A lot of companies have to come up with different strategies in order for them to remain relevant in the market and stay ahead of their competition. They need to find innovative ways that will help ensure that they get the attention of both possible customers and existing clients. you may also see Plan Templates.
For this reason, a lot of companies are conducting and making use of social media strategies wherein they utilize social media sites and pages to help ensure that they are able to promote their brand. So this article will teach you how to come up with an efficient social media strategy that should help your business achieve its goals.
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How to create a social media marketing plan
If you are going to make use of social media, then you should know that every post, like, and comment should all be guided by a plan that is driven toward the success of your business. It might sound complicated, but if you take the time to create a comprehensive social media strategy, the rest of your social media plan should go smoothly. Just about everyone can do this if they learn how to approach it directly.
So here are some important steps that will help make sure you can create an efficient social media marketing plan.
Create social media marketing objectives and goals
The first step you have to take when creating a social media marketing strategy is to establish objectives and goals that you would like to achieve. Having these objectives also allows you to react and adapt whenever social media campaigns are not exactly meeting your expectations. If your social media marketing strategy does not have any purpose or goal, then you have no means of gauging success or proving your social media return of investment.
These goals should be aligned with your broader marketing strategy. This is to ensure that your social media efforts drive the objectives of your business. If your social media marketing strategy is aimed to support the goals of your business, you are more likely to get executive buy-in and investment.
A key component of setting effective goals for your social media strategy is to know the kind of metrics that you will be using in order for you to gauge its success. You definitely have to go beyond vanity metrics such as likes and even retweets. Focus on things such as leads generated, conversion rates, and web referrals.
While you are writing down your goals, you have to keep your audience and customers in mind. So think about what your customers would want, dislike, their age demographic, and more. For example, if you are trying to determine if a goal is properly fleshed out, ask yourself, “How is this going to help me reach my target audience?”
When setting your goals, you also have to remember to use the SMART framework. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. You have to make sure that you keep them in mind so that you will know how to make goals that your business can actually achieve.
The best way to start making your social media marketing plan is to write down at least three social media goals. Make sure that you list down what your goal will look like when it is attained, and then you can use that to determine how you will be able to track it.
Conduct a social media audit
Before you can start making your social media marketing plan, you have to conduct an assessment of your current social media use and how it is doing. This means finding out who is currently connecting with you via social media, the social media site that your target audiences mainly use, and how your social media presence compares to that of your competitors.
Once you have conducted your audit, then you should have a clear picture of every social account that is representing your business, the person that runs or possibly even controls each account, and the purpose that each of them serve. This inventory should be maintained regularly, especially as you scale up your business.
You should also figure out which social media accounts you need to update, and which ones you should disable. In the event that your audit is able to hand you information regarding fraudulent accounts (such as a fake branded Facebook page), then you should immediately report them. Reporting fraudulent accounts will help ensure that people searching for you and your business online will be able to find what they are looking for without being duped by fake accounts.
This is the best part of the process as it will allow you to assess which channels you would like to continue using and which channels you would want to add into the mix. So go back to what social media site your target audience uses. This will help you determine which of the social marketing media channels are the ones that are most effective for promoting your brand.
But before you choose your preferred social media channels, you have to think about these two questions that will affect your decision:
- Is my target audience on it?
- If they are, then how are they using this platform?
Remember, it is better to use fewer channels that you know your brand is going to do very well in rather than stretching yourself thin by making use of every single one that you can find. The more channels you have, the more you have to manage, and that is not a good thing as that will just eat up a lot of your time.
As part of your social media audit, you should also make mission statements for every network that you plan on using. This will help you focus on the specific goals for each social media network that you intend to cultivate.They will guide whatever actions you’re going to take as well as make sure that you stick to the path of what you would like to achieve through the use of this type of marketing strategy.
Take as much time as you need to develop the purpose of every social media profile that you have. If you cannot think of any purpose, or if you figure out that it may not actually be beneficial to your business at all, then it is best that you delete the profile as soon as possible.
Now that you have determined which channels you would like to use, the next thing you have to do is think of the voice, tone, and the style of your brand. This includes things like the kind of language that your social accounts are going to use, whether your brand will post GIFs, and other attachments to each post, and so on.
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Create or improve your social media accounts
After you have completed your social media audit, it is now time for you to hone your online presence. You have to go over which of the networks you use is best able to meet your social media goals. If you do not have any social media profiles on the the networks that you are focusing your attention on, then you should start one and build it from the ground up with both your broader goals and your audience in mind. If you already have an existing account, then it is time for you to give it an update and refine it in order to get the best results possible.
