SMM strategy or social media promotion system - what is it, what should it be and can it be done once and for all? Let's figure it out. An SMM strategy is a detailed manual, a general promotion plan with goals, analytics and KPIs.

Without an SMM strategy, working in social networks is a lottery. A strategy is a step-by-step plan for achieving results.

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What is an SMM strategy
The strategy is usually done before starting work, most often it includes an analysis of the target audience, an audit of project pages in social networks, an analysis of competitors' pages. The strategy specifies the goals and objectives of promotion, headings and content formats.

Also, design options are prescribed, targeted advertising audiences are offered, targeting creatives, a communication strategy for replies to comments, and competitive strategies.

In addition, the strategy specifies KPIs: what parameters to track in work in order to compare all indicators in a month and understand whether we are moving in the right direction.

Why do you need an SMM strategy
There are 7 reasons to use an SMM marketing strategy. Here they are:

Show the customer where we are going and in what ways; how the company's social networks will develop. He can approve, he can reject, he can correct proposals.
Set the coordinate system for employees. So that they understand the tasks and see the ways to solve them.
Connect new employees. After reading the SMM strategy, they will quickly understand what is happening here and what is expected of them.
Fix the goals and objectives of promotion and KPI of employees.
Calculate your budget. An SMM marketing strategy allows you to calculate the costs of achieving your goals. And assess whether the company can now afford to go to social networks in a smart way, or it is better to choose other promotion channels.
Choose the right direction based on the analysis of the product, target audience, competitors.
An SMM strategy will answer not only the question "What to do?", But also to the question "How to do it?"
What should be included in an SMM strategy
Goal setting. The answer to the question "Why do I go to social networks?"
“Start a group”, “I want a lot of subscribers”, “I want sales growth” - these are not goals in the sense that is important for an SMM strategy.

Specificity is needed:

“I want my group on the social network to bring 20 leads per week with a lead cost of no more than 5 rubles.”

"I plan to increase sales by 10% in relation to 2020 due to work in social networks."

Goals should be measurable, specific and realistic. Break big goals into tasks: what needs to be done to achieve the goal.

Promotion methods
Add to the SMM strategy all the tools that you will use to achieve your goals, starting with the list of sites - specific social networks in which groups / communities / accounts will be created. The tools can be as follows:

Content creation and publication.
Targeted advertising.
Working with bloggers.
Posting content to third-party communities.
The SMM strategy includes terms and conditions of work, formats of cooperation - for example, you can publish guest posts from bloggers, or you can order native advertising.

If the customer leaves part of the work on his side (for example, entrusts his employees), this should also be noted in the SMM strategy in order to understand that the SMM manager is not responsible for this area of ​​work.

Target audience analysis
The basic component of an SMM strategy. Because promotion, or SMM marketing, is 100% work with the audience. To compose a portrait of your target audience, you can use:

The brief that the client fills out.
Conversation with the client's sales representatives or in-house marketer.
Results of customer surveys, if any.
Function "Who is my customer" in the Pepper.Ninja service.
The service will analyze VKontakte groups / communities found by thematic keywords, and will give you a detailed portrait of a client, no worse than a marketer - including professions and even a list of universities that your target audience has graduated from. At the same time, you can search for an audience not only in the country, but also in a specific city, which is important for local business.

The Who's My Client filter is your quick marketer ...
The Who's My Client filter is your quick marketer ...
... that will tell you a lot of interesting things about your audience
... that will tell you a lot of interesting things about your audience
Basic analysis of the target audience includes:

marital status,
Plus additional characteristics if you work with young mothers, brides, military men, representatives of some other narrow groups.

You can also include data on purchasing behavior in the analysis of the target audience: how often they return for a repeat purchase, how they regularly use the company's goods or services, whether they use the product themselves or with their family. If the company has a CRM, then all this data can be obtained from the customer.

Analysis of company pages in social networks
If the company for which the SMM strategy is being developed is already present in social networks, it is important to analyze its groups. By connecting this 

Rvis DataFan, you can get a complete slice of statistical information on the page and posts - the number of subscribers, the number of likes-dislikes of the page and each post, the number of post impressions, coverage, comments, reposts.

Customize a dynamic report and stay on top
Customize a dynamic report and stay on top
All reports in DataFan are dynamic - data will be automatically updated from 1 time per hour to 1 time per day, depending on the tariff.

It is also important to visually evaluate the design of the group and profile header.

Important: Over time, the audience of the group can change. Perhaps the company will have new products or change its positioning. And the launch of a new SMM marketing strategy will also affect the subscriber base. Periodic analysis of the company's own groups on the social network will help identify and record these changes.

