Do you have a Social Media Marketing Plan?
If not, you need one – before you get started with your Social Media efforts.
If you are a marketer you’ll already be familiar with a marketing strategy and plan. Social Media Marketing is no different – you must have a plan.
And if you’re an entrepreneur, you may wear the marketing hat anyway. You still need a strategy.
Whether you want to use Social Media Marketing to launch a new product, promote an existing one, improve customer loyalty or improve brand awareness, a strategy and plan are crucial. It’s not enough to have Social Media tacked on to the end of your traditional marketing plan as an afterthought.
So what should your plan contain?
Here are my 8 9 top recommendations for what you should address.
- Your target audience – who are they and how do they prefer to network? What Social Media tools do they currently use?
- Your goals – what are they and how do you plan to achieve them? Do you want to attract more prospects? Improve customer loyalty? Attract a new audience? Get buzz for your project? These are questions you must ask… and answer
- Your success measures – how will you know you’ve succeeded? Will it be through product downloads or trials? Will it be the number of people clicking through to your site? Or the number of qualified leads you gain? Or the success of a sweepstake you run?
- Your competitors - Do they have a large Social Media presence or none at all? What type of campaigns are they doing? If they are doing nothing, you have an opportunity for grabbing an advantage
- Your Social Media content – for example video, audio, written. Depending on what your audience likes and uses you will probably use one or a combination of these.
- What’s “your soft offer?” – How will you convert your prospects into sales or customers? You need to outline this in your plan
- Your Social Media Tools – Will you use YouTube, a blog, Twitter, Facebook? Community forums? This depends on all of the above. Not every tool will work for you, and sometimes the only way to find out is to try them and see. Having a strategy makes it easier because you can make a decision as to what to try and why, tracking the results of each tool you choose.
- Your resources – Most Social Media tools cost little or nothing to set up and run. However, there is a considerable investment of time required for any Social Media effort to have long term success. Who will keep the blog updated with regular posts? How will you address comments so that the blog is truly interactive and conversational? How many people do you need to allocate? What’s your plan for tracking – and acting on what your stats are telling you? Many never consider these questions (until it’s too late) – but if you don’t, frustration and failure are that much more likely. So carefully consider the time you can afford to invest compared to what’s needed.
- Last, but certainly not least, how will you encourage word of mouth marketing and the viral nature of Social Media? How will you get people talking about you without “you talking about you?” It’s a significant advantage of using Social Media and you want to make sure you use it.
The marketing landscape has shifted power into the hands of your customer, your potential client. They’ve changed how they buy, and what they do before they buy. They expect more interaction with you. That can be rather overwhelming for businesses that are used to controlling a message that until now has traveled in only one direction – the consumer’s.
A Social Media strategy will help you cut through the noise, make better choices and select what works for your audience, your company and your objectives. It will position you to meet many of the seemingly huge hurdles to getting started. A strategy and plan will almost certainly make you more successful in your Social Media efforts.
Think of it as your road map to success.
Do you have a Social Media strategy? How has it helped you in your social media efforts?