The Ins and Outs of a Killer Social Media Marketing Plan
Like any other plan, a strategic Social Media Marketing Plan incorporates sections on goals, objectives, target markets, methods, costs and return on investment. The most important function to remember is not to follow the plan slavishly, but allow it to force you to consider the various options of social media marketing before you invest too much effort and or money.
The Key areas a Social Media Marketing Plan Should Address:
1. Establish Goals
Before establishing your goals you need to understand the benefits of using social media for business. It could be one of several reasons including:
- Building Relationships
- Improving Business Processes
- Improve Search Engine rankings
- Saving money on advertising
Again, there are no hard and fast rules here to what the goals of your social media marketing plan should be as they are unique to your business objectives.
2. Make Objectives Quantifiable.
For every goal, set at least one quantifiable, measureable objective, such as:
- Increase number of website visitors by 10%
- Improve organic search ranking for keywords to within the top 5 results.
- Reduce advertising cost by 10% by utilizing social media.
3. Identify your target demographic.
One of the best ways of identifying your customer needs is to imagine you are a typical customer and to make a caricature of your ideal business partner.
- What age range does your product/service appeal to?
- What job would your typical customer do?
- Are they male or female?
- How much would they earn?
- What do they like about their job?
- What do they dislike about their job?
- What are their hobbies or interests?
- What are their ambitions?
- What above all else makes them happy?
- What books or magazines do they read?
You may not have definite answers to any of these questions, but the point of the exercise is to build up a profile of who you are trying to attract to so that you can tailor your campaigns specifically for those people. You no longer have to rely on a “scatter gun approach”.
4. Estimate Costs.
Let me dispel this huge myth straight away. Social Media Marketing is NOT FREE. Yes, you can set up Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn profiles and a blog, but that is all you get for free. That does not entitle you to a seat at the table of targeted consumers for your business and that is the prize that most business owners so desperately crave.
You need to first establish how much you are willing to invest in social media, including labour costs for both setting up profiles and also the continual upkeep of said profiles, outside contractors including design and implementation and then any miscellaneous costs such as software or hardware to support your social media marketing plan.
It is important that the business is aware of the costs associated with social media upfront so a return on investment model can be correctly calculated.
5. Determine Your Social Media Marketing Mix.
Jumping in all guns blazing into social media marketing, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+ can be a disaster if not managed the correct way. Prioritize your social media marketing engagement efforts on what your business can afford, allocating or reallocating funds within your budget. This approach keeps your social media marketing costs under control.
Your social media marketing plan is not there to act as a barrier of entry for your business to begin building a social media following. Forget defining a big, meaningful, all conquering business objective before getting started – you’ll end up in analysis paralysis! Just make sure you’re making an existing business function better and get started.
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