A social media marketing plan is a road map to achieving your business goals through social media platforms. Whether you like social media or not, being active on social media is a must if you are trying to market your business. What easier way to reach your target market for free, personally and conveniently? It seems that everyone has at least one favored social media platform that they use. Leveraging the power of social media is vital in today’s digital world.
Today I want to share with you what has worked for me and how to establish your social media marketing road map. If you do it correctly, you can use social media marketing to dominate the market within your tribe.
In 2011 my husband and I started renovating homes. I started a blog to share our story. Within one year we had gained over 10,000 social media followers. Social media is a great platform to help you create real life connections and I firmly believe that the number one secret to success is by supporting and helping others succeed. After a year of blogging, I quickly fell in love with the online digital marketing world which led me to my current Account Management position here at Snap Agency.
1. Establish Goals
The first step to a successful social media marketing plan is to establish what you want to achieve. With any good marketing plan, you need to assess your current situation and establish your goals. Make sure your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. Establishing SMART goals is the first step in making them a reality. Are you goals to increase brand awareness, generate leads, inform and educate, drive traffic to your site, retain customers, or increase sales by 10%? No matter what your goals are, big or small, set realistic deadlines for reaching them so that you’re always able to measure and readjust.
Dream big and start small! One of my goals for construction2style was getting to a certain number of page views per month. In order to achieve that from our social media following, we needed to have followers. I started by wanting 50 followers period. That quickly grew to having a goal of 5K followers per month. Social media requires patience. As I always say, if you do it right and you are doing what you love, results will come.
2. Social Media Platforms
Choosing which social media platforms you want to utilize can be overwhelming and a daunting task. You don’t have to be present on all platforms, but I would recommend a few. There are a TON of platforms to choose from. If you don’t know where to begin, start with the basics: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google +. From there, do a little research on your tribe and what platforms they are utilizing. Make sure to be present on those platforms as well. A few other social media sites to consider are Houzz, Hometalk, Disqus, Snapchat, Tumblr, Vine, Whatsap, Zillow, and YouTube.
A few tips on the basic social media accounts:
My favorite! Instagram is all about show, not tell! It connects your customers, fans or followers to your culture. Who doesn’t like to JUST look at awesome photos all day long with no over indulgence commentary?! Instagram is fun and visual.
- Make sure you have a descriptive bio.
- Have a link to your website URL in you bio. The bio is the only place you can have a clickable link on Instagram.
- Post 1-2x per day
- Have a healthy balance of fun and business. All work and no play will be boring and no one will want to follow you.
- Follow brands and people within your tribe. Learn from them, see what is and is not working with their account.
- Use relevant hashtags. Use different hashtags. Do research, search hashtags on Instagram and see the number of photos there are for each hashtag. Hashtags are like a google search for Instagram. Something as simple as making a word plural makes a big difference. Don’t use a hashtag that has never had a photo. More than likely that means no one is searching for anything under that subject.
- Make sure to establish your own brand hashtag and use it. For example, we use #construction2style. Make sure to first research the hashtag you want to start using for your brand as you don’t want to use a hashtag that is already being used. Look at this as your own little online portfolio. Use industry related hashtags as well as participate within the latest trends such as #followfriday #selfiesundays #mundanemondays.
- Comment your hashtag. Don’t put all the hashtags within the caption. Leave a comment with your hashtags. This way they get buried when people start commenting. Nothing is more annoying than following people who leave 800 hashtags within the caption of the photo. If you leave it as a comment, this will not show up in your followers newsfeed.
- Engage! Engage! Engage!! I can’t stress this enough. Like others’ photos, follow your tribe and leave comments. Even if this is the only step you follow, I promise you, you will see results.
- Follow your followers from other social media platforms. This builds relationships.
My least favorite. However, it is one of the most powerful social platforms in the world. And it seems that everybody and their grandma is on Facebook, literally. My reason for disliking Facebook is that you can have thousands of followers on your fan page and people rarely see your updates. Facebook prioritizes its users with who they interact with the most. If you want people to see you updates they have to be actively engaging with you. So how do you show up in other’s newsfeeds? Encourage fan engagement!
- Post 5x per week
- Include a clear and direct call to action.
- Pay for Facebook ads.
- Activate sponsored stories as an add-on to your ad.
- Use lots of images. Add multiple images with you ads.
- Use advanced targeted options.
- Upload your mailing list to Facebook.
- Do contests and giveaways, it makes it more shareable.
- Don’t use YouTube, directly upload your videos. Facebook does not favor YouTube.
- Cross promote your fan page across all of your online channels.
This is my close second favorite! Pinterest is all about visual imagery. It is a giant virtual idea and inspiration board. Abby, our Strategist, and I both wrote blog posts about how to drive engagement on Pinterest and 10 tips to skyrocket your Pinterest sales. Check them out!
