A Social Media Marketing Plan: 5 Critical Building Blocks

A Social media marketing plan is a crucial part of your overall online marketing strategy. Neglect social media, and you miss a whole lot of opportunities. Think about how many people use Facebook daily, how many millions regularly Tweet, and how many people post photos on Instagram or update their CVs on LinkedIn. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who has never used any form of social media.

But with great opportunities come significant challenges. You are unlikely to have unlimited time or resources to spend on a social media marketing plan. So it would help if you were strategic in your marketing efforts. Put the correct foundations in place before you blindly use social media to promote your business. You’ll save time and get better results – here’s how:

1) Choose Your Platform

 A Social Media Marketing PlanYou can’t target every social media platform all the time. New social media sites spring up every week, and not every single one is relevant to you, and it is essential to know where to direct the majority of your marketing efforts. It all depends on your target audience and where they interact and spend time online. Look at how different social media sites attract other people and choose the best fit for your business.

 

Image via mkhmarketing/ Flickr

2) Have a Long Term Goal

So many businesses seem to use social media, so erratically their followers have no chance to build a proper relationship. Take a long-term approach to a social media marketing plan so that you develop connections with people and turn them into regular customers and brand advocates. It usually takes many interactions with a brand before someone decides to buy or sign up. To reach your long-term goal, make measurable short-term goals, such as increasing the number of subscribers to your blog by X amount.

3) Get the Right Content

It’s not enough to be posting regularly on social media; your posts need to reflect your brand and invite people to respond to your brand positively. Look at what competitors post, see how people react to specific content, and decide how to structure your posts. Video is a rapidly expanding form of social media content – look into how video can help build your brand. It could make a big difference to the quality of interaction you get with your customers.

4) Make Sure You Test

As with any marketing strategy, you will not know the value or lack of unless you test. Practical, robust split testing is essential. Test and keep testing, even when you seem to be seeing good results. You will gain much greater insight into what is working and where you can improve. You should timetable a set amount of time each week to look at the analytics attached to your social media activity.

Social media marketingLook at the figures and data that matter to your brand, as many statistics will not be relevant. It helps when you can see markets that you are appealing to that you may not have otherwise considered. On the other hand, you will be able to identify when your social media strategy is not having the effect you desire.

 

Image via Mark Kens/ Flickr

5) Keep Participating

Social media marketing is no easy task, but you should not give up too soon. All brands have ups and downs with their efforts on social media, and it is a constantly shifting field where you have to develop and change all the time to keep up. Don’t let this put you off – it is, after all, the same for everyone. It helps you stay optimistic about your strategy, be clear about the market you are targeting, remain on your path in brand development and interaction, and keep being persistent with your efforts.

If something is not working, don’t be afraid to tweak and change until you get better results. An ongoing strategy often requires you to be creative in your methods and let things go when they are not working. Look at your original goals and regularly check to see how your social media strategy is helping you meet them.

Once you set up these critical foundations for a social media marketing plan, you are on the right path. Keep going forward, and with some hard work, you will see the results of your efforts.

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