What separates successful social media marketers from the rest is how well they strategize. While many may see social media as a mere afterthought, it should play a central role in any business in 2019 and beyond. Although, not everyone has the means to hire an in-house social media manager or work with a consultant.

However, anybody can start a successful social media marketing strategy if they understand the basics. Here’s how you can build an effective social media strategy in 2019:

Monitor Your Results for 2018

You won’t be able to build a strategy unless you get a clear report of how you performed in 2018. It is important to conduct an in-depth analysis of each and every one of your social media channels and see if they met your expectations.

Check how each channel performed as far as conversions, traffic, and which of your channels saw the most engagement. This will allow you to target the channels that work the best for you and concentrate your efforts there. Tracking your results will also allow you to gauge if your marketing efforts had a satisfactory return on investment.

Set Clear Goals in Place

You also have to set clear goals in place as far as your social marketing efforts go and make sure that they are in alignment with your business’s over-arching goals. If, for instance, you’re trying to improve your local search results, you could tweak your social media pages to improve your positioning.

According to an article featured on Tweak Your Biz, doing a few simple things such as optimizing your Facebook page’s URL, completing your ‘about’ page, or optimizing your local business page could make a significant impact on your local search visibility. Whatever you do, make sure that your goals are specific, measurable, attainable, and realistic and that you set a clear deadline for each goal as well.

Create Audience Personas

It’s very important that you segment your audience and know how to address each segment correctly if you want to get the best results. Use in-depth analysis to break up your audience into groups, and find out where they congregate as well as which type of content they engage with the most. You will then use this data to formulate a content creation strategy that will reach each segment. You should also use this data when setting marketing campaigns and to maximize ad targeting.

Have a Clear Content Strategy for Each of Your Key Distribution Channels

By now, you should know which of your distribution channels are the most important. But you also have to mold your strategy according to each platform and its specificities. You may want to use your Facebook page to communicate directly with your audience and your Instagram page to showcase your products for instance. Different types of content might work better on different platforms as well. While you would want to keep the content lighter on platforms like Facebook, you might want to use your Twitter feed to redirect your users towards valuable resources and your LinkedIn page to post interesting data, studies or industry articles.

This year is the right time to ramp up your social media efforts and reach your marketing goals. Follow these few tips if you want to start the year on the right foot and benefit from the power of social media.