Effective social media marketing can seem like a complex process, but the right tools can equip you with a social marketing plan that provides a major boost to your business.
Most businesses know of the value of social media marketing these days. Social media marketing has been shown to generate almost twice as many marketing leads as trade shows, telemarketing and direct mail, according to research by Hubspot. However, many businesses still approach social media marketing without a solid plan to guide their efforts.
Think of a social media marketing plan as your roadmap for success in the social world; blindly creating content and haphazardly engaging your readers is like taking a cross-country trip after throwing your map out the window.
Social marketing doesn’t need to be complicated, but it does need to be focused. The following tips will demonstrate the best way to create a marketing plan that’s flexible, targets your audience and establishes concrete goals.
1. Figure Out Who You’re Writing For
Identifying your target audience is critical to curating content that provides value to your readers, and is one of the most fundamental aspects of your social media plan.
Get in touch with your target audience by recording their demographic, age group and average income. Think about their goals, why they might be interested in your business, and what you can offer them. Why might they hesitate to become a customer, and how can you push them that extra step? At the end of the day, your target audience should feel like part of the family.
2. Set and Achieve Reasonable Goals
The power of goal setting is hard to overstate, no matter what industry you find yourself in.
Setting small, achievable goals will pave the way for success.
When creating your goals, it’s important to remember to keep them simple, focused, achievable and measurable. Some examples of measurable goals are growing your ‘likes,’ generating more leads or obtaining a certain number of form submissions.
3. Curate Content of Value
Now that you’ve established who you’re writing for and outlined the importance of structured goals that drive your business forward, you’ll move to the real backbone of your social marketing plan: content creation.
With all of the logistics involved in optimizing your social media presence, it’s easy to forget that the whole process depends on the quality of the content you post. Content should engage, but not preach. It should educate, but not bore. It needs to provide value, but also stand out from the wealth of information already out there. Easy enough, right?
Use inspiration from leaders in your industry and your competitors, but don’t simply go by their book. Make a name for yourself by using a unique voice and a fresh perspective. Sometimes, encouraging your own employees to try their hand at content creation can be just the personal twist you need.
4. Provide Simple Integration Methods
Now that you’ve created mind blowing content that your readers will love, the next step is knowing how to deliver it to them.
Your marketing plan should reflect the interconnected nature of the online world and be structured around seamless integration into whatever avenue your target audience uses. This means making it available through multiple channels, but also making it easy to repost and repurpose the content across different mediums.
Creating a variety of responsive content that includes short length blurbs, videos, and longer articles will ensure that your message spreads like a virus through the social media world.
5. Engage With Your Audience
You’ve done well so far — your message is targeted, creative and spread across multiple channels. People are reading, and you’re about ready to call it a day. Right?
Wrong. Publishing your content isn’t the end of the conversation, it’s just the beginning.
Engagement is an essential part of your social media plan. Giving your readers valuable content is great, but interacting via comments and emails creates more recognition for your brand than a hundred articles could.
Articles alone can’t engage with your readers the same way you can — if you want to make a lasting impact on them, don’t leave them hanging. Encourage feedback and discussion that can improve both your reader’s experience and your overall marketing efforts.
Reaching the Finish Line
Social media marketing is making waves in the future, and savvy business owners will stay ahead of the game by arming themselves with plans that prepare them for success. If you want to generate strong reader response and brand recognition, your marketing plan should incorporate:
- Targeted content towards your demographic with structured goals
- Content that educates and informs
- Across-channel integration
- Reader engagement
What other strategies have you used in your own social marketing plans? Add to the discussion in the comments below!