Social media is the single most effective—and cost-effective—means of marketing today. According to Pew Research, 69 percent of Americans engage in social media. And at least a third of the world’s population uses it regularly.
If you’re in business today, you can’t afford to ignore social media as a strategy for reaching your customers. But you also need to employ this effective marketing tool in a methodical way.
When you contact the social media marketing experts at 101 Management, Inc., about developing an effective social media marketing strategy, one of the first things we will do is to develop a concrete plan for your company.
“People don’t plan to fail; they fail to plan.”
So let us offer you some ideas to get you started on this crucial aspect of social media marketing.
Steps for an effective social media marketing plan
If you’ve been successful in your business, you most likely created a business plan, either before you started your business or shortly thereafter. Developing a social media marketing plan is similar, but focused exclusively on your social media marketing.
- Create specific, measurable goals
Your goals should be specific, measurable, and achievable. For example, you shouldn’t set a goal saying you’ll be more successful on social media. That’s neither specific or measurable. And how would you know whether you’ve achieved it?
Instead, try something like this: “I want to focus exclusively on my two most profitable social media outlets.” (See our previous post, “How To Find Your Customers On Social Media,” to decide which ones fall into this category.) “I will post twice a day on Twitter and once a day on Snapchat. I want to see an increase of 10 percent in my conversion rate within six months as a result of my tweets and five percent in leads generated as a result of my Snapchat posts.”
Finally, the most important point: Write them down. Studies show that written goals are far more likely to happen than those we either keep in our heads or tell other people.
- Create a plan
Layout a timetable and plan of action that meshes with your goals. What type of content will you post? How often and on which platforms? Will it include videos, images, text, blog posts, eBooks? Have you optimized your content for each platform you’ll be using? Are you balancing information useful to your audience along with product information and pitches?
- Implement a plan
The next step is to put your plan into action. It’s important in this step to adhere carefully to your strategy. Otherwise, you’ll find it quickly falling by the wayside and all your work to this point will have been wasted. If you find that your plan is good but you simply don’t have the time to carry it out, you can either assign it to one or more staff members if you have them or have us do it for you. Our social media experts, can not only help you develop and implement your plan, but also make suggestions on possible ways to improve it.
This is a vital step. You can’t just “feel” or “assume” your social media marketing plan is working. You have to track and evaluate your results in terms of conversions and audience engagement. One way is to utilize the analytics provided by the major platforms to analyze conversions. You also need to track the number of your followers on Twitter and Instagram, likes on your Facebook page, visitors to your website, retweets, shares, mentions, comments, and so forth. Another useful method is to attach a unique discount code to posts on each of the platforms you use, allowing you to trace the source of each response from your customers.
Again, accurate, in-depth analysis is a chore we can handle for you.
If you analyze your data thoroughly, you’ll be able to see which of your efforts are producing the most effective results, as well as which aren’t helping you meet your goals. This is the time to adjust your plan: Focus more on the platform(s) that increase your conversion rate or drive traffic to your website or whatever you set out to do, and reduce your time on or even drop those that aren’t performing for you.
We can help you understand and implement any or all of these steps to optimize your social media marketing strategy.