Social media is hard to avoid these days, unless you don’t have an internet connection or truly hate social media so much that you take every single measure to avoid its existence. The fact is that it has inundated our everyday lives. No matter how much we don’t want to admit it, we need it to immediately keep up on current events, stay in the loop with friends and family (besides picking up the phone or sending a good ol’ letter in the mail), and even gaining leads for our businesses. That’s why almost any business, whether a startup or mature (unless you’re Apple), must start building a solid social media marketing plan.
Where to Begin with your Social Media Marketing Plan
A business without a solid social media plan is like going on a 200 mile flight, but taking off with only 150 miles worth of fuel. It’s going to be a crash and burn situation. There’s no way a company can get on a social media platform and start tweeting, instagramming, or facebooking and expect to have good returns if its just posting about the company and what it wants to sell. Social media is about building valuable relationships with the public and not asking what they can do for you 24/7.
There are a few things a business must consider when making plans. The first should always be what type of audience does it want to appeal to. That will determine the type of language used. Are you targeting hip millenials, Ivy-leaguers with above average incomes, or aerospace engineers? You definitely will not use the same verbiage or graphics for these different groups. Your target social media followers most likely will be determined by the product or service that you’re offering.
Goals and objectives of Social media
Goals and objectives must be established before the plan can be fully implemented. Each social media platform does not operate the same, so posting times and the amount of posts should be decided on a per platform basis. Should you post 6 – 8 times a day on Facebook? Is tweeting every hour on the hour too much for your followers? Do you even know what time your followers are online for you to get the best reach for your posts? Utilizing social media analytics can help you determine when your followers are online and how they’re engaging with your content.
Being able to measure your success on social media can help you decide if any changes need to be made with your marketing plan. Success can be measured with likes, shares, and comments, but those don’t actually help your ROI. They just tell you how popular you are. You want to be able to track metrics, such as leads generated, website traffic, conversions, and sales.
Social media is all about being social. Being social doesn’t constitute a one-way conversation. Your plan needs to include engaging with your followers. If people wanted to find out all they want about your company with no interaction from you, then they can check out your website. I bet you have more than enough information there for them. The reason people visit companies on social media is because they want to be connected to them on a more intimate level. They want to get to know what drives the company, learn more about the company culture, and want to be acknowledged. Your posts should include conversation starters and once you start that conversation, make sure you continue it by replying to any comments or concerns. Remember, always stay social!