Big or small businesses, global or domestic, can benefit greatly from a solid social media marketing strategy. A plan for social media marketing is an overarching, step-by-step guide for any engagement you do on social media. The more specific and detailed you make this plan, the easier it becomes to achieve targeted outcomes and stick to timelines.
A plan for social media marketing also offers a set of markers to assess whether you are succeeding or need to make changes to your implementation strategy. You can start with a broad, big picture plan and then break it down into specific actions that you will take to achieve your marketing objectives through social media.
This article delves into the 10 most effective tips to improve your social media marketing plan.
Social media marketing, or SMM, is the use of social media platforms and networks to promote your brand – products and services. Through social media marketing, you curate custom content for target audiences and post them on different social media sites or networks.
Through this process, a business or brand can promote its products and services and connect directly to potential and existing customers. It may include things like a social media campaign, one-off posts about trending events, or even talk about socially relevant issues. And all this while promoting your brand and aligning with the brand messaging. SMM is a highly beneficial channel that can boost the growth of your business.
For social media marketing to achieve its objectives, you must have a sound understanding of your audience and create tailored content that appeals to them. So, you have to find stories that strike an emotional chord. SMM, if done right, can lead to conversions of leads in the long run.
A social media marketing plan should be aligned with your overall business goals. The SMART framework is a very effective framework that helps you define your objectives clearly. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound objectives.
For example, in the image above, you can see how the objectives have been laid down using the SMART framework. They are specific and clearly measurable. More importantly, they are attainable, not unrealistic, and relevant to the business growth needs. What can be added here is a column around tentative timelines by which you want to achieve these objectives.
A social media design or plan is useless if it does not consider the target audience’s demography and other factors.
No matter how strong your social media marketing strategy looks on paper, it will make very little sense if you have not fully understood your target customers. Ultimately, the content you create based on such a plan will fail to appeal to the audience, and the plan will prove counter-effective.
A few important factors in assessing while doing an audience analysis include:
● Age of the target audience
● Income sources
● Geographical location
● Work background
● Family information
● Educational background
It is important to gain an in-depth understanding of the industry by thoroughly analyzing your competition. Your analysis should capture what they are doing well and trending in the market.
A social media campaign designed this way will incorporate important insights from the industry. It will also help you identify your real competition and what opportunities are available in the market.
Social media listening is a useful technique to keep an eye out for your competition. Keep referring to the account activities of your peer organizations, and draw out insights and best practices from there.
Different social media platforms have different usage and viewer experience. Your social media marketing plan should align the platforms with the type of content you want to promote.
From the infographic above, you will get a fair idea of which platform to use for what. You can take the strategic planning a notch higher by setting specific objectives for each social media platform.
For example, one of your objectives could be to leverage Facebook for a personal connection with the target audience. Doing this allows you to put down measurable goals and assess them at the end of a social media campaign. Also, make sure that your social media profiles are up-to-date.
If you are already using social media marketing, run frequent audits of its performance. Ask your marketing team to assess the performance on the following parameters:
● How is the viewer engagement?
● Who are the most engaged viewers?
● Which social media posts are performing better than the rest?
● What are the success rates?
● What needs improving?
Answering these questions will help you make necessary course corrections and achieve better results. Doing a social media audit will also reveal interesting data about fake accounts – some businesses may want to use your brand name to promote their products.
You may not want to replicate someone else’s work, but you can always draw inspiration. Be aware of other brands’ success stories- what makes them so.
You can follow award-winning social media campaigns or be inspired by revolutionary social media designs. There is always something to learn from your competition, and a positive influence of this kind can go a long way in keeping up with market trends. Most importantly, you will get a pulse of what people are reacting to positively, and what they are not. Your content will be curated based on this analysis.
A social media calendar is another important element of your overall social media marketing plan. Knowing when to post what kind of posts can make all the difference regarding brand credibility.
For example, if there is an earthquake, and you post about a new product launch, or if India is celebrating its Independence Day, and you don’t have a post around that, it is hard to appeal to the viewers.
This can be mitigated with the help of a simple social media calendar. You can even schedule posts with the help of this. You can create a social media calendar at the beginning of each month to plan for a particular period. If you have a social media calendar, you can also account for unplanned posts and accommodate the same easily.
All said and done, the success of your social media marketing strategy will boil down to how compelling your content is. Try to belt out customized content as much as possible. Mix up the content to promote your brand and put across a strong messaging.
This will help viewers to connect with the latter, and you will not come across as boastful or self-obsessed. Select the type of content and nature based on the messaging. Whether to use a GIF or meme or a simple copy with an image will depend on this.
Monitoring and evaluating your strategy is important yet overlooked element of social media marketing plans. You must constantly track progress and ensure the deliverables defined in the strategy are met and on time. Evaluating progress will also help you account for changes in the plan, adjust timelines, and create more relevant objectives as you go along.
Finally, you have to leave an amount of flexibility in your plans. A plan that is rigid and written in stone is, more often than not, bound to fail.
Here is a summary of the important points discussed in this article –
● Social media marketing, or SMM in short, is the use of social media platforms and networks to promote your brand
● SMM can help open up new opportunities for businesses by letting you connect to potential customers.
● A good social media marketing strategy should have clearly defined objectives that are SMART.
● A robust social media marketing plan involves thorough market research, compelling content, and a sound monitoring and evaluation plan.
● Social media marketing plans also need to be flexible to accommodate unforeseen changes.
● A social media calendar is a core pillar of a company’s SMM plan.
A social media marketing plan is thus a combination of a lot of factors ranging from market trends, research, content creation, and management. So, it is extremely important not to drop the ball on any of these for a plan to be successful.
The different steps in social media marketing strategy include laying down SMART objectives, creating content, scheduling social media posts, and having a plan for monitoring and evaluation.
The most powerful marketing strategy for social media depends on how you define your social media marketing objectives.
Businesses need a social media marketing strategy to connect properly with potential customers.
To plan a social media engagement strategy, you must develop strong goals around promoting brand awareness and increasing viewer engagement.
The core elements of a social media marketing plan are content, social media calendar, and a monitoring and evaluation plan.
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