A 5 Step Social Media Marketing Strategy for Startups in 2022
Continued from Pt. I
In Pt. 1 we covered the first two steps we use in developing scalable social media strategies. This post will cover the final three.
5&Vine’s 5 steps for a Challenger Brand social media strategy:
Assess the competition
Build your Challenger Brand social media strategy
Implement your strategy
Track social media performance
Evolve your strategy
Part III – Implement your strategy
A social media content calendar is essential to mapping out your strategy so that you’re prepared to take action. When building your calendar, we recommend starting by adding in:
Seasons, relevant holidays, and national days
Campaigns (on and off social media)
When new content is being published on the blog
When new products are launching and when sales are happening
When influencers are posting about you
Press releases about new features, products, or partnerships
These events set the stage for what and when you’ll post on your social channels.
Next, layer in the channels that you’ll be posting on and their cadence that you determined in Part I. For example, you may post on Instagram daily, Twitter 4x/week, LinkedIn 3x/week, and on YouTube every other week.
From here, you’ll be able to see on your calendar when you’re set to post on specific channels, and relevant events that will inform what you post about.
Remember the categories of posts that you chose for each social channel in Part I (see “Choose a consistent visual direction” for a refresher if you don’t)? Here is where you’ll layer in the additional detail of the post category for each channel on each date.
Because we want to encourage customers to follow on all channels, we like to avoid cross-sharing the exact same content across all channels on the same day. If you’re seeing the same content three times in a row, you’re going to be annoyed and hit unfollow.
With this layered approach to building your content calendar, you’re able to look weeks ahead and understand the specific posts that you can start preparing. You can build out your calendar on a spreadsheet, though that can get messy and outdated fast.
We recommend using Asana to create your calendar because it’s the best for organization and team collaboration. With Asana, every social post is accounted for and, as you have one single source of truth for your team, no details go missing.
It’s important to note that social media is about planning ahead as much as you can, but being social is the focus! We keep an eye on real-time trends (by staying active on social media throughout the day, and using free tools like BuzzSumo) that you can respond to, as well as general trends of what’s happening in the world.
When COVID-19 broke in early March 2020, we were responsible for leading Fresh N’ Lean’s social media response. We immediately shifted all messaging towards transparency, food safety credentials and the team’s humanity.
We launched the #HealthyTogether social media campaign to support community members isolating at home, and launched new digital campaigns to build trust.
Part IV – Track social media success
Tracking success on social media can be elusive, but it’s vital. We’ve narrowed the process down to our three top KPIs connected to social media goals:
Branded search – Are people organically searching more for your brand?
Engagement – Are followers commenting, saving and sharing posts?
Link clicks – Are you driving helpful engagement to your website?
We also like to keep an eye on followers, but it doesn’t make our top three KPIs. That’s because a highly engaged, smaller audience is more valuable than a huge audience that doesn’t care.
Part V – Evolve your strategy
Launching an initial strategy is just the start. After, you need to assess which categories of posts and channels are driving the most engagement so you can effectively evolve what’s performing best and drop what isn’t.
After a few months, we recommend exploring whether a Community Partner Program makes sense. A Partner Program engages the most influential customers as brand advocates to demonstrate aspirational relatability.
Think of them as between real customers and influencers or athletes that you partner with. Consider how you can implement a Partner Program and get started with the team to recruit the longest-standing customers to join your social network.
With Fresh N’ Lean, we leverage Community Partners to demonstrate aspirational relatability. We connect with Partners weekly to give them updates on what’s next on social media, share new products with them, and rely on them to help with organic word of mouth when they tag us in their posts and Stories. This helps us prove the real people that love their brand are actually real, and not just concepts of target customers.
The above is a crash course in how we at 5&Vine help brands create a social media strategy. Given the number of platforms and expectations of brands when it comes to content creation, it covers a lot of ground but holds insight in assessing the competition, crafting a strategy, and altering it based on insight and performance.
Everything you do should work to create meaningful engagement. Nurturing conversations across social media, blogs and advocacy programs goes beyond likes and shares. It is about building community, driving loyalty and enabling authentic customer evangelism.