Previously, business strategies were planned with a long-term vision, thinking about where they would be in 10, 20 or 30 years. Long hours are spent analyzing the budget, the objectives of growth and the expansion decisions, those issues are involved in the planning agenda. A very important thing within the organic business growth is to increase more revenue to complete these objectives for various activities. A crucial element for the company has always been the marketing department. The marketing efforts of companies focus on meeting the goals set by managers to achieve what it is stated in the strategical plan.
However, nowadays a plan with more than 5 years is difficult, due to the constantly changing environment. Moreover, if the marketing department has decided to fully enter the digital sector, there is needed total flexibility to have a reaction capaity at any time. The Digital Marketing consists of different aspects that must be taken into consideration for reaching great potential and maximize their return on investment. One of them, and I will be developing along this post is about Social Media Marketing Plan.
What is social media marketing?
According to Tech Target the meaning of social media marketing is:
Social media marketing (SMM) is a form of Internet marketing that utilizes social networkingwebsites as a marketing tool. The goal of SMM is to produce content that users will share with their social network to help a company increase brand exposure and broaden customer reach.
The definition of “plan” we find it in Google as a detailed proposal for doing or achieving something.
Therefore, we can define that a social media marketing plan es a detailed proposal that uses social media to generate a content that is business objectives oriented.
Developing a Plan de Social Media Marketing
1. Analyze your business and market
Something you should do first is get to know deep your company. If you have made a strategic plan, you will have an easy way, otherwise you’ll have to study what is the vision of the business. And why do this? You need to know before you start what tone your company will use to communicate with customers. Identify the colors that match with the corporate identity. In addition, this will help to create the image that you want to show on the social networks.
Also, an important point is to know the marketing budget available, especially for social networking. Many companies think that by creating a free profile and all the social network profiles its enough. Of course you can perform actions for free advertising on social networks, but to have a better reach you will have to invest on it.
It is essential to know who you are directing your marketing efforts, what in Inbound Marketing is known as the Buyer Persona. To do a segmentation, ask yourself what is the professional and personal situation of your ideal client, what are their demographics such as gender, age, location and social class. What tastes and interests they have, what are they looking for and what problem they need to solve.
With this you begin to piece together the puzzle to know what message are sending and to whom you’re sending.
2. Create social media goals and objectives
What you want to achieve with your campaign? Of course, the ideal will always be to increase revenue for any business, but social networks can go beyond just the increase on sales. For example, getting more visibility, more video views, and improving communication between business and consumers. Those are some of the long-term goals that can create a loyalty relationship with the customer.
Some objectives in social networks can be:
- X number of people who see your publication.
- Promote your profile to achieve X number of followers.
- Promote your post to generate X number of likes or comments.
- Attract X number of visitors to your website.
- Increase the number of people registered on your site, which is called lead generation.
- Reduce spending budget on advertising, or better said, more effective spending.
The objectives are chosen according to the business needs you may have. Define what you want to achieve to reduce innecesary workloads and spending.
3. Choose social networks
There are specialists who state that it is better to be in all social networks and there are some others who say it is better just to be where you are more likely to connect with your real customers.
What I recommend? Create at least your profile on all social networks, but only focus on using social networks where your potential customers are. Why? You’ll be securing you business name on the social network, but do not concentrate too much on it if there are no potential customers. I will use as an example the social network Snapchat. Currently, this social network is highly used by people under 34 years. Perhaps the age of your market is not that, but in the future will be a potential market on the social network. So if you already have a profile, you will have advanced in the process.
Here is an infographic of Social Media and its features developed by Smart Paper Help. I hope this can help you to identify which social networks will be useful to further develop your social media marketing plan.
Source: Smart Paper Help
4. Create a content plan and an editorial calendar
Have you chosen the social network? You know what you want to achieve? You know who you want to attract? Well, it’s time to start planning the content that you will create and when you will share it to your networks.
There is a wide variety of content that you can create. The matrix of Content Marketing of Smart Insights will help you choose what kind of content you can make based on your goals.
Once chosen the type of content that will be done, is time to plan it up on the editorial calendar. This calendar will help to have a schedule of the art that you just have created.
5. Create, share and repeat
It’s time to work. Start generating the content you’ve chosen. Some take longer than others, but it is essential that what you create is directed to the objectives.
If you do not know what kind of content create, you can always inspire from the leaders of your industry, competitors or customers to know what content the like. Do not forget that the creativity and identity of your business will be the supporters of a better impact.
Once made the perfect photos, e-book or video, it’s time to share. Add it to the chosen social network. If you chose several networks, I recommend you to use Buffer, a very useful tool that will help with automation of posts in various social networks.
Repeat the process until you have finished with the plan. Being constant in social networks is important to create a presence in the community. We must be aware to the reactions of users. Reply any comments and thank when needed. If negative comments appear, do not delete the comment or stay silent, look to solve the problem that may have caused its anger or try to reduce it.
6. Evaluate and adjust the social media marketing plan
Day by day, data is being generated on social networks. The number of likes, retweets, share, views of the profile, and other social actions that generate the engagement may be available from the boards of social media analytics. Most social networks offer insights for companies of what has been done in the social network.
Analytics are very useful because with them you can analyze the information generated. By mention one, Twitter Analytics provide insights about the demographics, tastes and interests, time spent within the network and more. Insights can be obtained from specialized dashboards according to the social network you are. Therefore, evaluate the actions of your plan, and make some adjustments if needed.
To add more ideas for creating a social media marketing plan, I leave here some resources that might be useful for doing the job.
You can access the site of the australian government to download from there the template, which is a full document with a checklist to create an effective social media marketing plan.