Social marketing is new enough it feels a little bit like hocus-pocus. You build a profile on Twitter or Instagram, you talk about what you had for dinner, and magically, customers come.
Or so they say. Even just a few short years ago, that seemed to be true. Who cared about social media? Why would you ever “chat” and show people what you do each day online? It seems like a long and worthless venture, especially for those of us who have been in business for a while. One that you might not have wanted to play at.
A New Way to Think About Your Social Media Plan
Business owners want one thing: profits. That means customer acquisition. They want hardcore numbers. They want to see how data flows from first connection, to interest, to closing the deal. Likes, shares, and retweets – not something anyone at the C-level cares about. But they should.
That’s because social media is the new way to connect with your prospects and customers. Today’s consumers want a deeper, more meaningful connection with the people they do business with. That’s where social media comes into play.
Through social media, individuals can see what makes your company tick. They see what you stand for, what you care about, and how you treat others in the online world.
Do you answer questions? Do you share tips and tricks? Do you do more than sell? Do you engage?
And those are questions rarely answered by a marketer who doesn’t understand the value of a good social media plan.
Creating Your Social Media Plan for True Growth
There’s a quote by John Wanamaker, considered by some to be a pioneer in marketing, that says: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”
If you throw money aimlessly at social media without a solid plan in place, you’ll likely receive very few results.
A good social media plan should outline your social media goals, the tactics you plan on using to achieve them, and the metrics for how you’ll measure your progress.
You should list out the accounts you hope to use along with goals to achieve on each platform you’re active on.
It should also include the roles and responsibilities of everyone on your team who will be working on this strategy.
Start With SMART Goals
Without goals and objectives, you have no way to measure success and return on investment. The SMART goal framework guides you to ensure every goal you create receives results. Each goal should be:
Use SMART goals to help you scale your social efforts in a reasonable and affordable way for your business. You can include things like:
- Increasing brand awareness: Create content that shows your authentic and true self. Instead of focusing on promotional material, you create personality and values first.
- Generating leads: Followers don’t make social purchases “just because.” Instead, they like to be aware of new products and promos built exclusively for them.
- Growing your audience: Cross-promoting and finding ways to introduce your brand to people who haven’t heard of you is what social media is best for. This means learning how to monitor and listen to things like keywords, hashtags, and more, and understanding how to use them.
- Boosting engagement: You’ll find all your goals come together more quickly when you get the community talking about you. How can you get user-generated content to work alongside what you have to offer?
- Driving traffic: When you’re laser-focused on your goals, you know when you can drive traffic to specific pages on your site for maximum results.
Learn Everything About Your Audience
There was a time when marketers guessed at who their audience was and how to reach out to them.
With social media, everything is visible. No matter what platform you want to grow your business on, there are social media analytics tools to help you fully define your demographic data.
Don’t think you can cross over from one platform to the next with the same information.
- Facebook is a prime candidate for placing ads due to its extensive user base.
- Instagram works best with bold, eye-catching content that shares your personality.
- Women far outnumber men on Pinterest, which has become a social shopping platform.
- LinkedIn is a well-educated hub for people looking to connect with industry-specific professionals.
Don’t take on more than you have time for. It’s better to start out slowly than to leave gaping holes with no way to communicate. You’ll quickly fail with that approach.
Develop Your Metrics
Creating metrics will give you goals to strive for. Without them, you’ll never understand what you’re truly capable of achieving. And with social media, you should always be data-driven.
- Reach: How many unique users saw your content? How far out is your content actually reaching into users’ feeds?
- Clicks: The number of clicks you’re receiving on the content you provide. Tracking clicks helps you understand how engaged people are in buying.
- Engagement: This tells you how well your audience perceives your content and how willing they are to interact.
- Hashtags: Define the most used hashtags for your brand and within your industry. This can help shape the content you’ll create in future projects.
- Likes: Organic engagement is much more difficult to gain traction with than paid content. Be sure you follow both to determine where your biggest gains can be for future campaigns.
- Sentiment: You should always pay attention to both good and bad traction. Are people finding some content offensive? With one news story, hashtags can sway from good to bad – are you participating in something you aren’t even aware of? It’s always important to dig deep and find out what people are saying about your content.
Think About Long-Term Growth
One of the biggest reasons brands fail online is that they expect fast action. With social media, it should always be about long-term growth.
Set up a social media plan for the long term. It’s the journey, not the destination.
If you provide quality content, the best content possible for your brand, you’ll win in the long run.
Looking for a partner to help you achieve your goals? We’re happy to chat with you about any part of your plan. Reach out today.