How to create a social media strategy, and what exactly is a social media strategy?
In this blog, I will walk you through the step by step process of how to create a social media strategy. This will apply whether you work as a freelance social media manager or as a social media manager for a bigger company.
I will also show you how you can use that social media strategy to generate some extra income.
So let’s dive in right in!
What is a social media strategy?
A social media strategy is a road map for clients where you show them how you help them achieve their goals through social media.
Your client needs to share with you their marketing goal. Once you know that, you will generate a roadmap for them to achieve that goal, including what platform they should be on and what content they should be posting.
If you are working as a social media manager for a freelance client, you’ll do that for them every month.
I personally don’t show the client the strategy on a nice PDF. I talk them through it on a call, and you can also do that after you have had the first initial discovery call and they have signed a contract with you.
If the client does not have the budget to work with you monthly, you can offer them a one-off social media strategy that is then sold to them in a PDF format followed by a strategy call or power hour call, where they can ask questions. The difference is they will need to implement the strategy on their own.
But for you, it’s beneficial because you can generate that extra income. And if you stay within one niche, then it won’t be as much work because once you’ve developed a strategy from one client, you don’t have to do the full blast research for all the new clients.
Don’t have a niche yet? Make sure that you watch my video about HOW TO FIND YOUR NICHE, where I walk you through how to do just that!
Find Out About Your Clients Goals
Creating a social media strategy for your niched clients is easy and straightforward after you have created the initial first strategy. Working with niched clients means the strategy will pretty much consistently be very similar.
The first thing you will need to do is find out what your client’s goals are. What do they want to achieve? I can tell you now that you will most likely hear things like “ we want to generate more followers”, or “ we want to grow more”, or “ we want to make more money”. Every business has these goals, so we want the client to be more specific. So if we take income, for example, we know they want to generate more income, but we need to discuss their exact numbers, how much more realistic income they want to make per month, and we work from there.
However, when we hear things like “I want more followers”, this is an instant red flag. Many businesses believe that the more followers they have, the more sales they will receive, but this isn’t true. If your client is an influencer, then yes, they are dependant on how many followers they have because that is how they will get noticed to be able to work with brands. As a business, it is essential to have quality followers over quantity followers. We can generate income in many ways, other than focusing on the number of followers, via a good engagement strategy and valuable, engaging, target audience-focused content.
It is important that when you have the initial call with your client to find out;
- What is their marketing goal?
- What are they currently doing?
- What are their struggles when it comes to social media?
- What has/hasn’t already worked?
It is essential to force the client to really think about what they are actually doing on their socials. Are they just putting out any type of content like throwing spaghetti at a wall and seeing if it sticks?
For example; if your client says they want more sales and they are selling a product for $49, they need to be super specific, and straight away you need to be asking;
- How many more sales do they want?
- How many units per month/year?
- How much more revenue do you want to come through your social media marketing?
- What is their budget for paid advertising or influencer marketing?
If your client’s primary goal is to start selling more products right away, then you would need to have them use paid advertising. Yes, we can do this organically, but paid ads will get them to their goal quicker if they have a timeframe.
These are all the things to consider for a product-based business, but if you are working with a service-based business, for example, a health coach, it differs slightly. Let’s say she wants to launch a new program; you should be asking;
- How many more sign-ups does she want to generate?
- What did she do in the past to generate sign-ups?
- What have you tried? 3What was successful and what was not?
- How big is her email list?
These are the questions you want to be asking before creating any strategy or content because it is crucial to know what’s happening in the back end.
It could be beneficial for your client to try something different, or maybe they just didn’t realise that it actually was going really well and they should put more money behind it, for example, when they used Facebook and Instagram ads for the first time, lots of people feel like they’ve put in cash, they got some sales back, but it wasn’t enough. That could be because they didn’t put in enough money in the first place. So these are all things that you want to look at and talking about Facebook and Instagram ads, they can give you analytics access to their Facebook Business Manager so that you can go into their backhands and
check out what they’ve already been doing and what has worked and what hasn’t worked. I recently just did this as a workshop for a company. You can watch it here in my vlog, A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER.
I went into their Facebook Business Manager and looked at what has been performing well and what hasn’t been performing well. It turned out that;
- They didn’t understand their numbers.
- They had no idea what their KPIs were.
- What is a good click-through rate.
