How to Develop a Social Media Strategy: Step-by-Step Tutorial

Nowadays, it’s standard practice for most businesses to use Social Media Marketing to get customers online. Sadly, most small businesses don’t have a social media strategy. Ultimately, this can leads to a lack of results, which doesn’t add to their bottom line positively and is a waste of time.

I specialize in digital marketing strategies and I am going to teach you the process I use to develop my company’s social media strategy. This process is how I’ve grown my audience to over 1 million followers collectively. It is also the process I teach inside my program, Startup Society, to help our students develop social media strategies for their own businesses.

Step #1: Start with the right mindset

Typically, when business owners approach creating a social media strategy they often focus on results and metrics that don’t truly matter. Vanity metrics like clicks, comments, or impressions are not what you really want. What you want to do is drive more profit!

Views and growing your audience are important and they help your overall metrics but it’s not the only thing you want to focus on. What we are really wanting to focus on is converting followers and viewers into paying customers.

The other mistake business owners make is that they try to be on all the social media platforms and use all the features on the platforms. So for example, if you’re on Instagram you don’t need to use feed posts, stories, reels, guides, and ads. But that is simply not the case.

The best social media strategy isn’t super broad but it’s the one that is the most strategic and thoughtful for the platform or platforms you are on.

Related: 7 Mindset Shifts that Changed My Life

Step #2: Set goals

As I mentioned, it's important that your strategy is results-oriented so before you can come up with a strategy you need to know your goals. Before you even think about your social media strategy, think about your business and your business goals. I want you to get more specific than wanting to make more money and working less. You need to know what product you want to sell more of and how many units of that product you have to sell.

Then, what are your goals related to selling that product? Do you need to attract more potential customers or do you need to communicate to your leads more effectively? What are the real things you need to communicate to those people in order to get them interested in buying? You need to get really granular about your goals so you can specifically take action on them!


  • Drive traffic to a particular webpage
  • Generate sales of a specific product
  • Create awareness of a particular issue
  • Create engagement with existing followers
  • Grow following to increase visibility
  • Increase new client inquiries

For example, if you want to attract 1:1 clients for your Virtual Assistant Services, you don’t need to attract a ton of customers. Instead, you need to focus on attracting the right people and building relationships with them.

How do you measure that goal? You might measure it by the conversion rate of people filling out your inquiry form each week or how many people click on your intake form.

Conversion rate = percent of people who take your desired action

Another example, is maybe you make handmade jewelry and you want to sell more necklaces. Your goal might be to get more impressions on social media. Impressions can just be a vanity metric but for your product, it helps you understand how many people might buy.

Your strategy on social media and your budget on social media will be heavily influenced by what your goal is and by the size and time of your goal.

You need to know the OST of your goal. The Outcome, the Size, and the Time of your goal.

Going back to the jewelry business, if the outcome is to sell more necklaces, let’s say that they are selling 100 necklaces a month but they want to sell 300 necklaces a month. Do they want to accomplish this in the next week or in the next few months? Then you need to plan your goals accordingly.

Related: How to Set Goals & Create an Action Plan! (Step-by-Step Tutorial)

Step #3: Assess current results.

The next step is to access your current results. This is important because you need to know where you’re currently at so you can measure your progress with all of the changes you’ll be making.

You need to look at your current stats like followers counts, average impressions, likes, and clicks, and you’ll want to record those weekly so you can look back on your growth.

Step #4: Research your target market.

You need to determine who your target market is. This is important because we need to know who you are looking for.

Who are your current customers?
Do you want to keep attracting these people?
Do you want to attract a new group of people?
What are the demographics? Age, Gender, Ethnicity, Income, Locality, Material Status, Etc.

What are their interests? 

The more closely you can pinpoint this person. The easier it will be to locate this person on social media.

Step #5: Research your competitors.

You might not consider everyone a competitor but we need to look at people in your industry doing what you’re doing. We want to see what is working for them so you can cut the learning curve and learn what works early on.

Here’s how to analyze your competitors:

  • Identify competitors
  • What platforms are they using?
  • How frequently do they post?
  • What do they post?

