Social media marketing is so much more than tweeting and posting Facebook updates every day. It’s the effort involved in communicating to fans, followers, friends, other businesses, clients, potential clients, employees, family, and more about your brand and how YOU are the expert at what you do. You need a serious strategy, planned well in advance and with plans in place for every step of your eventuality.
When you sit down to create a marketing plan, you should ask yourself several questions, the answers to which will lead to your marketing goals. Ask:
1. How do you currently communicate with your audience?How is that working?
Not all social media platforms are the same. Your audience generally is attracted to different outlets.Your job is to match your brand standards with your social media persona. Notice, the second question involves a constant re-evaluation of the goals. (We’ll get into these analytics later.)
2. What do you want to communicate to your audience about your brand?
To develop this goal, you need to really focus on your brand, what it means to the community, and how it is best presented.
3. What are you looking to gain?
Opportunities for engagement with your audience vary across the platforms. How much of your clientele are you expecting to get from social media interaction?
4. Will you be able to turn your ‘fans’ into leads or clients? If yes, how so?
This question ties closely to the previous one. If you expect to engage and grow your fanbase primarily through social media – where so many opportunities lie – you will need to plan the framework for that content distribution.
Remember, you always want to have S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely) goals so you know how close you are to achieving them.
A plan is worthless until you put into practice. After you have your market strategies finalized, it’s time to put them in place.
A wise idea is to have one person on your team manage your social media outlets. This person can create and control the voice that matches the intentions of your brand, outlined in your plan. It will be important to delegate this role to someone who can engage the audience, promote the brand, provide customer service etiquette, and network the brand. Using social media as such will not only increase fans, but also increase business opportunities.
The action could include developing and integrating applications for Facebook, advertising on social media, or promoting a contest or giveaway. Imagine this scenario: You host an open house party where the first 100 fans get free tickets. For those who don’t get tickets, that’s okay. We can offer live streaming for everyone else to enjoy. The most important outcome is engagement with the audience and expanding the brand.
Once you have put your plan into place, how can you determine its efficacy? Most social media platforms provide the data that can tell you how effective your marketing has been. The person you have managing your social media can take those logistics and tweak your marketing scheme to make improvements. This can be done weekly. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security when you reach a plateau of converted leads. Improvements can always be made. The question is, where? Your social media team member should make it his or her job to look at every outlet, every analytic, to see what can be improved.
Each social media outlet has their own tool or analytic device to calculate the needed metrics. Your social media team member should be familiar with the ones most relevant to the outlets you use. Keep in mind, if all of these jobs seem too much for any of your team members, it’s completely reasonable to outsource your social media management. The revenue procured would certainly make up for what is spent, leaving you to do your job – working on your brand.
Don’t overlook the time you need to take to develop a marketing plan and set goals for your business. And once you have done that, keep the ball rolling and put them into practice. Not sure how to do this on your own? Plan Left can walk you through it every step of the way.