Creating a Social Media Marketing Plan and an online marketing strategy is vital when making the decision to add social media to your marketing campaigns/plans. A plan is needed to assess the viability, know what steps you will need to take and to aid you in staying focused on your goals.
Your plan can also help you save time by ensuring you follow a systematic approach to the time you will invest in social marketing and networking. The social networking part can easily take you off track and eat up your time if you do not pay attention to the overall picture of what you are trying to accomplish.
Here are the basics steps to any social media plan we setup for clients:
Look at what is available in your market, what competitors are doing and find out if your customers are in fact using these social media channels. These answers may help you determine your goals.
Define your main purpose for using Social Media and identify the various social media channels to use.
Set at least 3 SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) goals and create an action plan to help you reach these goals. What steps will you take to reach these goals?
Create a plan for what content will be published – blog posts, tweets, Facebook page updates, YouTube videos. This plan should include the type of content and also how often and via what channel it will be published.
Part of the content planning would be finding the keywords your customers use when searching for your service or product online. If your business has some technical jargon that customers rarely pick up on – it is unlikely that is how they will search online for the solution to their problem (your service or product). It is imperative to find keywords they are using and add these targeted keywords into your content.
Look at all the platforms available and link them together as much as possible to help you save time. Link your blog to twitter and your facebook page so when a blog post is published it will automatically feed an update to the other networks. Be certain to make a flowchart so you understand what automatically goes to what network in order to avoid any cross posting.
As much as you can track your results, do it. Keep a record of your contacts, facebook friends, page likes, twitter followers, Linkedin followers, newsletter subscribers and results on Google for your name, business and keywords. Check the results every month and see how it changes. Read your analytics on your website and adjust keywords/tactics to fit with what is working well or not from these reports. With social media marketing, businesses may set goals related to brand identity and levels of engagement.
Take time to schedule in all the aspects of your plan and work at it to keep on top of it, and follow the plan. Stay focused and use your time wisely. If you set aside time every two weeks to schedule some content to go out, then your live networking time can be focused on having conversations online with your contacts.
Following these steps will help you network much more effectively and in a way that does not find you looking up from your computer wondering where the last few hours went. Stay focused and be consistent!!