How to Develop a Successful Social Media Strategy

Lauren Hetherington

Social media marketing can be a time consuming, and often fruitless, task. This is because most businesses don’t know the right way to approach social media and end up producing random, irrelevant content that receives little to no engagement.

Don’t worry, we’ve all been there…

Without a social media manager by your side, you can find yourself struggling to stay focused and create content that actually benefits your business. To overcome these issues, you need a straightforward social media strategy to keep you on track.

By the end of this article, you’ll understand why you need a social media strategy and how to develop one that delivers results.


What is social media marketing?

Social media marketing is used to help businesses promote their products, services and brand identity through social media platforms. 44.8% of all internet users take advantage of social media to search for brand info; having a good social media presence has become a way for potential customers to determine the credibility of your company. If someone is interested in getting a cosmetic dental treatment, for example, one of the first things they’ll do is to look at your social media to see if they can trust you. 

The main reason for marketing on social media is to convey your brand personality and connect with like-minded people who may be interested in your products and services. As well as forming relationships with your online audience, social media can also be used for advertising. Nowadays, it is so much easier to reach your target audience with Facebook and Instagram ads because you can filter your audience by their interests, jobs, hobbies, locations and more. 

Social media marketing has become an essential part of building a digital marketing strategy, so you need to make sure that you have a plan in place. 


Why do you need a social media strategy?

So, although we understand the importance of social media, what are the actual benefits of developing a strategy?

If you are currently scheduling social posts on a regular basis, that’s a great start; but a well-structured strategy can make your life a lot easier. Think about blog writing, for example. Say you want to write about the benefits of dermal fillers; is it a) easier to make a brief plan outlining the key points or b) just dive straight in and start writing the article? We would say option a) is your best bet. 

Why do you need a social media strategy

When you make a plan, it can help you to gather your thoughts, consider your purpose, determine your format and figure out exactly what you want to achieve. Ultimately, this saves time and increases productivity. By knowing what, when and why your social posts are going out, you won’t be wasting hour after hour thinking about what to do next. 

A social media strategy can also make your audience targeting much more focused. It allows you to define and prioritise your goals, establishing the main characteristics of your ideal customers and where to find them. Finally, a strategy is the perfect way to track your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

How can you track KPIs on social media?

KPIs are, arguably, the most important aspect of your digital marketing strategy. Key Performance Indicators allow you to accurately measure your success. When marketing your business, there are many actions that you take in pursuit of building brand awareness and driving conversions; but how do you know if it’s working? That’s where the KPIs come in.

When developing a strategy, you need to work out what your KPIs are and how you can track them regularly. Generally, people tend to look at how many follower growth and how many overall followers they have. Although follower growth is a KPI, it’s more of a vanity metric that doesn’t accurately measure your social media success.


The main thing you want to keep track of is your engagement rates, including likes, comments, story views, and social shares. However, you might also want to look at your overall reach. If you have a business account on Instagram, then you can click on a post, then click ‘view insights’, this will show you how many people your post has reached. When viewing your engagement and reach, take note of who has interacted with your content; this will tell you if you are actually connecting with your target audience. 


How can you develop a social media strategy that works?

Knowing the right way to set up a social media strategy is vital if you want it to deliver results. Here are the 5 must-haves that will make your strategy successful:

Set Goals

Without setting up reasonable and achievable goals, you will find it near-impossible to measure your social media success. Make a list of goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound (SMART goals). Having these clear milestones in place will allow you to work effectively towards an end result. These objectives are all about understanding where you want your business to be and how you are going to get there. It’s also a good idea to set goals for each social channel so that you can tailor them to the different social languages of your online audience. 

For example:

“ On Instagram, we will use reels to generate 20% more views, likes and comments by the end of August 2021”

Describe your target audience

To reach your target audience, you need to know who they are. When we say ‘who they are’, we mean their age, gender, interests, location, and job. A customer/buyer persona is an imaginary character who represents the key attributes of your target audience. Start compiling a variety of buyer personas by writing a up a list of characteristics and traits that your ideal customers share. Once you have a few variations of your customer persona, you can try targeting people who fit these detailed descriptions. 

Having a clear idea of what your target audience looks like means that you can begin to identify their pain points. What challenges do they currently face? How can you solve these problems?

Knowing your audience will bring you one step closer to connecting with potential customers and driving traffic and conversions through social media. 

Identify the right social platforms

It’s easy to create an account for every social media channel; it’s simply a couple of clicks, and you’re open for business. However, being on every social platform is not necessary and it can actually do more harm than good when it comes to increasing engagement and expanding your reach. So, how do you know which social media platform your brand should be on?

Let’s return to your target audience. You have now done your research and figured out the key attributes of your ideal customer; so, knowing all that you know, where do you think you can find them on social media? Do a little research and find out the main demographics for each social platform:

Facebook Users- aged between 25-34 and 56% male

Instagram Users- aged between 25-34 and 57% female

Twitter Users- aged between 30-49 and 68% male

LinkedIn Users- aged between 46-55 and 51% male

These are only the age and gender demographics, but if you dig a little deeper, you can also find out which interests, jobs and hobbies people are most likely to have on each platform. Now, looking back to your buyer personas, you can see which social platforms are best suited to your target audience. Being on the right platform for your business means that you will reach more users who are interested and engaged by your brand.


Create content suited to each social channel

Having got to know more about every social platform, you can now plan out the content that is best suited to each one. Instagram, for example, is very image and video driven; this means that you probably want to create content that uses captivating imagery and short, informative videos and reels. It’s also a good idea to do some trend research to discover the content that is most popular right now. 

If you are struggling to think up content ideas for each platform, you can always repurpose your most popular posts. For example, if you create an Instagram reel on the process of Micro-needling, you can take the same concept and turn it into a meme to share on Facebook. This is a great way to keep your content fresh whilst also making it relevant for what’s popular on Facebook. Think about what content each social audience likes to consume and cater to their needs accordingly. 

Track your results

As we mentioned before, there is no use in producing social content that doesn’t generate engagement. To find out what’s working and what’s not, you need to measure your success through analytics. Most social media platforms have their own analytics such as Instagram Insights or Facebook Page Insights, but there are many different tools that you can use to track your results.

Here are 5 tools to measure your social media success:

  • Google Analytics
  • Sprout Social
  • Hubspot
  • ShortStack
  • BuzzSumo

After you have analysed what posts are succeeding, you can begin to try and test different content formats. If you do this on a regular basis, you will soon discover what works best for your brand. 


Posting on social media is easy, but using social media to drive traffic and increase conversions is a little trickier. If you feel like you need some extra help growing your social media, book a consultation with us today.