No one can argue social media’s prominence in our world. Business owners understand the importance of being present on social media. And we definitely agree – social media is an invaluable tool for marketing efforts and business growth.
The biggest mistake businesses can make is beginning to use social media without first having a strategy in place. This not only leads to posting content your target won’t see or care about but guarantees the failure of your social media efforts.
To have social media efforts succeed, there must be a set plan. Here, we’ll discuss the important components of a social media plan and why each is necessary to the big picture.
Identify Specific Goals and Objectives
Having a clear set of goals and objectives is essential for any strategy, and it’s no different for a social media plan. These goals should align with a broader marketing strategy and overall business goals.
Your objective should be more than gaining followers or posting every day. The purpose of social media is for it to be an active extension of your business and to assist in business growth.
Are you looking to increase time spent on the website? Leads generated? Brand mentions? Overall reach and total shares? Determining specific metrics, in the beginning, will guide the plan and evaluate the plan’s effectiveness later on.
Conduct a Social Media Audit
This isn’t as daunting as it sounds. A social media audit is a good way to examine your current social media efforts (if you have any), what channels present the most value for you and what your competitors are doing on social media.
Begin by creating a list of the current channels or platform your business is using for social media, and the number of followers on each and how often you’re posting. You’ll notice the engagement each platform is receiving from its followers. Perhaps your Facebook page receives a lot of engagement from your target audience and followers, but your Instagram receives little to no engagement. You could then focus less time and effort on Instagram and place more energy on where your audience is.
Visit your competitors’ social media accounts and note the number of followers they have, how often they post and what kind of content they’re posting. This provides insight into what is and what isn’t working on social media for businesses in your industry.
Content Planning and Scheduling
Now comes time for what everyone’s excited about – posting to social media. Completing the first couple of steps fuels the content you will be creating and sharing. Examples of content include relevant videos and photos, infographics, articles, blog posts written by your company, company news, etc.
A general rule for social media content is following the 80/20 rule. Eighty percent of content should inform, educate or entertain your followers, while twenty percent directly promotes your brand. Following this rule helps to put the “social” into social media.
Scheduling content is the perfect way to ensure consistency and quality of the content you post. It also helps to avoid the last-minute scrambling to get a post on Facebook just for the sake of having a daily post.
Measure Your Efforts and Adjust Your Strategy
No social media strategy will ever be set in stone. It’s an evolving and fluid process that requires refinement to yield success.
Whatever metrics you listed as your objectives must be tracked to measure its effectiveness. If one of your goals was to increase website traffic, you can use Google Analytics to track daily visitors. If there hasn’t been a steady increase, it’s time to reevaluate the strategy and decide on how to improve the strategy to meet your goals.
Don’t be like most businesses and go into social media blindly. Like almost everything else, you need to have a plan in place if you want to be successful. Enlisting a knowledgeable team can help strategize and then execute your social media plan. This makes the social media plan part of the [R]eady component of the ENDREA Method™ and it’s something we enjoy helping businesses with!