In this digital era, billions of customers are active on one social media platform or the other. They often visit a brand’s social media pages and websites to confirm its credibility before making a purchase. Social media is indeed a great marketing tool regardless of your budget size. Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are some of the platforms that support social PPC with the ability to convert leads into customers. “It’s becoming more common to include social media as part of an overall marketing budget or strategy, as opposed to when it was the outlier that no one wanted to spend time or money on.” Belle Beth Cooper, Here are eight fool proof steps that must be taken into consideration when designing a social media content strategy. #1. Develop well defined goals and objectives Many marketers usually make the mistake of delving into social media without a plan of what they intend to achieve. This can lead to frustration and the cash invested into the process may go down the drain. The bottom line is to have around two or three clearly defined social media goals that aligns with the fundamental business goals and values. After creating the goals, remember to set realistic objectives too. The specific steps to accomplish these goals must be mapped out in order to get satisfactory results. #2. Identify a target audience Building a powerful social media strategy basically involves sharing the appropriate messages with the right audience. The fact is that your content won’t appeal to everyone, including your already established fan base. One way to handle this is to avoid being too specific by striking a balance. The ideal approach involves creating a succinct profile of your target audience that include their income, age with other important details. #3. Create a content plan A powerful content plan is essential for delivering highly engaging content from time to time. It doesn’t stop there; high quality content must be delivered consistently. Conduct a research about the different keywords that are associated with your business and infuse them in the content as they are being crafted. In addition, all content must be the right one for each channel. Infographics, hashtags, contests, user generated content and high quality graphics are some of the important elements that can be added to your social media content in order to boost online visibility and user engagement. Canva is a graphic designing tool that is very easy to use even if you are not an expert at designing. Live video and Facebook Carousel Ads have been gaining popularity lately. According to John Kapos, many companies are set to integrate live videos into their social content strategy this year. Creating video content about interviews, reviews and behind the scene snippets of a company can even be done with a smartphone camera. Test out different types of content formats at different times to determine the one that your audience will respond to. You can also create a workable schedule that can assist with sticking to the content plan. #4. Decide on the best social media channels It’s obvious that each social media platform work differently and not all of them will be effective for your business. Find out what each platform requires before deciding on the best ones. Working with influencers is one of the latest trends in social media marketing. It offers brands and marketers the opportunity to reach a broader audience in no time. Discovering influencers isn’t that difficult as they are established and active on social media. In case more than one social media platform will be used, consider repurposing content to makes them more suitable for each platform. The aim is to offer your audience what they won’t be able to find elsewhere. #5. Have a mobile friendly website Around six months ago, Google announced that it will be rolling out a new mobile-first index. This implies that the tech giant is poised to make changes to the way sites get ranked in the search engine result pages (SERPs). The importance of developing a mobile friendly and responsive website can’t be underscored. The 21st century consumers often surf the internet with their hand-held devices. As long as social media will be used to promote your website and blog posts, designing a mobile friendly website is a no brainer. Taking this approach also help to drive more traffic to your website and reduce bounce rate. #6. Follow your competitors An expert from Hooked Media says, if competitors can be observed closely, they can be an unlimited source of fresh insights to improve and position your brand for success. For instance, you may decide to delve into an aspect where they tend to overlook or perform poorly. As you follow them on social media channels, take note of how they craft their content and the other things that they focus on. This can go a long way in creating an original brand voice and engaging messages that will resonate with the target audience. #7. Hire experts Due to one reason or the other, handling all your social media accounts, creating content and designing graphics or video can be a daunting task. In such a situation, different people who will carry out the processes efficiently can be hired. They are usually discovered through referrals and networking. As time goes on, attaining both long and short term goals will become easier. Their tasks range from creating and sharing content on social media to improving brands’ social media profiles using the available data. #8. Test and measure metrics regularly The surest way to discover the best approaches is through regularly testing and measuring of metrics. Creating a social media content strategy is useless if marketers make no move to analyze metrics. The quickest way to handle this is by going through the engagement metrics for each post across different platforms. More so, optimize landing page reports and endeavor to use campaign tracking to measure social media ROI. Valuable tools that are useful for measuring and analyzing metrics include Hootsuite, Buffer, Klout, Bird Song Analytics and BuzzSumo. Be prepared to learn from personal mistakes and those of your competitors as they are inevitable. Obtaining satisfactory results are bound to take time, but it’s really worth the effort.