If you want to attract and engage social-media fans and followers — and convert them into paying customers — you need to map out a clear, goal-oriented social media marketing plan. If you don’t, it will be obvious to your fans and target market that you are disorganized. In addition to damaging your brand, you’ll risk losing sales by sending your audience to your competitors.
If you’re starting from scratch, it can feel overwhelming.
You know that others have been successful at social media marketing, but there are so many moving parts that creating a plan of your own can be daunting. If you are brand new to social media and looking for a straightforward way to start, follow the advice below:
12 Steps to Social Media Marketing Success
1. Research and know your audience
What topics and interests are they are most social about? What problems are they trying to solve? What are their pain points?
Are Facebook and Twitter their platforms of choice? Do most of them use Pinterest and Instagram? Go where your target audience is to create awareness, engagement, and brand ambassadors.
3. Identify your KPIs (key performance indicators)
They measure progress toward your goals. What do you want your social media efforts to accomplish? What does success look like in quantifiable terms?
The playbook should detail your KPIs, audience profiles, brand personas, campaign concepts, promotional events, contests, content themes, crisis management plan, etc. Make sure to tailor strategies that are unique to each of your social media channels.
5. Align the people at your company with the plan
Get everyone on board with your strategy. Divide responsibilities among your team, such as who is in charge of posting to your blog and each social media network, who will respond to comments and @mentions, and who will own metrics tracking and reporting.
6. Set aside some time of the each week to prepare
Take 30-60 minutes to schedule tweets, Facebook posts, LinkedIn posts, Pinterest pins, and other social media content. Come up with some original ideas, links to your own content, and links to outside content that is useful or interesting to your audience.
7. Develop a content marketing calendar
Use one of the many templates available as a starting point to plan content topics, headlines, related links, desired scheduling, name of authors, etc.
8. Post content that is relevant to newsworthy topics and events
As soon as breaking news comes out about anything related to your brand or industry, you should share your opinion and become part of the conversation.
Don’t post the same message everywhere – remember who the audience is on each platform and how they interact. What works on Facebook will fall flat on Twitter, and vice versa.
10. Assign someone to act as a customer service rep
It’s vital to be responsive to user-generated content, comments, and feedback (positive or not). CRM (customer relationship management) is fundamental to social media marketing success.
11. Schedule metrics reporting
Reporting metrics can occur weekly, monthly, or bimonthly depending on your goals and desired outcomes.
12. Reanalyze your plan on a regular basis
If something in your plan isn’t working, switch it up or do some A/B testing to determine what your audience responds to better. Use 2 versions of your content simultaneously and measure to see which one is more successful and use it going forward.