How-to Guide

How to Build a Social Media Marketing Strategy in 5 Easy Steps

How to Build a Social Media Marketing Strategy in 5 Easy Steps
If you don't know where you're going, how do you know when you get there?
Jay Conrad Levinson

Success in social media marketing can’t be achieved by merely setting up a profile and posting content. By following these five easy steps to building a social media marketing strategy, you’ll increase your chance of meeting and exceeding your marketing, customer service, and business goals.


1. Set Achievable Goals

Just like every great plan, setting yourself up for success means being clear on what you want to achieve and how you will achieve it. Says guerrilla marketing expert Jay Conrad Levinson, “If you don't know where you're going, how do you know when you get there?”1 Here are three tips as you set your goals for your social media marketing strategy:

  • Social media marketing goals should fit into and support your overall business goals.2
  • Social Media Examiner recommends focusing on two primary goals and two secondary goals.3 Sample goals include raising awareness, driving traffic to your website, improving retention, and increasing total conversions.4
  • Align your goals with your customers' objectives. While you may be looking for more people to recognize your brand, product or service, what solution are your customers looking for?

Take a step back and listen before taking part in any offline or online conversation. #SocialResponse

2. Listen and Learn

At a party, you see a group of people across the room in a heated discussion. Do you immediately walk over, interrupt, and start talking about another topic entirely? Don’t be “that” brand. Bank of America did the online equivalent by failing to understand that customer service is about more than just the response. An activist from the Occupy Movement tagged Bank of America on Twitter in a complaint. His issue was not so much with the bank itself, but about the NYPD’s treatment of him when he happened to be on Bank of America’s property. A Bank of America customer support agent—not a robot—technically responded, but by no means did they address the user’s particular concern. This mistake was unfortunately repeated like a broken record as the agent addressed multiple users with the same canned response.

Take a step back and listen before taking part in any conversation. Monitor and prioritize conversations that mention your brand, products, or services.5 Pay close attention to the types of discussions and the language used on each platform. Then respond authentically, not in corporate speak, addressing customer concerns with personalized responses.

It takes a human touch to read each comment and understand each user’s concerns, but it also requires a social listening system that enables customer service to process each individual comment in a streamlined fashion.


3. Pick Your Platforms

The value in social media is in conversation, not in broadcasting.6 Each platform audience is unique, so don’t pick multiple platforms thinking you’ll save time by just cross-posting the same message across social. Instead prioritize platforms based on who your audience is, where they are, and what they want. Learn how to choose the right social media platform to get the most out of your time, resources, and marketing budget.


4. Create a Social Media Content Plan

Your social media marketing is only as good as your content.7 Check out these five steps to developing a social media content plan that engages your customers and keeps them coming back for more.


5. Measure and Adjust

Mapping out how you’ll measure success is the final step in any marketing plan. Forget follower counts and look for metrics that foster long-term engagement. Here are three that will help determine if your efforts are delivering results:

  • Determine your share of voice by paying attention to how often your company, products, and services are mentioned in comparison to those of your competition.
  • Analyze sentiment by distilling the emotions behind your consumers’ social media behaviors.8 If you have a significant volume of posts, choose a social media management tool that includes this feature.
  • By tracking amplification rate (meaning anytime one of your posts is shared, re-pinned, or re-tweeted), you’ll see how well your content is performing on each specific network so you can adjust your content accordingly.

Learn how to use digital strategies to drive real business results from today’s top brands when you download 13 Success Stories of Top Brands Raising Their Game with Social.


1 Entrepreneur - "This Is How You Come Up With Marketing Goals"

2 Entrepreneur - "This Is How You Come Up With Marketing Goals"

3 Social Media Examiner - "8 Essential Elements of a Social Media Marketing Strategy"

4 Social Media Examiner - "4 Social Media Goals Every Business Should Measure"

5 Social Media Examiner - "How to Build a Successful Social Media Marketing Plan"

6 Lithium - "How to Create a Social Media Content Plan that Engages Your Customers"

7 Lithium - "How to Create a Social Media Content Plan that Engages Your Customers"

8 The Balance - "What Is Sentiment Analysis?"

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