3 things you need before starting a social media marketing strategy

Most clients that come to us for social media marketing strategy already have established brands and social media presences, in which case our role is to help them improve their overall strategy and/or to help take the burden of content creation and day-to-day management of the platforms off their over-stretched hands.

In some cases, we get to be on the ground floor as they launch new social media profiles. You’d think it’d be just as easy as setting up a profile, slapping a cover and profile image up and writing your first status update, but it’s not! There’s a lot of thought and planning that goes into setting your brand page up for success. Here are a few key things you need before launching:

A goal

Starting a page from scratch affords you the luxury of really thinking through what you want to get out of social media. Is it building a community of engaged followers? Is it sales? Is it a customer support mechanism? Is it recruitment? The kinds of content you create and the target persona you’ll write to across the various social media platforms will depend on what your goal is. This is especially true when you consider that your goals and audiences can vary by platform. It’s important to take a moment to consider who you’re talking to, and what you want your audience to do or take away from your page.

Set up your back-end connections

If you’re planning on running social ad campaigns and want to be able to analyze your campaign data effectively, you’ll need to set up your ad accounts on each platform and connect them to your website and Google Analytics. LinkedIn and Twitter accounts are easy and intuitive to set up, but Meta’s Business Suite for Facebook and Instagram can be cumbersome. For Meta, not only will you need to set up an account for the brand page, but you’ll also need to set up a Meta Business Suite account. If you are having an agency partner manage the page and ad accounts, you’ll then want to add them as admins for both through Meta Business Suite.

It doesn’t end there. Once your ad accounts are all set up, you’ll want to make sure to install the conversion pixels on your website for each platform. You’ll likely need help from your web developer to install the pixels within your site’s code. Twitter, LinkedIn and Meta all have their own conversion pixels they use to track conversions from ads to your website. Google Tag manager is another resource that may help you keep all those tags and pixels straight.

Once you start running campaigns, you’ll want to set up UTM tracking URLs through Google to track your campaign’s success. While the platforms will be able to tell you how many clicks you got to your site, and any conversions, Google Analytics will take it a step further and tell you more about how much time a user spent on your site, whether they visited other pages and other valuable information.

A strong content game plan

This is arguably the most important thing you’ll want to have in place before launching your page. Having a content editorial calendar, a plan to gather and create that content, as well as clear roles among your team on who’s doing what, will make publishing engaging and relevant content that much easier to execute.

If you have a goal (and you should!), that is what should drive your editorial content. Think back to what you wanted to get out of social media and what KPIs are related to that goal. If it’s engagement and community building, are you posting content that gets people talking in the comments and sharing with their friends? If it’s sales, are you taking excellent product photos, sharing demos or try-ons? If it’s recruitment, are you sharing about the wonderful culture at your brand, and all of the exciting opportunities and benefits you have to offer?

Having a bank of posts in your back pocket before you launch your page will help set you up for success so you’re not rushing to post new content day-of. If you need help figuring out how to get the content creation process going, try these tips.

Having these elements in place before you go to launch your brand-new pages will ensure your social media strategy is set up for success. Thinking about your goal and making sure that it’s aligned with your audience and your content will make publishing content that much easier once you’re ready to go. And making sure all of your platforms are connected on the back end will help you measure and report your success back to your team.

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Paulyn Ocampo

Since joining THP in 2008, Paulyn has helped execute strategic plans for clients like AMF Bowling Centers, Allianz, Tridium, Silgan and The Peterson Companies. A Norfolk native, she earned her undergraduate degree in mass communications, with a concentration in public relations from VCU.

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