Optimizing profiles for SEO can help generate more web traffic to your online properties. You can also go for the option of cross-promoting social media accounts so that the content will extend its reach to others. Basically, social media profiles should be filled out completely, and all the images and text used must be optimized for the type of social network that your business is using.
Each social network has its own unique audience and that means you have to treat all of them differently.
Gather social media marketing inspiration
If you are not sure about what kind of content and information will help you get the best engagement from your audience, then you can always look for inspiration by looking at what your competitors are doing. Take a look at what they share and how they use social media to listen to their audience so that you can come up with content that will enable you to distinguish yourself from competitors and appeal to prospects they might be missing.
Your consumers can also offer social media inspiration through the content that they share and in the way that they phrase all of their messages. Take a look at how your target audience makes posts and writes tweets, then once you get the gist of how they do so, you may then mimic their style of writing.
Industry leaders are a final source of social media inspiration. These are the the giants who are at the forefront of the industry when it comes to doing an incredible job in making use of social media to advertise their brand. Companies in every industry imaginable have managed to distinguish themselves from the rest of their competition by developing and utilizing advanced social media marketing strategies. What you should do is to follow them and learn as much as you can so that you will be able to understand what it is you need to do to get people interested in your company.
Create a content marketing plan as well as a social media marketing calendar
Having great content to share will be essential if you want to make sure that your social media marketing plan is going to succeed. You have to remember that this should include a content marketing plan, comprised of strategies for content creation and content curation, as well as a content calendar.
Your content marketing plans should be able to answer all of the following questions:
- What type of content do you intend to post as well as promote on social media?
- Who is your target audience for the type of content that you are going to make?
- How often are you going to be posting content?
- Who is going to be creating the content?
- How are you going to be able to promote the content?
Your social media content calendar should list the dates and times of when you are going to publish all of this content, such as posts and tweets, on sites such as Facebook or Twitter. Having a social media calendar is the perfect thing that will help you plan all of your social media activities. It will help you know which images to share, and it can help you determine which links to blog posts and videos that you should provide. What this basically does is help you come up with day-to-day posts and content that your social media page is supposed to feature.
Create the calendar and then schedule everything in advance instead of having to update it constantly throughout the day. Doing so will help save you so much time and it will be much less troublesome for you. This will also give you the opportunity to work hard on the language and format of these messages rather than just thinking and writing about them on the spot whenever you have any available time. Be spontaneous with your engagement and customer service rather than the content that you are creating.
Make sure your calendar reflects the mission statement you have assigned to each social profile. You can establish a content matrix that defines the kind of content that you are going to share on your profile as well as allocate the different types of posts. For example:
- 50% of the content that you are going to share is going to drive traffic back to your blog
- 20% of the content is going to be generated from other sources
- 25% of the content will support the goals of your business (selling, lead generation, aim, etc.)
- 5% of the content will be about Human Resources and the culture of your company
If you are unsure about how you are going to allocate your resources, then you can always follow the 80-20 rule—80 percent of your posts should inform, educate, or entertain your audience while the other 20 percent will be content that is aimed at directly promoting your brand.
You can also try the social media rule of thirds, which is the following:
- One-third of your social content should share ideas and stories from thought leaders in your industry or like-minded businesses
- One-third of your social content should promote your business, make readers want to become a part of your brand, and generate profits
- One-third of your social content should be aimed at interacting with the people that you have set as your target audience
Test and evaluate your social media marketing plan
You need to find out just what kind of adjustments you have to make to your social media marketing strategy if you want it to be a success. So build testing capabilities into every action that you make on social networks.
Record and analyze all of your successes as well as your failures. This kind of information is important as it will help you adjust your social media marketing plan accordingly.
Another great way of gauging the success of your plan is by making use of surveys. You can use this to ask your followers via email how they think your brand is doing. The direct approach is usually the best as it can be very effective in getting straightforward answers and it can also give you valuable insight into what you can improve.
The most important thing to understand about your social media marketing plan is that it should be constantly changing. There always going to be new networks that may arise, possibly forcing you to change up your plan. As you attain your goals, you also have to come up with new ones that your business will want to achieve. There will also be unexpected challenges and possibly problems that you will have to address. As you scale up your business, you might need to add new roles or grow your social presence for different branches or regions.
Whenever you gain valuable information that would require you to change your social media marketing plan, rewrite it immediately and make sure that your team is aware of the update.
If you would like to know more about social media marketing strategies or anything related to the topic (such as the power of social media marketing strategies for small businesses), then check out the rest of our site.