discuss a task
    ru en

how to develop an smm strategy: a step-by-step guide and practical tools

Strategies, planning, forecasting — it's all complicated for those who lack imagination to come up with something original. Such an opinion is quite common. But there is no more logic in this statement than in the statement that "knowledge of anatomical laws is only needed by surgeons devoid of creativity." There is also an additional complexity: different companies understand strategy in their own way or develop only selective stages of it. This reduces the brand's chances of success.

No one can guarantee success for your business, but having a plan significantly increases your chances. So, an SMM strategy is a document that outlines strategic and tactical decisions about what the brand should do on social media to achieve its goals. But it is also part of the company's overall marketing strategy, and therefore works to achieve business goals: sales, subscriptions, website traffic, consumer engagement, and the creation of a community of loyal customers.

SMM is not just systematic posting of text and beautiful pictures. It is a carefully thought-out work for months ahead, constantly adjusted depending on intermediate results, as a result of which the company will get sales and engagement of its audience. Together with Anastasia Petrova, Head of SMM at our agency, we will figure out how an SMM strategy is developed and works.

Stages of developing an SMM strategy

Stage 1. Immersion

1. Formulate goals for promoting the brand on social media.

The goal answers the question "why are we doing this?". Ideally, it should correspond to the SMART model: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

What will this give? During promotion, we match actions with the goal and determine if they help to achieve it.

2. Study the current brand concept: visual and creative.

What will this give? A clear understanding of how the brand or product is positioned.

3. Analyze the account management.

You need to study how the account was managed up to this point, what promotion methods were used, and what results they led to. You can use a SWOT analysis: identifying strengths and weaknesses, defining opportunities and threats.

What will this give? We will avoid "rakes" and see the most promising paths of development and growth points.

Step 2. Competitors

1. Analyze quantitative indicators of competitors on social media: engagement, likes, comments, number of subscribers, volume of content produced.

What will this give? Understanding the average indicators for a specific niche and the figures to strive for.

2. Conduct a content and promotion tool audit of competitors: mechanics, visual representation, ToV, strengths and weaknesses, advertising creatives, integrations.

What will this give? We note the best practices: what works and what doesn't, look at trends in the category and on the international market. This will help develop proposals and choose the optimal tools.

3. Create an archetype map: defining the archetypes of competitors and distributing them on the map, choosing the brand archetype on social media.

What will this give? Archetypes help to understand the target audience at a deeper level. They make the brand look like a person, not a soulless corporation.

Step 3. Audience

1. Study the audience: analyze general audience data as well as content consumption statistics in the field.

What will this give? Knowing the average numbers will help set the most realistic KPI - key performance indicators.

2. Segment the audience: form basic audience segments based on quantitative indicators, describe each segment used, identify sub-segments and their characteristics.

Many entrepreneurs answer the question of who their target audience is with "everyone." In fact, this means "no one." Just like the phrase "women over 30." There are women over 30 - housewives and mothers, and they need one thing, and there are women over 30 - building their business, and they have completely different pains.

Just as police create a composite sketch, we will have to put together a complete picture from scattered pieces in order to have a clear understanding of who our client is in a particular segment.

What will this accomplish? Targeted advertising campaigns, using audience pain points in materials, and, as a result, the ability to quickly find and reach the people we need.

3. Describe the brand champion: a detailed characterization of the most prominent representative of the segment, an exploration of audience motivations and content perception.

One of the best ways to penetrate the minds of potential clients is to put yourself in the client's shoes and create a brand champion, also known as an avatar of the most vibrant representative of the audience. You can come up with a story about the potential client's life. This is the marketing equivalent of creating a theatrical character according to Stanislavsky, which will pave the way for potential clients' thoughts.

What will this accomplish? It will allow us to adapt our offer to the characteristics of the target audience.

4. Prepare the brand's response - important criteria to emphasize when interacting with each audience segment.

Of course, goods and services can say everything for us, but a clear and compelling brand message will be the best way to attract customers. For example, phrases like "...for everything else, there's Mastercard" and "Just do it" reflect the entire concept and values of the brand, which can be used in any communication and tied to any agenda.

What will this accomplish? The formation of an effective communication with the audience.

Stage 4. Content

1. Choose a strategy for using social networks, presence platforms, and promotion tools.

Sometimes, there is no target audience for the brand on some social networks or they are inactive there, so it makes no sense to spend resources on that platform. Conversely, there may be a social network where your TA is definitely present, but there are no competitors yet, so you can confidently enter and promote on this platform.

What will this accomplish? Choosing suitable channels and promotion tools, as well as the proper distribution of resources.

2. Develop a creative concept: an idea, core values, a unified message that conveys the most important characteristics of the brand to the audience.

