6 Things You Need to Know to Build a Successful Social Media Strategy

Social media is no longer just a place where people share photos and catch up with friends. With time, it has become a popular platform among brands to increase engagement and provide better experiences to their target audiences. They also use it to increase brand awareness and grow.

The number of social media users has grown to 3.48 billion worldwide in 2019. Social media marketing is, therefore, important because your target audience is highly likely to be on social media. 

However, too many businesses get into social media marketing without any strategy. They simply hand over their social accounts to junior staff members to manage.

But this doesn’t really allow you to reach your true potential. Without a social media marketing strategy, your brand cannot leverage its full benefits. Some of these benefits include increased exposure, increased traffic, and improved sales.

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6 Things You Need for a Successful Social Media Strategy

Social media marketing can be overwhelming. It’s hard to get the first 100 potential customers to like your page. With time, it becomes impossible to keep up. You must post content regularly, respond to comments, and engage your audience.

With a strategy, your efforts lead to great customer experiences and increased conversions. Customers who have good experiences with a brand recommend it to friends on social media. 21% of consumers are also likely to buy from brands that are active on social media.

1. Goals

Why are you on social media? Is it to drive conversions, increase traffic, or create brand awareness? Are you trying to get endorsements, press, or links? Do you want to increase sales or attract potential investors?

Having goals gives your social media strategy purpose. 

Think about what you want to accomplish and ensure that the goals are SMART:


  • Specific: Your goals need to be focused so you can identify a tangible outcome.
  • Measurable: Define success to evaluate progress and achievement.
  • Attainable: Have challenging goals that are reasonable to achieve.
  • Relevant: Your goal should be worthwhile and aligned with your business values. It should also be a priority.
  • Time-Bound: Define a target deadline. It will motivate you to focus and have the discipline necessary to achieve the goal.


A strong goal has a time frame and number. For example, you may want your shoe store to increase online sales by 30% in December. Or a financial consultant may use social media to drive 80 new leads in two weeks by promoting their webinar.

Define one or two goals you want to achieve using your social efforts. Social media marketing goals should complement your overall business goals.

2.    A Target Audience

To succeed, be on the same social platforms your audience and influencers frequent. If you intend to partner with social media influencers, ensure they are on these social platforms. They should also have an audience that matches your target audience. 

Facebook may be the top-ranking social media site, but you cannot assume that your target audience is on it. If you are targeting teens, you may want to use Snapchat and Instagram instead.

To understand what channels your audience frequents, you need to define your target audience personas. 

Who is your ideal customer? How and where do they spend their time online?

Based on your product or service, research your audience profiles and demographics. 

Your social media marketing efforts should target three types of followers:

  • The Loyal Follower: A customer already engaging with you on social media platforms. You will want to retain them so that they can increase engagement and purchase.
  • The Existing Customer: A customer who has purchased before but is not a regular customer. They will probably also not be following your brand on social platforms. Use social media to nurture them, increase engagement, and increase conversions.
  • The Potential Customer: Someone who has never purchased from you nor visited your website. Your social media efforts will create awareness and get them to convert.

Audit your current social media profiles and determine which ones to focus on. 

Choosing a channel will depend on:

  • Your audience and whether they use the channel. You can add channels you are not currently using so long as your audience is on them. Ensure you have large followings on these sites and that you drive engagement on them.
  • Time available to invest in the channel. If you take on too many channels you can’t handle, it may have a negative effect on your campaign.
  • The channel’s ability to help you achieve your goals. Will the efforts you put in positively impact your business?

3.    Your Competitors

It’s important to know how they are conducting their social media marketing. Find out what channels they are using. What are their focus keywords and phrases? Who is their target audience?

Find out their strengths and weaknesses. For example, after research, you find that your target audience frequents Facebook. However, your competitor's presence on that channel is weak. Then dedicate more of your resources to improve your marketing efforts on Facebook.

Use the right social media marketing tools with brand listening capabilities to spy on your competitors. Find out which of their posts is doing well and on what channels. Use those insights to create and share better content on those networks.

4.    Create Relevant and Engaging Content

Now you know who your ideal customer is. You also know what channels they frequent. It's now time to write compelling, engaging, and relevant content. With the right content, you can use social media to stand out from your competitors and increase conversions.

There are different forms of content you can use. These include blog posts, ebooks, infographics, images, interviews, and videos. However, you need to choose the types of content that align with your goals and resonate with your audience.

Avoid too much promotional material. Instead, focus on being social. Balance the content you share with informative and entertaining pieces. Your research will also give you an idea of which types of content resonates with your target audience.

  • What post formats receive the most shares? Are they lists or infographics? Social Media Examiner found that visual images are the most common form of content on social media at 80%.
  • Do readers like long-form or short-form content?
  • How do images and videos influence engagement? 59% of marketers say video converts better than other content forms.
  • When is the best day to publish? For example, the best time to post on Facebook globally is Wednesday from 11 am to 1 pm. However, the time and day will depend on your brand.
  • What effect does influencer marketing have on your brand?

5. Leverage Social Media Influencers

Most businesses publish great content, but only share it with their own followers. You may be missing opportunities to reach out to prospective customers who aren’t already following you. 

Influencer marketing is a great way to amplify your content creation and distribution efforts and reach a larger audience. Influencers can help you engage new and current audiences with content that drives a higher ROI.

However, successful influencer marketing requires that you find the right influencer. It requires determining genuine from fake influencers, which is the number one concern for most marketers.

While evaluating influencer, ask yourself:

  1. Does the influencer have content that aligns with your messaging?
  2. Are their readers engaged? Do they comment, share, like, and respond to the influencer’s posts?
  3. How often do they post? What’s their traffic rate?
  4. Is their content authentic? Is it relatable to their audience?

A thorough background check can help you narrow down on the ideal influencer - a task that will take a lot of time and effort if done manually. You could, instead, use influencer discovery tools to achieve the same.

6. Track, Analyze, and Optimize

You now have a social media presence but are your marketing efforts successful?

Relevant social metrics relate to the goals you’ve set above. Are the chosen social media platforms helping you reach your goals? For example, post reach is relevant if your goal is to raise brand awareness. The analytics data will show how far your content spreads across platforms.

Optimize your efforts by tracking results and analyzing data. Re-evaluate every step and make necessary changes. The data should guide you into which channel or content is most effective.

A successful social media strategy requires constant analysis. The insights ensure you always have a bird’s eye view of your marketing efforts.


A successful social media strategy will put your brand in front of the right audience. However, before that, you need to determine who your audience is. You also need to know the channels they prefer and the right content.

Step back from your current social media marketing efforts and look at the big picture. A good strategy will ensure that you are not just posting content for the sake of it. It will help you achieve your business goals and realize growth.