Posted 01.08.2024 by Josh Krakauer

The Proven 6-Step Social Media Strategy Framework + Examples

Simplify your 2024 social media marketing strategy with a proven 6-step framework to build an audience that cares, shares, and converts.👇

Summary: In this article, you’ll learn how to create and fine-tune a social media strategy to increase the impact of your activities across different social media platforms. In addition, we’ll provide you with a FREE social media strategy template that you can use right away by following the steps below. 

If there’s one constant working in social it’s CHANGE.

(Don’t get us started on Threads, X, and the trend of the week.)

There’s a very likely chance your social media plans have been disrupted, and the past reporting period may not have turned out how you expected for a variety of reasons.

That’s OK.

A new period means an opportunity for a fresh start with a focused brand vision and a hard reset on your goals. It also means your marketing budget is up for review (again), and you have three major tasks:

  1. Evaluate the success of your social media strategy.
  2. Set the new social media marketing strategy based on previous performance.
  3. Determine the resources needed to succeed.

As you start exporting data and compiling summaries, you might wonder if you achieved what you set out to do in the previous year. Was there a clear and energizing goal for social? Did you make progress on it throughout the year?

Know that you’re not alone. Social media marketing is constantly evolving, and figuring out strategies that work is very complex.

It’s time to fix that.

Let’s kick off with clarity on the elements that encompass a successful social media strategy.

The Complete Social Media Strategy Framework

A social media strategy is a structured plan of action that you’ll employ to use social media platforms. 

It involves setting goals, identifying target audiences, defining channels and content, distribution, and execution. 

A successful social media strategy (like the one we’re presenting here) integrates consistency, authenticity, and adaptability to leverage the dynamic nature of social media and foster meaningful connections and engagement with your brand.

  1. Set energizing goals
  2. Identify target audiences
  3. Establish a channel strategy
  4. Design your content strategy
  5. Amplify your content distribution
  6. Plan your execution

Before we dig in, let’s share the social media strategy template that you can use to bring your strategy to life.

Social Media Strategy Template Example

We put together a template that you can use to start on the right foot.

Our 2024 social media strategy template will help you clarify your social media strategy using the proven 6-step framework. Inspired by the social media strategies we build for brands at our B2B social media agency, this framework aligns teams and delivers results.


Grab our social media strategy example [Free Template]

Use our Social Media Marketing Planning Template to communicate your strategy plan with the whole team. To simplify it, copy/paste the Google Doc to get started. → Click here to get it now.

How to Use the Social Media Strategy Template

Maybe you’re thinking, “Cool, this template sounds great but it’s just another empty document. What do I put in it?”

We had a hunch you might feel that way.

Keep reading for a breakdown of the six-step framework and concrete examples of how to adapt these ideas into actionable strategies.

1. Set Energizing Social Media Goals

Like all things in business, we begin with goals. Goals come in all shapes and sizes, so let’s set some ground rules on good social goals.

What defines a good social media marketing goal?

Goals should be SMART.

Welcome back to business basics. Your goals should follow the time-tested formula: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

Goals should be audience-centered.

Social media is a human-centric medium. Are you using social media channels to reach current and future customers? Then translate your customer’s journey into audience-specific goals.

  • Awareness = how well you capture your audience’s attention.
  • Engagement = how well you drive your audience’s reaction.
  • Conversions = how well you influence your audience’s buying behavior.
  • Advocacy = how well you inspire your audience to care and share.

Goals should be tied to organizational impact.

A good goal is an outcome, not an activity. What does the business need to happen in the next year? While top-line revenue growth is always up there, what else impacts the bottom line? Keeping customers happier? Keeping employees longer? Translate a social media goal for an area where you can move the needle.

Goals should start big, and then break down into KPIs. 

To keep on track, you should establish big but achievable goals. Then break them down into monthly and quarterly social media key performance indicators (KPIs). We recommend identifying two types of goals in your planning:

  • Primary goals that describe your top priority contribution to the marketing goal.
  • Secondary goals that describe your objectives and success measurements for each channel.

What’s a good B2B social media goal?

As a B2B organization, marketing is often responsible for brand awareness, demand generation, and overall deal pipeline. It’s reasonable to expect your B2B social media marketing strategy to contribute to revenue directly with paid advertising and social selling, and indirectly through your pulse of content and community management.

An example of a primary social media marketing goal focused on brand awareness might be to improve our brand’s share-of-voice on public social channels from 10% to 20% in the next 18 months. This would then be measured by your earned brand mentions, including content comments and shares, compared with key competitors.

An example of a primary social media marketing goal focused on pipeline contribution might be to source $5M in new opportunities from social media channels in FY 2024. This would then be measured by qualified leads in your CRM who were reportedly driven by or influenced by your social media program.

Note #1: This is a social media marketing goal. Social media may live within different departments and teams. Your team’s goal could relate to other areas of business impact—improving customer satisfaction scores by X percentage points, generating customer response times within Y minutes, or increasing job candidates sourced from social media.

