Social media has over the years transformed to become one of the critical business marketing tools used today. While every business is unique, there are many ways your business can benefit from creating a successful social media marketing plan. Unfortunately, many business owners and marketers don’t understand the vital steps they need to take to create social media marketing strategies that work for their businesses.
Like any other marketing strategy, all your actions on social media marketing should be geared towards achieving your business goals. That means that every comment, post, like or reply should be part of your overall marketing plan. While achieving the desired results may take some time, creating a concrete plan that you can implement, monitor and re-evaluate as your business grows is what matters most. A successful social media marketing plan should include:
- An audit of the status of your social media accounts
- Your social media marketing goals
- The strategies to implement to achieve them
The more specific you’re with the plan, the easier it will be to implement. It’s advisable to keep the market plan simple and clear. Below are the critical steps you should follow when creating a social media marketing plan.
Establish Your Business Goals
Clear business goals and objectives provide a platform that allows you to start off on the right path, know where you’re heading and make necessary changes along the way. Without having well-established goals, it would be impossible to achieve the desired results and measure your return on investment (ROI). Your goals must be aligned with your market strategy to ensure that your social media efforts drive your business towards its objectives.
In this initial step, it’s advisable to go beyond the basics like monitoring likes and comments alone. You should adopt innovative social media tools that help you create a more focused marketing plan. Your social media marketing goals must be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
Do a Thorough Social Media Audit
Before you create a successful social media marketing plan, you must carry out an audit of your current social media presence to understand how it’s working. This helps you determine the social media sites your target customers frequently visit and the presence of your competitors in those sites. Once you’re done with the audit, you will have a clear picture of the best social media sites to target.
You should also identify the accounts that need to be deleted or upgraded. An extensive audit would help you reorganize and establish your social media presence so that potential customers searching for your products or services online can connect with your business. At this stage, you should create a mission statement for all your the social media sites to steer your business goals.
Improve Your Online Presence
You can achieve this by establishing the social networks that best cater for your business goals and social media objectives. If you don’t have social media profiles on the major social media sites, establish them and have your audience in mind as you build your social presence. Each social media network has a distinct audience and should be treated as a promotional and interactive platform for your business. Consider optimizing your social media marketing plan by implementing the right SEO strategies. This can help you generate additional traffic to your social media accounts and improve your online presence.
Get social media marketing inspiration from successful competitors and social media experts. If your business competitors are doing it right, there are a few things you can learn from their social media presence. Look at what they are sharing, how they promote their products and services and how they interact with their clients. Focus on distinguishing your business from competitors and develop new marketing ideas that can work for your business.
You can also consult established social media experts to help you create a successful social media marketing plan for your business. They will help you analyze your current marketing strategy and recommend changes, offer new insights and advice you on how you can take your marketing plan from one step to another.
Create a Content Plan
Every smart social media marketing strategy should include a content plan and a detailed time line. The plan and calendar will help you outline these key things:
- Identify the type of content you should post
- Know when you should post content and how many times
- How to create relevant content and promote it
To ensure your content posting time line is effective, you should schedule your posts in advance instead of updating them at once. Doing this ensures that you have enough time to work on the content, format and the language. Rather than being spontaneous with your social media engagement, it’s important to have a clear content plan that your social media followers will appreciate.
Constant Evaluation of the Plan
To ensure success with your social media marketing plan, you have to continuously monitor your marketing efforts and the results being achieved. Build testing capabilities in all the actions done on your social networks by taking simple steps like tracking the number of likes, retweets, comments and the number of times your site has been visited. By doing so, you can quickly identify areas that need adjustment in your social media marketing plan and make the necessary changes.
Creating a social media marketing plan alone will not guarantee you success in your business. In today’s competitive business world, businesses must take advantage of the various marketing tools and strategies available. By combining different marketing strategies like social media marketing, content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), conversion optimization, business branding and email marketing, your business can experience even higher potential returns.