
- Types of posts that receive the most engagement
- Frequency and timing of their posts
- Collaborations with influencers or other brands
- Overall brand voice and tone on social media
- Instagram: 1.09%
- Facebook: 0.26%
- Twitter: 0.08%
- Instagram: 1.16%
- Facebook: 0.27%
- Twitter: 0.07%
Take these average engagement rates with a grain of salt, as they can vary greatly depending on your industry, target audience, and overall strategy. Use them as benchmarks to track your progress and make adjustments when needed.
If you already have a social media strategy in place, it helps to audit it thoroughly to identify areas of improvement and make necessary changes. Here’s a quick rundown of the steps you can take when auditing your social media strategy:
- How often do you post? Are you consistent?
- What types of content do you post, and how often?
- Which channels are you using?
- What’s working?
- What’s not working?
- What partnerships or collaborations have you taken part in?
- What are your followers saying about your brand on social media?
- How does your performance compare to your competitors?
- Are you actively engaging with your audience and responding to their comments or messages? What’s your percentage of response rate? For example, if you have 100 comments and reply to 50 of them, your response rate is 50%.
- Are you tracking and measuring the right metrics?
- Based on your audit findings, what changes can you make to improve your social media strategy?
- Are there imposter accounts or fake followers that must be addressed?
- Do you have a crisis management plan for potential social media crises?
Here are the primary goals for social media
- Increase brand awareness: 69%
- Increase web traffic: 52%
- Grow their brand’s audience: 46%
- Promote content: 44%
- Increase community engagement: 43%
- Drive sales: 40%
- Connect with target audiences: 30%
- Provide customer support and service: 28%
- Track and understand competitors: 27%
A social media strategy without a content calendar is like a class without a timetable. It’s chaotic, unorganized, and challenging to stay on track.
A content calendar helps you plan and schedule your social media posts in advance, ensuring consistency with your posting frequency and maintaining a good balance of content types. Here’s how to create one:
- Choose your preferred tool: Excel, Google Sheets, Trello, Asana, or any other project management tool.
- Decide the timeframe: Will you plan for a month, a quarter, or a year?
- Consider your target audience and their preferred social media platforms: Plan to post more frequently on their most active channels.
- Brainstorm content ideas: Think of various types of content that will appeal to your audience (e.g., educational, entertaining, inspirational). Use a mix of text, images, videos, and user-generated content.
- Decide on a posting schedule: Determine the days and times you’ll post on each channel. Use insights from previous posts’ performance to guide your decision.
- Schedule your posts: Use scheduling tools like Hootsuite or Buffer to plan and automate your posts in advance.
- Leave room for flexibility: While having a schedule in place is important, you must also leave room for spontaneous posts or timely content that may come up.
Frequency of Posting on Social Media Platforms
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to how often you should post on social media. It depends on your audience, industry, and the resources you have available for creating and scheduling content. However, here are some general guidelines:
- Facebook: 1-2 posts per day
- Instagram: 3-5 posts per week
- Twitter: 3-5 tweets per day
- LinkedIn: 1-2 posts per day
- YouTube: 1 video per week
- Pinterest: 1 time per week
- TikTok: 3-5 times per week
Don’t feel pressured to post as frequently as these guidelines suggest. Quality is always more important than quantity, so consistently create valuable and engaging content for your audience.
Best Time to Post on Each Social Media Platform
|11 am to 12 pm
|Also, Tuesday and Thursday Between 4 pm to 7 pm
|12 pm to 1 pm
|Also, Saturday between 8 to 11 am
|9 am to 10 am
|Also, Tuesday and Thursday between 9 to 10 am
|12 pm to 1 pm
|Also, Monday and Wednesday between 12 pm and 1 pm
|11 pm 12 pm
|Also, Monday and Tuesday between 10 am to 1 pm
|9 am to 10 am
|Also, Tuesday and Monday between 9 to 10 am
|11 am to 12 pm
|Also, Saturday and Sunday between 6 pm to 7 pm
You also want a good mix of content types in your social media strategy. Here are some ideas:
- Educational or informative posts: Share tips, tricks, or industry insights with your audience
- Entertaining or humorous posts: Use memes, jokes, or funny videos to appeal to your audience’s sense of humour.
- Inspirational or motivational posts: Share quotes, stories, or images that inspire your audience
- User-generated content: Share content created by your followers to showcase their experiences and build a sense of community
- Promotional posts: Announce new products, promotions, or events related to your brand.
- Behind-the-scenes posts: Show a glimpse into the inner workings of your brand to give your audience a more personal and authentic connection.
- Live videos: Host Q&A sessions, product demos, or behind-the-scenes tours through live video streaming
- Interactive posts: Encourage your audience to participate in polls, quizzes, or challenges related to your brand.
- Social media takeovers: Collaborate with influencers or other brands by having them take over your social media accounts for a day.
- Repurposed content: Don’t be afraid to repurpose and share old blog posts, graphics, or videos on social media to reach a wider audience.
You also want to stick to the 80/20 rule — 80% of your content should be non-promotional and focused on providing value to your audience, while only 20% can be promotional. That helps maintain a good balance and prevents your audience from feeling bombarded with constant advertisements.
