Planning on winning at social media this year? Good.
To get you started, we’ve created a basic list of 20 absolute essential to-dos for your 2018/2019 Social Media Strategy.
- Identify your Goals. What do you want to do? Raise awareness for your brand? Collect Leads? Sell more kofta burgers? When you know where you’re going, you’ll know what to carry for the journey.
- Map your social media goals to your business objectives. If your business objective is to expand in Morocco next year, then make sure your content works towards that goal.
- Create a social media calendar. Sketch out a yearly calendar tied to the above goals and then a more detailed monthly or quarterly calendar. Always plan ahead. We hacked Hubspot’s Social Media Content Calendar and optimized it for UAE brands – download it here!
- Set SMART goals – make your Goals in Step 1 be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound. Don’t “increase social media following” or “grow it 400%”, rather “grow your social media following by 25% by the end of the year”. Use our Template to set SMART Marketing and Social Media Goals!
- Decide what social media platforms make most sense to your business. If you’re design-heavy, you’ll want to pay attention to Instagram. If you’re B2B, you won’t want to miss out on opportunities on LinkedIn. Survey your customers and/or target demographic to know what social media platform they’re on, and then engage them where they’re most likely to be found.
- Figure out the specific tactics that will work for the specific social platform. Facebook to show the human-side of your business and to share more lengthy content. For Twitter, you’ll want to create a hashtag repository. For LinkedIn, authentic participation in an industry group is key to building presence.
- Stay local. Your content needs to resonate with your local audience. This means everything from using local cultural codes, the local language (Arabic and English in the UAE), to discussing local developments and local trends. Stay local and you’ll go far. Subscribe to our blog in the left-hand column to stay local and up to date!
- Data is king. “Data reveals impact, and with data, you can bring more science to your decisions,” says Matt Trifiro, former CMO at Heroku. Native sources for analytics data are Twitter and LinkedIn Analytics and Facebook and Instagram Insights. But pay attention to qualitative as much as quantitative. Create a monthly analytics report that your team will want to read.
- Use analytics to measure traction. And then optimise. What message is bringing the most engagement or converting the most leads? Look at those messages’ word count, calls to action, content, and whether the tone is humorous, valuable, surprising or something else. Does it have video, some other visual, an infographic or a download? At what time in the day was it posted? Identify what’s working and then do more of the same.
- Use analytics to set your Key Performance Indicators to ensure you’re on track to achieving your SMART goals.
- What’s your ROI? What’s giving you the most bang for your buck? There are quite a few Return on Investment formulas out there, but those that will matter to you will be very specific to your business. Source the numbers for your ROI calculations from Analytics. Download Kissmetrics’ guide to calculate lifetime value of your customer and thereby to determine your ROI.
- Follow the leaders. See what others in your industry and/or in your region – Dubai / UAE / Gulf / MENA – are doing on social media and follow the good examples. To monitor competitors, you can use third-party apps like Spredfast and Hootsuite or Facebook’s ‘Pages to Watch’ and Twitter’s ‘TweetDeck’.
- Be social. This one’s a no-brainer, but nevertheless important to remember – social media is not mainly a self-advertising platform. To win at social, you need to engage with the community by responding to follower queries, providing advice (and listening to advice) and having authentic conversations with community members and other Pages you follow. Put together a plan for ‘social listening’ to know what people are talking about and jump into conversations that are relevant to your brand.
- Plan for fires. Determine the severity of a PR crisis (a negative product/guest review is not the same as a major accident on your property) to determine the right response. Remember to respond quickly, pause social media automation, stay on brand-voice and be clear and consistent in your messaging across all channels.
- Make new friends. LinkedIn has a few features to add new followers, such as importing email contacts and finding alumni of your alma mater. For Twitter, you can retweet and use mentions. With Facebook, run a page promotion, have admins personally invite friends, and launch sweepstakes contests to get more followers on board.
- Test, Evaluate and Amend. Have a plan in place to regularly evaluate your posts, your following, engagement rates, lead conversions and ads. Share with the relevant stakeholders and then make the necessary amendments for the following period.
- Influencer Marketing a.k.a. Working that ‘Wasta’. The sway of influencer marketing has not waned (34% trust influencers in the ME) and in 2018 you’ll want to continue engaging with influencers relevant to your industry. Buzzsumo, Spredfast and Followerwonk all have influencer monitoring tools to help you identify and engage with those that can amplify your brand’s message.
- Create a Group relevant to your industry or actively contribute to one. In Hootsuite’s Social Media Trends for 2018, they report that Groups are a big priority for Facebook this year. Setup a group to boost organic engagement, study customers and build advocacy.
- Video, video, video. Once more, video has killed the radio star. Invest in video production, video ads, and think of how your brand can become its own mini-broadcaster. Video will be big in the foreseeable future, meaning that this year you’ll want to be where MTV was in the early eighties.
- Advertise. Unless you’re an outlier social media miracle-worker, a winning social media strategy will need to be supported with some money behind it. On January 11 2018, Facebook officially announced the algorithm change to their News Feed, meaning even less organic coverage for brands and Pages and more for individuals. As with your everyday social media strategy – advertise, evaluate and amend. Check out our easy-to-implement, step-by-step guides to advertising on social media – Facebook and on the biggest search engine out there – Google!
Alternatively, you can download them as single-page PDFs:
Now, get ready to take the Middle East by storm.
If you’re ready to deep-dive, follow these step-by-step instructions to create your own content calendar template.