Social media is a great marketing tool for businesses, there’s no denying it. In fact, a report by Statista this year found that social media is the most successful marketing channel for marketers in the UK. So much so that 72% of marketers allocate most of their marketing budget towards online marketing. 
But as powerful as social media marketing is, unless it aligns with your company’s other marketing activities, you could miss out on other opportunities to reach your audience. Ultimately, this could mean you’re not optimising your maximum return on investment. 
A well-planned social media strategy will ensure that all your online activity is aligned with your social media channels. So, what do you need to consider to ensure you optimise every opportunity? 

What is a social media strategy? 

Before we delve into aligning your social media strategy with other marketing activities, let’s just explain what a social media strategy is and outline the basics. 
In the simplest of terms, it is a well-laid-out plan that defines your social media goals, the social channels and the tactics (methods) you will use to achieve those goals and the metrics that will track and measure performance. So, let’s look at the components in more detail. 
Defining your goals – so many businesses dive into social media, posting across their platforms, without any real goal or direction. This often leads to disjointed content that is hard to evaluate for the company and their audience. Quickly businesses will become disillusioned with their efforts, claiming social media doesn’t work for them. However, taking some time to define your goals will help ensure content is consistent, purposeful and well-received. Your goals must always be relevant to the business; it’s a good idea to use the S.M.A.R.T. framework, which will guide you in making sure the goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. To give you an idea of goals you may want to achieve, consider the following: 
Increasing brand awareness. 
Driving traffic to your website. 
Generating customer engagement. 
Generating new leads, and 
Boosting revenue through sales. 
Decide on your performance metrics – you can’t choose the performance metrics until you have your goals in place, but they are an essential aspect of any social media strategy. If you don’t have performance metrics, how are you going to measure how successful or not your social media activity is? You don’t have to stick to one metric per goal, either. 
Understand your target audience – it’s great doing all your social media activity, but it will not be very effective if it isn’t hitting your target audience. It’s not just about sending content to the right audience either; it’s important to ensure the content is curated to that audience. Understanding your target audience will ensure you are meeting their needs, resolving their ‘pain points’, and engaging with them by providing the content they are interested in seeing and at the right time. 

Aligning your digital strategies 

Where some businesses go wrong is putting ‘all their eggs in one basket’, i.e. they focus so much on social media that they forget about other digital marketing opportunities. Social media is not the beginning and end of online marketing; it’s just one part of an overall digital marketing strategy. 
Your social media activity should be aligned with other marketing campaigns to optimise performance and maximise investment returns. Other marketing channels include: 
Your website – aligning your social media activity with your website connects your business to your audience on social channels. Customers will monitor your social accounts for information about your products or services, updates, events and more before connecting with your website. It creates an online presence for your customers, building trust and authenticity, and you’re also meeting SEO targets, as Google’s search bots prefer websites with social media links. 
Blogs – apart from consistency of voice, aligning blogs with your social media is a great way to build great content embedded in your brand, building brand awareness and recognition. Whenever someone sees, as long as it has the same look and feel as your social media channels, they will recognise your brand. 
Email campaigns – in much the same way you are aligning your blogs with social channels, you are enhancing your brand and adding credibility to your company with your customers. You are creating a connected brand voice and values by embedding your social links into email campaigns
Online and offline events – if you are running offline or online events, one of the best ways to keep visitors informed before, during and after the event is through social media channels. Linking your social media platforms to your event marketing not only enhances and boosts brand awareness but also ensures an engaged audience for the duration of the event. At the same time, it adds credibility to your business, brand and future events. 
Google Business Profile – if you haven’t got a Google Business Profile yet, it’s got to be top of your list of ‘to-do’s’. It is vital for SEO optimisation, particularly linking with your social media channels. At the same time, you add more credibility and authority to your business’s brand. 
When you consider that the average time spent on social media is 2 hours and 29 minutes a day, and there are 57.6 million social media users – in the UK alone – you can understand why social media marketing is the number one focus for marketers. 
However, if you limit your marketing activity to social media, you may miss out on 57.6 million people viewing your website, blogs, events and emails. By aligning your social media with other marketing activities, you are opening up a new window of opportunity to promote your business and generate sales. 
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