Welcome to the second instalment of our Social Media strategy series. In our last article, we talked about the importance of using social media for your business and how to understand social media in the broader context of your business. In this article, we will be taking a deep dive into how to create a social media plan. Your social media marketing plan is a road map for your strategy. It creates a scaffold for your efforts so that you can effectively implement your social media plan and focus on your business objectives at the same time. So here is how you can effectively create a framework for your social media marketing plan.
1. Select your platform
This refers to which social media platform you choose; whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok or LinkedIn. Your choice is important and needs to be selected based on your target audience, whether a platform is popular in your industry as well as your bandwidth. Also, remember to only incorporate the number of platforms that you can actively keep up with. It is always better to start off conservatively and then build up from there.
2. Set your objectives and goals
Initially, these should be simple and task-orientated. For example, post once a day for a month. As well as set up your accounts, profiles and conduct a competitor analysis to understand what others in your space are doing. Once you get into a better rhythm then you can set more specific goals like what kind of content you will publish according to the audience response. Always ensure that the metrics you are tracking are meaningful. This is because while you may have a lot of followers, numbers alone aren’t enough to confirm success. What matters rather, is that there are meaningful click-throughs, as well as high engagement and conversation rates. You can also segment your objectives according to different platforms. For example, you may decide to drive click-throughs on LinkedIn but advertise on Facebook and generate brand awareness on Instagram. These decisions should always align with the wider objectives in your marketing plan.
Next, you should create a calendar of events and tasks. On this calendar, you can also itemize a section per channel; complete with dates, timelines, and whether the content will be themed, how it will be formatted and whether it will require special design or organic content. Bear in mind that in addition to this you should always include opportunities for spontaneous engagement.
3. Check reports and update often
Each platform will have analytics to help you understand your reach and get a sense of engagement. So check these regularly in order to understand what is resulting from your efforts and make sure you are talking to the right demographic, seeing what works and scaling up in these areas.
4. Get to know your audience
This entails understanding your audience so you can get to know what they want to see, what they will be likely to comment on and then share. This is critical if you want to turn followers into customers. So research the followers who are already engaging with you and build an ‘audience persona’ which is a description of your ideal customer, complete with a personality, likes, dislikes, needs and values. This will help you imagine your customer as a real person and hold them in mind when creating future content.
5. Get a grasp of good content
All your content needs to be aligned with the purpose of each platform. Make sure that you are not creating or sharing content for the sake of it but rather that each and every message speaks to your brand’s objectives and creates real value for your followers.
The bottom line
Your social media strategy is extremely valuable to your brand. Remember that you will never get this right on the first try, so implement, track and see what works. Then try again. This is a real-time engagement strategy so really engage with your followers and use their feedback to continuously tweak as you grow. While this can be a time-consuming task there are ways to either outsource this resource, consult professional marketing professionals or hire in-house staff to manage this. This is a worthwhile investment that can really grow your business and connect you to your ideal customer in meaningful ways.
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