Note #2: A goal for an entire year is a big, audacious guess. Instead, consider establishing goals on a campaign basis for more specific objectives.

Next, identify your secondary social media goals. This is how we measure the success of our program execution. Often, these are the metrics tied to performance on each channel. They are tracked as part of your execution plan monthly, for each channel. These will not be equally valued in your organization, so be selective.

Social Media Goals Examples

Measure for Brand Awareness

  • Publishing Frequency: Number of posts published.
  • Direct Traffic: When users access your website by typing in your URL directly to their browser. Although direct traffic can indicate ‘dark social’ channels are at work, it also means users had to recall your domain name to find you.
  • Brand Search Volume: The number of times people typed your brand name on search engines as a keyword.
  • Reach: The total number of unique people exposed to a social media post.
  • Audience growth: The number of new followers in a period, or the rate at which followers are increasing.
  • Brand Mentions and Share of Voice (SOV): A brand mention is when your brand, product, or URL is in a unique piece of user-generated content on social media. Brand mention can be a tagged mention that links to your name directly. Or an untagged mention where they are talking about you. SOV measures the number of mentions of your brand compared to the total number of mentions of all of the brands in the study.

Measure for Engagement

  • Conversation / Comment Rate: The (average) number of comments and responses on each post.
  • Reactions / Applause Rate: The number of reactions or likes per post.
  • Amplification / Share Rate: The number of ‘shares’ per post.
  • Video Views & Duration: The number of plays of your video, and the level to which viewers stuck around.
  • Clicks Per Post: Measuring the number of times users have clicked on your link helps determine if your headline or article was compelling.
  • Advanced: These metrics can be broken down and compared by the social media channel, month, content format, or theme for deeper analysis.

Measure for Conversion (and Cost per Conversion)

  • Cost Per Lead (CPL): How much it costs you to acquire one lead. This metric can be aggregated for all social networks but works best as a comparison metric across paid campaigns and channels. If your CPL is higher than your benchmark, you need to reconsider channels or approaches.
  • Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL): Leads sourced from marketing efforts that have met a minimum “fit” criteria. It’s great to have loads of leads, but if none of them matches your lead qualification, then all of your efforts will have been in vain. Measuring your MQLs will ensure that you are targeting the right audience.
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV or LTV): Predicting the net profit a customer will generate over a period of time based on their contract value and potential. Assigning a value to each new customer is integral to measuring social media ROI.
  • Conversion Rate Per Channel: A careful examination of which channel generates the highest converting leads for your brand is an excellent way to determine which platforms are worth pursuing and which aren’t.
  • Newsletter Signups: Newsletter Signups is a non-revenue conversion. However, the number of signups for your newsletter can be a leading indicator. 

Measure for Reputation

  • Feedback and Reviews: This is a customer service KPI that can also measure reputation. Feedback and reviews can come in comments, emails, or calls.
    You can count the inbound and outbound.

Remember when we talked about breaking those goals down into smaller pieces? Those 50 marketing-qualified leads won’t appear overnight. To inch closer to your total, in the month of March, you might set goals such as:

  • Generating 20,000 10+ second views on a new marketing video.
  • Decreasing cost per conversion on retargeting ads from $200 to $150.

There’s only one way to eat an elephant: One bite at a time. Start big, then break down small.

Social Media Goals Recap

Remember, it all starts with setting primary and secondary goals.

  • A primary goal: A growth target tied directly to the chief business goal, we’ll be successful.
  • Secondary goals: This is how we measure the health and performance of our channels and content.

Then, ask yourself and key members of your organization:

  • Are these tied to our most important business goals of the year?
  • Are they SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound)?
  • Does leadership support the decision to focus on these goals?
  • Have we identified the KPIs that will help us measure our progress towards these goals?

Helpful? Download our full social media strategy prep list here, including the 25 questions to ask first >>

2. Identify Target Audiences

Do you have a defined target audience associated with your goals? Having clarity on your most valuable and important customer types precedes this step. 

For social media strategy planning, there are three main audience groups we care about reaching:

Your most valuable (current and future) customers.

Focus on your MVP (Most Valuable Personas) for your primary goal. Building a better relationship with this audience—and attracting more like them—will drive the greatest return from your social media investment.

You might find this part challenging. Brands often have multiple customer segments they speak to across product lines. While social advertising lends itself well to micro-targeting multiple personas, it’s hard to grow an audience organically and implement a content strategy speaking to lots of different people.

So while your business may want to recruit employees, attract customers, and engage with influencers—your primary content and channel strategy should be formed from your most valuable prospects and customers.

Your aspirational (expansion) audience.

This segment represents the audience you want to grow into next. Maybe you’re selling to SMB entrepreneurs today, and Enterprise marketers is the next frontier. Or maybe they’re a younger, influential buying group that doesn’t know you exist. This group is critical for your business expansion in the next 3-5 years. They might not be an immediate priority, but they should be identified and understood.

