Not more than two years ago the marketing process meant personally meeting the consumers, talking to them, and having a personal touch. Later, this process got changed and telemarketing came into the picture. Presently, it is the digital marketing era. Tools can change. But the spirit of marketing is the same and the main objective is to attract the customers and to retain them.
The contribution of social media websites to the business’ success is enormous. The technique and the advantages of SMM (Social Media Marketing) are revealing itself and a lot of people are exploring it. This article narrates the steps for creating an SMM plan.
Your website and/or blog requires a plan for SMM. You may not want to outsource this process to some other digital marketer, and you may decide that an effective SMM plan for your products/ services can be created by yourself. But it is not easy either.
Whatever action you do on social networking websites must be in tune with your SMM strategy. Every post, tweet, comment, a response must be driven by your SMM plan which eventually has to have well-defined goals. Once the plan is in place, your social media activities will follow naturally. The important process is to create a plan.
Like a conventional marketing plan, an SMM plan defines how you intend to attain your business goals. First, you need to take stock of the present status of your social media accounts, then define where you wish them to go over a while and identify the activities and tools required for it.
Your plan should be specific; thus, it becomes effective when you implement. Do not let it to be complex and broad which makes it impossible to deploy. Your plan guides your actions and reveals if you are succeeding or not in your social media efforts.
Stating the objectives is implied for any SMM plan. They will indicate if you are achieving success with your social media actions. In case you fail, you can quickly change your activities on time. Without specific goals, you cannot measure success and there is no way to identify the ROI (Return on Investment).
Your SMM plan must be in tune with your marketing strategy so that your business objectives are met. The success of your SMM plan unfolds itself as likes, retweets, comments, increased website traffic, and leads generation. Your goals must be SMART compliant; Specific. Measurable. Attainable. Relevant and Time-Bound. The simplest plan can have at least 3 goals. Think about how your goals will be when you reach them.
- Share 3 pictures-based posts which speak about your brand
- Share 2 leadership videos which will get 40 likes and minimum of 15 comments.
This is clearly defined. Isn’t it?
The defining process of your plan must be preceded by an audit of your social media present performance.
Before drafting a new social media plan you must find out how your social media is presently performing. Identify the social media websites your current audience use and identify who are all connected with you. Evaluate your present social media presence against your competition.
Before you begin with defining your plan, take an audit of how your social media is performing? Find out who is currently connected to you, what social media sites your audience use. Assess how your social media presence is vis a vis your competition.
Prepare a list of your existing social media accounts that reflect your business. Have a detailed picture of who controls it, manages it and the purpose it offers. Regular auditing of your social media effectiveness is mandatory as your business improves. Decide as to what accounts are to be kept and what are to be deleted. Ensure that no fraudulent accounts exist so that your customers are not connected with such accounts. When your customer searches, they should not get connected to those fraudulent accounts. Instead, they should get connected to your authentic accounts approved, managed and controlled by you.
An appropriate mission statement is essential for all of your social media account profile. This will help you reach your goals through Facebook, Twitter, and other such networking websites. All social media websites are not suitable for all kinds of products/campaigns. Instagram may be apt for a clothing brand whereas Twitter might do wonders for cement. Define the purpose of your every social media profile. If there is no purpose, you must delete that account.
You can use LinkedIn to highlight your business objective and building your brand.
After completing social accounts auditing, next comes improving your online performance. Select the social media website which helps you achieve your social media goals. if you do not have an account on the selected website, do create one with broader objectives. Focus on the type of audience you intend to target. Update and trim your existing social media accounts for the best results. Every social media website has its kind of audience and they should be handled appropriately. You need to optimize your profiles for SEO – this will increase your website traffic and improve other online parameters. Accounts can be optimized by providing all the details, using images and optimizing the text.
You have customers on Facebook. So, you want to be there too. Your competitors are also there. It offers you a good amount of already existing knowledge which you can integrate into your SMM plan.
Observe how your competitors achieve customer engagement. Use your social media presence to differentiate yourself from other competitors. Watch what your customers share in their profiles, read their comments and remarks. This reveals information about their lifestyle choices and preferences. Use their language and lingo. Customers’ habits can be learned from their profile details. You can also get an idea of the kind of content they like.
Industry leaders are also good sources of inspiration. Those are the giants who already have mastered the marketing methods for social media. The ones who have distinguished themselves from others on social media platforms. You need to follow and learn from them. Analyse their profiles and observe what they have shared on the networking websites and watch their online presence.
Great content is not easy. But it works wonders if you can write and share good content. Your social media marketing plan must include a special content plan. Must lay out a content creation strategy and state an editorial calendar. Your plan must have:
An editorial calendar which lists out the date and time you wish to do Facebook posts, Twitter tweets and all other details that you wish to deploy in the campaign.
Your editorial calendar must have the content schedule for sharing them well ahead and avoids wastage of time being on the social websites all day. Spontaneity is required when you engage with your customers.
Your mission statement must be stated at the very beginning of your content calendar. It should be kept in mind all the time. Ensure that you share engaging content so that you reach out to and engage with the maximum audience on Facebook.
Map your content as per what percentage you allot for different content types:
- 50% content for customer engagement
- 20% from other sources
- 20% for lead generation
- 10% on HR policy and culture
If you have no clue about resources allocation, you can adhere to the rule of thirds of social media. It opines:
- 1/3rd of your social media content generates profit, converts readers and uplifts your business.
- 1/3rd should be stories and ideas from industry leaders
- 1/3rd be for personal interaction and personal brand building.
It is necessary to evaluate your SMM strategy and put your plan to test. The performance of your social media posts must be tracked. Comments, utm codes, url shorteners and page visits etc are to be observed. You need to refine your response based on the performance of your SMM plan. You can survey your online followers by asking their opinion about your social media performance. Also, do ask your buyers if your online campaigns resulted in purchases.
Your SMM plan must be a dynamic one which keeps changing. The arrival of new platforms must be leveraged to your advantage. As your business grows, new content gets added, the plan gets modified, and new goals take shape. You may expand to foreign countries. So, it is imperative that you need to be open to changes and flexible. Keep looking for new insights and make your strategy reflect your new insights. All the time keep your SMM team aware of the changes that you make.