Crafting a Purpose‑Driven Social Media Strategy for a Direct and Measurable ROI
Is your business truly reaping the benefits of its social media endeavors? If you find it difficult to determine, you’re not alone. According to the 2022 Sprout Social report, demonstrating social media return on investment (ROI) ranked as the second most significant challenge for social media teams. This challenge is often rooted in an inadequate social media strategy.
A social media strategy is a document that outlines your social media objectives, the methods you’ll employ to attain them, and the metrics you’ll use to gauge your progress. Your social media marketing strategy should also encompass a comprehensive list of your current and planned social media profiles, each accompanied by platform-specific goals that align with your broader digital marketing strategy.
Moreover, it’s important to understand that not every activity on social media directly generates revenue. Nonetheless, businesses must consider the time and resources they allocate to their social media efforts. Hence why having a social media strategy that directly correlates to a measurable ROI is important.
Your Step‑by‑Step Social Media Strategy
Below are 9 steps to follow when crafting a purpose-driven social media strategy.
Step 1: Setting Goals
Setting the foundation for your social media strategy begins with setting clear and purposeful goals. By employing the SMART framework (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound), your objectives will become a guiding light, ensuring that every action aligns with your overarching business objectives. These goals go beyond lofty ideals, enabling you to measure your success and return on investment.
Monitoring Meaningful Metrics
While it’s simple to keep tabs on vanity metrics like follower counts and likes, their actual impact is often difficult to substantiate. Instead, it’s more valuable to focus on metrics such as engagement, click-through rates, and conversions.
It’s also important to consider tracking various objectives for different social media platforms or even different applications within each platform. For instance, if your goal on LinkedIn is to drive website traffic, you’ll measure click-through rates. On Instagram, where you aim for brand recognition, tracking the number of views on your Stories may be more relevant.
Meanwhile, when advertising on Facebook, you might gauge success through cost-per-click (CPC).
It’s vital that your social media objectives align with your broader marketing goals. This alignment simplifies demonstrating the value of your efforts and gaining support from your superiors.
Step 2: Understanding Your Audience
Success in social media hinges on your ability to intimately understand and resonate with your target audience. Creating audience personas that delve into demographics, motivations, objections, and emotional needs is pivotal. These personas are the key to crafting content that resonates with your audience, evoking likes, comments, and shares. The knowledge gained from your audience personas is also instrumental in turning your social media followers into loyal customers for your business.
Social media analysis offers a wealth of insights about your followers, including their demographics, location, and engagement with your brand on social platforms. This valuable data empowers you to fine-tune your strategy and more effectively connect with your target audience.
For instance, Jugnoo, an Indian auto-rickshaw service similar to Uber, harnessed Facebook Analytics to discover that 90% of their customers who referred others fell between the ages of 18 and 34, with 65% of them using Android devices. Leveraging this information, they optimized their advertising efforts, resulting in a significant 40% reduction in the cost per referral.
Step 3: Analyzing the Competition
Your competitors, in all likelihood, are already navigating the social media landscape. Therefore, a competitive analysis is a crucial step. By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors, you gain insights into what’s expected in your industry. This knowledge will help you set your own social media targets and identify areas where you can excel.
Moreover, continuous social listening allows you to keep a close eye on how your competitors are adapting their strategies over time. Conduct searches on social media platforms using your competitors’ company name, account usernames, and relevant keywords. Explore their shared content and take note of discussions surrounding them. If they employ influencer marketing, assess the level of engagement generated by those campaigns.
Step 4: Performing a Social Media Audit
An audit of your existing social media efforts is necessary to determine what’s working and what isn’t. You’ll want to assess if each social account serves a purpose that aligns with your goals. By the end of this step, you’ll have a clear picture of the role each social account plays in your overall strategy.
To help you decide, ask yourself specific questions.
- Is my target audience present on this platform?
- If they are, how do they typically engage with it?
- Can this account be leveraged to meet my specific objectives?
By addressing these questions, you ensure your social media strategy remains sharp and effective.
Step 5: Setting Up and Optimizing Profiles
Selecting the right social networks for your business is essential. Moreover, each network requires a tailored strategy. For instance, you might use Twitter for customer service, Facebook for customer acquisition, and Instagram for engaging existing customers. Creating mission statements for each network ensures you maintain a specific goal for every account, making your strategy more focused.
After determining the networks to prioritize, it’s time to establish your profiles or enhance existing ones to match your strategy.
