Writing a plan for your social media marketing may seem simple and many companies choose to forgo planning, instead relying on evergreen content. Creating a thought out plan around which all social media activity revolves will increase your Klout Score (the influence of your channels), make you a credible source of information and create new leads for your business.
Create the perfect social media plan
You can place a job position in LinkedIn to hire an Internet marketing guru or ask an agency to provide you a plan. Sometimes this need comes from the following thoughts:
- I heard that many companies are doing social media
- My friend’s company facebook page has over 10k fans
- Social media is a new marketing tool, we want to use it
Please keep in mind that a social media activity has to be rely on a “social media plan”, a social media plan has to be prepared based on a “digital marketing plan”; a digital marketing plan has to be prepared based on the “corporate marketing plan” and finally, the corporate marketing plan has attracted from the “corporate business plan”. If we have jumped to this topic, we assumed that you have prepared / accessed to all following documents and your plan is in a same direction. You might plan for your social media and your social media might achieve its goal, but it does not necessary cause more sales/ revenue.
You might plan for your social media and your social media might achieve its goal, but it does not necessary cause more sales/ revenue.
Follow these steps and create a useful plan that is relevant, measurable and sure to be a success:
1) Identify target audience
First things first, you need to determine who your target audience will be. Knowing the demographics is key to creating the right plan. When it comes to sharing content on various platforms, you have to know whom you’re talking to. Listen and learn about your audience before going about designing a plan. The gender, age, location, common interests and common situations are more important than choosing your social media platform.
2) Know where your audience is
The next big step is to figure out where your audience prefers to get their information. There are plenty of platforms from Facebook to Twitter to LinkedIn Google+ to Vine and Instagram or Pinterest. Once you know your target platform, spend some time and see how the target audience spends most of their time. Choose those channels as your primary focus points and share your content there. For example, if your target audience is women, age 22 to 45, who is a mom, and belongs to working class, then Facebook is a good platform for you and promoting your content after work hour is the best time. If your audience is men, age 45+, working in a consulting company, contains CXO position on Ontario, then you need to focus on LinkedIn and publish your contents on 6:00 am.
3) Set SMART objectives
Setting objectives and goals is key to any plan’s success. Going about setting objectives requires knowing what the overall business goal is. Then develop some specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely objectives. Avoid vague objectives, make sure you know how to measure your success with each objective, keep things realistic and achievable and set due dates for each objective. To find the best objectives ask yourself “So What?” You might be able to achieve 1000 new like on Facebook within next three months, but so what? You might be able to increase the number of Google plus followers, how do you convert your goal to the ROI?
4) Measure your success
Knowing how to measure your objectives’ success will assist you in creating a fantastic plan. Know how your objectives will be successful before you set them and use those same metrics to determine whether you achieved your goals in the end. By math, find an exact measure formula for what you will earn if you achieve your plan objectives.
5) Choose posting frequency
Whether you post content once, twice or three times a day will make a difference in the overall success of your plan. Determine how often your audience will be open to seeing content and don’t spam them with too much information. Get to know what kind of information gets shared more often and base your frequency on that. Test the waters and determine a good frequency rate. In ColdAd, we publish our tweets on different times of a day. For example, we might promote a blog on 7:00 for early bird readers; lunchtime for business class, 15:00 for rest time followers and also 18:00 for after work day commenters. These different times target different personas and different target groups. Have an specific plan for every persona.
6) Conversation starters
Be sure to develop and share content that is informative, concise, easy to read and interesting. Don’t sell! Sometimes I want to say, “Don’t sell at all”. Social media is not a goo place for your brand to promote selling contents. You can sell on those channels if the ONLY competitive advantage of your product / service is the PRICE.
7) Monitor and engage
Don’t just push out material. Use services such as Tweetdeck and Hootsuite to keep in touch with your audience via your various social media channels. Engage with your audience by staying on top of the conversation and respond to questions and queries. Two-way communication requires investing time and conversing with your audience. This will make your brand more visible, engaging and credible. Let me emphasize, social media gets popular because of interactive approach. Otherwise you could be successful in a one way promoting messages like a TV ad.
Social media gets popular because of interactive approach. Otherwise you could be successful in a one way promoting messages like a TV ad.
8) Know the trends and keep them in mind
Social media channels are all about images, infographics and communicating in a user-friendly way. Stay on top of trends and develop graphics that will assist your audience better understand your content. Keep things interesting and post photos to go with your posts. Readers are more likely to read material that is less wordy and visually pleasing.
9) Analyze social media analytics
Google Analytics is a great tool for tracking social media stats and it is FREE Be sure to set up an account, add your social media channels and keep track of the Google+ shares, Facebook visits and clicks. This will help you understand what content is engaging your audience so you can base future plans on the results you’re currently seeing. Remember, everything is a learning lesson so stay connected to your audience, listen to their needs and respond accordingly.
10) Share your content using bit.ly or TinyURL
Real- time url tracking services like these will help you keep track of what content is being shared and where they’re being shared from. Knowing this will help you decide what channels to use for sharing content in the future. If you are using Hootsuite, it has its own URL shortener and weekly report. Find out which content copy has higher engagement.
11) Use hashtags
Hashtags are now available on Facebook ,Twitter, Google+, Instagram and Vine. Using hashtags will help your audience find your content and are therefore quite important. Be sure to use the same hashtags on the different platforms so your audience knows what to look for on every channel.
12) Keep your content flexible and relevant
Stay on top of current events and integrate them into your content sharing plan. A good plan should leave room for unplanned content. Tapping into trending current events will help your brand look relevant and help you engage with your audience more.
13) Use social media at events
When throwing an event, be sure to use a live Twitter feed and encourage attendees as well as your teammates to tweet about your brand and event. This will help your brand trend on Twitter and make your brand visible.
Creating a good plan takes time and effort. Make sure you follow the above steps and tap into what your audience wants to know more about. Take every week’s stats as a learning lesson and use the information you find through analyzing clicks as a way to determine what works best. Social media marketing is a great way to raise your brand’s profile, visibility and improve its overall reputation. If you’re ready to get started with social media marketing now is the time to do it.
Have you already tried to make a social media plan? Share your stories with us here and let us know what worked and what didn’t. We love to hear your stories.
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