Alternatively, use the one-third rule — one-third of your content can be promotional, one-third should be curated from other sources, and one-third should be original content created by your brand.
Time to Post
Each channel has peak posting times or “the best time of the day” to post for maximum engagement. However, these are not set in stone and may vary depending on your specific audience.
For instance, most people check their social media feeds during:
- Their breakfast
- After lunch
- During their commute
- Before bed
You can use scheduling tools or analytics from previous posts to determine the best times for your brand.
For instance, if you’re targeting B2B audiences, posting during work hours may yield better results. But if you sell cosmetic or fashion products, it might be best to target your audience right before they retire or are winding down after work.
Every social media channel has its own best practices for maximum engagement. They might share a few commonalities but are viewed and used differently. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind when creating content for each social media platform:
- Use high-quality images or videos (preferably square) with minimal text.
- Include links, hashtags, and emojis to increase engagement.
- Keep captions short and sweet (<80 characters).
- Post frequently, but avoid over-posting.
- Leverage Facebook groups to build a community around your brand.
- Engage with your target audience by responding to comments and messages promptly.
- Use short, catchy captions (max 280 characters).
- Include hashtags, images, or videos to increase engagement.
- Retweet relevant content from other sources to show thought leadership in your industry.
- Engage with trending topics or hashtags related to your brand.
- Respond to mentions and direct messages promptly.
- Be human, and don’t be afraid to show your brand’s personality.
- Maintain professionalism in your content and language.
- Be a thought leader by sharing industry insights, statistics, and trends.
- Use relevant hashtags and images or videos to increase engagement.
- Include a strong call-to-action in your posts (e.g., “Read more on our blog,” “Connect with us for more updates,” etc.)
- Join LinkedIn groups related to your industry to engage with like-minded professionals.
- Respond to comments and messages promptly.
- Engage with other businesses or thought leaders in your industry by liking, commenting, and sharing their content.
- Post high-quality images or videos (preferably square) with minimal text.
- Use relevant hashtags (up to 30 per post, but keep it under 10) to increase discoverability.
- Include a strong call-to-action in your captions (e.g., “Click the link in our bio,” “DM us for more info,” etc.)
- Engage with your followers by responding to comments and messages promptly.
- Use Instagram Stories, Reels, and IGTV to showcase different types of content and keep your audience engaged.
- Collaborate with influencers or other brands through sponsored posts or takeovers.
- Focus on story-telling and authenticity in your posts to connect with your audience.
- Focus on Creativity and originality in your videos.
- Use trending songs, challenges, or hashtags to increase reach and engagement.
- Engage with your audience through comments, duets, and stitch posts.
- Partner with influencers or other brands for sponsored content or takeovers.
- Experiment with different types of content, such as dance routines, comedy sketches, or educational videos.
- Utilize TikTok’s editing tools and effects to make your videos stand out.
- Be consistent with posting and use hashtags relevant to your brand or target audience.
A crisis is inevitable.
Since social media is a two-way public communication channel, it’s just a matter of time before an irate customer blows things out of hand.
They’ll swamp your comment feed with negative comments, rush to every review site they can sign up with and stay with whatever nasty stuff they have in mind about your brand, however wrong they are.
So, how do you get yourself out of this little jam scath-free?
- Don’t go on the defence: Going on the defence will only exacerbate the issue. It will only get the perpetrator angrier, pushing him to post even more and release more evidence if they’re right.
Instead, you want to acknowledge the issue and apologize in advance.
Apologize for the inconvenience caused, and see if you can figure out an amicable solution.
Ask them to message you for a refund or replacement if it’s a faulty product.
If it’s poor customer service, you can talk to them privately and address the issue.
- Take the Conversation Offline: Ask the complainant to give you their phone number or reach out to you via email or inbox to discuss the issue further.
The idea isn’t to prove your innocence to those reading comments but to show concern. That’s what other customers want to see when they read comments, not how perfect you or your products are.
Remember, the goal is to turn a negative situation into a positive one and retain your customer’s trust. So, be calm, professional, and empathetic in your response.
- Monitor and Follow-Up: Follow up with the customer once the issue has been resolved. Check-in on their satisfaction and ask for feedback or suggestions on how you can improve your products or services.
The follow-up should be public, either as a comment on the original post or as a separate post thanking the customer for bringing the issue to your attention and highlighting how you resolved it.
That shows your transparency and commitment to excellent customer service. It also helps build trust with potential customers who see that you take feedback seriously and are willing to go the extra mile to make things right.
- Be Quick: Time is of the essence when it comes to handling negative comments on social media. The longer they sit unaddressed, the more damage they can do to your brand’s reputation.
Monitor your social media channels regularly and promptly respond to complaints or concerns. That not only shows that you care about your customers, but it also prevents any potential issues from escalating.
- Stay Professional: It can be tempting to respond to negative comments with anger or defensiveness, but this will only worsen things. Always stay professional and avoid getting into arguments or personal attacks.
If you see yourself getting emotional, step back and wait until you have calmed down before responding. Remember, everything you say online is a reflection of your brand. Learn to react calmly and professionally, even in the face of criticism.
- Learn from Your Mistakes: Negative comments can actually be a valuable learning experience for your brand. Take note of recurring issues or complaints and use them to improve your products or services.