Love it or hate it, social media marketing is here to stay. More consumers are jumping onto popular platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. If you’re not there, you’re missing out on a valuable piece of the conversation.
But before you sprint over to each network and set up shop, you need to have a plan in place.
Here’s a step-by-step approach to creating a cohesive social media marketing strategy that’ll ease your efforts and skyrocket your return on this worthwhile investment.
Define Your Goals
Before you can create a plan, you have to know what you’re planning for. It seems obvious, but many business owners forget this stage and dive into posting without a purpose.
Outline what you want to accomplish from social media marketing by looking at how your audience uses social media platforms. Does your target buyer use Twitter and LinkedIn for industry insight and product research? Or is he more likely to use Facebook to connect with friends?
Once you know how your audience interacts with social media, you can create your goals. Do you want to generate brand awareness? Or is your primary goal to drive traffic to your website? With this in mind, you’re ready to define how you will use social media to reach your goals.
Define Your Voice
Your social media platform is often the first impression your audience will have with your brand. That means that you need to have a clear voice that honors the platform where you’re posting and your brand’s image.
In addition to keeping your voice consistent across channels, you also want to make your message is relevant and engaging on social media. This can be a tough balance to strike. Define the style of posts you want to have. Will they be personal and friendly? Or will you try to infuse some humor into your social media strategy? Define this ahead of time so that you can be consistent from the get go.
Create a Schedule
You plan your day, you plan your week, but what about your social media posts?
Making a schedule for when and what to post is crucial. Without it, you have nothing to hold you accountable to your strategy. Define specifically what you will post and when. Keep in mind that various social networks suggest different post frequency. For example, you might only want to post once or twice per day on your Facebook page, while on Twitter, you might post three to four times per day.
No matter how often you decide to post, create a plan so that you can stay on track with your strategy.
Outline a Plan for Each Post
On the surface, social media marketing might seem straightforward, but there’s more that must go into each post if you want to have a solid analysis of your efforts.
Outline a plan for each post you publish on social media. Here’s an example:
- Write the text for the post.
- Create a custom URL for each post so that you can track your dark social media data in addition to the engagement and other post insights.
- Define who will respond to and engage with the community.
Gather Your Team Players
Social media is social. Because of the nature of this marketing channel, it’s important that it’s made into a team effort.
Gather your team players and give each person roles. Who will write the posts? Who will schedule each post? Who will respond to your audience?
Decide in advance who’s responsible for each task in your social media strategy. This way, no one will drop the ball and you can hold the right people accountable for the task at hand.
Rinse and Repeat
When you’ve implemented your new strategy for about a week, take a look back at your strategy and goals. What worked? What didn’t? Where can you make improvements?
Strategies are fluid. They require regular analysis, tweaking, and testing for maximum performance. Using marketing analytics tools, you can better determine what’s building your business in your social media efforts and where you can improve.