People buy not only based on the rational advantages of the product, but also guided by emotions. If there are two products that are identical in their properties, and a person is closely aligned with the values of only one of the manufacturers, the choice will be obvious.

What will this give? Audience loyalty, associative connection of the product with the brand and its message.

3. Develop a visual concept: mood board, proposal for visual design of social networks, general principles of material design for social networks.

What will this give? The ability to transmit emotional components not only of the product itself, but also of the entire ecosystem associated with its consumption.

4. Develop a content strategy and rubricator in accordance with the concept.

What will this give? Helps to structure information both in the mind of the SMM specialist and the entire team, as well as in your subscribers, and also plan high-quality interesting materials in advance.

5. Describe the Tone of Voice: general description and intended for community management.

Sometimes companies do not consider it important to develop their tone of voice: they "sound" differently in different situations, cannot give clear instructions to copywriters on how to write, from whose perspective to tell the story, whether to use slang words, and so on.

What will this give? Allows you to find contact with the audience, speaking with them "in the same language".

Stage 5. Promotion

1. We come up with promotion hypotheses: by audience groups, promotion settings for searching audience groups, develop a structure for testing hypotheses in the test period (cost, testing period, testing subject).

Creating and testing hypotheses is about finding a strong idea. Testing hypotheses will help to quickly and inexpensively, without draining the budget on non-working options, identify effective mechanics and tools.

What will this give? Savings in money and time.

2. We come up with setting up targeted advertising: social networks used for targeting, defining formats and basic promotion settings, calculating forecasts.

What will this give? The ability to use marketing budgets rationally and get maximum benefit from advertising campaigns.

3. We suggest other advertising channels.

  • — Working with bloggers, seeding: selecting channels and opinion leaders, proposals for the format of working with them
  • — Reputation management: proposals for formats of use (initiating discussions about the brand, working with negative feedback, etc.), features of working with the tool in the field of brand promotion
  • — Integrations, collaborations with other accounts, special projects, contest mechanics, promoted live broadcasts, and other mechanics

What will this give you? Comprehensive promotion and use of all possible channels and formats suitable for the brand.

4. Create a media plan: procurement volumes, budget distribution by channels.

A media plan is a table for a specific period and contains data on placement channels, budget, and forecasted results of the advertising campaign.

What will this give you? It will help plan promotion actions, allocate budget correctly, and evaluate advertising effectiveness.

5. Propose KPIs: ways to evaluate the effectiveness of using each channel (subscriber growth, increased engagement, coverage, number of applications, etc.).

What will this give you? We will be able to measure the degree of goal achievement.

What is the importance of SMM strategy?

"What to do?" - this hanging question does not apply to those who have a plan. Although it is important to remember that any strategy needs to be reviewed and adjusted over time, based on interim analytics results. Perhaps in the process, it will become clear that your initial KPIs are not achievable in the near future, or you will understand who your real target audience is, on whom you need to shift your focus.

An SMM strategy will provide:

  • – Time savings: pre-planned actions significantly reduce the time spent on thinking and answering the eternal question: "What to post?"
  • – Coordinated teamwork: everyone knows what goal they are moving towards, their responsibilities, and deadlines.
  • – Presence of control stages: you can transparently evaluate effectiveness, make adjustments, and improve the result.

Today, SMM is not just about pretty pictures and text. There's already enough of that on social media. Nobody thinks anymore that a brand with half a million followers is there just to see photos of their office building or a smiling CEO talking about "quality products" and "individual approach."

SMM strategy has become a part of business culture and helps every team member understand the project's goals and desires and contribute to the brand's development. And, of course, building successful communities. A well-thought-out and detailed SMM strategy is already 50% of your company's success on social media.

As promised in the article title, we're sharing a checklist on developing an SMM strategy. Download, save and use it!

We actively explore
the world branding and advertising
Subscribe to our social media
accounts to explore the world together.
contact us
briefly describe the task

Privacy Policy

1. An overview of data protection


The following gives a simple overview of what happens to your personal information when you visit our website. Personal information is any data with which you could be personally identified. Detailed information on the subject of data protection can be found in our privacy policy found below.

Data collection on our website

Who is responsible for the data collection on this website? The data collected on this website are processed by the website operator. The operator’s contact details can be found in the website’s required legal notice.

How do we collect your data?

Some data are collected when you provide it to us. This could, for example, be data you enter on a contact form.

Other data are collected automatically by our IT systems when you visit the website. These data are primarily technical data such as the browser and operating system you are using or when you accessed the page. These data are collected automatically as soon as you enter our website.

What do we use your data for?

Part of the data is collected to ensure the proper functioning of the website. Other data can be used to analyze how visitors use the site.

