Every company should focus on building a strong social media presence. A key item in doing so is creating a social media marketing plan. A social media marketing plan is the summary of everything you plan to do and hope to achieve for your business using social networks.
In general, the more specific you can get with your plan, the more effective you’ll be in its implementation. So what’s important in setting up social media for a business?
Goals and Objectives
The first step in growing your social media presence is to identify your goals and objectives. This means making sure you know what you are going after – before you start posting. Ensure that these goals and objectives are related to your overall business goals and objectives to make it work effectively.
Tone of Voice
People make the brand. In order to determine your tone of voice you’ll need to gain a better understanding of what drives your customers, their likes and dislikes, and what they typically want to share with the world.
A tone of voice guideline will help shape how your brand is seen, how you express your brand’s personality and values and how you want your audience to engage with your brand. Once you have it, make sure your audience can feel the people behind the brand, which means interacting with your audiences and showing them who you are.
Conduct a social media audit
Prior to creating your social media marketing plan, you need to assess your current social media use and how it is working for you. This requires figuring out who is currently connecting to you via social media, which social media sites your target market uses and how your social media presence compares to your competitors.
The purpose of dividing your audience into segments is to make your marketing program more effective and to ensure that you use your resources wisely. Analysing your audience will help tailor your marketing efforts to the kind of audience that you want to engage with and encourage to use your products.
By delivering the right message to the right segment, you are more likely to get the attention you want. Tasks would include researching target audiences – analyse what people are saying about your brand, who’s doing the talking and where. Based on this analysis, you can create marketing personas, that would help you focus the efforts on the right products through the right channels to the right audience.
Firstly, a social media audit is necessary to see how you are currently utilising your social media channels (if you already do that) and a competitor analysis should be carried out to see how other brands in the same field engage with their customers.
The goal of developing a content strategy is to ensure that you create meaningful, cohesive, engaging, and sustainable content. You need a content plan, which consists of content types (textual, video, infographics), propose a content calendar, including how to tie in your content with events relating to your brand. Included in this would be tone, desired call to action, core messages, keywords and specific distribution channels.
It is important to monitor the activity to see what customers are saying, how they are engaging with your content and what content performs the best to keep focusing on developing content that delivers. Also, it is significant to look at what content drives traffic to your site and to gain understanding of what type of content drives conversion.
A few small hacks:
- Icons on your website
Make sure that the icons of social media networks are included on your company’s website. This will lead people, who explore your website, to check out your social media accounts. Also, add social media icons to your email signature as well, so everyone who receives an email from you will see that you’re on social media.
- Link your profiles to your website
Add a link to your company’s website on all social media accounts. This will increase traffic to your website and will help people learn more about your company.
- Invite your friends
Once you set up social media profiles, make sure you invite all of your friends and family members to connect. This will help you spread the word that your company is on social media and attract new fans.
- Editorial schedule
Create an editorial schedule so that you know when and what content should go out. If you see that it works, keep it and develop it, if not, amend it. It will ensure the quality of your content and will help you plan your time more efficiently.
- Optimize it
Use the keywords that go with your business. Think of what your customers are looking up on Google (or other search engines) and use those keywords in your posts.
Use hashtags on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ as it will maximize the visibility of your content. However, don’t overdo that – add 1-3 hashtags per message.
- Schedule your content
If you think that social media might be too time consuming, schedule your messages beforehand, when you have time, so you don’t leave your audience hanging.
- Benefit your audience
To earn new followers and increase your audience’s engagement offer them something for free-a short guide, an ebook, a discount code. This way you will show how you value their relationship.
- Negative comments
Don’t ignore negative comments. If some of your clients complained on social media, try to tackle it instantly and efficiently. Don’t forget that the customer is always right, so be professional.
Don’t think that you have enough time for social media? Have a look at these tools that might not only save you time, but could come very handy too:
URL shortening – bit.ly
Online content research – BuzzSumo
Content creation – Canva
Keyword search – Google Adwords