Have you been dangling in the world of social media marketing without success? Are you finding social media marketing a herculean task that takes up too much of your time without much benefit in return? Most noteworthy, your struggle lies in not having an effective social media marketing plan.
We are at a time when the question around social media marketing has changed from “is social media marketing important to how to win at social media marketing.”
In addition, Social media marketing is the systematic utilization of social media channels to connect, engage and build a thriving relationship with a specific audience that ultimately persuades them to make buying decisions in your favour.
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Maybe you’ve been in business for long or you are just starting out, having effective and efficient social media marketing plan may be the difference in your success or failure.
WHY YOU NEED SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING AND SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING PLAN
SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCE BUYING DECISIONS
Most relevant, social media has gone beyond platforms to connect with friends and family alone. It is noteworthy that 40% of users are actively deciding what to buy based on what they have seen on social media platforms which include reviews and recommendations.
Users have more confidence in recommendations and reviews from friends and family more than an influencer and social media is the heart of these discussions.
Most noteworthy, social media platforms are improving their data collection and advertising solutions to lure marketers hence the need for social media marketing.
YOUR COMPETITORS HAVE SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING PLAN
It is folly to discount your competitors in this era where brands have to give users more than enough reasons to choose them over competitors.
In addition, hardly will you find businesses without an online presence and having an effective social media marketing plan helps coordinate their activities to achieve corporate objectives.
In conclusion, without social media marketing plan of your own, you relinquish your competitive advantage to your competitor who has an effective social media marketing plan.
- YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE ARE USING SOCIAL MEDIA
As at April 2018, Facebook has over 2.2 billion monthly users with Youtube and having 1.5 billion users. It is said that the best place to advertise is where your target audience is camped, hence the need for social media marketing.
With the increased use of social media platforms by individuals, brands are afforded the opportunity to build engaging relationships with their target market.
EFFICIENCY AND EFFECTIVENESS
Brands that have social media marketing plan are effective and efficient in their campaigns. By having a plan, you plan your moves ahead of time and you are coordinated.
Corporate objectives are better achieved with articulated social media marketing plan.
Most noteworthy, having a social media marketing plan helps the brand create and distribute content consistently to achieve objectives.
A social media marketing plan takes away the doubts, guesswork and scattergun approach to marketing. Hence, everything becomes organized for success.
By availing yourself with important reasons why you need social media marketing plan, let’s now dive into how you can create your winning social media marketing plan from scratch even if you are just starting out with no prior knowledge of social media marketing.
Most noteworthy incorporating social media marketing plan with best social media marketing practice is the sure way to succeed with social media marketing.
HOW TO CREATE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING PLAN FROM SCRATCH
1. DEFINE YOUR OBJECTIVES
First of all, in building a structure is having a plan for that structure. In the same vein, the first step to successful social media marketing is to set your objectives.
Social media marketing plan is of little or no use when there are no objectives governing the whole activities.
“All roads lead to nowhere when you do not know the road.” So, without an objective, there’s no yardstick to measure your performance and neither will you know if you are successful or not.
Keep your target audience in mind as you set your goals and set specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound goals.
In setting your social media marketing goals, ensure that your goals are in alignment with your brand core goals and values.
Most noteworthy, understand the uniqueness of each social media channel and capitalize on the uniqueness to meet your objectives.
Consistency is another key component of social media marketing to ensure that your campaigns are unique and consistent over time to differentiate your brand.
General social media marketing goals that you may consider include:
• Brand Awareness
The first step in social media marketing is creating brand awareness. People do business with people they know, like and trust. So, it is important you blow your own trumpet to get your brand in motion.
Also, to create a strong brand, it is noteworthy to steer clear off promotional marketing content and focus on creating meaning content. Influential brands hone strong brand personality across their social media channels.
• Brand Reach
Brand reach is the number of eyes that are feeding on your content and brand across social media. Your objective, if you are starting out maybe to increase your reach to a larger audience.
Engagement is important to assess how effective your content is. How many people do you want interacting with your content?
Who are the people who are engaging you on social media and how can you leverage the engagement to create better user experience?
To understand how users move through your marketing funnel, link clicks tracking is very important. Clicks show what motivates and drives your target audience to take action.
How many people is your social media marketing campaign leading to your sales page?
• Increased sales
In conclusion, with more sophisticated social media platforms, marketers are able to target prospects with more details and gear promotions towards sales. Also, most social media marketing plans are geared towards sales.
Either your social media marketing plan is geared towards conversions or building relationships and connections. It is most noteworthy you have a social media marketing plan that is in sync with your objectives.
2. CREATE YOUR CUSTOMER PERSONAS
Marketing to everyone in this age means marketing to no one. You are not meant to serve everyone either is your product or service the messiah to everyone’s problem. So, it is most relevant that you get clear on those you would be serving.
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By identifying your target audience specifically, you understand their pain point, their struggles and the things that motivate them.
Hence, this knowledge positions you to develop a soothing brand voice and personality that get the most out of your target audience.
