Social media is a major marketing tool used in many businesses today. Although it has been used for about 5 years now in this setting, many companies are still struggling to fully grasps its importance as well as how to effectively use it. Every action taken on social platforms should be geared towards the goal that you have for your company, whether that’s to gain my customers or to gain more brand awareness (these are just vague goals). Creating an effective plan is the toughest part but once there is an established goal in mind, the rest will flow naturally.
What are your goals and objectives?
When beginning any plan or strategy you must first develop your goals and objectives that you want to achieve from this. These goals will be sort of like a guide to test your actions against to ensure that you are on track and measure your success. While you are thinking of your goals, be sure that they are specific and measurable. Your goal should be what you are going to do, how you are going to do it, and a time in which it will be done.
How is your current social media presence going?
After you have your goals and objectives you should analyze your current social media use and figure out what is working and what isn’t. During this process, you should be discovering what audience is currently connecting with you, which platforms are these people most engaged in, and how you compare to your competitors accounts. Determine your audience and what it is that they want and this will guide your strategy to appealing to their needs.
Do you have your accounts set up?
Now it’s time to update or create your social media accounts. After you’ve done all of your research and discovered your target audience and their needs, it’s time to focus on which platforms would be best to meet their needs as well as your social media marketing goals. With all of the platforms that are out there today, it is important to focus only on the ones that your audience is most engaged in. For instance, if you have an interior design or crafty business then Pinterest would be ideal for you but not so much for a company such as Wal-Mart or Quick Trip.
What do you want to share with your audience?
Now that the hard part is over, your plan is pretty much complete but not with out determining the type of content to share. This is probably the most important when trying to achieve your objective because this is what keeps your audiences attention and focus on your brand. Determine the type of content, how often you will share it, who will create it, and whose attention you are trying to attract with this content.
After all of this is planned out and executed, be sure to evaluate and adjust your plan as needed. Because your plan is laid out doesn’t ensure solidity. There will be hiccups and things that don’t work out as you hoped, so staying on top of your progress and monitoring it will give you a quicker opportunity in smoothing out those bumps. Your social media plan will change constantly as new networks come about and your business grows.
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-Raquel Grant, Social Media Specialist