10 Steps of Social Media Marketing Plan1. Determine Your Objectives
Before anything else You need to Determine Your Objectives by asking serious question:
- Why are you going to invest serious time, energy and resources into social media? :
- What do you want to get out of social media?
- Increase Brand Awareness
- Drive Sales
- Generate Leads
- Create Community around your Brand
2. Decide your Platforms
- Time: How much time can you devote to a social network each week? Plan for around an hour per day per social network and more in the growth stages.
- Resources: Many social media platforms are visual in nature. Even Twitter and Facebook require some design to really capture the attention of users. Do you have those resources? What about a dedicated content team?
- Audience: What does your target demographic look like? If you know, do you know on what social media platforms they hang out?
Your social media Profile and Pages are an extension of your website. Everything there, despite being on someone Else's site, is yours. You're responsible for it. A Page Optimization Checklist:
- Optimize your Headers and Profile Images
- Provide Complete Company Information
- Customize your Facebook Page URL
- Optimize for SEO
- Pin your Best Content or Limited-Time Promotions to Top Facebook Page
People are more likely to Like something which has been Liked before. This is why customer testimonials, good reviews, recommendations work.
- Social Promotions: You can spend the next couple months crafting content, but it's almost impossible to build a social media presence from nothing.
- Sweepstakes: Facebook Sweepstakes promotions are great for first-time contest runners. They're the simplest promotion type and are excellent for quick and simple lead generation.
- Instagram Hashtag Contest: It asks Instagram users to post a photo onto the platform and tag it with a contest-specific hashtag. All pictures tagged with that hashtag are, by automatically grabbed and displayed in a gallery page on your website or Facebook Page.
- Referral Promotion: Referral promotions work through incentivized sharing. Entrants share the contest with their friends, colleagues and family. Whoever gets the most people in their network to enter the contest wins the final prize, and everybody else gets a discount code incentive for entering.
- Photo Contest: Fans or social media network users submit a photo and then share your contest with their friends, family and colleagues, asking them to vote.
People won't respond well if your brand is super faceless, but nor will some markets respond if you're overly casual. Identify three characteristics you want your brand voice to embody. These "brand voice" characteristics should resonate with your target market:
- If you're targeting mid-management professionals, use a professional tone and avoid memes, funny jokes, or puns - also avoid politics and world events.
- If you're targeting professional millennial, be professional but also casual. Intersperse high-quality educational posts with current-event related content. I
- f you're targeting young people, post behind-the-scenes content with a casual voice. Post often and tap into Influencers.
Social media influencers can make or break your social media marketing plan. And it works for every industry. Every single one has thought-leaders to whom people look for inspiration, thought-leadership and to "tell them what's important."
Rating Social Influencers
There are three ways to rate your influencers:
- Context: Does this person fit with my brand?
- Reach: Does this person have a network it would be valuable for me to reach?
- Actionability: Will this person share my content?
- Search by hashtag, or Identify the hashtags that your target influencers are using.
- Put your influencers in a Twitter list so that you can organize and follow them most effectively
- Watch the "retweets" of Influencers to determine how "actionable" engagement with them might be.
- Watch their activity.
- Do a blog trade: Write on their blog and ask them to write on yours.
- Trade promotion: Tell an influencer that you'll share their content if they share yours.
- Pay for a Tweet.
- Pay for a guest contribution and a share with their audience.
- If you're investing in Instagram, be prepared to pay. But it can be incredibly lucrative.
To make sure your social media marketing plan succeeds, you can't just publish the same cat photo over and over again, and nor can you consistently post promotional content. Content sharing on social media is about two primary things:
- Curated Content: Curated content is the stuff you find which is relevant to your business but not written by it. Influencer content is a great type of curated content. Many platforms (including Feedly and BuzzSumo) will allow you to "subscribe" to a influencer's content publications.
- Created Content: Create the content your Fans want to read. Ask yourself these five questions before starting any content strategy: What are they interested in? What are their pain points? What kind of content do they want?
Social Media Posting Best Practices:
- Target your Post (Facebook allows post targeting by location and interest)
- Tap into what people are thinking about with holidays & current events
- Share fan-created content
- Use images in every post
- Use quotes
- Ask questions
- Use testimonials
- Tag influencers, users and other brands you like
- Be helpful
- Use Hashtags
- Use video (particularly on Facebook)
- Keep posts short
- Offer social media-exclusive Discounts
- Activate the comment section by starting the conversation and responding to comments
- Show behind-the-scenes
- Offer How-to guides
- Offer facts and trivia
- Try "fill-in-the-blank" posts
- Try "Caption this photo" posts
- Try "Remember when?" posts
There's no point in implementing a social media marketing plan if you can't track your results.
- Don’t just track link clicks, track click-through with bounce rate
- Don’t just track web referrals, track share of traffic driven
- Don’t just track shares, track amplification rate
- Don’t just track likes, track applause rate
- Don’t just track numbers, track leads
Automation tools allow you to schedule your social media marketing plan's posts for multiple platforms and days in advance. Social media management tools often include:
- Social media content calendar
- Analytics tools to make it easy for you to determine what content is working best and at what times
- Post templates
- Keyword-targeted content recommendations
- Social share toolbars to embed in your site
- Image and gif creators
- Link shortening and tracking
- Keyword alarms
- Be social. Talk to your Fans. Ask them questions and respond.
- Invest in visuals. Stand out by being beautiful. Invest in a high-quality camera and try video.
- Post consistently. If you're going to start on a platform and want to succeed on it, you need to stick with it.
- Test and Measure. If you've invested all this energy into being on social, don't throw it away down paths which aren't going to yield the return you want. If something isn't working, you need to know, and you need to stop.