- Completing all profile fields thoroughly
- Incorporating keywords that potential searchers might use to find your business
- Maintaining consistent branding, including logos and images, across all platforms for instant recognition
Step 6: Finding Inspiration
While your brand should be distinctive, it doesn’t hurt to draw inspiration from businesses that excel on social media. Success stories from social networks and award-winning campaigns provide valuable insights that can be applied to your unique goals and each social network.
Consider Shopify, the e-commerce brand, which leverages Facebook to promote itself through the presentation of customer stories and case studies.
Likewise, Lush Cosmetics shines as a prime example of top-tier customer service on Twitter. They employ their 280-character limit to address inquiries and resolve issues in a charming and on-brand manner.
Notably, both these accounts maintain a uniform voice, tone, and style, a pivotal element in setting clear expectations for your followers. This consistency conveys the reasons for people to follow you and what they can gain from doing so.
Additionally, upholding this consistency is invaluable in preserving your brand’s identity, even when multiple team members manage your social media presence.
Step 7: Creating a Content Calendar
Consistency is key in social media. A well-structured content calendar is your secret weapon for planning when and how you’ll share content. By mapping out your content schedule, you can ensure that your posts are evenly spaced, published at the optimal times, and serve your specific business goals.
Establish the Ideal Content Mix
Ensure that your content strategy and schedule align with the mission statement you’ve designated for each social profile. This way, every post serves your business objectives effectively.
For instance, you may determine that
- 50% of your content will guide traffic to your website
- 25% of your content will be sourced from other reputable creators
- 20% of your content will contribute to lead generation objectives, such as newsletter sign-ups or eBook downloads
- 5% of your content will shed light on your company culture
Incorporating these varied post types into your content calendar ensures that you maintain the right balance.
If you’re just starting out and are uncertain about the types of content to post, consider following the 80-20 rule.
- 80% of your posts should inform, educate, or entertain your audience
- 20% can directly promote your brand
Step 8: Create Engaging Content
In this step, you’ll delve deeper into the mission statements you previously established for each social network. This means providing concrete examples of the type of content you’ll be posting on each platform to fulfill those missions. To help you get started, a comprehensive list of social media content ideas is offered. The goal is to ensure that your content remains in line with the specific purpose of each network and to communicate to others what they can expect to see on each platform.
Additionally, this approach helps prevent misunderstandings and ensures content is on-brand, even when dealing with colleagues who might have their own ideas. Remember that content creation can be a challenging task, but by focusing on value, variety, and storytelling, you can overcome creative hurdles and produce engaging and effective content.
Step 9: Testing, Evaluating, and Adjusting
The final step in your social media strategy is acknowledging that it is a living, evolving document. You can’t assume that your strategy will be perfect from the outset. You need to track your results, reevaluate your approach regularly, and adapt to changing circumstances. Surveys can be valuable for gaining feedback from your audience, and analytics tools within social networks can provide insights into what’s working and what isn’t. By consistently testing and refining your strategy, you ensure that your social media efforts remain dynamic and aligned with your goals.
Why Social Media ROI Matters
To the skeptics, social media often seems like a significant time investment with minimal returns. Businesses can devote countless hours to their social media efforts, only to see modest results, typically limited to superficial metrics.
On the other hand, numerous brands are excelling in both paid and organic social media campaigns. In today’s business landscape, having a social media presence is essential for enhancing brand visibility and reaching new audiences. In fact, many brands now use social media as a customer service channel.
This is why effectively measuring your social media return on investment (ROI) is crucial. It helps you account for the time and resources you invest in social media, providing valuable insights that can inform your campaigns and lead to increased engagement.
If you aim to maximize the value of your social media endeavors, you must clearly define your objectives. With that foundation, let’s dive into the process of determining your social ROI.
How to Calculate Social Media ROI
Calculating your social media ROI involves gathering data and aligning it with your goals. You’ll examine various social media ROI metrics, including impressions, engagement, and link clicks, and compare these metrics to the cost of running your campaign to determine your ROI.
While this process can be time-consuming and intricate, there are ROI calculator tools available to simplify the measurement of your social media ROI. These tools enable you to assess your ROI in terms of factors like brand awareness, lead generation, and recruitment.
Things in the world of social media are always changing. New social platforms pop up, while others evolve with shifts in their user base. Your business will also experience shifts and changes over time.
So, your social media marketing strategy should be like a flexible, ever-evolving guide. Keep it handy for guidance, but feel free to update it to align with your new objectives, the latest tools, or your evolving plans. With the knowledge from this magazine, you’re on your way to take your social media efforts to the next level and watch your ROI grow.