10 Steps To Create Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

A social media plan to illuminate your brand using Facebook, Youtube, LinkedIn and Twitter

By Ande Schurr

Updated 18 August 2021

What drives business owners crazy? Creating articles or videos that nobody looks at.

It happened to us at Schurr Productions. We started as a video production company making corporate and explainer videos.

With high hopes, our clients shared them on their social channels and websites.

Yet few saw them unless that client had a strong social media presence.

The videos weren't visible on Google because they weren't optimised for YouTube.

Lost amongst the 5 billion videos viewed that day.

As the saying goes, "The best place to hide a dead body is page 2 of Google search".

So we decided to change the way we did things.

We set out to discover how to organically promote videos (and articles) on Google and Youtube.

We educated ourselves on the best practices for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

Schurr Productions now offers their optimising service for every video produced.

We wrote this guide for the business owner who deserves better exposure.

Contents

Why You Need To Be On Social Media

Social networks have changed how we communicate with customers.

They've allowed us to humanise our brands. This is especially true for any company that wants to infuse a little spark into its corporate image.

With social media, brands can have instant access to a huge audience.

Customers expect you to have a presence on social media.

Your social media channels become a source of information for your customers.

They want you to educate, empower and understand them.

Your social media plan will also help you achieve your professional goals.

Whether you want to:

  • Promote your work or services to a wider audience

  • Mentor others

  • Develop new techniques and innovations

Social media is the means of getting you there.

Ultimately, you need social media because the world is online and that is where you find them.

1. Dedicate One Person to Manage Social

Choose an Articulate and Tech-savvy Person Who Knows Your Company Well

Companies will often hire many creatives to produce one post.

They can include:

  • Copywriters

  • Designers

  • Video editors

  • Photographers

At the least, you will need to appoint one person whose role is to create and curate content.

Daily if possible. Weekly at the least.

Don't automatically give this job to a young newbie at the company. Make sure they have tact and empathy because when they post they are representing the company.

Your social media manager must:

  • understand and care about your work

  • be articulate in writing

  • be an effective communicator

  • create and select the right graphics

  • be technically savvy

  • have a pleasant online manner

The less expensive (and disruptive option) is to outsource your social media manager.

At Schurr Productions, we offer social media marketing monthly packages.

We prepare everything in advance and ensure you have approved the content before we post.

2. Set Up Your Accounts and Profiles

Whether this is your first time using social media, or you've been in the game for a while, it's time to update your profiles.

Make sure each of your social media accounts has a professional picture of you or your company.

The profile image on every network should be the same

Your logo and brand visuals should be professional and attractive.

After completing your profile, fill in all the fields that apply to your company. Test your links.

It's worth spending some time to make it more compelling and interesting. For many, this will be the first impression of your company.

Thank your customers for using your services and demonstrate how much you help them.

Remember, different platforms attract different audiences. Your profile should reflect the type of followers you are trying to attract.

3. Create a Content Calendar

LinkedIn's helpful infographic showing what the 'diet' of a healthy content calendar consists of

List The Topics That Worry Your Clients The Most

You need to select topics that are meaningful to your customers.

When you identify what causes your clients to struggle and you address that, it becomes meaningful.

You are now writing from a place of empathy and for a cause that can stimulate and sustain you.

You must fill your content calendar with these topics.

Also, write about any relevant topic that inspires you.

Your calendar must be filled with a healthy mixed 'diet' of content. These might be addressing common client questions and popular topics surrounding your speciality.

Best selling author and marketer, Melanie Deziel, suggests having a brainstorm. She advises starting with the following question:

“What would be important for our audience to know?”

Then, when the list is full,

“Now what are the different ways we could bring this to life?”

This way, you will come up with a variety of ideas for posts, podcasts, articles, videos and campaigns.

Hootsuite offers a free online content calendar for any two social media accounts. The calendar is well designed and enables you to schedule content in advance.

Hootsuite also provides some extra help to kickstart your brainstorm.

Hootsuite's online content calendar provides a convenient way to schedule your content.

Example Posts From Three Industries

These three industry examples show how simple it is to write content on your channel

- The Medical Professional

Platform: Twitter

Strategy: Question and answer series

Mayo Clinic posted a patient's question on Twitter which they answer on their blog.

Their Pinterest account is full of beautifully designed infographics and visual guides.

For example breast reconstruction and dealing with the demands of the executive lifestyle.

For professional networking in the medical field, you can consider Doximity

- The Construction Company Owner

Platform: Facebook

Strategy: Latest project updates

Clark Construction LLC in Maryland describes a recent Habitat For Humanity project on Facebook.

Post a timelapse of your job site or a how-to video. This example from Log Cabin Getaways has over 1 million views on Youtube.

