Create a Social Media Marketing Plan in Under an Hour
By Matthew Mongeon
The internet is a big place. A BIG place! And Social Media is the voice for that big world wide web. So with 5,000 facebook posts every second and 500 million tweets sent out every day, how do you let your voice be heard? Well, it’s a little trickier than you might think, and people quickly learn that if they just blindly fire off posts hoping to build up a big following then they might as well try re-inventing the wheel while they’re at it.
Your voice won’t be heard if you can’t find a way to cut through all the clutter that people see on their Social Media feeds. But how do you go about doing that? Well the first step any Social Media Marketing expert will tell you is that in order to cut through the clutter and reach your target audience is to create a Social Media Marketing Plan, so let’s jump right into it:
Step One: Begin With the End In Mind
This is the part where you get to ask yourself, just what do you want to get out of your Social Media campaign? Before we continue, take a minute to just think about what the main reasons you’re putting in an effort to make a Social Media presence. Would you like to increase awareness for your brand/service or whatever it is you’re offering? Or maybe you want people to click on your Social Media posts to bring them back to your website? Whatever your reason may be, we’re going to need to turn that into an objective. We’ll get back to why this is such an important step later on.
Pssst. Wanna know a big marketing secret? Almost every marketer creates goals and objectives with the same approach. That’s right! Almost every marketing objective created, whether it be for Social Media, television, radio or print ads, has more than likely been thought up using the exact same approach. So what is this approach that marketers are taught so early on in their schooling? You might have already heard about this approach. It’s called SMART objectives. You can use the SMART approach when making an objective by simply asking if your objective is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-sensitive.
A few examples of SMART Social Media goals that you might want to use are:
“By November 31st, I will create a weekly stream of 1 blog post, 50 tweets, and 10 Facebook posts to help increase the awareness of the company through Social Media”
“By December 31st, I will grow my Facebook likes from 3,000 to 10,000”
“Increase website traffic by 25% through the use of Social Media links by March 31st”
By the end of step one you should:
Have at least one SMART objective
Step Two: What Social Media Platforms Should Your Business Focus On?
If you own your own photography business, good for you! But for heaven’s sake stop wasting your time on MySpace and get a presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! No use in having a presence in a Social Media that doesn’t offer much value to your business. If your company already has Social Media accounts then prioritize the ones that make the most sense for you and your company and even go as far as to re-evaluate the accounts you currently have and eliminate any ones that won’t provide much help to reaching your SMART goals.
By the end of step two you should:
Know what Social Media platforms to focus attention on
Step Three: Create a Content Plan
Unless you’re a major celebrity like Chris Pratt, or a big brand like Apple, followers aren’t going to just flock to you unless you offer them some kind of value. This value is usually in the content you post. This can be done any way you like, but it definitely helps to have a laid out content and posting plan to follow week by week. Depending on what Social Media platforms you have chosen to post on, you’re going to want to post different content and schedule your posts at different times based on when traffic usually spikes for each Social Media platform.
Sounds like a lot doesn’t it? It’s really not as hard as it sounds once you establish who’s going to be in charge of creating the content and ensuring it gets found by the right people. The content being shared needs to be geared towards a certain target audience and one of the biggest advantages of Social Media is how easy it is to target people based on their demographics and interests.
If your target market is so specific that you need to find a way to reach Men in their 40s who live in Hawaii and have a passion for cheesy horror films, then you can easily target them with facebook ads. That’s just one example of how specific you can get when targeting a niche on Social Media.
By the end of step three you should:
Have a weekly content plan at minimum and an audience to target
Step Four: How Should You Go About Promoting Your Posts?
Well, to be quite honest, there’s only two real ways to promote your Social Media posts. The two options you have for promoting your Social Media posts are free promotion and paid promotion. What this really comes down to is, what are you more willing to put into your Social Media campaign, Money or Time?
Paid Promotion is exactly what is sounds like. Once you have a set budget to help promote your brand, almost every Social Media platform on the internet has some form of paid promotion. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and many other famous Social Media’s have Sponsored Posts or Pay-Per-Click ads and analytics pages to track and see how many males or females are visiting your page, or what age group is clicking your ads the most? You get lots of new people viewing your Social Media page this way and you get some great information while you’re at it.
Free Promotion can be done in numerous ways depending on what Social Media you have chosen. One of the most popular methods across all Social Media is to use hashtags to help spread your message. Google+ offers “Communities” that you can post related content into. Another commonly used strategy to get going is to start following lots of different pages which usually leads to lots of pages following you back.
By the end of step four you should:
Know your budget for paid promotion and have a basic strategy for free promotion
Step Five: How Will You Measure Your Results?
Remember those objectives you drafted up in step one? Hope you still got them fresh in your brain or on paper because that’s what you’re going to compare your overall progress too. Each Social Media more than likely has an analytics side where you can track who is visiting your page, where they are from, what they are clicking on, & other useful information. Other Social Media tracking tools include Hootsuite, Buzzsumo, TweetDeck and so much more.
By the end of step five you should:
Be able to track progress for your SMART objective
And there you go! Follow these five steps and you’re off to a great start with Social Media Marketing. Good luck out there and happy posting!
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