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Mastering social media is a daunting task. With content-hungry platforms gobbling up your creative efforts and metrics on everything from average user age to their entertainment preferences, it is easy to lose sight of what your marketing should be accomplishing. Building a monthly social media strategy helps ensure that your social media marketing provides the best return on investment possible while still allowing for flexibility and innovation. Here are three key steps to start building a strategy that works for you.

Pick Your Platforms

It is crucial to use the right social platforms for your target audience. Research is key. Don’t rely on anecdotal evidence to build your perception of different platforms. Understand who your target audience is, and then look at other platforms for the metrics that are important to defining that audience—for example, the average age of users or the typical time of day when they engage with the platform.

Get S.M.A.R.T.

To get results, your social media strategy needs to be goal-based. Those goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (or S.M.A.R.T for short). By clearly defining what you want to achieve, how you intend to do so, and how you’ll know if that goal is met in the time allotted, your social content, engagements, and other actions will become much more intentional and therefore more effective.

Observe and Adapt

Even with clearly defined goals, social media success is a moving target, and strategies that work today won’t necessarily work tomorrow. Keep an eye on your success metrics—those measurements that you have determined are genuinely important to your business goals—and if your tried-and-true methods are no longer giving you the results you want, it’s time to move on to something new.

It is very easy to get overwhelmed with social media marketing. It’s a fast-moving and diverse medium, and with so much data available, it can be not easy to parse out what is useful. Learning to do so and pair that information with your business’s goals and policies in a monthly social media strategy will help move your social media marketing forward.