What rights do you have regarding your data?

You always have the right to request information about your stored data, its origin, its recipients, and the purpose of its collection at no charge. You also have the right to request that it be corrected, blocked, or deleted. You can contact us at any time using the address given in the legal notice if you have further questions about the issue of privacy and data protection. You may also, of course, file a complaint with the competent regulatory authorities.

Analytics and third-party tools

When visiting our website, statistical analyses may be made of your surfing behavior. This happens primarily using cookies and analytics. The analysis of your surfing behavior is usually anonymous, i.e. we will not be able to identify you from this data. You can object to this analysis or prevent it by not using certain tools. Detailed information can be found in the following privacy policy.

You can object to this analysis. We will inform you below about how to exercise your options in this regard.

2. General information and mandatory information

Data protection

The operators of this website take the protection of your personal data very seriously. We treat your personal data as confidential and in accordance with the statutory data protection regulations and this privacy policy.

If you use this website, various pieces of personal data will be collected. Personal information is any data with which you could be personally identified. This privacy policy explains what information we collect and what we use it for. It also explains how and for what purpose this happens.

Please note that data transmitted via the internet (e.g. via email communication) may be subject to security breaches. Complete protection of your data from third-party access is not possible.

Notice concerning the party responsible for this website
The party responsible for processing data on this website is:

Telephone: +66815434565
E-Mail: hello@icu.agency
Company registration number: 0845566007085

The responsible party is the natural or legal person who alone or jointly with others decides on the purposes and means of processing personal data (names, email addresses, etc.).

Revocation of your consent to the processing of your data

Many data processing operations are only possible with your express consent. You may revoke your consent at any time with future effect. An informal email making this request is sufficient. The data processed before we receive your request may still be legally processed.

SSL or TLS encryption

This site uses SSL or TLS encryption for security reasons and for the protection of the transmission of confidential content, such as the inquiries you send to us as the site operator. You can recognize an encrypted connection in your browser’s address line when it changes from “http://” to “https://” and the lock icon is displayed in your browser’s address bar.

If SSL or TLS encryption is activated, the data you transfer to us cannot be read by third parties.

Information, blocking, deletion

As permitted by law, you have the right to be provided at any time with information free of charge about any of your personal data that is stored as well as its origin, the recipient and the purpose for which it has been processed. You also have the right to have this data corrected, blocked or deleted. You can contact us at any time using the address given in our legal notice if you have further questions on the topic of personal data.

Opposition to promotional emails

We hereby expressly prohibit the use of contact data published in the context of website legal notice requirements with regard to sending promotional and informational materials not expressly requested. The website operator reserves the right to take specific legal action if unsolicited advertising material, such as email spam, is received.

3. Data protection officer

Statutory data protection officer

We have appointed a data protection officer for our company.

Alexander Rusin
Telephone: +66815434565
E-Mail: hello@icu.agency
Company registration number: 0845566007085

4. Data collection on our website


Some of our web pages use cookies. Cookies do not harm your computer and do not contain any viruses. Cookies help make our website more user-friendly, efficient, and secure. Cookies are small text files that are stored on your computer and saved by your browser.

Most of the cookies we use are so-called “session cookies.” They are automatically deleted after your visit. Other cookies remain in your device’s memory until you delete them. These cookies make it possible to recognize your browser when you next visit the site.

You can configure your browser to inform you about the use of cookies so that you can decide on a case-by-case basis whether to accept or reject a cookie. Alternatively, your browser can be configured to automatically accept cookies under certain conditions or to always reject them, or to automatically delete cookies when closing your browser. Disabling cookies may limit the functionality of this website.

Cookies which are necessary to allow electronic communications or to provide certain functions you wish to use (such as the shopping cart) are stored pursuant to Art. 6 paragraph 1, letter f of DSGVO. The website operator has a legitimate interest in the storage of cookies to ensure an optimized service provided free of technical errors. If other cookies (such as those used to analyze your surfing behavior) are also stored, they will be treated separately in this privacy policy.

Server log files

The website provider automatically collects and stores information that your browser automatically transmits to us in “server log files”. These are:

Browser type and browser version
Operating system used
Referrer URL
Host name of the accessing computer
Time of the server request
IP address
These data will not be combined with data from other sources.

The basis for data processing is Art. 6 (1) (b) DSGVO, which allows the processing of data to fulfill a contract or for measures preliminary to a contract.

5. Analytics and advertising

Google Analytics

This website uses Google Analytics, a web analytics service. It is operated by Google Inc., 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, USA.

Google Analytics uses so-called “cookies”. These are text files that are stored on your computer and that allow an analysis of the use of the website by you. The information generated by the cookie about your use of this website is usually transmitted to a Google server in the USA and stored there.

