Client management

October 5, 2021

Last update


11 MIN.

How to Build a Social Media Marketing Strategy for Clients

Whether you're pitching or onboarding a new client, or you just want to update your current strategy and make it more actionable, these tips will come in handy.



How to Build a Social Media Marketing Strategy for Clients

Are you looking for effective ways to build a winning social media strategy for clients in 2021?

Look no further. This article will help you get started.

Whether you are pitching or onboarding a new client, or you just want to update your current strategy and make it more actionable, the tips in the article will come in very handy.  

Let's get started. 

Set goals that fit the client's business

To create a successful social media strategy for a client, you need to first define their business goals.

Each client is different, so the strategy that works for one client might not work for the other. You need to tailor the strategy to fit each client's business objectives and goals. 

Establishing goals before the start of any project will help you define the right content strategy to use and also make it easy to measure success and return on investment.

To effectively set goals for a client, you need to follow the S.M.A.R.T goal framework. 

Where the acronym stands for:

S - Specific 

M - Measurable

A - Achievable

R - Realistic

T - Timely

To help you build a framework for each client, here are some questions you can ask:

SMART Goal - Specific

Here are five “W” questions to ask clients to ensure that their goals are well-defined and clear: 

  • What goal do you want to accomplish?
  • Why do you want to achieve this goal?
  • When do you want to achieve this goal?
  • Who is involved in helping achieve this goal?
  • Where will this goal be achieved?

For example, a general goal will be “I want more followers.” A specific goal will be “I want to grow my Twitter following by 10,000 people in the next 3 months”. 

SMART Goal - Measurable

A SMART goal must have metrics that can be measured. If there are no measurable metrics, you won't be able to track your progress. Ask clients these questions to make sure their goal is measurable:

  • How do you know we've reached the goal?
  • How many/much?
  • What are the indicators of progress?

Building on the specific goal from earlier in the article:  “I want to grow my Twitter following by 10,000 people in the next 3 months. So every month, we'll try to grow our followers by 3000 people."

SMART Goal - Achievable

These questions will help you determine if the goal can be achieved:

  • Have others successfully achieved this goal in the past?
  • Are they enough resources to achieve this goal?
  • Do you have the skills and capabilities to achieve this goal?

SMART Goal - Realistic

Ask yourself this question to determine whether the goal can be realistically achievable: 

  • Is the goal reachable given the time and resources available at your disposal?

SMART Goal - Timely

A SMART goal must have a start and finish date. If the goal isn't time-bound, you might spend ages on the project because there is no sense of urgency. Ask the client:

  • Is there a deadline when this goal must be achieved?
  • When do you want to achieve this goal?

Example of social media goals

Here are some social media goals that businesses can set regardless of their type or size:

Increase brand awareness

Increasing brand awareness is all about making a brand more known to its target audience. It involves increasing the brand's presence in social media networks where its audience is most active. 

The KPIs to track when increasing brand awareness on social media are followers growth, traffic, impressions, reach, and share of voice. 

Generate leads and sales

Businesses can translate their social media presence into new leads and sales. This can be done by funneling social media traffic to relevant sales/landing pages or directly through social media ads. 

KPIs to track: email sign-ups, lead conversion rate, sales revenue, and non-revenue conversions. 

Increasing community engagement

Brands can use social media to encourage conversations with their target audience. In the past, brands relied on direct marketing and word of mouth. Social media provides a new platform where brands can engage their followers in real-time. This is very useful in helping brands build long-lasting meaningful relationships with potential customers. 

KPIs to track: comments, shares, likes, mentions, and clicks. 

While KPIs like shares and likes might be considered vanity metrics, they can help you determine whether your social media content strategy is connecting with your audience. 

Create a social media mission statement

While your client will most likely have a brand mission statement, it is also important that they have a social media mission statement.

The social media mission statement articulates why the brand is on social media. It goes beyond social media goals like “increase brand awareness”, “generates leads and sales”, etc. Instead, the mission statements describe what the brand wants to accomplish on social media, and ties it into its goals. 

A brand's social media statement describes what makes a brand unique. It tells the story of what the brand will be known for and helps it stand out from other businesses online. Social media projects usually take a long time to complete; having a mission statement ensures that the brand stays on track. 

How to create a social media mission statement

What does the client want to be known for on social media?