With the right customer personas, your social media marketing plan takes into consideration every factor that guaranty success.
3. CREATE YOUR BRAND CORE VALUES AND PERSONALITY
It is easy to get lost in the herd without core values and statement that governs your activities.
So, your brand core value determines your mode of engagement, your brand voice which may be strictly official, informal or a combination of the two.
Your values are important in your social media marketing plan to ensure consistent quality content delivery regardless of who is handling it.
[bctt tweet=”Your values are important in your social media marketing plan to ensure consistent quality content delivery regardless of who is handling it. ” username=”Ola_osofowora”]
Without a brand value, standards may not be maintained and your brand loses her uniqueness.
Your social media brand core values and personality should be in sync with your corporate objectives to avoid confusion and misaligned goals.
4. CHOOSE YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS
After deciding on your core values and knowing your target audience, the next agendum in your social media marketing plan is to choose your social networks.
Most noteworthy, choosing social network isn’t just about your love for a particular platform over another but identifying the platform that has the majority of your target audience.
With the social media metric of April 2018, brands that have concise and precise customer personas will easily identify the best platform that offers them the most opportunity.
If you are already using social media marketing and you have your platform of choice already, it is important that you give prospects enough reasons to follow and engage you on these platforms.
The question on prospects mind is “what is in it for me?” So it is important that you set up your profile or update your profile to tell your brand promise and give reasons why you deserve the attention.
Each social media platform has its core demographics, so your customer persona is instrumental in deciding your platform of choice.
Especially relevant, it is important that you don’t spread yourself too thin across multiple social networks.
Your social media marketing plan is to decide the best social network for your target audience. In addition, helps you achieve your objectives.
Decide on a few that is instrumental and dominate the platform. Most relevant, it is ineffective, time and resources consuming to be everywhere.
5. ASSESS YOUR STAND
Effective social media marketing is not without knowing your current position. So for your social media marketing to be successful it is especially relevant that you carry out a position audit in your social media marketing plan.
If you don’t know where you are standing, how do you know where you want to be? Your social media marketing plan should assess your prior activities if you’ve been in business.
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Your engagement and other key metrics should be assessed to understand your current position to steer you to where you want to be.
How many followers do you have on your social networks, who are your followers? What have you been doing right? Is there anything you’ve been doing wrong? Can you do it better?
Your social media marketing plan is incomplete without a position audit!
6. IDENTIFY YOUR KEY SUCCESS METRICS
What metrics are important to your success? How do you rate your performance to know what works? So, without identifying and keeping close eyes on these metrics, you can’t carry out control where necessary.
Specific metrics makes control possible which is necessary for successful social presence hence your social media marketing plan must have the most important metrics.
In addition, these metrics must align with your brand objectives.
7. CREATE CONTENT CALENDAR
A content calendar is a schedule of your content for a specific period of time. A content calendar is the bedrock of your social media marketing plan.
Consistency becomes difficult without a content calendar. Your content calendar incorporates your content ideas, call to action, channels and date and time of posting.
Your content calendar may be themed for optimal performance. Is your Monday motivational Monday?
The most important is your content calendar encompasses your social media activities.
Most noteworthy, your content calendar should take into cognizance your platform optimal time of posting.
An effective social media marketing plan keeps a record of the time of posting in relation to necessary metrics.
All social networks have different optimal time as in the picture below.
Your content calendar should also address what you should be posting.
Should you major on videos knowing that it has the most engagement or does your target audience prefer audio content?
An effective social media marketing plan sorts out the nitty gritty of your social media activities.
8. CREATE OR CURATE ACTIONABLE CONTENT
Content drives social media marketing and your success with social media marketing depends on how well and how often you are able to create engaging content.
Furthermore, next on your social media marketing plan is to create meaningful content that solves your target audience needs.
At this point, it is most noteworthy to decide on the percentage of original content that you will create and those that will be curate.
Content curation is the process of scouting the web for the best, most useful and meaningful content and posting to your audience in a strategic manner.
Your content must educate, entertain and inspire your audience to take a premeditated action.
In addition, it is not enough to create content and just distribute. Hence it is important that you engage your audience as they begin to engage your content. It is more of dialogue in this age than a monologue.
9. TRACK, MEASURE AND OPTIMIZE
To control a system, you’ve got to measure the output of the system. In addition, its realities and compare it with your objectives.
Without sufficient record, it is difficult to know what works with clarity and what only looks good on paper.
Social networks have a sophisticated analytic system that presents you considerable data.
Assess your results against your goals; uncover what you are doing wrong and what you can improve upon. Your social media marketing plan is never complete without an adequate control system.
In conclusion, with an effective social media marketing plan, your social media marketing is on its way to success.
While having strong social media marketing plan is not an ultimate yardstick to successful social media presence. It is the bedrock of everything good.
Most importantly, your success does not lie in the plan itself. Hence it lies in your execution of the plan itself.
What challenges are you having with creating effective social media marketing plan?