Five Step Plan for Social Media Success
If you own a small or medium business and are considering jumping into social media marketing, then this is the place to begin. Even if you are a larger, more established organization, your strategy may not be going as well as you had hoped. Regardless of the situation or success, it is good to periodically step back and evaluate your social media efforts to see if it is working as well as it could be!
Identify Your Audience
If you have had your business up and running for a time, I hope that you have a good idea of whom your target audience is. It is imperative to understand your specific current customer base. If your marketing demographic is not the same as who was targeted then it is time to revisit your business and marketing plan or possibly rework your product.
Demographics can be segmented into several markets so an organization can accurately target its consumers. A marketing demographic is segmented by age, gender, and income level. Other demographic factors that may affect a strategy are race, religion, family size, ethnicity, and education.
Selecting the Right Channels
Often, small business owners want to be on all social channels without really understanding the resources (time, content creation, and money) required for success on each platform. For organizations that are just starting out, it is best to select one or two social media channels and master them first. One of these should be Facebook. Although that sounds like a contradiction to the above blurb about knowing your audience, the reach of Facebook cannot be ignored. It is the largest social media channel. Even if you know your target audience lives on Instagram or Snapchat, be sure include Facebook business page in the strategy.
After selecting the social media channels, it is imperative to set goals. Be sure that everyone involved, understands these goals and receives benchmark reports. An example goal is of want to gain 1000 followers on Facebook within the next 60 days. Each goal is set for a specific platform and is measurable.
Goals can include:
- Increase brand awareness
- Sell from social media
- Increase website visits
- Increase engagement with content
Jumping straight to “sell 100 widgets in the next 20 days” is not likely to be an achievable goal unless you invented the next internet sensation. It is possible to work toward multiple goals simultaneously. For example, you may be building up a following on Instagram while also working on increasing engagement. Revisit your goals at least monthly. Revise them up or down depending on results. As your marketing strategy grows, there will be goals for every piece of content in addition to those set for the channel!
Profile and Branding
Each social channel has a set amount of space for a textual description related to your business. Each social profile has a profile image that appears at the top of the profile and next to comments and posts, in a smaller format. Most social channels also have space for a large banner or ”cover image” which is rather prominent. Be sure these elements are kept up-to-date. Images should represent the brand with clear images. A short mission statement or call-to-action is permissible on all social channels on the banner images.
Your social profile images may be a consumer’s first impression. Be sure profiles are on-brand at all times. Don’t just set and forget them either. Freshen up social media account images to keep things lively!
You’ve set goals and are on your way to developing a content strategy. Establish how you are going to measure those goals set up in the beginning! Some content is easier to track than others are. I have done workshops and videos on tracking the return on investment in social media. It is possible! Tagging links where possible is the easiest and best way to track. Setup ecommerce conversion in Google Analytics or other stats package. Some channels like Instagram and Snapchat are much more difficult to track ROI. You may have to promo codes and measure lift.
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