Competitor analysis
Depending on the subject of the business, groups of competitors on social networks can number in the hundreds. It makes sense to focus on the top 3-5 competitors - refer to again to find them. The service has a function "Search for communities". Enter keywords (for example, "Children's clothing"), specify negative keywords ("we sew, patterns"), country and city (Russia, Yekaterinburg). Based on these data, the service found 17 pages of 20 communities and sorted them by the number of subscribers.

Not the most frequent request in a narrow location - and 17 pages with 20 communities each
Not the most frequent request in a narrow location - and 17 pages with 20 communities each
Analyze the largest and most vibrant communities. You can see the gender and age of the participants and directly from the results page go to any of the communities to evaluate the visual design.

In an SMM strategy, you should indicate your conclusions and recommendations: what ideas to borrow from competitors, what mistakes to avoid.

Important: the market situation is dynamic. Some companies are losing ground, some, on the contrary, are gaining momentum. Part of the business can change the field of activity or go to other regions. Therefore, it is recommended to analyze key competitors in social networks periodically, at least once every six months, in order to understand with whom you are competing for the audience's attention right now.

Company positioning
In the SMM strategy, you can include messages that should be broadcast by content and advertising on social networks.

If there is a task to build an image of a socially responsible business, then the content should focus on the company's promotions, how it takes care of its employees, environmental selectivity, etc.

Reputational SMM content is important for the image of a caring friend company: reviews, gratitude, a story about some new technologies that make the product even more convenient, more beautiful, better in the eyes of the audience.

Key messages can be different for different social media.

For example, for a youth TikTok, it makes sense to form the image of a modern dynamic company, post emotional SMM content. And for Facebook - to focus on the rationality, benefits, benefits of cooperation. In Odnoklassniki, the company can broadcast reliability, stability and other braces.

Content policy
The section includes recommendations for headings (again, competitor analysis is useful) and SMM content formats.

The rubricator briefly describes the essence of each rubric - what task it should solve.

Briefly about the tasks of each section
Briefly about the tasks of each section
Content policy describes the types of SMM content - informational, selling, expert, entertainment - and determines their ratio. This is necessary in order not to reach the audience with constant selling posts or not overfeed with frivolous entertainment. The alternation of types of SMM content protects against monotony that can force the audience to unsubscribe.

And here are examples of post formats for an SMM strategy:

Post poll.
Report on the results.
Expert advice.
Phrase of the day / image of the day / quote of the day.
Reviews about your work.
Client content.
Engaging games.
Behind the scenes of the brand.
Post-review of the product.
The result of the work.
Post congratulations.
Post gratitude.
Posts-stories about social actions.
More ideas for SMM content in our blog - in the "Idea Generator" section.

It makes sense to include the content plan matrix in the content section of the SMM strategy. Based on this matrix, the SMM-specialist will paint a detailed content plan for a week or a month.

This is what the content matrix looks like
This is what the content matrix looks like
Important: after some time (month, quarter), conduct analytics - track how users react to SMM content, which categories are popular, which post formats go better. Refuse topics and formats that do not resonate with your audience.

Communication strategy
Communication in this case is communication with subscribers on social networks. It is important to include such points in your SMM marketing strategy as:

What do we do with the negative. Ignore, delete, work out; if we work it out, then how.
Who answers user questions 

tellers? Will the answers be short or detailed? How quickly do you need to answer questions?
How we motivate the audience to dialogue. Do we use polls, open-ended questions? Raising sensitive topics? Making riddles?
This section may include examples of responses to comments, questions, or objections on behalf of the company. This will allow the customer to approve or correct the selected tone of voice.

Something like a regulation of this kind is also prescribed here:

The user spoke about an unpleasant situation related to the brand.

Where to call in this case?
From whom to look for information?
How to track if the situation is fixed?
What bonuses to offer and whether to offer?
There can be many options, they must be approved with the customer.

You can include in the section and the communication policy, which will be published in the group - in the pinned post, in the description, in the "Information" section. This is also common to all mankind - not to be rude, not to be personal, and, possibly, some special requirements of the brand (for example, the prohibition to advertise goods and services). Such rules will be useful for group moderators.

Community guidelines are needed - even very short is better than nothing
Community guidelines are needed - even very short is better than nothing
Competition strategy
Social media contests vary. Cross-marketing, when another company provides a prize for a competition; photo contests, contests for the best slogan / product name of the company, contests for the best comment (or more comments); there are other mechanics too.

A review contest is also a useful interactive option for a brand.
A review contest is also a useful interactive option for a brand.
What will be the contests of a particular company in social networks - is prescribed in the SMM strategy. Including the customer of the SMM strategy, you need to understand what the SMM manager expects from him - some physical prizes for the winners of the competition, bonuses and discounts for participants, collaboration with other companies.

It makes sense to immediately indicate the restrictions for participation in competitions - not to allow business pages, online stores, blank pages, pages created less than 1-2-3 months ago.

If contests will be held in different social networks or in the same social network, but in different groups, then an approximate calendar of their holding can be added to the SMM strategy so that the SMM boxer does not get confused.

