5 Keys to a Successful Social Media Plan
If you ask marketers what the top outlets for content are, social media platforms will almost always be on the list. Social media is a critical player in today’s digital marketing world, and your company may be hurting a lot without it.
While a social media plan should definitely be a part of any content marketing strategy, it can be confusing to determine how to develop one. With a few key elements discussed in this post, we can show you how to make a social media plan that gets the most out of each platform.
Why Do You Need a Social Media Plan?
Whether you sell makeup, mold removal services or business expertise, your social media can play a big role. Pew Research Center shows that seven in every ten Americans use social media in some form. Whether they are on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter, the facts show that most of your audience is likely using a social media platform.
So, as any business should, you strive to connect with your target market. Ads, email marketing and mail can go a long way to reach customers, but social media creates a whole new playing field. There are a variety of ways to interact with customers through social media, whether that’s by posting pictures, linking to blogs or encouraging discussions on a thread or story. You can be much more specific with the way you target your audience and can help them have more awareness of your company and the products you offer.
In other words, social media can be a huge asset to your marketing strategy.
How To Make A Social Media Plan
Unfortunately, you can’t lasso in all the benefits of social media just by creating an account. It takes effort, and more importantly, it takes a clear plan that is focused. Instead of running around in circles, start with a strategy. In our opinion, there are five key elements to a successful social media plan.
1. Gather Information
You may have caught the vision and be bursting to start sending out those tweets, but gathering as much information as possible first will save you time, money and frustration.
Learn About Your Customers
First, you need to learn about your target market. If you haven’t created a target persona yet, this might be the time to do it. It’s important for a business to know the demographics of their target market, especially when learning how to create a successful social media plan. Know their age, location, likes, hobbies and dislikes. This will help you be more specific when focusing on them, especially on social media. It will also help you predict consumer behavior and improve your advertising strategies.
Next, you’ll want to get specific about learning the social media behaviors of your audience. Surveying your current customers is a great way to find out important details, including:
- Which channel your clients most often use
- What they use each channel for
- Whether your posts would be viewed as intrusive or valuable
- What type of business posts your customers enjoy
You may also want to perform some research about your competitor’s social media accounts. Look for details like how often they post, which sites they use and how well their posts are received by their clients.
Learn About The Platforms
As part of your social media plan, you will also want to become educated on how each platform can be used. Each one has different features and perks that allow you to build creative campaigns. Here is a quick run-down of 4 popular social media platforms to help get you started:
- Facebook: Used to connect with friends and family. Posts tend to be longer and URLs are shared frequently. Videos and pictures are also shared often.
- Instagram: Picture-oriented. Most users find and post pictures with small captions. The story feature is a big highlight for users.
- LinkedIn: Used for networking. Professional audiences normally use this platform to create connections and read professional blogs.
- Twitter: Also used to connect, but with a series of short posts and compressed URLs. Users can easily find information by searching keywords and hashtags.
Explore these options to give you a better idea of how you will develop your plan. There are also many more social media platforms that may benefit your business such as TikTok, Snapchat, YouTube, Reddit and Pinterest.
Doing some extra research will help you feel better prepared to launch social media campaigns and maintain your brand image without feeling overwhelmed.
2. Set Goals
What results do you want to achieve with your social media plan? Your goals will determine the details that you deliver to your content writing service and how you proceed. You will need to determine the following:
- How often you should post
- Which topics to post about
- What time of day you post
- The sustainability of each topic
The Content Marketing Institute has developed this template to help you cover all aspects of your plan.
You also need to determine what tone of voice you want your posts to convey. Part of this should depend on the platform you are using, as some lend themselves better to cheerful, fun posts and others work best with more serious, professional content.
This is where your research on your client’s use of each platform will play a big role. By evaluating their purpose of use and the posts they enjoy seeing, you can get a good idea of the type of content you should be posting.
When learning how to make a social media plan, another thing that you need to consider is which channels you will be using. Some companies create business accounts on every single social media platform and blast the same piece of content on each one. While this may have some level of effectiveness, a smart approach backed by research is much more likely to win you followers and potential clients. It’s okay to be picky on the channels you focus on and put forth effort in the areas that are most likely to make an impact. In some cases, less really can be more.
3. Involve the Pros
Creating a dynamic, engaging, informative Facebook post for your business is easy, right? Wrong. The way you use social media for your personal use is not necessarily going to be the same way you market your business, which is why you need to trust this aspect of your marketing strategy to professionals, just as you would any other part of your social media plan.
Content marketing services are not only great sources for blog posts, home pages and SEO articles, they are also trained to create fantastic prose that encourages your followers to click, read and re-post. With the move toward social media marketing in the business world, it is important to give your company a professional front. After all, your social media page may be your first and only impression.
4. Use and Reuse Content
After you’ve done all the initial research and decision-making of your content social media plan, the fun can begin. It’s time to decide what to post! Maybe you want to use one platform for deep, serious topics and another to post fun facts and discount codes. Once these decisions are made, you can save a lot of time and money by making smart decisions with your content. Begin testing the waters and see what people relate to most.
If you find that a particular post on the history of peanut butter gets thousands of likes, divide it up and get the most out of it that you can. You can usually pull a few sentences to make several tweets. You could also rearrange it into slides and create a SlideShare. Infographics are also highly shareable when you find a topic that your viewers enjoy.
Once you figure out what works for your company, get everything you can on that piece of content and then dig deeper. Build another post on the history of jam, or how the peanut butter and jelly sandwich was invented. Get creative and follow the lead your clients have given you as far as you can.
5. Get a New Audience
One of the best parts of social media is that you can make connections that put your company in front of an entirely new set of eyes. The easiest way to do this is by asking a fellow professional to guest post on your blog, then post about it and tag that person on social media. Suddenly, you both get access to each other’s followers and will likely each gain several new ones for your company.
Using hashtags is another way to get more exposure. Use your keywords or perform specific hashtag research to find out what your competitors are using and which are most often searched for.
Create a Social Media Plan That Works For Your Company
Adding a social media plan to your content marketing strategy is not only nice, but it may also be essential in today’s world of advertising. By making smart decisions, you can make the most of this free form of advertising and gain clients that you wouldn’t have found any other way.
Of course, if you want to learn how to make a social media plan that works, you need to put in the time and effort. Hopefully, these tips can get you on the right track. Once you’ve decided what to post, when to post it and where to post it, start experimenting with your plan. Before you know it, you may start building new relationships with customers, get an increase in traffic and discover new ways to promote your product.
Don’t forget to use a professional content writing service to help you post quality content frequently. Once you get started, prepare to see your company “tweet” and “like” its way to the top.
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