It’s every business’ dream to drive up their numbers, and a great social media marketing strategy can do just that for your brand.
No matter where you are in your eCommerce journey, having a strong social media presence can drive positive and substantial results for your dropshipping store.
This article will be your ultimate guide for formulating an effective social media marketing strategy for your business. We’ve come up with a step-by-step guide, plus a strategy template to help you devise a winning plan.
Let’s get started.
Why it’s important to make a social media strategy
Social media offers a perfect launchpad for many businesses, especially eCommerce stores. However, businesses don’t just quickly succeed on these platforms. Instead, you can expect that those brands making waves on social media have deliberate plans, involving well-researched targeting and strategies.
So if you want to increase your chances of attaining your business goals through social media, it’s imperative that you start by creating a social media marketing strategy.
When you don’t understand what your goals are, who your target audience is, and what they want, your efforts will not result in anything fruitful. Worse, you’d be wasting time creating social media content that doesn’t reach the right people or isn’t relatable to your audience.
On the other hand, having a well-researched and detailed social media marketing strategy will help your dropshipping store reach, engage, and inspire your audience to support your brand. This support could be in the form of purchases, post engagement that helps boost your store’s visibility, or the creation of user-generated content for people to see online.
With this, let’s now discuss the step-by-step guide on creating an effective strategy for social media.
Recommended Reading: How to Start Dropshipping: A Definitive Guide
How to create a social media strategy
Set your social media marketing goals
Goal setting is the backbone of your social media marketing plan. When you establish your target, it will direct your strategy and will also be the basis for measuring your ROI or the effectiveness of your efforts.
Depending on where you are in your dropshipping journey, you may choose targets from this general pool of social media goals:
☐ Generate new leads
☐ Boost brand awareness
☐ Increase brand engagement
☐ Drive traffic to your dropshipping store
☐ Provide social customer service
☐ Grow a community surrounding your business
☐ Increase revenue
Once you’ve chosen which goals to target, the next step is to make them more specific.
To turn general goals into clear and achievable objectives, we recommend that you follow the SMART framework, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
Writing your goals using the SMART framework will provide you with a clearer direction, as well as well-defined metrics to analyze and evaluate later on.
Below is an example of a goal statement followed by specific, measurable objectives shaped through the SMART framework:
“I want to start using social media to promote my ceramic shop. Instagram is my platform of choice. I plan to increase my audience by posting well-curated and appealing photos and videos that feature my products and their practical and aesthetic addition to my audience’s lifestyle. Within one month, I want to gain at least 5 new followers and earn at least 2 sales per post.”
This example fits an eCommerce entrepreneur who has been in the business for a while but is new to social media marketing. The first three sentences reveal the entrepreneur’s general plan, while the last sentence specifies the exact figures and duration of the plan.
As you finalize your goal, remember that your target could change depending on your specific context as well as the status of your online business.
If you’re creating and implementing your social media plans by yourself, some of the things you should consider are where you are in your eCommerce journey, plus the knowledge and skills you’ve learned so far about social media marketing.
Whatever your context may be, it’s good to have a foundation for developing SMART goals as these will set off your social media plans on the right foot.
Identify your target audience
Your target audience refers to the intended recipients of your business’s messages on social media platforms and other channels where you promote your brand and products. They may or may not be the end-users of your product.
For neophyte businesses, it’s common that the target audience is also part of the target market.
The first step to identifying your audience is to look at your competitors’ social media pages. Who are they targeting? What common characteristics do you observe in their audience?
The next step is to do your own research on search engines and forums. Look at what people are saying about products or services that are similar to yours.
Then, evaluate your product and the information you’ve gathered from your research. List down any pertinent information about your target audience’s demographic (age, location, gender, income, marital status, and educational level), as well as psychographic information (personalities, lifestyle, interests, opinions, values, and attitudes).
Determine your social media brand voice
If you want to connect with your audience through social media, it’s essential that you do so through authentic communication. Don’t just follow the salesy voice that so many businesses use—people wouldn’t follow a page that looks like an ad talking endlessly.
Pinning your social media brand voice can be challenging since there’s no one-size-fits-all formula for the tons of niches out there. But as long as you’ve done your research on your audience, then you have a good chance of nailing down the brand voice your audience can resonate with.
Stephanie Schwab’s four-part social media brand voice formula is one of the easiest to follow out there. We recommend that you refer to it and then mix and match the different components that can define your brand’s unique brand voice.
Your overall brand voice should be appropriate to your product and target audience. For example, if you’re selling tote bags with quirky designs and your target audience are young adults in their early 20s, a professional and scientific tone would totally be unsuitable.
Speak the language of your audience, so they can easily understand and interact with your brand.
Launch and optimize social media accounts
Creating a social media account is the first step to launching your business to your target audience. Based on your research on your target audience, you would know which social media platforms they frequent and spend most of their time on.
If you’re new to using social media channels for business, it’s advisable that you focus on one or two platforms first. This way, you won’t get overwhelmed by content creation as well as keeping track of your accounts’ analytics.