For interacting with customers looking to renovate consider Houzz

- The Business Consultant

Platform: LinkedIn

Strategy: Demystify rules and regulations for your clients

Corporate Singapore Services has developed a LinkedIn series to educate those who want to start a company.

They also produced an infographic on Pinterest to show the process visually.

4. Construct Your Post Outline

This is the fast way of making an article outline. It is based on what people are searching for on Google. It suggests the most popular key questions and topics.

Let's use the example of a medical specialist, a Urologist with a private clinic.

  1. First, you brainstorm topics to include in your content calendar. This can be for 1-3 months or even the full year.

  2. Then, choose your first topic. For example robotic surgery in urology.

  3. Now we use an artificial intelligence tool called Frase to create an outline of our article. We recommend Frase because it has a simple, intuitive process.

Frase will show you:

  • questions people are searching for

  • word-length expected of a highly-ranking article on your topic

  • samples and analysis of the top-ranking blogs or websites on the internet

Going through this process with a research tool like Frase should speed up the writing process and increase traffic.

Create an Outline That Google Likes Using Frase.io

1. type Topic

Type in your topic and it will show you popular keyword phrases

2. select questions you like

It lists the most relevant questions and phrases.

Select the questions you'd like to include in your outline.

3. order your topics

The questions you selected are collected in the next panel.

Select Create Document.

4. customise outline

Frase opens up the next window.

On the left-hand side, we make our outline.

5. note word & header count

There's a summary showing how many words the blog post should contain for these keywords (i.e. about 900).

It also shows the recommended number of headers, links and images.

6. add to outline & finalise

If you like the headings, you can click 'Paste Outline' and it adds those headings listed to your outline.

If you like the heading titles but want AI to generate a unique title for you, click the green robot.

7. move to your next outline

Now you have your outline, you can start writing.

Or, do all the outlines in one go by preparing the outline of the other topics.

The whole outlining process should take 5-10 minutes per topic. It's preparation worth doing.

5. Write Candidly

Write your post freely without second-guessing yourself.

Don't worry about the best keywords to use and other imposed limitations.

Go with your original impulse from your brainstorm. That's where your empathy and emotion is and these are essential to engage your audience.

Enjoy the process. Think like a child, uninhibited by rules and expectations. Remember, Google rewards originality.

This is the time to be analytical, empathetic and creative.

Encourage your customer. Write from your area of expertise about the steps they can take to solve their problem.

It's the same for a video script.

Do a spelling and grammar check with Grammarly and Hemmingway.

Do add a hero image with a caption to make the article more engaging.

Images are the most shared type of content according to Buffer's State of Social 2018. So put in the time to create or find something attractive and memorable.

Then post it already:

  • Post the full article on your website blog

  • Post a link on Facebook with a personal comment

6. Start Your Email Newsletter or Campaign

There are two main ways to market your company using email:

  1. Send a monthly email newsletter with a summary of your articles/videos

  2. Start a campaign to build a journey for your customers

With email campaigns, customers may receive more emails, but that depends on their behaviour.


Purpose of An Email Campaign

Email campaigns have specific purposes:

  • download an ebook or guide

  • register for a webinar

  • make purchases


Sending Your First Email

You will need an email marketing service. Mailchimp is a popular one.

  1. Sign up for Mailchimp.com

  2. Read The Importance of Permission to ensure your email marketing is permission-based and not regarded as spam

  3. Compile an email list of verified contacts who are happy to receive your email. Add them to your Mailchimp contact list.

  4. Using Mailchimp, send an email now to those on your list with your first newsletter. Ensure there is a clear unsubscribe option.

7. Develop a Youtube Platform Strategy

YouTube marketing is often a missed opportunity for companies.

Many see YouTube purely as an online video platform.

The striking reality however is that Youtube has an edge on all other platforms:

  • Youtube's audience is across the full spectrum from 15-56+ years with a consistently high level of engagement (Hootsuite)

  • YouTube is the most popular online platform in America, even beating Facebook


Create a Captivating Youtube Channel

Just as you optimise websites and build campaigns from your written content, you need to do the same with your videos.

Bear in mind though, video search engine optimisation is different from the regular kind.

Follow these steps:

  • Use concise, descriptive titles with select keywords - see this article from Hootsuite

  • Create your video to specifically address your audiences need

  • Film or animate the video with high production values

  • Upload to Youtube and provide a Video Transcript

  • Choose an engaging thumbnail for your video

Utilizing strong thumbnail images can have a tremendous impact on click-through rates. wordstream.com

  • Embed your video on your website and make sure it's at the centre of the page

  • Make sure the written content on that page is relevant and supportive of the video

  • Categorise your videos into themes, topics, styles. The best youtube channels are like TV channels

For example, Gordon Ramsay's Youtube Channel has clear branding, titles and engaging thumbnails.

What Videos are Relevant on Youtube?