Step #6: Assess what’s already working

Once you’ve researched your competitors, you’ll want to research yourself. What I mean by that is look at what you have been posting to determine what is working and what isn’t working so you know what to change.

I recommend you look at the numbers to get solid proof of what is doing well, what you want to keep doing, and what isn’t working for you currently. We can’t solely go off of our gut instincts and how we personally feel about the content.

Step #7: Choose your platforms

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to choosing your social media platforms but the first question to ask yourself is, what platforms are already working for you? Another thing to consider is, what platform do you enjoy being on?

If you’re a solopreneur or you have a small team, you need to be excited about the platforms you’ll be on since you’re going to be spending a lot of time there.

Then you’ll need to consider what is the best platform strategically for your goals. If you need a lot of new leads, you might consider a search-driven platform like Youtube, Pinterest, TikTok, or even paid ads.

If you need to focus on building relationships, you might pick Instagram or Twitter. Youtube, Blogging, or an email list would also be important too!

My unpopular opinion is that it doesn’t matter what platform you choose because you’ll have ideal clients on any platform. Where most of them are, you’ll also have more competition. Ultimately, competition won’t matter because you’ll have more potential customers on that platform anyway.

Your target market is going to be doing different things on every platform. For example, people on TikTok might be looking for more entertainment and it’s less likely they are going to be trusting. Then on youtube, the target market might be more serious and looking to build a relationship. This is just an example and not an accurate depiction of what people are doing on each platform.

Step #8: Plan content types and topics

My biggest tip is to come up with a lot of ideas. This is usually the hardest part for most business owners. When you stretch yourself. Start brainstorming, and remove your filter,s the ideas will start flowing.

Coming up with the ideas before you need to post will be the easiest way to start. As soon as you have ideas write them down, plan a brainstorming session or even multiple brainstorming sessions. When it comes to coming up with ideas, also make sure you think of the specific platforms. You might need to create longer species of content and shorter pieces of content depending on the platform so you’ll need to get more strategic.

Step #9: Plan posting frequency and create a schedule

When deciding your posting frequency and posting schedule, you need to decide this ahead of time so you can stay consistent. For example, you might decide that you want to post an Instagram feed post every day and an Instagram Reel every other day.

Volume is important for content but you still need to post quality content over quantity. You can create a million pieces of mediocre content and people won’t care but if you can create one piece of stand-out content that people love and share that will have a greater impact.

Experts say that you should be posting once a day on Instagram in order to grow. One Youtube experts say you should post once a week in order to grow. When it comes to your social media strategy I recommend following the minimum volume recommendations so you can grow!

Related: How I Plan & Create My Content (for YouTube, Podcast, Instagram, and Newsletters)

Step #10: Setup your project management software

You can do all the above steps and you still might fall on your face if you don’t follow through with creating the content. If you don’t have a system or a routine that will be detrimental to your social media strategy. I suggest using Asana, Trello, ClickUp, or Notion to manage all the moving pieces.

The two main systems you’ll need to set up are a content calendar with the publish dates and then a content production workflow where you can move the content through a production process as you come up with ideas, outline the content, take the pictures, record the videos, edit, and someone publishes it.

This is the easiest way to make sure all the steps get done in a timely way! Having a routine like this makes it way easier to stay consistent with posting your social media content.

Related: my Monday Asana routine to stay ORGANIZED and ON-TRACK

One more important step

The last step is to make sure you’re constantly measuring your metrics and adjusting your social media strategy as needed. This is what to social media pros do, they come up with a plan and adjust accordingly. Learn from your mistakes and adjust because your social media strategy will bever be perfected.

If you want to become a Social Media Master and use social media to drive profit in your business then join us in Startup Society!

Gillian Perkins

Hi, I’m Gillian! I’m a marketing strategist who helps online entrepreneurs 10X their sales with FB ads + sales funnels. I love combining tech, analytics, and psychology to create powerful marketing systems. When I’m not helping my clients scale their businesses, I’m spending time with my husband and two little boys, exploring new places, or seeking out choice espresso.