Your influencer audience.

The segment that can lift your brand and reach your customers. Marketing exclusively to purchase decision-makers is limiting your growth. Who influences your customers? Defining this group can be key to unlocking earned media and traffic. 

Note: You can swap “customer” with the designation that makes sense – client, donor, guest, or member.

Next, dig into the details of your audience. Once you’ve confirmed your target audiences (congrats on being decisive!), the next step is to understand them at a deeper level. The better you know your audience, the more effective your content strategy will be in engaging them. To refine your strategy, ask questions like:

  • What are their (relevant) goals, motivations, pain points, and buying questions?
  • How would you describe them demographically? (i.e. age, location, income level).
  • How would you describe their lifestyle, personality traits, values, and attitudes?
  • How else would they describe themselves as an audience or community?

Your juicy content ideas will come from the answers to these questions, so it’s important to get authentic, qualitative feedback—ideally from your customers.

How do we learn more about our audience?

  • Interview sessions with real customers to ask them questions about their preferences and purchases.
  • Social listening and social media research, using tools like Sparktoro to find common themes among a group.

Social Media Targeting Recap

First, identify your most valuable, aspirational, and influencer audience segments. Then ask yourself and key members of your organization:

  • What are their relevant goals and challenges when it comes to the problems you solve?
  • Which attributes describe and unite them as an audience?
  • How else would they describe themselves and the communities they belong to?

3. Establish a Channel Strategy

Selecting the right social media platforms is key to a focused social media program. First, you need to identify:

Primary channels for organic content and paid campaigns.

Where will you focus most of your effort on building a presence? Your primary social media channels are the answer. 

There should be a direct link between investing time and resources on that platform and the priority goals you set. 

If your top tier goal is customer engagement, you better be sure you can reliably reach and track your customers there. Otherwise, it becomes a secondary channel with less investment. 

For most brands, there are 2-3 primary channels to prioritize. Remember that more channels to maintain means more resources to manage. Choose (and cut) wisely.

Examples of primary social media channels may include:

  • TikTok
  • Twitter (X)
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
  • Facebook

Missing a few? Preferences will vary, but that’s where secondary channels come in.

Secondary channels for future growth and opportunities.

Gone are the days when following best practices meant being “everywhere.” (Remember Clubhouse, you guys?), 

Still, there is tremendous upside in being an early adopter. If your audience is starting to make their way to a new platform, it should be on your radar. B2Bs exploring TikTok, I’m talking about you. 

Think 80/20 with the 20% representing a smaller subset of your bandwidth tied to experimentation and growth.

Examples of secondary social media channels include:

  • Threads
  • YouTube
  • Reddit
  • Facebook/LinkedIn Groups
  • Snapchat
  • Slack 
  • Clubhouse (JK)
  • Mastodon
  • Discord

As an example, a B2B manufacturing firm might find their core business customers use LinkedIn professionally and Facebook personally, while their aspirational audience is their product end user — more of a DIY creator — so increasingly more TikTok and Instagram-heavy. 

Their social media channel strategy might require investing 80% of their time and budget on LinkedIn and Facebook efforts where they’ve proven the value, and up to 20% on creating TikTok videos, Instagram Reels, and/or ads. This channel mix should be evaluated on a quarterly or semi-annual basis.

(Yes, there are B2B manufacturers on TikTok, really.)

Channel-specific features to enhance performance and engagement.

Often, the devil is in the details. With Facebook, for instance, thinking beyond organic Facebook Page posts can unlock tons of opportunities. Products like Messenger, Groups, Shops, Stories, Marketplace, and Events all grew heavily in daily usage, and require a strategy of their own.

Our rule of thumb: If a platform publicizes and promotes a new feature, it’s recommended to use it. For instance, in 2020 IG started incentivizing creators to use Reels. By 2023, Reels were generating more than 200 billion views per day, according to Meta. 

Which social media features are worth testing in 2024?

In previous years, it was easier to organize social media channels into Facebook and “Not Facebook” While that’s changing with the growth of TikTok, LinkedIn, and others, let’s start there.

Facebook in 2024 — A few things to keep on your radar

  • Get more out of Facebook with Creator Studio and Meta Business Suite (Yes, we know it’s a hot mess).
  • Groups are still active: Use new Facebook Group features such as Reels for Groups, and other admin features to boost engagement.
  • You can create Reels directly through the Creator Studio, and also Create Reels from existing videos.
  • Advanced: Explore Meta APIs to track and optimize campaigns, share content, and more.

Instagram in 2024 — Explore these opportunities

  • Use the native app reel scheduling feature.
  • Embrace Reels for real. 
  • Embrace the redesigned profiles with more prominent call-to-action buttons.
  • Custom stickers to engage your audience like quizzes, donations, and challenges.
  • Join and explore relevant conversations in Instagram Threads.  

