When it comes to building a social media marketing plan, you want something that works. However, it’s important to keep in mind that what works now may not work in the future. Social media marketing is ever-changing.
How to Start Social Media Marketing
When you’re ready to launch your business in the social media space, you need a plan. Your strategy shouldn’t be something you come up with on a whim.
Even if your business is already on a social media site or two, it’s always good to reevaluate your presence. Effective social media marketing is all about staying on top of the changes, noticing when interest slows down and making the changes necessary to keep people coming back to your business.
Getting started with your social media marketing strategy is easy with the following steps.
1. Reevaluate Your Current Presence on Social Media
It’s always wise to look at where you are right now with marketing online, especially when it comes to social media. Take some valuable time to look at your current social media plan for marketing and what it has (or hasn’t) been doing for your business. An audit of where you are now will help you expand marketing.
Some things to look at include:
- Your current social media networks – Which ones are you on right now? Which ones are working for you?
- Your current basic information – Do you have quality cover photos and profile pictures? Is the about section filled out in a way that will attract customers and let people know what your company is all about?
At this point, it’s also a good idea to take a look at the competition and see how they stack up compared to your social media presence. Do they have more followers, more content? What are they doing that you could be doing to build a better brand and a larger following?
2. Set Achievable Goals
Whether your business is already on social media or not, you need to set goals. If you’re just starting, this is your first step. If you have social media, it’s time to set new goals once you’ve finished auditing your current social media profiles.
Start by determining what it is you want to get out of your social media marketing efforts. You want goals that are attainable, measurable, and relevant to your business. Set specific goals to make things easier, and give yourself a time table to complete them in.
You may need specific goals for each social media site that your business is using. No matter which sites you choose, here are some of the goals you may want to strive toward –
- Brand Building and Customer Loyalty – If your goal is all about brand building and how people see your company and your “brand,” make sure you’re offering meaningful content and not just throwing constant promotional materials at your followers.
- Increase Sales, Online and Off – One of your goals might be to help your company make more money. You can use social media to increase sales and bring more customers into your store, whether you’re virtual, brick and mortar, or both.
- Get a Better Return on Investment – You invest a lot in your company, and you want your social media plan for marketing to help you improve your ROI.
Once you’ve determined your goal, start coming up with lists of ways to accomplish those goals. Your goals will include things like what type of content you plan to share, how often you need to share content, and more.
3. Get to Know Your Audience
Who is your target audience? These are the people that will buy your product and tell other people about it. It helps to be as specific as possible.
If you already have a business Facebook page, you can check the insights and see which sex and age of people are reading your posts. Social media insights are handy tools, but you need to know who you’re marketing to even before you get on social media.
Some of the specifics that are important when it comes to demographics, and who you need to be marketing to include:
- Job Title
- Pain Points
For clarification, pain points are areas in which your customers might be having issues. They are problems you need to work on solving – like offering them better customer service.
Once you know your demographic, you can pick which sites those specific people are most likely to be on. Facebook is the main place to find adults, while other sites (like Snapchat and Twitter) are more populated by a younger teenage and early twenties crowd.
4. Come up with a Mission Statement
Now that you know your goal and you know your audience, it’s time to come up with a mission statement. You may want to have a mission statement for each social media platform you plan to use, since you may have a different set of goals for each of them.
Your mission statement will be a direct plan of what you want to do with your social media profile. One sentence is enough to get the point across.
You’ll want to make sure that what you do with your social media sites always aligns with your mission statement. Don’t waste time getting off track. You want to show your expertise, and following a mission statement is how to do that.
5. Start Setting up Your Social Media (or Rebrand What You Have)
Once you’ve determined your target demographic, you’ll have an idea of which social media websites you want to work with. If you’re already posting, tweeting, and Instagramming, you may want to completely rebrand one or more of your profiles or get rid of them if they don’t fit your demographic.
Be sure to fill out all of the fields on your profile. Don’t skip things like the “about” section or contact info section. Be sure to integrate keywords into this info as well. As a business online, you should have some set keywords you want to have aligned with your business.
6. Pay Attention to Metrics
Metrics and analytics are the keys to knowing who you’re engaging with and what they’re doing with the content you’ve shared. If you want a social media marketing plan that really works, you need to check metrics, or insights, often, and stay on top of changes.
When it comes to metrics, there are a few key things you need to look at:
- Post Reach – Who are the people that are seeing your posts? Are people actually seeing them? These are important questions.
- Engagement – Interactions with your social media site are crucial. Even if you’re reaching hundreds of people, it’s no good if they’re doing nothing with the information you’re giving them.
- Clicks – This is one of the ways you will want to engage people. You’ll want to pay attention to clicks when you use social media advertising, and when you’re posting organically. Of course, people finding you on Facebook organically is non-existent these days, so paid advertising is a must.
- Likes – Who is liking your page and your content, and how are they liking it? Look at the rewards of paid likes compared to the organic likes you’re getting. Some social media sites allow for easy organic likes, while others make them hard to garner.
- Hashtag Usage – Which hashtags are you using and which ones are getting the most engagement? You want hashtags that align with your business, but you also want ones that people are searching for. For some social media sites, hashtags are the best way to attract people.
7. Create a Social Media Content Plan
Content calendars aren’t just for blogging. They offer a great way to stay ahead of your posting needs while giving you an outline of what you’ll cover socially over a specific period of time.
When it comes to social media, there are many different types of content you’ll be sharing. What you share will also vary on each social media site. You should have a social media content plan for each social media account your business has.
Some of the content that should be in your plan includes:
- Videos: Videos are especially important on Facebook and Instagram. Videos also give you an excuse to get on YouTube.
- Images: Images are a must for all social media sites, even those that aren’t focused on pictures. People want a visual of what you’re offering them or telling them about.
- Infographics and Memes: Infographics show a lot of great and useful info on a specific subject, including statistics. Memes are a fun way to share photos and info.
- Links: Share links to your blog posts, relevant news posts, ebooks and other marketing content you have available, and more.
- News and Profile: Share important company news, as well as profiles about your employees and other staff members.
There are so many content ideas that you will be able to come up with. You can create polls, ask questions, and post in ways that encourage people to respond. Then you want to engage as many people as possible, in as many ways as you can.
Develop a content calendar to keep track of what you want to post when you want to post it, and which site(s) you’re posting it on. You may want to post certain items one day a week while posting others (like basic posts or links) a few times a week.
Part of your content plan should include finding a social media tool to help you. These tools can make creating and posting social media posts easy, especially across multiple platforms.
Continue Upgrading Your Social Media Marketing Plan
Always continue optimizing your social media marketing plan.
Trends change, algorithms change, and your business might change too. Keep these things in mind and analyze your marketing plan every few months, or at least once a year.
Social media is like a rolling stone – It keeps moving and changing. Your business needs to change with it.
What are some of the things you use regularly in your social media marketing plan? Share your tips and ideas in the comments!