Answering this question will get you started with creating the client's mission statement. Does the client want to educate their audience? Empower them? Or simply entertain and make them laugh. 

Fitting this mission statement into the questions: 

What do you do?

We help SaaS businesses grow and drive sales

How do you do it?

By sharing marketing tips and strategies on Twitter

Who do you do it for?

SaaS founders 

What is your social media goal? 

To establish your brand as an expert in the SaaS niche. 

Research the client's target audience

Before you create a social media marketing strategy for a client, you need to first understand who their target audience is. This will enable you to create content that the client’s audience will want to share, like, and comment on.

To get started, you need to analyze the client’s existing social media audience. These are the people that are already engaging with the client. Thanks to the many social media analytics tools available, it's easy to get an overview of who is already following the client and how the followers interact with the client in different social media channels. 

For example, Iconosquare’s analytics dashboard will give you a clear picture of the client’s audience demographics across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It will highlight which social network gets the most engagement, the content the audience interacts with the most, and also give you more insights on how to optimize social media performance

Here are some data points you should also analyze when researching the client’s audience:

  • Location (and time zone): Where are most of the client’s engaged audience situated? This is especially important when you want to run social media ads. Getting the geographic area right will help you schedule ads for maximum visibility. It will also ensure that you post content when their audience is most active online.
  • Age: You don’t have to focus on the exact age here. Instead, focus on what generation their social media audience is from. For example, if a brand has a target audience consisting mainly of the Gen Z generation, their content will perform well on a social media platform like TikTok. 
  • Interests: What are the interests of the client’s target audience? What kind of content do they prefer? If you understand the audience's interest, you will be able to create content they will readily interact with.
  • Challenges: What are the pain points of their audience?

Tip: An effective way to learn more about the client’s audience is by incorporating UTM links into social posts. This will allow you to learn who clicks on your social media content using Google Analytics. Learn how to improve your social media with UTM links. After you have added the UTM code, you will be able to see demographic information in the Audience Insights column of Google Analytics.

Establish the key metrics to track

The client's social media goals will determine the metrics you will track. For example, if the client's goal is to increase conversion, the appropriate metric to track will be increasing the conversions from those that visit the client's website via your social media posts. For every goal, you need to have a related metric that you can measure. 

Having social media metrics to measure will help you identify how well your social media strategy is performing. Not only that, having these metrics makes it easy for you to show the impact of your work to the client. 

Tip: Every social media platform has an analytics feature you can use. For Twitter, you'll use Twitter Analytics. On Facebook, go to the Insights tab. You will need a business account if you want to access analytics on Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok. 

If the client has a low budget, you can use these native analytics features individually. But note that it can be time-consuming if you are managing a client's social strategy across multiple networks. 

To significantly reduce the time investment of manually creating reports for different networks, find a social media analytics tool that fits the client's budget. 

In Iconosquare, you get access to presentation-ready social media reports. You can schedule for the report to be regularly delivered to your inbox or exported manually on demand. 

Now that you know how to get the data, let's see some of the metrics you can track. 

  • Engagement: This is the measure of how people are interacting with the client's social media account. The engagement can include likes, shares, comments, favorites, DMs, and replies. Tracking engagement helps you measure whether your content is resonating with the client's audience.  

  • Reach: This is the total number of unique people that see your social media content. If the client's goal is to increase brand awareness, post reach is an important metric to track. 

  • Clicks: This is measured simply by the number of times followers click on your post. Link clicks usually reflect the quality of the post title and image. So If you get a high number of clicks but little likes, comments, and shares, it means the post caught the audience's attention but the content of the post wasn't exceptional enough to cause them to engage further. 

  • Sentiment:  Social media sentiment helps you measure the feelings the audience has about the client's brand on social media. Sentiment analysis takes the conversations users are having and puts them into context. 

  • Hashtag performance: What are the client's best performing brand-related hashtags? Which hashtags are most associated with the client's brand? Answering these questions will help you create better content as you proceed with the campaign. 

  • Conversions: Social conversions are when people visit a website via a social media post and then take the desired action in that same visit. For example, people purchasing a product or signing up for a newsletter after getting redirected from a social media post. 

Create a social media content plan

Once you've identified the client's social media goals and the networks where their target audience spends most of their time, the next step is to plan your content. The content needs to be specific and relevant to the client's audience needs. 