LinkedIn in 2024 – Better reach for creators, more options to customize your page 

  • Encourage your team to turn on “creator mode” on their profiles to improve their reach.

  • Showcase your products with dedicated Pages that support video, images, and featured customers. 
  • Amplify your most cherished voices and drive targeted interactions through Thought leader ads.

Tiktok 2024 – Longer videos, rewards for creators

  • 50%+ of the content consumed in TikTok is 1 minute and longer, giving creators more leeway for what they display on video. 
  • The new “Creativity Program beta” is offering up to 20x the amount of the Creators Fund, making it an interesting option for those monetizing on TikTok.
  • Post professional video directly from apps like Adobe Premiere, and Adobe Express, or stream cuts directly from Twitch. 

Reddit in 2024 – Say goodbye to fake internet points, hello to money

A clear plan to grow your presence and audience on the channel

Organic reach isn’t what it used to be, but if you’re investing time in a channel, you should invest in audience growth. 

From proactive engagement to viral content formats, there are many tactics for growing your audience. The shiny object of the moment will change, but if it’s working for peers, it should be on your radar.

Social media audience growth tactics include:

  • Editing short-form videos for the best practices of Reels, YouTube Shorts, and TikTok 
  • Inviting your LinkedIn connections to follow your Company Page.
  • Proactive commenting on accounts with high relevance and reach.
  • Hosting relevant giveaways and contests with follow-to-enter messaging.
  • Prioritizing highly shareable content formats that your audience loves, like memes 
  • Asking intriguing questions that prompt discussion in the comments.
  • Getting shoutouts, tags, shares, and mentions from influential accounts.

Social Media Channel Strategy Recap

To form your channel plan, ask yourself and key members of your organization:

  • Are our primary channels vital to hitting our primary goals?
  • How will we grow our reach and audience on these channels?
  • Which channels should we keep on our radar to grow into next?
  • Which features will we employ regularly to maximize our impact?
  • How will we measure and ensure we’re reaching the right audience?

4. Design Your Social Media Content Strategy

An effective social media content strategy structures your content plans and outlines what you’ll publish across channels. 

This social media framework could be used as a blueprint for organizing one-off campaigns, or your entire ongoing content strategy.

Here’s how it works.

Social Media Content Blueprint Breakdown

The content blueprint is organized into 3 core components:

  • Content goal/funnel stage (ToF, MoF, BoF).
  • Content purpose (i.e. “Learn how to use our product”).
  • Content pillars (i.e. “X ways to increase your Y”).
  • Content opportunities (i.e. Tutorial, selection of case studies).
  • Content formats (i.e. blog posts, walkthrough videos, courses). 

Get a free copy of the content strategy table here (not gated!).

Content Purpose Statement 

Your social and/or content marketing may be guided by an overarching idea or purpose. That overarching idea should be associated with the mission of your marketing. 

Ask: “What do we want to help our audience do and accomplish?”

In the example above, the content purpose statement stems from Sculpt’s core values — Hustle & Heart. 

With this in mind, the content we share should be organized around education that helps companies grow faster (find their hustle), and bring a human touch through our people and culture.

Social Media Content Pillars 

Social content often stems from 3-5 high-level topics — your content pillars. Think of these as the building blocks for all of your supporting content ideas.

In the example, these are big ideas like the “Future of B2B social media”, which could break down into posts featuring trend research or expert interviews.

Note: Topics, pillars, themes, and buckets, are often used interchangeably, and preference varies marketer-to-marketer.

Your content pillars can be organized around:

  • Your business objectives.
  • Your audience’s objectives.
  • Your key brand associations. 

Social Media Content Subtopics 

Underneath your pillars, you can get more granular and share more specific content topics and ideas.

In the blueprint example, spotlighting our culture is a pillar topic. Therefore, posts may take audiences behind-the-scenes of on-site photoshoots, or celebrate client wins.

You may also consider developing content series. These are mini-campaigns or episodic programs that take the ladder up to your content pillars. 

Organizing content in a social media framework has two main benefits:

You can plan and produce content in batches. One of the most common pain points cited by social media marketers is the labor required to create interesting content consistently.

By developing a whole series of related posts for a given campaign or month with a similar theme, you can stockpile relevant content and schedule them as needed. Think of the massive time you could save by avoiding the daily grind of answering, “What should we post today?”

You can measure the success of each content theme. What’s resonating with our audience? Which content themes perform better at different stages of the customer journey—cold awareness audiences versus fan and customer audiences?

Organizing content in this framework allows you to analyze your content by reach, engagement, and conversion KPIs more easily.

Some brands separate their ongoing (organic) social media content strategy from their paid social and content marketing strategy. If this is the case for you too, your content blueprint may look a little different.