This is how the calendar of competitive activities will look like.
This is how the calendar of competitive activities will look like.
Advertising strategy
In an SMM strategy, it is important to indicate the main audiences to which targeted advertising can be targeted. Here you can refer back to the results obtained using the "Who is my customer?" service, parse data, create similar audiences and get the opportunity for effective targeting.

You can also write hypotheses in the SMM strategy that need to be confirmed or refuted during the setup of a test campaign.

Specify the preferred formats of targeted advertising: carousel, universal post, post with a button for the target action, individual ad units in desktop versions of social networks, collection of applications or Lead Ads (collection of applications if the company does not have a website).

Advertising carousel - several products in one selection
Advertising carousel - several products in one selection
Promotional post with button
Promotional post with a button
Ad units in the desktop version of the social network
Ad units in the desktop version of the social network
In the SMM strategy, indicate how the effectiveness of the advertising campaign will be assessed: what parameters and in what time frame will be monitored, what budget will be set for a month / quarter.

In addition to targeted advertising, you can use other types:

Buying ads in communities. Placing advertising posts in groups to which the target audience is subscribed.
Influence marketing. Placing native posts with influencer bloggers, which are subscribed to by an audience of interest to you.
To buy advertising in communities, you can prescribe in the SMM strategy the criteria for choosing a group - at least XXXXX subscribers, at least X posts per week, possible group topics, geography (if it matters).

When thinking about collaborating with bloggers, indicate in your SMM strategy:

What is preferable to the customer - barter or buying an advertising post.
The post is prepared by the company's SMM-boxer or the blogger himself writes.
How many placements bloggers should have per month.
Measurable criteria for selecting bloggers are the number of subscribers, the number of reactions per post.
If you intend to actively search for bloggers, you can add a script for an outgoing letter to a blogger in your SMM strategy.

The script of responses to bloggers who themselves offer cooperation will not hurt.
If a brand requires a specific presentation style in content or video recording according to pre-written scripts, also approve this in the SMM strategy.

Analytics and KPIs
Decide on the KPI, what parameters you will track, how to predict the results of the next month.

Justify how specifically the KPI reflects the goals and objectives of promotion, how it will be possible to evaluate 

haste of work.

Popular KPIs for SMMs are cost per lead, cost per click, subscription price, increase in activity and engagement (in%), increase in the number of subscribers, increase in the number of reactions (likes, reposts, comments, saves). How KPIs can be used such significant indicators as:

increase in organic reach of posts;
ER (audience engagement rate);
frequency of content generation;
average response time of an SMM-boxer to a message or comment.
Consider a service for collecting statistics on social networks - the DataFan service, with its ability to create dynamic reports, will definitely come in handy for you.

Important: KPIs can change at different stages of the implementation of the SMM strategy. When creating a group from scratch, it is important to gain subscribers; when a loyal community is already formed, it is important to increase engagement. At some point, the number of transitions from the social network to the site and the number of sales from such transitions become very important.

Optional: design examples
Post design suggestions are not always included in the SMM strategy, they can be developed later. But creative examples will make the SMM strategy more complete and help the customer to more accurately imagine how the company's groups on social networks will look after the launch of the project.

Examples of visual design of posts
Examples of visual design of posts
Including visual examples of post design, it is necessary to submit creatives for all categories, as well as for Stories (if we are talking about Instagram) and for the design of the community page.

Why SMM strategy needs to change
If you go over the “Important” footnotes in different paragraphs of the description of the SMM marketing strategy, it becomes clear that the SMM strategy cannot be frozen.

The target audience, the market situation, the positioning of the company, the reaction of the audience to different types and formats of content are changing.

And the dynamism of the SMM strategy is explained by:

The emergence of new tasks. We worked only with targeted ads - added ads in communities.
Access to new social networks. We developed a group of companies on Instagram - we decided to master TikTok.
Change of goals. Goals - that's what goals are to achieve them someday. And new goals require a new SMM strategy.
Change of leadership. “The new broom sweeps in a new way” - if the previous leadership was satisfied with the strategy, then the new one may well correct it.
The emergence of new instruments. 5-7 years ago, the task of obtaining extensive statistics in automatic mode either did not have a solution, or it was too expensive. Today, using DataFan with dynamic reports and a tariff scale from 200 rubles per month, it is not difficult to do this.
Let's summarize
An SMM strategy is necessary to understand what the result should be and how to arrive at it. Without a strategy, SMM marketing is unlikely to be successful; the absence of a system can destroy any idea and cool any enthusiasm.

It is advisable to include the following points in the SMM strategy:

Promotion goals
Promotion methods
Target audience analysis
Analysis of company pages in social networks
Analysis of competitors in social networks
Company positioning
Content policy
Communication strategy
Competition strategy
Advertising strategy