Last time I discussed why it’s worth the effort to be social and the need to treat social media as just part of your marketing effort. Every business that wants to maximise its marketing efforts and spend has a marketing plan, so why not have a social media plan?
I want to show you how to develop a social media marketing plan that is simple and easy to put together and that will allow you to use the ideas we have shared over the past few weeks.
The worst thing anyone can do is to be sucked into social media without knowing where you want to go, who you want to speak to or what success will look like?
Once you write these goals down, you have the foundations for your plan and the rest is about how you execute and evaluate your activity.
It’s wise to make them real and create an identikit of your target market.
Discuss this with those in your company who will be using social media to ensure you are all in agreement.
If you get your identikit right you can make your market real and better understand what motivates them, what excites them and what will make them want to interact and deal with you and your proposition.
This is an important stage, because marketing is no dark science, it’s simply the right message to the right people at the right time.
If you get your message and market wrong, then success will be hard to achieve.
Once you have made your potential audience real and defined your identikits, you will now have a better idea of the messages they will respond to and be excited by.
You should always give yourself this test with your content strategy.
‘Will this post excite enthuse and engage with the people I want to deal with?’
If not why are you bothering posting this message?
Too much social media content is ignored because it’s a vanity exercise by the posters. Please do not fall into that trap.
When developing your content strategy, also be clear on the images you will use for each of the target markets you have identified. These are just as important as any text and will aid engagement and responses.
This is a trap many people fall into when getting started with social media, they don’t know what they want people to do with the social media posts they send out. Are they to drive traffic to your website? Create awareness or direct people to purchase your proposition? You need to decide right at the beginning and document in your marketing goals, what your call to action or actions will be.
This will help you gain real value from your social media marketing.
This is vital, time is your most precious commodity, so don’t waste it on social media platforms that won’t give you the results you want and need. If you have identified the clients you wish to engage with correctly, part of that exercise will be selecting the social media platforms they use or are most likely to use.
This is where you should then spend your time and effort.
Avoid the temptation that many fall into, which is to try and do a little bit on a myriad of mediums when focused activity on just one or two platforms can give greater returns. This is again, however, down to doing your homework, so take the time to get it right.
Once you have carried out the steps above and documented these in your plan it’s time to execute your strategy. Make sure you devote the required time and resources to delivering the plan you have created. Be creative and don’t be afraid to take calculated experiments based on your goals and client identikit. For example, with Twitter, tweet different things, pose your questions in different ways, try different days and times and see which tweets get the most traction and clicks.
This allows you to determine the best way to reach your intended audience and what strategies get the most positive reception.
The biggest opportunity social media marketing offers your business is the ability if done correctly to have conversations with your clients and future customers in real time.
All the research identifies that clients want to talk to and appreciate organisations that feel authentic, informal and relevant to them.
These conversations are likely to happen when you respond directly to a follower, rather than solely relying on posts to your entire following.
While every organization's content strategy should be uniquely tailored, it's always worth looking for opportunities to engage directly with your audience.
It’s also vital in your social media marketing plan to identify who will and who won’t’ respond to comments on social media.
In your social media plan you need to outline what success and failure will look like. During the experimentation stage it is vital to test, experiment and measure your social media execution. Your measures should help you decide if what you are doing is working.
Measuring can include mentions in blogs, tags, tweets, news articles and other forms of exposure for your business.
Billy Connolly the great comedian was once asked, ‘how do you lose weight?’ His sage advice was. ‘Eat less and move more’. Success on social media is just as simple, do more of what works and less of what doesn’t!
Your plan should be the template for success and I’d urge every one of you to have one.
Next time I’ll look at the power of Facebook marketing for your business
John Joe McGinley
Glassagh Consulting June 2018