- Pin a lot and pin often.
- Pin from your website, link from the original source. Nothing is more frustrating than finding a photo you fall in love with which leads to nothing, especially when it is a mouth watering picture of food and you must make it immediately and there is no linked recipe. Make sure to always upload from the source and link back to the credited source. Give credit where credit is due! As you can see below, it states the source of this picture is “Pinned from” our blog, construction2style.com
- Feature business name on profile.
- Add website URL on profile.
- Have an detailed and updated description in your “about” section.
- Have bright, vibrant colored cover images on your boards.
- Use detailed titles and descriptions.
- Have relevant boards that reflect your brand or business.
- Have a Pinterest share button on your website.
Twitter is all about an ongoing conversation. It’s the perfect tool to reach people directly and publicly. If you have breaking news, launches, questions or need opinions, this is the tool to use.
- Tweet 3x per day.
- I have found is the sweet spot. It’s a great tool to reach people directly and publicly.
- Tweet on the weekends, engagement for brands is higher.
- Tweet with images as they get 2x the amount of engagement.
- Use hashtags, it gets more engagement.
- Include links within your Tweets.
- Tweet later in the day.
LinkedIn is all about the professional social networking. People mean real business on this platform. LinkedIn is the largest business networking site in the U.S.
- Post 1x per day.
- Complete your profile.
- Recommend others. As you know, I am a firm believer that the secret to success is support and helping others succeed.
- Develop real relationships with your connections.
- Do not use the generic “I would like to add you on…” email. Make it personal when connecting. Let them know how you know them or why you want to connect.
- Use discussion groups and offer value.
The must. Surprise! If you want to be found on Google you probably want to have a presence on their social media platform. Google+ has over 540 million active monthly users. Google+ sees its number of users increase daily. While not everyone is using Google+ you mine as well get ahead of the curve and jump on it while your customers will be on it sooner than later.
- Post 1x per day.
- Include keywords in your posts for SEO.
- Use Google Hangouts. It is a FREE live video virtual conference room.
- Use Google+ Reviews
- Use Hashtags.
3. Choose Your Audience
Identify your ideal customer. Know your target audience, age, occupation, passions, motives, income, etc. This will help you to determine which social media accounts, brands or businesses you want to target and what your goal for targeting them is. For example, our number one goal is to drive traffic to our website to build brand recognition in order to be sponsored by brands. If you are a business that sells a service I would imagine your goal would be for your followers to contact you for your service. You need to make sure you are creating call to action with content and imagery that are going to attract those followers. Measuring your results regularly will help let you know if you need to readjust your marketing plan.
4. Create a Content Calendar
Once you have established your social media platforms you will want to create a content calendar. Without great content, even the best social media strategy is basically useless.
Once the content calendar has been created, use tools to schedule your posts in advance, such as Hootsuite or Buffer. Make sure your calendar reflects your goals. If the purpose of your Facebook account is to drive traffic to your site, make sure to create an engaging call to action with a link to your website. And remember, it’s not all about you. Share, share, share!! This is apart of supporting leads to success! Depending on the platform I generally try to follow these rules:
- 50% of my content will drive to our blog
- 30% of my content will be supporting other sources
- 20% will be personable for fun!
If you’re unsure how to allocate your resources, a safe bet is to follow the Social Media Rule of Thirds.
- ⅓ of your social content promotes your business, converts readers, and generates profit.
- ⅓ of your social content should surface and share ideas and stories from thought leaders in your industry or like-minded businesses.
- ⅓ of your social content should be based on personal interactions and build your personal brand.
Promote your content when your users are online. Watch your engagement time and make adjustments. Find the sweet spot.
5. Support and Engage
If you haven’t figured it out by now…Lastly and most importantly, engage! The easiest thing to do to help your business is to engage with your followers and support them. Set aside a certain amount of time everyday to engage with followers. Even though you may be representing your brand on your social accounts, it’s also important to represent your personality through your brand. I usually set aside 30 minutes per day. I take the first 5-10 minutes to reply to comments, and spend the remainder of the time clicking through to my followers pages and liking, commenting and sharing.
6. Measure Results
Track your social media ROI to prove your social campaigns are valuable. If you don’t measure the results of your social media marketing campaign, you wont know if your strategy is effective. There are a ton of tools out there that will help you measure the effectiveness of your posts. Some social media platforms have analytics already built in so you are able to compare month over month, but here is a list of more free tools. I personally use Google Analytics to measure my results. Based on my primary goal of tracking website traffic, Google Analytics provides me with the original source of my social media campaigns.
Once you’ve measured your results and figured out what has and hasn’t been successful, adjust your strategy accordingly. That’s all there is to it!