  • Content purpose: How you serve your audience.
  • Content goals: What specific objectives does your content address? For instance, the stage of the funnel.
  • Content topics: Examples of content types and topics that address those goals.

Examples of Social Media Content Strategy Topics

Now that you have a framework, ask yourself… Does your existing content enable you to post with purpose? To post with purpose, use what makes your audience care, share, be aware, and convert. Let’s break those down:

Content that makes your audience care

What type of content makes audiences care? The general mantra in social media marketing is don’t interrupt what interests people—be what interests people. Research from Paddle Consulting shows that interesting content breaks down into the following categories:

🤣 Funny Content: Help people laugh. Funny content isn’t limited to jokes and memes (though there’s a place for that). Finding your funny can come in the form of your playful brand voice in post and reply copy, or relatable observations and videos that resonate with your audience. 

Who and what makes your audience laugh?

Today more than ever, the comment IS the content. To leverage this trend, pay attention to viral posts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn (ideally, catch them before they go super viral). Your snarky, relatable memes here have a high likelihood of earning free reach and significant distribution.

B2C brands like Wendy’s know that best, and have amassed millions of engagements and earned impressions as a result.

👩‍🏫 Useful Content: Help people learn something new. Informative, relevant, and interesting is the key here. What would your target audience value learning more about? Useful content varies across the customer purchase journey, but could include topics like:

  • Top of Funnel: Advice from internal (and industry) experts, timely tips, facts and stats, and curated resources. Publish these often.
  • Middle of Funnel: Lead magnet resources, case studies, and customer success stories with clear takeaways. Publish these with paid, or moderately organically.
  • Bottom of Funnel: Proprietary tools, tripwires, and core offers to solve their problem now. Publish these with paid, or infrequently organically.
  • Ascension / Re-engagement: Interesting and creative ways to use your solution, or improve their results. Publish these moderately too often.

Best practice would say to keep useful content—like all social content— ‘snackable.’ As in, bite-sized advice.

While I generally agree, the rule changes with the format and affinity of your audience.

Longer-form, expert-led edutainment that walks through a process step-by-step will get devoured on YouTube.

On the other hand, you might experience better engagement breaking down blogs into 5-6 individual posts on other platforms versus one long text caption in a post.

The more the content delivers the value it promised, the more likely it will be consumed.

😍 Beautiful Content: Help people fall in ‘like’. Stunning visual content has a powerful effect on engagement. Regardless of your line of business, strive to find your brand’s natural beauty.

Tips for Creating Beautiful Visual Content:

  • Think “thumb-stopping.”
  • Embrace natural light in photography (over filters).
  • Keep shots condensed, close up, and interesting.
  • Use primary and consistent colors to strike a chord.
  • Bring out your people’s personalities.
  • Tell a story through a series.
  • Incorporate slight movement to bring still photos to life.

Pro tip: Long gone are the days when photographers held all of the keys to great social content. Experiment with mobile editing apps like Canva and CapCut to make beautiful content on the fly.

😮 Inspiring: Help people feel inspired through storytelling. Your customers are aspirational—they’re striving to become a better version of themselves. You can help with stories of people (and customers) overcoming the odds and reaching their potential.

YETI positions its uber-successful, video-based content strategy around a mission to inspire through stories. “We celebrate stories from the wild. If adventure and grit are at the heart of the story, then it’s a story that YETI will tell.”

If video isn’t an option, try a still photo series similar to how Humans of New York tells stories for its passionate community of 18+ million on Facebook: Close-up, natural shots of people exhibiting raw emotion with accompanying quotes.

Content that makes your audience share

What type of content gets shared the most?

Engagement is an emotional connection. Research shows that high-arousal emotions like excitement, humor, and happiness heavily influence online sharing.

By the way, ever wondered why divisive political news ends up in your feeds so frequently? Anger, anxiety, and stress work the same way.

If you’re interested in the psychology behind going viral, I highly recommend reading Contagious: Why Things Catch On, by Jonah Berger, or watching his course on LinkedIn.

Another fascinating philosophy on sharable content comes from the data science team at BuzzFeed (surprise, surprise). According to Publisher Dao Nguyen in her TED Talk, every piece of content has a ‘job’ to do for your audience. To influence sharing, focus on these jobs:

  • Content that reinforces our sense of self-identity (“This is so me”).
  • Content that helps us connect with someone else, and reinforces a shared experience, sense of community, or relationship (“This is so you” or “This is so us”).
  • Content that improves our lives by teaching us something about ourselves, and contains wisdom worthy of passing on (“This explains everything…”).
  • Content that makes us feel something and touches on high-arousal emotions. (“This restored my faith in humanity”).

Content that makes your audience aware

What types of content create brand awareness?

According to author Daryl Weber in his book Brand Seduction, a brand is a collection of unconscious associations in your consumer’s mind. Help your audience recognize those associations – all of the things that make you valuable, unique, and relevant in their lives. Brand awareness content may include content that…

  • Features your people, place, products, and processes.
  • Maintains a consistent visual voice by incorporating your brand identity (colors, assets) and a signature style.
  • Highlights and educates customers on the problems you solve.

