Social media is one of the most powerful marketing tools a business can have. Facebook alone (still the most popular platform) has over 2.7 billion regular users worldwide.
The only other similar platform following Facebook closely is Instagram with about a billion monthly active users.
As a business, you don’t want to miss out on this enormous market. It’s the ultimate pie you want a piece from.
Make social media part of your key marketing strategy, running alongside traditional digital, print, broadcast, and email marketing.
Considering 73% of marketers are achieving business success through social media, you probably want to give this platform the effort, time, and investment you give to your other marketing channels.
However, to take full advantage of social media and what it has to offer, you must understand what a social media plan is and why it’s vital.
What Is a Social Media Plan?
Simply put, a social media plan or strategy is a system that you put in place to guide you through everything you intend to do and achieve from a social media platform.
It’s a plan, a map, a guide, and a framework that is both detailed and realistic enough to follow and implement with ease. You don’t want it to be too technical or vague or you’ll have a hard time seeing it through.
The reason you need a social media marketing plan is simple. Going forward without it is like wandering around an unfamiliar territory without a map or a GPS. It’s the easiest way to get stuck.
You may know your destination but getting there will be a problem.
Things to Consider in Creating a Social Media Plan
1. The Type of Business You’re Involved In
Your industry or niche determines the type of audience you want to reach out to.
It also affects your approach. For instance, the way you approach and interact with a senior demographic on social media is different from how you may approach and interact with, say, the millennial generation.
2. The Platform That Fits Your Business Values
Your business values reflect how you want your business to be perceived by the world.
The social media platform you pick should be aligned with your ethics and business objectives.
3. What You Hope To Get From the Platform
Before working on a social media strategy you want to know where it will lead. You need to figure out what you want to get from the platform you intend to use.
Here Are 5 Strategies To Help Create an Effective Social Media Plan
Once you've successfully answered the above questions, you're ready to carve out a social media marketing plan tailored to the unique needs of your business.
1. Come up With an Audience Profile
Reaching the right people is crucial to your business since your objective is to turn those follows, comments, and likes into paying customers.
The type of audience you want to address and engage with also depends on the platform you choose. Remember, if you reach out to the wrong audience, your message may hit a wall. You can't afford to go wrong here.
Once you’ve created your audience profile ask yourself this question: “where can I find my ideal customer?”
2. Keep Your Prospects Interested
Think of the phrase "hook, line, and sinker” and apply it to your strategy.
It’s important to keep your audience interested. You do that by regularly posting relevant content. The engagements are necessary to landing prospects, therefore you want to keep it up.
Remember, people online have a short attention span, once you nail them, don't let go. Keep them interested as you navigate them gently through the buyer's journey towards conversion and retainment.
3. Track Meaningful Metrics
Do you know what vanity metrics are?
They are engagement signifiers such as likes and comments that don’t carry meaningful value.
Part of your social media marketing strategy should be tracking meaningful metrics that have a high chance of conversion and ignoring vanity ones.
Some of the metrics you want to focus on include:
- Post reach: this is the number of unique impressions your content has managed to get.
- Shares and mentions: shares and mentions show that your followers are taking action on your content.
- Hashtags: track your hashtags and see which ones perform best
- Sentiments: this indicator measures user reaction to your content and brand
4. Make a Content Calendar
You don’t want to post randomly.
Part of this strategy is to figure out what to post. Research trends that appeal to your audience. Then cross-reference those trends with what your business has to offer.
You also want to figure out how often to post and then stick to a specific frequency. The more regular you are, the better.
To make the job easier, it’s best to create a content calendar.
5. Regularly Analyze Your Milestones
Social media marketing will involve a bit of trial and error as you try and test what works and what doesn’t.
You need to analyze your milestones and adjust according to results.
Most social media platforms make it easy to analyze your performance. However, you can also get third party social media analysis tools like Buffer and Hootsuite. The upside with these is the convenience of planning, tracking, and managing everything from a single dashboard.
Remember, there’s always more you can do to make your online presence a success. Seek feedback from your customers and engage with them in real-time.
Creating a social media marketing plan is the first step towards moving your business into the lucrative social world.
An effective social media plan improves constantly as you learn and adjust your tactics.
Keep in mind that when it comes to social media, algorithm changes happen at the drop of a hat.
When that happens, there’s little you can do about it but if you can make your strategy a continuous learning process, such changes won’t have a drastic impact on your business.
Author Bio: Adam Marshall is a freelance writer who specialises in all things apartment organisation, real estate, and college advice. He currently works with Arch at Ft. Wayne to help them with their online marketing.
Cover Image || Lisa Fotios || Pexels