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Most businesses new to social media marketing make one of two critical mistakes. They either give up on it too early because they don’t see immediate results or else they keep wasting resources on it even though it’s not producing results because they just know they’re supposed to do social media marketing. Both of these mistakes stem from the same problem: not having a social media marketing strategy. If this sounds a lot like your business’s experience with social media marketing, follow these five steps to create a social media marketing strategy that will take your social campaign to the next level.

Know where you stand

Before you start putting together a social media marketing strategy, you need to take stock of the current state of your social media marketing efforts. Which platforms are you already using? Which platforms seem to be producing the best results? Where are your efforts falling short? How do you measure up to your competition?

Know where you want to get to

In connection with the first step, you now have to decide on where you’re trying to get. Start with big picture goals. What do you hope to gain from your social marketing strategy? What’s the primary objective? From there you can get more narrow. Which platforms do you need to get into or which ones do you need to improve. Which specific, smaller objectives do you need to achieve to help you get closer to achieving those bigger picture goals?

Create a social media mission statement

Once you have a good understanding of where you are and where you hope to get, you’re ready to create a social media mission statement. Think of this as your guiding star throughout the process of creating and implementing your social media strategy. Your mission statement should be unique to your brand. Think beyond the obvious. Of course you want to increase profitability, but so does everyone else. You need to identify the overarching theme or brand-specific message that sets you apart from everyone else and put that into an easy-to-remember declaration. Lastly, you need to make sure every employee that will have anything to do with the social media marketing side of things has it committed to memory. You never want to deviate from your brand’s social media mission statement.

Integrate your social media strategy into your broader marketing strategy

Though social media is of course a separate and distinct channels from the rest and you’ll certainly be doing different things with it that you will be doing with others, your social media strategy still needs to fit into your larger marketing strategy. At the very least, you should be using social media to bolster other channels and vice versa. For example, you can use your social media platforms to promote content you’ve published on your company’s blog or YouTube channel. You can use SMS and email to encourage loyal customers to follow you on your various social media pages. When text message marketing, content marketing, and social media marketing are working in tandem, you’re going to get the best results.

Obtain and act on good data

Your social media strategy is never finished. If you want it to keep working for you, you’ll have to constantly make adjustments. In order to do that, you’ll need to invest in tools that get you the metrics you need to base your decision making on.

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