This example from ICR IOWA‘s Talent Attraction campaign is a good example of all 3 principles rolled up in one.

And finally…

Content that makes your audience convert

(Sorry to break the rhyme) By following these steps you’ve designed a social media content strategy full of value. Now, it’s time to make your ask. Or as Gary Vee would say, your ‘jab, jab, jab, right hook.

Content designed to convert often comes into play in your paid media strategy, but it should be part of your planning, too.

The types of content that make your audience take action speak to their motivations, anxieties, and impulses.Remember the persona research you did when digging into your most valuable customers? That’s going to come in handy. What issues (related to the problem your business solves) keep them up at night? What stops them from taking action?

Content that speaks to your audience, directly. Remember that your customer is the hero of your brand story. With some exceptions (privacy matters), referencing your target audience in copy the same way they identify themselves will be highly effective in driving action. For instance, “5 Things Digital Marketing Agency Owners Need to Stop Doing to Grow” would get my click.

Content that reduces the friction to taking action. Make it easy to take the first step. For instance, social media contests provide a valuable incentive—the opportunity to get something free or first—in exchange for an action that’s valuable to the brand, like gathering contact info.

For retailers, limited-time, social-media-exclusive discounts can lower the risk of trying a product.

For service providers, demos, tutorials, or webinar videos can demonstrate the value of a solution before hiring them.

Content that incorporates proven formulas. No need to reinvent the wheel. There are dozens of copywriting formulas that have proven to influence conversions. Buffer covers 27 here, and Copyhackers has a few more.


[Bonus]: Smash your social media goals with the 6-step social media strategy prep list

Just in time for your next planning huddle, use our Social Media Marketing Strategy Prep List to make sure you’re aligning your goals, resources, and content to build an audience that cares, shares, and converts in 2023. Included are 25 essential questions to get everyone is on the same page. → Click here to get it now.

5. Amplify Your Content Distribution

How to amplify the distribution of your content? 

Let me say it louder for the folks in the back: It’s time to put an end to the just boost it for $5 and see what happens” strategy. 2024 is the year you take amplification seriously.

There are two main ways to amplify your content:

Use paid social media to amplify reach to your most relevant audiences.

Paid social is a powerful channel to reach people where they are and with what they want. And to be honest, it’s mandatory in a pay-to-play world. With declining organic reach on Facebook channels and algorithmic feeds all around, navigating the world of paid distribution is key. 

Here’s what you need to identify before paying:

A minimum monthly budget for paid social media. The exact figure will vary based on your total marketing budget and target cost-to-acquire a customer (CAC). It’s common practice to spend at least 5% of your total revenue on marketing—split between brand awareness and sales activation.

It would be wise to separate paid social media into at least two buckets:

  • Awareness & Acquisition: The budget to reach your prospects and convert them into customers. Ad examples might include top-of-funnel video ads, retargeting lead generation ads, or abandoned cart ads.
  • Retention & Advocacy: Budget to reach your customers and convert them into, well, happier customers. Paid social media ad examples might include product and feature announcements, new blog posts, and exclusive promotions and offers.

Proper conversion and visitor tracking. Install platform tracking pixels to measure conversions and retarget visitors (and offline conversions) with custom audiences. Unfortunately, if you want to use the ad technology native to each platform, you will have to install their tracking separately.

The most common conversion tracking tags include:

A tag management solution like Google Tag Manager is vital for keeping track of all of these codes and making sure they fire appropriately. You will thank me later!

The ‘warm’ audiences are relevant to your goals. These retargeting audiences are going to have a straight-line connection to your goals and should receive the majority of the spend. In order of value:

  • Known customers and high-value customer lists (CRM).
  • Lead and email subscriber lists.
  • Website visitors on key pages.
  • Website visitors on any page.
  • Video Viewers (
  • Page Engagers 
  • Page connections and Followers.

If you have questions about setting up this targeting, send us a note through chat. 👍

Identify cold (new) audiences relevant to your goals. These audiences are associated with new potential customers. When you’re ready to expand your reach, this is how to target them.

  1. Lookalike audiences based on customer lists.
  2. Lookalike audiences based on traffic or engagement.
  3. Relevant interests, behaviors, or keywords.
  4. Demographics and geography.

Finally, you’ll want to decide which of the content themes you identified will be amplified with paid spend. 

Not every post or tweet needs to be promoted. It would be reasonable to devote a monthly, fixed budget for boosting organic posts and adjust the distribution of spend towards the top-performing posts.

Build relationships with community and customer influencers to amplify earned media.

The second method of amplification is earned, not paid, media. 

What is earned media? Earned media helps your brand message and content go beyond your community without paying to promote it. Sounds good, huh? Here’s how you leverage it.

