Social Media is a wonderful tool for reaching your customers and generating leads/sales (all for FREE). It is essential to have a good plan to ensure you are maximising your efforts.
Here is a 7 step guide on how to write a social media plan:
1. Set Clear Goals:
To be successful in business (and life in general), you need to set goals. Clear, defined goals. If you are writing a plan then surely you should be trying to achieve something. Otherwise, how do you know if the plan is working or not?
Set clear, defined goals around what you want your social media marketing to achieve; generate your leads by 50%; increase your social media following by 1,000 on each platform; raise brand name awareness; increase engagement by 30%; release free promotion and test success/failure etc.
The clearer you are about your goals, the clearer and more detailed your plan will be. Your efforts will be more efficient and you will have a greater chance of success.
2. Understand Social Media Is A Tool:
There are too many people saying that Social Media is the ‘be all and end all’ of marketing and sales. This kind of thinking is detrimental to your business. Social Media is a tool. It is just one tool amongst many tools that you will use to achieve your business’ overall objectives. Having this mindset makes you approach social media differently.
Your online marketing plan must have your website as the central element. Social media, SEO, landing pages, blog, email marketing etc all revolve around the website to achieve your goals. All elements must work together in harmony and not in competition with each other.
3. Understand Each Platforms’ Uses:
Before you start any marketing on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc, you must get familiar with them. The best thing to do is to set up an account and ‘get to know’ the platform. Each platform has it’s own uses and strengths. For example, Facebook is great for sharing pictures and videos but you wouldn’t blog on there. Twitter is great for sharing links (blogs, vids) and it’s a great conversational tool. By being on the platforms you get a feel for the advantages and disadvantages for each platform. You also get a feel for the culture i.e. best practices. This could be how to appropriately use hash tags on Twitter or not tagging people in every single photo that you post (particularly if it doesn’t have anything to do with them.)
4. Create Your Content:
Everything revolves around content. Content is the number one thing that you need to be successful in the online world. The strength of your social media efforts will only be as good as the content that you provide. If the content sucks then no one will click. If the content is valuable then people will most likely engage with you.
Your number one aim is to ensure that you continuously create valuable content that will attract your customers and keep them engaged.
5. Determine Which Content Suits Which Platform:
Once you have an idea of the content you are creating (blogs, videos, podcasts, pictures etc) you can then determine which platform is the most suitable to release it on. For example if you are a photographer you might want to use Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram – visual platforms. If you are a solictors firm you might want to use Twitter, blogging and Facebook – platforms that are easy to demonstrate and share educational/information-based content.
6. Test, Measure, Adapt:
This is by far the most neglected part of the process and it is the most crucial. This is the way you determine whether you are achieving the goals you set out in point no. 1.
Not everything will work. That’s just a fact. Some of your ideas will work wonderfully and some will fall flat on their face. The most important thing is to test your efforts and see what is working and what you need to get rid of. If things don’t work, don’t be disheartened. Simply adapt your strategy and try something new. Don’t stop. Keep going day in and day out!
7. Allow For Time:
One of the biggest problems I see in the social media industry is that there are people who offer promises that seem totally unrealistic. They are like ‘get rich quick’ schemes. The social media equivalent is to increase your numbers by thousands in a week, or to generate more sales in no time.
Nothing of value ever happens instantly. Things of value take time. You must factor into your plan that some things will take time to grow (blog readerships can take anywhere between 6 months to a year to develop). Building a quality fan base (that are actually interested in your company) takes time. Don’t get me wrong, some things can go ‘viral’ (although I hate that term) and you can see some spikes here and there, but mostly you should be aiming for steady growth.
For more information you can download my FREE eBook ’10 Commandments of Social Media.’
Hi, I’m Haroon Rashid and I’m the author of this blog and the founder of Finisher Creative. If you are a small business or a charity/non-profit I would be more than happy to talk to you about your online marketing and social media needs. If you’re in the Yorkshire area (UK) I’ll even take you out for a coffee! You can email me on email@example.com, check me out on Facebook, follow me @FinisherCre8ive or Google+ I look forward to hearing from you!Get a FREE Consultation