Creating a social media marketing strategy can be an overwhelming task when aiming to align and measure alongside inbound marketing efforts. It’s a relatively new type of marketing that most people haven’t fully mastered yet. Despite this, there are thousands of in-depth resources to pore over.
Not sure where to begin? This quick five-step tutorial will guide you in making a plan, creating content, and finding the tools that will get your new social media page off the ground.
Make a Plan
Plunging into social media without the slightest idea of what you’re doing is definitely not going to end well. Make a plan before you even make an account.
A good first step is to create a social media mission statement. This documents who you’re creating content for, what type of content you’re making, and how it can help your audience. In other words, who are you targeting and what do you have to give them?
If you’re not sure, it’s time to do some research. Figure out who your target audience is, check on competitors’ social media, and browse hashtags related to your business.
Once you have ideas, choose a social media platform or two. Here’s a few of the popular ones.
- Twitter: Friendly, professional, or casual, and covering every topic and demographic imaginable; Twitter is a good choice for almost everyone.
- Facebook: Facebook is the most popular network with 2.1 billion users, so every company should have a business page.
- Instagram/Pinterest: If you produce plenty of photography, videos, and/or artwork, Instagram or Pinterest would be the perfect platform to market on.
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn is built for professional discussion and collaboration between companies in similar industries. It’s a more serious platform focused on providing good business information.
- YouTube: YouTube isn’t very popular for marketing due to the cost of creating high-quality videos. But if you have the tools and expertise to make informative how-tos or engaging, entertaining content, it’s worth a try.
An effective marketing strategy has clear, measurable goals. What exactly is your reason for marketing on social media, and what do you want out of it? Use social metrics to track your progress.
If your goal is to grow your brand, measure success by mentions, retweets (or the equivalent), and follows. If it’s engagement, look for replies, mentions, and to a lesser extent retweets and likes. And if your primary objective is gaining conversions, use a tool that can track inbound social media traffic, like Google Analytics.
Content Creation Strategy
If you want to succeed, you’ll need to do quality content marketing. You can’t just spam advertisements on social media. No one will click a link to your website unless you’re offering them something, and you won’t gain followers if nobody finds value in your content.
Decide what kind of content you want to create, and pick a diverse palette. Blog posts, tutorials, reviews? Videos, photography, art, infographics? Interviews and whitepapers? Is this for entertainment or information? What do you have to share with the community?
Write up some posting guidelines, for yourself and people you bring on. Lay out desired posting frequency, location, tone, and content.
Look at the content spread your competitors have for inspiration. What type of things do they post? How much is self-promotion, promoting other companies’ posts, and pure content?
Use the Right Tools
There are dozens of online tools, free and premium, you can use to make social media marketing a much smoother process.
- Buffer: Scheduling, automation, and metric tracking for businesses.
- Google Analytics: Track social media traffic coming into your website.
- Visage: Create consistent, on-brand social media images.
- Audisense: Discover and measure your target audience.
- Brand24: Track mentions of your brand and monitor customer satisfaction.
- CoSchedule: Create a social media marketing schedule and stay on top of it.
- BuzzSumo: Get ideas for content and see what’s trending. Also try Google Trends.
- Rebrandly: Share shortened links that match your brand’s domain.
Analyze and Optimize
Even once you have an account up and running, your job doesn’t end. Periodically do an audit to ensure you’re meeting your goals. Continue redefining your strategy, or even overhaul it entirely if it just isn’t working.
Social media marketing is an ongoing task, but with enough dedication, the results can be huge.
Crafting a Social Media Marketing Plan
Marketing on social media is all the rage these days. Almost any company you can think of, however small, has a social account. But many of them have no clue how to do it well, and their page sits with little engagement, sporadically if ever updating. Don’t be one of them.
Finding success on social media is partially up to luck, but there are real strategies you can employ. Set attainable goals, create valuable content and post it frequently, and continue optimizing your marketing plan. Follow these steps to push yourself towards success.