Identify categories of influencers within your community for content distribution. These humans can reach your target audience organically to carry your message further. You can break them down into two categories.

Employees, fans, and customers with large (social) networks and great reputations.

→ Ask: Which customers and fans have engaged networks of prospective customers like themselves? Which customers can write and create content?

→ Action: Through direct messages share content directly with them with a call-to-action to share. Or, feature and tag them in content so it shows up in their connections’ news feeds.

Identify blogs, publishers, creators, and authors that you could collaborate with and pitch.

→ Ask: Who does my customer trust?  Where do they get information? Who do they follow to learn new things and be inspired?

→ Action: Co-create content with them and use their networks for reach. This can come in many forms, like a sponsored shoutout on Instagram, a mention in Forbes, a guest appearance in a Twitter chat or podcast, or a long-term co-creation partnership where they contribute user-generated content. The ladder is the most common for micro-influencers.

To organize your outreach, and determine where the biggest bang for your buck lies, make a spreadsheet and begin populating people and opportunities. This guest blogging template on Airtable can help you get started. On an ongoing basis, make a point to check in and follow up with the people you contacted.

Social Media Content Distribution Recap

  • The proper tracking is in place to measure the success of paid advertising.
  • Data from your website and CRM that you can use to retarget prospects and customers.
  • Pages, ad accounts, and a Pixel setup in Facebook Business Manager.
  • Relevant blogs, publishers, and influencers were identified for collaboration opportunities and outreach.


6. Plan Your Execution

With a solid foundation in place, it’s time to evaluate your people, process, and publishing plan. 

Your execution planning should answer – are the right people in the right seats? 

Are they focused on the right tasks?

And how will we improve the plan as we go?

Select the people responsible for the five main social media roles

There are five main roles responsible for executing a social media marketing strategy. In most (small) organizations, the social media or marketing manager will wear all of these hats. (Way to go, you!)

The five main social media roles include:

  1. Strategic Planner.
  2. Community Manager.
  3. Content Creator.
  4. Ad Buyer.
  5. Analyst.

Strategic Planner: The planner or planning team is responsible for overseeing this lovely strategy, ensuring that it translates into quality output, and is organized neatly in an overarching editorial calendar.

Community Manager: The social media community manager is in charge of growing and engaging with your audience. Tasks include social listening and monitoring, responding to comments 1-on-1, following and unfollowing accounts, and publishing the scheduled and real-time content you’re producing.

Content Creators: Content is the lifeblood of a great social media program, so the role of the creator is an important one. Of course, many individuals may contribute content, including front-line employees, volunteers, and customers. Your customers are hungry for a range of formats across channels, from story-based videos and still images to articles like this, so the person in this seat should bring a breadth of skills to the table.

Ad Manager & Analyst: Sometimes a split role, the ad manager and analyst an optimizer. They bring a data-driven approach to your social media program by keeping a watchful eye on ROI, reporting results to stakeholders, and managing the spending and pacing of your paid campaigns.

Each role is also responsible for selecting the tools and resources to do their jobs well. For instance, the community manager might evaluate a scheduling tool like, Sprout Social, or. The content creator might request editing tools like Canva for Work, ChatGPT Plus, or Adobe Spark.

Define your social media tasks on a quarter, monthly, weekly, and daily basis

Quarterly social media task examples:

  • Evaluate the quarterly goal pacing against annual goals.
  • Plan a high-level editorial calendar which may include allocating slots for content themes, key events, and paid campaign windows.
  • Produce a pillar piece of content that will feed your campaign (sometimes called cornerstone content).
  • Review the list of influencers you’re targeting or the ROI from those relationships.

Monthly social media task examples:

  • Fill out the calendar with more detail for daily content, including assets and copy, and slots for real-time stories.
  • Measure and report on monthly KPIs.
  • Create and schedule a batch of planned content.
  • Review and adjust the hashtags and publishing times you’re using based on engagement.

Weekly social media task examples:

  • Create and schedule more timely content to fill in gaps.
  • Amplify (boost) the top-performing posts.
  • Review progress on paid campaigns towards the monthly goal and budget.
  • Follow/unfollow accounts and invite-to-like fans to grow the audience.
  • Proactively engage and comment on other peoples’ content.

Daily social media task examples:

  • Monitor for notifications, reviews, and mentions on your accounts.
  • Interact with your audience and reply to comments.
  • Share timely, immediate content sourced from employees.
  • Engage with and repost user-generated content from customers.
  • Interact and monitor in Facebook Groups (or customer communities).
  • Update daily stories.

Establish a period and process for evaluating progress with your team

A few tips for continuous improvement and learning.

Ask your customers and colleagues for feedback. Is our voice resonating? Is our content helpful? KPIs are important, but qualitative feedback goes a long way.

