By Marquis Matson
After blogging sites started becoming popular in the late 90s, early into the 2000s, sites such as LinkedIn and MySpace quickly gained prominence. By 2005, social networking platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube had made their debut, creating entirely new ways through which people across the globe could communicate, share with each other, and do business.
Today, the estimated number of people using social media platforms worldwide are about 3.2 billion and still growing. With that in mind, it goes without saying that for the success of any business in the 21st century, social media marketing is crucial.
However, social media marketing has not been a bed of roses for most businesses, and don’t let the numerous online success stories fool you. The reality is, digital marketing requires a lot of effort, research, and experimenting with different social media techniques for brands to realize significant growth and success.
From the on start, it is very important for marketers to be strategic. A well laid out SMM plan and attention to details are critical for success. This article has what brands and marketers need to help them create an outstanding social media marketing plan.
Create Social Media Marketing goals and Objectives
Set S.M.A.R.T. goals
The first thing that social media marketers should do when creating a winning marketing strategy is to define and create their goals and objectives. Goals and objectives give you a clear direction of what you want to achieve. And without them, you can’t measure your success or ROI.
Your goals should also be in alignment with your business objectives and they should be:
T- Time bound
Track meaningful metrics
The metrics which you track should have meaning. Drop meaningless vanity metrics such as likes, comments, retweets and shares. Instead, concentrate on social media metrics to help you create brand awareness, web referrals, generate leads and improve conversion rate.
Audit Your Current Social Presence
For you to know your ultimate destination, it’s important you know your present location. If you already have a social media presence, you need to step back and analyze your progress. Before you audit, your online presence ask yourself some of the following questions:
- What is working for me on social media and what is not?
- Who are your followers on social media?
- Which social networks are favourite among your target audience?
- And, how are your social channels performing compared to your competitor’s
Once you get all the answers to these questions, you will have a clear insight on where to start your plans for improved results.
Create a Content Marketing Plan and a Social Media Content Calendar
It’s great to have great content. However, it is even better when you have a schedule to guide you through your online journey. Have a content calendar to help you schedule when to post your content for maximum benefit. Come up with a clear posting schedule on your calendar which indicates specific times and dates for publishing your content on social media.
Having a social media content calendar will help you properly spread out your posting at regular intervals for maximum impact. Your content calendar should also reveal how long you engage with your followers and at the same time give you room for unprecedented interactions.
Create and Curate Engaging Content
In this step, create a compelling and engaging content by using what you already know about your target audience. With time, you will become an expert on creating and curating interesting content that will keep your followers yearning for more every time. The following are examples of content that you should create:
- Blog posts
- Company News among others.
However, when creating content, make sure that it echos your mission statement and your set of skills.
Pick Your Posting Strategy
When it comes to picking your posting strategy, so much depends on a lot of factors. Most marketers usually find themselves asking questions such as: How many posts should you upload in a day? When is the ideal time for posting? What kind of content should you post?
In deciding on the content to post, you have to first consider your target audience. If for instance, you are looking for engagement, videos work perfectly well compared to links or image posts.
Invest in a Social Media Management Tool
Most social media marketers understand that for you to boost your productivity, you need to leverage social media management tools. These tools play a vital role in SMM strategy as they help ease marketers the burden of the arduous task. The social media tools simplify the work of online marketers saving them from burnout.
Another benefit of using social media management tools is that they help marketers schedule posts in advance. This should go hand in hand with the content calendar that you created above. On your content calendar, try and put your scheduled post together with an aligning social media management tool.
Track, Analyze, Optimize Your Social Media Marketing Plan
This might be perhaps the most crucial step in creating a social media marketing strategy. You should track the outcome of your online marketing campaign, analyze the data collected and then adjust accordingly to achieve optimization of results.
Don’t be apprehensive of trying out new and different approaches. Your strategy should be flexible and ready to accommodate changes when and if necessary.
Marquis is a writer, social media manager and SEO content marketer. She currently lives on the coast of Ecuador, working remotely as a freelancer. Her primary focus is on building online visibility of new, up and coming brand, particularly brands that promote health and wellness. She lives a nomadic lifestyle, though is originally from California.