- What is a good conversion rate.
If you don’t know what numbers you should be achieving, then your marketing will not go in any direction if you don’t even know what the direction is.
What is their client avatar?
A considerable part of creating a strategy for your client is for you and them to know their client avatar. For bigger companies, I just ask them to link their client avatar document because a bigger, more established company usually has that already written out. This is a second red flag if someone does not have a client avatar. If they don’t know who they’re selling to or talking to, how can they expect you to create content? It will then be essential to get on a call and figure it out together.
A client avatar again means being super specific, not just targeted gender or age. They need to know the information about their ideal client like;
- Where do they shop?
- What keeps them up at night?
- What books do they read?
- Level of education?
They need to have very in-depth research about their clients in order for you to create great content for them.
You will also do your own research, but it helps that you can already check out their document and see how far they are. One thing that happened to me in the past that I really want you to watch out for is asking your client what their follow up process is. Once you have generated leads for them, whether you do paid advertising or organic marketing, you will create more engagement, and you will get more followers to them. But then what? Once you create that initial marketing and more eyeballs are on your client’s products and services, what are they going to do?
Let’s say you run ads for them, and you get the people on their email list. What’s the follow-up process for them? Do they have a nurture email sequence in place once they come to a Facebook group? Do they have a follow-up process there to really capture leads?
And if they don’t have that, you can make your best effort, but you won’t turn a follower into a client. And that’s usually their goal.
When you have your client questionnaire back and see what information you have to work with, you’re going to do your own research. Now you can see where you need to put in the work.
Here are two amazing websites I personally use to conduct my research:
With these two sites, you can do free research. You can enter a keyword, and then it will give you more information about a keyword, or you can also enter competitor websites in there. Doing that research will provide you with an even bigger picture of their client’s avatar. You also want to do competitor research. You want to check out their biggest competitor and see what they are doing. Always ask in your questionnaire for them to name three of their biggest competitors. You will then check them out, research what they’re doing, and check out their paid ads; what kind of Facebook and Instagram ads are they running, and how long are they running them? If they’re running for a long time, usually, they are performing pretty well. So can you adopt anything from that? These are the first few initial steps. There’s a lot of behind the scene work, as you can see before the very first post goes out.
Creating Social Media Content
Now that you know everything about your client and about your client’s client. You can now start to think about creating content. But before you do that, you want to think about the platforms they should be on. Should they be on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok, or any other of the many options? You want to look at their client’s avatar and think of where would they hang out? So if it’s a 65-year-old man who shops locally, he might not be the right one to reach on TikTok.
You want to look at the client’s behaviours. You want to look at the demographic. You want to also look at the competitors. Often, my clients come to me and say, “I want to be on these four platforms”, and I’ll do the research and realise that they should only be on these three platforms. That’s the main part of the strategy.
Now, You want to have a general overview and what kind of content you will create. This is more like a starting path, after one or two months, you’re going to look at the data and see what actually performed really well, and you are going to continue doing this, or stop what is not performing well, for example, posting quotes for one client might get a lot of re-shares and saves and generally more reach but then you’ll try it with another client, and it doesn’t work even if they are in the completely same niche. Some people just don’t resonate with it. But that’s OK; then you would try a different strategy. But you’re creating an overall strategy.
With Facebook or Instagram ads, you can make these decisions much faster because you have much more data.
Need more help with creating content for your clients? Then check out my Content Creation Mini Course and Template Kit!
Implementing the Strategy
After all of the above steps, you will then implement the strategy and create the content; for example, it could look like;
- Posting three times per week on Instagram and
- One video on Facebook per week.
- One Instagram live per week.,
- Three times on stories per week
- Posting 5 times a day on TikTok
This is the overall strategy; this is how you will get from A to B, and the road map in between is THE strategy. Suppose something in between becomes a dead-end/ not performing well and affects the end result/data. In that case, that’s ok because you will then have the overall idea of what is working, and you can analyse, review and change it accordingly.
Selling Your Strategy
Some businesses may not have the budget to be able to work with you on a monthly budget yet! SO you can go ahead and present your strategy in a nice CANVA presentation/PDF that a business can look over and implement themselves, and you can sell those separately.
You will find after a while; most clients will attempt to implement your strategy, find out how much work goes into it and end up outsourcing it to you anyway at a later date.