If you’re already using social media to market your dropshipping store, it’s important that these accounts are optimized to achieve your goals.
Research on trends regarding your chosen social media platform. What types of posts are more likely to get traction on Facebook? How about on Instagram? What hashtags can you use to reach more people? Researching and social listening will help you answer these questions.
You may also use social media channels as springboards for your dropshipping store. Insert a link to your website on your social media account’s bio or posts. That way, your audience would know that behind your great content is a great brand that they can support and purchase from.
If you choose Instagram as your social media marketing platform, you can set up an Instagram shopping account (if it’s available in your country) so that your posts can act as a product catalog that leads your followers directly to the product page on your site.
If you’re already managing several accounts, share your other accounts to the platform with the biggest audience so they’ll know where else to follow you. This can help maximize your reach across platforms and increase engagement and conversions.
Map out your strategy
Once you’re done with the first four steps, it’s time to take the planning process a step further by using a social media strategy template. This will be your ultimate guide and reference in your marketing efforts.
Below is a template that lays out all the pertinent information you need for your strategy. Feel free to copy it out and then populate it with the goals, target audience, details, and other information you need to complete the template.
People/pages they follow:
Social Media Platform To Use
𐁀 Watching videos
𐁀 Checking out photos
𐁀 Reading posts
𐁀 Reading infographics
𐁀 Others (please specify)
This template should help you have a clearer idea of how you’ll go about your social media marketing strategy. Note that this doesn’t include your social media advertising strategy since that entails ad spend, creatives, and of course, planning.
For now, let’s focus on creating organic content and a content calendar to help you pace, prepare, and schedule posts methodically.
If you followed the first three steps of this guide, you’ve most likely gained ideas as to what content types your audience would like to see.
If you need additional inspiration to create content, a great way to be inspired is by investigating other brands in your niche. They most likely have a similar target audience as your business, so they can be reliable reference points.
Browse through their social media feed and see what kinds of content are performing well. Try to emulate the posts that put them in their best light, but see to it that you add a unique, personal touch that represents your brand.
Investigating similar or competitor brands is also a good way to identify certain pain points that they may have overlooked. And this can be your entryway into coming up with unique content that speaks to your audience.
Create a content calendar
Picture this: you’re scrolling through Pinterest trying to find inspiration for a post that should be published at 2 PM. You look at the clock and see that it’s already half past 1 PM. What a nightmare!
You ideally shouldn’t find yourself in this scenario if you’re aiming for social media marketing success.
To avoid cramming content, it’s best to use a content calendar. This will help you pace your content, keep track of needs-to-be-written and ready-for-publishing posts, save your sudden brilliant ideas for later, and also avoid procrastinating.
But before you create a content calendar, be sure that you answer these what, when, and how questions first:
- What types of content will I post on social media?
- When should I post?
- How will my posts help me achieve my goals?
If you’re new to using social media for your business, it’s advisable to test out different types of content to see what resonates best with your audience. Give it a month to see the best performing types of content, and then take note of your findings so that you can refine and optimize your next posts.
You may also automate some of your processes to help you maximize your time and effort in growing your business. If you want assistance in creating a social media content calendar, tools like Asana, Hootsuite, and Buffer can help you out.
You can use any of these tools to schedule posts for publishing on your chosen platforms. You may set the exact date and time when you want a post to go live, and then the scheduling tool will take care of the rest of the job.
Test and evaluate your social media marketing strategy
Testing your strategy and tracking your performance are crucial parts of social media marketing. Knowing what works and what doesn’t will help you in devising better strategies, so you can stay on track towards accomplishing your goals.
Analyze the results of your content through the lens of the goals you’ve set—that’s how you can gauge the success of your efforts.
Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram have their own analytics, which you can use to see how well your channel and individual posts are performing.
Also, if your dropship store has a website, you can set up Google Analytics to know more about the audience that visits your site and which social media channels directed them to your store.
The tools that we mentioned previously—such as Asana, Buffer, and Hootsuite—also have built-in analytics that can measure the performance of your social media posts.
Final words: Keep your strategy updated
In this day and age, social media is a powerful tool that can boost your business’s sales and visibility. It’s a great way to reach your audience and compel them to engage, follow your store, or make a purchase.
The challenge, however, lies in creating a strategy that fits your target audience and that’s directed towards defined goals. Add to that the ever-changing algorithms of social media platforms. What works for you today might not work for you next month, so it’s important to always be on the lookout for any shifts in the trends and algorithm and then adjust your social media marketing plan and strategies accordingly.
When it comes to social media, the exchange of values doesn’t just happen through the products you offer. Rather, your content and engagement with your audiences count as well. With the free value that you provide through your content, people will be more inclined to vouch for your business and be your own ambassadors. This is the end goal!
Take the information in this post and use it as your guide to making valuable content that resonates with your audience and turns them into loyal customers. Now get going and start your journey into being a social media success!