For anyone serious about marketing for their business with social media, the best place to start is by making a social media plan. But what is that, exactly?
Having a social media plan means that, rather than just posting randomly on different sites, you have an actual defined summary of your goals, plans, and strategy for marketing online. This will help you stay organized and on track, while also giving you feedback on your success rates. Following these 5 tips will help you make a social media marketing plan that will be sure to improve your online presence right off the bat:
- Define your goals and objectives
The most important reason for doing this is so you can gauge how effective your current marketing strategy is. The goals you set shouldn’t be vague, however; make sure they are specific, plausible, and most importantly: measurable. If you can’t measure how close you came to reaching a goal, then you won’t be able to see your progress (or lack there of). For example, try setting a goal of getting 25 likes on each photo you post to Facebook, over the span of one week. This goal is both specific and measurable enough to help you gauge how effective your presence on Facebook is.
- Find out who your customers are
For every business, the customers have a distinct profile. You might appeal to people of certain age groups, occupations, incomes, interests, dislikes, or hobbies. If you market with sites like Facebook or Instagram, this information is extremely easy to find out. And once you know just who your ideal customers are, you can start to market specifically towards that type of person. You’ll have better insight into what your buyers want, which means more sales.
- Research and track your competition
Any good salesman knows the importance of knowing the enemy. The same applies to marketing online. Start by making a list of your business’s major competitors. Then analyze their engagement on social media, what they post, and when they post. By taking advice from the competitors whose strategy works, you can not only improve your own success but have a better chance of beating your competition for sales.
- Improve your social media presence
The truth is, not every social media site works for every business. Branching out to more sites is not always a good thing, especially if that means less time devoted to each site. Experiment with different sites to see which gets the most engagement from your customers, then get rid of the ones that were a flop. Your presence on social media should be up-to-date and consistent, while also being aimed at the audience specific to each social network. (Because people on Pinterest certainly don’t act the same as those on Twitter.)
- Figure out the finances
Once you get serious about your social media marketing, you’ll realize that it requires a budget of its own. Think about whether you need help with managing your social network presence, help designing graphics or videos, or help with SEO and advertisements. Make a specific strategy for what you want done, and then decide on a budget to compliment that. It may seem overwhelming at first, but knowing how to manipulate social media can really pay off, helping you to expand your customer base way beyond what you started with.