Keep a swipe file of content that works, and why. When an ad or content performs well, there’s a good chance it will work again. Create an internal record of ads and content that resonated—both your own and others you find. Task colleagues to do the same to build your collection and strengthen your organization’s competency for recognizing good content. Screenshot and log the copy, creative, and offer. Tip: Start with a Slack channel. (Ours is called #good_social.)

Hold a monthly retrospective. To stay agile, embrace “Agile.” At least once per quarter, bring the core team responsible for social together to share and learn. Everyone should be briefed to be prepared, honest, and open to improving the quality of their takeaways. In your retro, ask four key questions about the process and performance of your social media program:

  • What worked / what should we keep doing?
  • What didn’t / what should we stop doing?
  • What did we learn / what should we try next?
  • What puzzles us?

Hire an experienced social media strategy partner to conduct strategy R&D. It’s hard to see the forest through the trees when you’re in the thick of it. Having an outside advisor look at your internal data and process can make a big impact in setting the course for the year. 

A social media strategy partner will synthesize your brand’s strategy by analyzing your past performance, distilling your goals into monthly objectives, developing content themes and ideas, and training your team on implementation. (And likely get the job done faster.)

Social Media Strategy Execution Recap

  • The people who’ll be responsible for the five main social media roles.
  • The tasks you will complete on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
  • The tools you will use to organize your calendar, community management, and reporting.
  • The retrospective questions you will ask, like “What’s working, what isn’t, and what will we try next?”

Are you feeling as pumped as we are? 👊

By following the 6 steps of our social media strategy framework, you can create a working plan that will energize your team, surface the most essential content opportunities, and set you miles apart from your competition. Compile your takeaways into a slide deck, Google Doc, or spreadsheet, and start testing, learning, and growing.

In summary, to prep your 2023 social media strategy for success:

  1. Set goals that are SMART and tied to business priorities.
  2. Identify the most important audiences you need to engage to hit your goals.
  3. Determine which channels you will use to reach those audiences.
  4. Outline what makes your audience aware, care, share, and convert.
  5. Research the tactics you will use to amplify your content.
  6. Plan your execution with the right tracking, people, and processes in place.

Now go, my friend, and start winning! 🚀

Frequently Asked Questions about social media strategy

What are the best times to post on each social media?

The best time to publish social media content is when your audience is paying attention, or seeking out information. That’s a pretty hard nut to crack. The first step is to review your own data—do you see better engagement when you post in the morning, afternoon, or evening? How does your content perform on weekdays or weekends? Which ones?

For specific industry research, Sprout Social has published research on the best times for brands in education, healthcare, consumer goods, and tech on Facebook and Instagram.

Some general rules on when to post on social media:

  • Survey your customers about their own behaviors.
  • Monitor your competitors and their posting frequency.

The truth is ‘time of day’ is less important now than ever before. With algorithmic feeds, your content will be prioritized based on its relevance to the user—meaning a more engaging post can have a lifespan of 2+ days, while others may stop picking up reach after 2 hours.

You can learn a lot from social media experiments. Remember: More important than ‘when you post’ is often ‘what you post.’ Before drilling down time of day, consider the format, quality, and topic of content your audience likes most.

How much should you budget for social media?

The industry standard calculation would be dedicating at least 5% of your expected revenue towards marketing, and 10-25% of that budget towards social media marketing. You can then break down that total budget for social media campaigns, ad spend, tools, and agency services. That budget includes people and time, and the benchmark used by marketing teams varies on your industry, maturity, and desired level of growth. You can dig into all of the budget factors in our article on setting B2B social media budgets.

How many posts should you plan for each social media channel?

The right frequency depends on your ability to create enough valuable, interesting content. To stay engaged with your audience, start with at least one post per week on each social media platform. Most companies post at least 2-3 times per week and up to once-per-day. On the other end of the spectrum, large, digital media publishers like BuzzFeed post several times a day. Outside of outbound content, make sure to allocate time for daily responses to comments and direct messages.

Who are the top B2B brands on social media?

In 2023, you would be hard-pressed to find a B2B brand that isn’t on social media. According to IDC, 75% of B2B buyers use social media to make purchase decisions. Brands like Dropbox, Shopify, Cisco, and UpWork frequently win new customers (and big awards) from their B2B social media campaigns.

The best way to find relevant B2B examples is to search marketing award directories, sort social media benchmarking websites by your vertical, or use the tried and true method of guessing and checking. LinkedIn search, Twitter recommendations, and Facebook Ad Library is your friend.

Here, you can get a swipe file full of 30+ exceptional social media content examples.

🙋🏼Have other questions? Send them along or leave a comment below.

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How to Create a B2B Social Media Strategy: The 2024 Guide

Josh Krakauer

Josh Krakauer is the CEO of Sculpt, that B2B social media agency you just discovered. Josh has launched social media campaigns for best-selling books, publicly-traded corporations, and early-stage startups. Josh works from Washington, DC, but still thinks Iowa City is the best city on earth.

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