9 steps to creating a successful social media strategy

16/Sep/2016 · 3 MINS READ

Do you feel as if you’re not using social media effectively? Are you worried you’re not focusing on the right channels or posting the wrong type of content?

While social media is one of the most powerful online marketing tools available to brands, many get sidetracked and lose sight of their wider business goals.

This post will show you how to plan and execute a successful social media strategy from scratch and boost your productivity.

# 1. Choose your social media channels wisely

How do you know which social media channels are right for you? It’s easy: you need to be where your customers are. This will vary depending on the age, location and interests of your target market. Resist the urge to create an account on every single social media channel – less can be more, especially if you’re just starting out.

Depending on your product offering, you could even branch out to lesser-known social media networks catering to specific user interests, such as Houzz, a niche social platform where users share architecture and design ideas.

Growing your presence on these online communities can generate some serious results for your business. For instance, Polyvore has a higher average order value of $500 – more than all social media networks combined!

#2. Set goals for each channel

Once you’ve picked the right social media channels, you’ll need to establish specific goals which will vary for each one of them.

Common social media goals include:

  • Generating brand awareness
  • Developing relationships with influencers, bloggers and press
  • Offering excellent customer support
  • Driving traffic to your website
  • Increasing e-mail subscribers
  • Driving conversions
  • Increasing time spent on site
  • Changing brand perception


Don’t worry if your goals overlap.  As long as they’re achievable, measurable and stay true to the nature of the platform.

#3. Determine what you want your customers to Think, Feel and Do

Creating social media posts that resonate with your audience can be challenging. In order to maximise engagement, you’ll need to have a clear intention in terms of the emotions you are trying to cultivate in your audience.

Before creating content, always ask yourself: what do I want people to think, feel and do?

Break this down by platform, as people respond differently to content depending on which channel they’re on.

#4. Establish themes and content pillars

Establishing themes and content pillars helps you think strategically about your content and allows you to generate ideas more efficiently.

Common social media goals include:

  • Behind the scenes images
  • New product updates
  • User generated content
  • Blog posts
  • Videos
  • Inspirational quotes
  • Press coverage
  • Blogger reviews
  • Education tips & tricks
  • Sales promotions
  • Competitions


When deciding what content to use for a specific channel, always refer to your goals and the THINK/FEEL/DO model to guide you.

#5. Establish social media brand guidelines and rules

The key to a successful social media presence is consistency. This not only applies to the frequency of your posts (more on that later) but also to your content. To stay on track, set your own rules and guidelines and stick to them.

For example:

  • Will you include your logo on all your Facebook posts?
  • Are you going to add a branded hashtag to every Instagram update?
  • Will emojis resonate with your target market, or should you avoid them?
  • Which filter are you going to use on Instagram, if any?
  • How are you going to talk to your audience? Will you use slang, or keep it very formal?
  • How many times a day/week will you post?

#6. Make the most out of your bio/about me sections

Potential customers will almost always read your About Me/Bio section to decide whether to follow you. Lure them in by communicating what added benefit or bonus they’ll get by following your brand on social media. This could be a one-off coupon code, promotion, or a promise to share tips or videos.

 #7. Schedule your content ahead of time

Automating your social media updates ensures you’re posting consistently and at the right times.

There are many scheduling tools on the market to choose from. Great Buffer or Hootsuite for Instagram (your post won’t automatically get published on Instagram, but you’ll receive a push notification to remind you). Both have free versions you can try. When it comes to Facebook, we suggest you use the native tool scheduling tool on the platform.

#8. Implement paid social media advertising

Unfortunately, an organic social media strategy alone is only going to get you so far when it comes to growing your audience and getting engagement on your posts.

Paid social advertising isn’t just reserved for brands with big marketing budgets. Small businesses can achieve great results, with sometimes as little as $1 a day.

#9. Analyse and optimise

Last, but definitely not least: analysing and optimising. The truth is that your social media strategy is never going to be perfect. You’ll have to test, experiment and amend your strategy as you go depending on your unique brand and category.

Put together weekly reports to track your progress. Make these as simple as possible, only measuring the metrics that are relevant to your goals, such as engagement rate, website traffic and conversions.

Final Thoughts

Putting together a successful social media strategy will take time and effort, but you’ll reap the benefits of your hard work once you get it right. Have fun experimenting with your content and strategy: the social media landscape is constantly evolving, so don’t be afraid to try new things and have fun.