Google Analytics cookies are stored based on Art. 6 (1) (f) DSGVO. The website operator has a legitimate interest in analyzing user behavior to optimize both its website and its advertising.

IP anonymization

We have activated the IP anonymization feature on this website. Your IP address will be shortened by Google within the European Union or other parties to the Agreement on the European Economic Area prior to transmission to the United States. Only in exceptional cases is the full IP address sent to a Google server in the US and shortened there. Google will use this information on behalf of the operator of this website to evaluate your use of the website, to compile reports on website activity, and to provide other services regarding website activity and Internet usage for the website operator. The IP address transmitted by your browser as part of Google Analytics will not be merged with any other data held by Google.

Browser plugin

You can prevent these cookies being stored by selecting the appropriate settings in your browser. However, we wish to point out that doing so may mean you will not be able to enjoy the full functionality of this website. You can also prevent the data generated by cookies about your use of the website (incl. your IP address) from being passed to Google, and the processing of these data by Google, by downloading and installing the browser plugin available at the following link: https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout?hl=en.

Objecting to the collection of data

You can prevent the collection of your data by Google Analytics by clicking on the following link. An opt-out cookie will be set to prevent your data from being collected on future visits to this site: Disable Google Analytics.

For more information about how Google Analytics handles user data, see Google’s privacy policy: support.google.com

Outsourced data processing

We have entered into an agreement with Google for the outsourcing of our data processing and fully implement the strict requirements of the German data protection authorities when using Google Analytics.

Demographic data collection by Google Analytics

This website uses Google Analytics’ demographic features. This allows reports to be generated containing statements about the age, gender, and interests of site visitors. This data comes from interest-based advertising from Google and third-party visitor data. This collected data cannot be attributed to any specific individual person. You can disable this feature at any time by adjusting the ads settings in your Google account or you can forbid the collection of your data by Google Analytics as described in the section “Refusal of data collection”.

Google Analytics Remarketing

Our websites use the features of Google Analytics Remarketing combined with the cross-device capabilities of Google AdWords and DoubleClick. This service is provided by Google Inc., 1600 Amphitheater Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, USA.

This feature makes it possible to link target audiences for promotional marketing created with Google Analytics Remarketing to the cross-device capabilities of Google AdWords and Google DoubleClick. This allows advertising to be displayed based on your personal interests, identified based on your previous usage and surfing behavior on one device (e.g. your mobile phone), on other devices (such as a tablet or computer).

Once you have given your consent, Google will associate your web and app browsing history with your Google Account for this purpose. That way, any device that signs in to your Google Account can use the same personalized promotional messaging.

To support this feature, Google Analytics collects Google-authenticated IDs of users that are temporarily linked to our Google Analytics data to define and create audiences for cross-device ad promotion.

You can permanently opt out of cross-device remarketing/targeting by turning off personalized advertising in your Google Account; follow this link: https://www.google.com/settings/ads/onweb/?hl=en.

The aggregation of the data collected in your Google Account data is based solely on your consent, which you may give or withdraw from Google per Art. 6 (1) (a) DSGVO. For data collection operations not merged into your Google Account (for example, because you do not have a Google Account or have objected to the merge), the collection of data is based on Art. 6 (1) (f) DSGVO. The website operator has a legitimate interest in analyzing anonymous user behavior for promotional purposes.

For more information and the Google Privacy Policy, go to: https://www.google.com/policies/technologies/ads/.

6. Newsletter

Newsletter data

If you would like to receive our newsletter, we require a valid email address as well as information that allows us to verify that you are the owner of the specified email address and that you agree to receive this newsletter. No additional data is collected or is only collected on a voluntary basis. We only use this data to send the requested information and do not pass it on to third parties.

We will, therefore, process any data you enter onto the contact form only with your consent per Art. 6 (1) (a) DSGVO. You can revoke consent to the storage of your data and email address as well as their use for sending the newsletter at any time, e.g. through the “unsubscribe” link in the newsletter. The data processed before we receive your request may still be legally processed.

The data provided when registering for the newsletter will be used to distribute the newsletter until you cancel your subscription when said data will be deleted. Data we have stored for other purposes (e.g. email addresses for the members area) remain unaffected.

Data processing is based on Art. 6 (1) (a) DSGVO. You may revoke your consent at any time by unsubscribing to the newsletter. The data processed before we receive your request may still be legally processed.

The data provided when registering for the newsletter will be used to distribute the newsletter until you cancel your subscription when said data will be deleted from our servers. Data we have stored for other purposes remains unaffected.

Thanks for signing up!

Wrong email format!

Your message has been sent successfully!