Your focus should be on creating content that is valuable to the audience. Content that they will engage with

To get started easily, engage in a conversation with the audience the client already has. You can create a questionnaire or run a simple poll to find out the kind of content the audience will love to consume. 

Tip: You can motivate users to respond by offering rewards to users that complete the questionnaire. 

Use Google Forms to create professional-looking questionnaires. 

Also, look at the kind of content your client's competitors are creating. Maybe the kind of content they create will also work for your client too. Note that you should not copy their content verbatim. Just use it as an inspiration for creating your own content plan.  

You can also run a social media content audit on the content the client has created before bringing you on board. Look at the posts that have performed well and the ones that didn't. This will reduce the amount of guesswork you will have to do.

When creating a content plan, you should also look at some of the top social media trends. These trends should guide your content creation process. If you fail to adapt to new trends, you will see less success with your social media marketing strategies. 

Here are a few of the top social media trends in 2021:

1. Live streams are more popular than ever

Since the global health pandemic that hit the world in 2020, many businesses have gone digital. So naturally, there has been an increase in the use of live streaming on social media. People have gotten used to interacting with their favorite brands via live streaming. Stat shows that the live streaming sector grew a full 45 percent between March and April. And year over year, the industry grows by 99 percent.  

2. Stories as a content format is on the rise

Social media users love viewing stories. More than 500 million people interact with Instagram stories every day. Stories are not going anywhere. No wonder in 2020, 51% of brands say they are already using stories in their content strategy. And this number will likely increase in 2021. You wouldn't want your client to be left out, right? :)

3. Short form videos are booming

With the massive rise in the popularity of TikTok and Instagram's recent rollout of Reels, short-form videos are booming. TikTok videos are even beginning to dominate on other networks like Twitter and YouTube. This is mostly due to their high engagement rate.

4. Users want to see more purpose-driven campaigns

Social media users want to see posts that show off a brand's human side. In fact, 74% of respondents in a Twitter survey want brands to showcase acts of kindness. And 77% say they feel more positive about brands that supported society during the pandemic. So in 2021, you should create content that spotlight important social issues. 

Establish a workflow

To ensure that you and the client have a good working relationship, you need to establish a workflow for the project. A social media workflow will define all the steps involved in the campaign process; from brainstorming, content creation to publishing. The workflow should also detail what role of everybody involved in the project will play. 

In summary, a workflow involves two things:

  • Who is expected to handle each stage of the campaign?
  • And when the work needs to be completed.

These are some things you should include in the workflow:

  • Ideation: What will be the process of brainstorming new content? Will you be solely in charge of this or will you work with a team?
  • Scheduling: How often you will post to each social media channel. Are there strict deadlines?
  • Posting: Who is in charge of uploading new content
  • Approval: Who needs to approve posts before they can go live (e.g social media manager, copy editor, or CEO)
  • Engagement: Who will interact with the audience? Will they be a dedicated social media customer care team?
  • Analysis: Who will track the data and interpret the performance of the strategy as the campaign progresses. 

Each stage of the workflow is important for the success of the campaign. And if the people responsible for each stage of the campaign are not well established, there will likely be a lot of errors and eventually friction between you and the client.

Also without a workflow, you might find yourself doing more work than was initially stipulated in your contract. 

Analyze what's working and what needs improving

At this stage, you should have a clear picture of the social media marketing strategy you will build for your client. However, it is important that you continuously analyze the performance of the strategy as the campaign progresses. 

Constantly analyzing the social media strategy will help you identify what kind of content works and the areas you need to improve. Social media involves a lot of trial and error, so you must monitor your campaigns in real-time. This will allow you to quickly make necessary changes to the strategy that will help get the most return on investment from a running campaign. 

Are you ready to get started? 

In this article, we have highlighted the steps required to build a social media marketing strategy for a client. 

I hope you enjoyed reading this article. Now I need you to ask yourself: which of these steps will you use first when creating a social media strategy? Are you going to start with creating a social media mission statement for the client? Or maybe you will start by developing a workflow?

the writer


Copywriter @Iconosquare

Hi! I'm Marvellous, huge fan of Iconosquare as a product, and determined to help experienced social media marketers thrive in the various aspects of their career.


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