Observe the channels of your colleagues and competitors to see what is successful.

Google search your industry for ideas. For example "best medical channels on Youtube".

Impactplus.com has a great article called The 16 most popular types of YouTube videos. Among them:

  • Commentary

  • Product review

  • Tutorial or How-to

  • Top list

  • Comedy

  • Challenge

  • Reaction

  • Q&A

Summary

Start with a completed profile and your first video from which to build your channel. Then create a community around your YouTube channel, inviting staff, friends and colleagues.

8. Develop a Facebook Platform Strategy

Facebook is the new Yellow Pages. See it as an interactive business directory.

Sprout Social tells us that:

  • Facebook users can be found across the age spectrum however 72.8% are within the 18–44 years old range

  • Almost all use mobile phones to access Facebook

  • The highest engagement days for Facebook are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday


Create a Captivating Facebook Page

Not only does your company page need to look attractive, but it must be backed up by excellent service. This attitude must come from the top and be a part of the company ethos.

Clothing retailer Zappos, shows their level of commitment to customers, even if it means directing them to the competition:


What Posts are Relevant on Facebook?

Avoid over-promoting your products. Stick to the 80/20 Marketing Principle - share 80% of content that adds value to your customers and only 20% of promotional.

Sproutsocial outline the best performing content for Facebook:

  • Ask questions

  • Behind-the-Scenes

  • Trending topics

  • Branded graphics

  • Tell stories

  • Videos

  • Product or services photos

  • Infographics

This free barometer examines your Facebook page so you can see how it compares with the average.

It covers analysis for page engagement, negative feedback and more.

In their post, Localiq advises on Facebook page promotion. Their first step is to build a base of friends and family first.

So start listing your company on Facebook. Ensure your profile is up-to-date. Start your first post. Welcome people to your channel and find creative ways to tell your brand's story.


9. Develop a LinkedIn Platform Strategy

LinkedIn is a professional network. It's not meant to be a social website.

More than 70% of LinkedIn users are business professionals who use the site

LinkedIn is about being active in your industry and seeking out other professionals with similar interests and skills to you.

Dominick Sorrento says:

LinkedIn, more than any of the other social media platforms, was built for content marketing.


It’s where people go to become influencers, build authority and engage with other professionals.


It suits those whose professional goals are to establish themselves as an authority in their industry.


Create a Captivating LinkedIn Page


It starts with a compelling company description.

Include your company name, the type of business you are in, and what kind of expertise and experience you have.

If you're developing a new company or product, include that information as well. Then, add photos and videos to your company page.

Deloitte has chosen the "Create a Showcase Page" option available on LinkedIn and called it Life. It has won awards for providing a portal into the culture of the company


Study Your Competitors' LinkedIn Page

Do a LinkedIn search of your service and look at your colleagues and competitors. Look for their company pages and find out what information they're posting.

Then, go to the "People" section of their company page. You can see what information people are posting on their LinkedIn profiles.


What Posts are Relevant on LinkedIn?

The ideal content for LinkedIn is

  • Blog articles

  • Industry Research

  • Relevant news

  • How-To Guides

  • Question and Answers

  • Company updates

With a focus on more serious content, this is your chance to show your authority in your field of expertise. Be sure to add a LinkedIn Follow button to your website and a link to your email signature.

10. Develop a Twitter Platform Strategy

Twitter is a microblogging service. It's great for sharing your thoughts, research or news with your community.

Twitter claims that their audience is:

  • Leaned-in

  • Influential

  • Passionate with a variety of interests


Create a Captivating Twitter Page

Here's Twitter's official advice for building an eye-catching page.

Harvard Health's Twitter page has a vibrant image with a play on words to engage the audience.


Study Your Competitors Twitter Page

Analysing other company's social media pages should provide you with fresh inspiration. The process will save you plenty of time and effort by minimising the trial and error process.


What Posts are Relevant on Twitter?

The Economic and Social Research Council gives examples of things you can tweet:

  • Details of new publications or resources you've produced

  • News items that feature your research

  • Links to any blog posts you've written

  • Thoughts on conferences you attend

  • Questions to invite feedback

  • Interesting news items you’ve found

Quicksprout advises that text performs better than images. It's one of the few social media platforms!

Also, avoid burst-posting. Don't post multiple times while you're on your computer or phone, then keep silent for a week or two. Instead, arrange your posts evenly to have a better chance of reaching more audiences.

Summary

  1. Business owners often fail at creating a presence on social media because they post only when time allows

  2. Isolated videos and posts do little to attract traffic and create a sense of community and brand continuity

  3. What's needed is a social media calendar brimming with content relevant to your customers

  4. Starting with Youtube, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, build your presence to reach your target audience

  5. If executed well, this plan should set your company on a path of higher growth and greater exposure


Talk with us about our social media management service.

Available internationally.