Much like anything in life, there are those who are experts on a topic while the majority of others have a basic idea or even zero knowledge on the topic. Marketing is no different; or is it?
With the cost of entry into digital marketing being as inexpensive as free, topics such as Social Media being taught in school, and the tools in everyone’s pockets, it seems that everyone is an uneducated expert on the topic.
This leads to a vast array of opinions on how digital marketing should be done. Fortunately, many channels have set methodologies with guidance being provided all over the internet.
Social Media, on the other hand, has the perception of being the wild west of marketing with radical stories of fortune. That being said, for every Social Media success story is many more stories of painful effort met with failure.
This is what has inspired us to put together our top tips for businesses that are looking to get started on Social Media.
Minutes of Planning Each Week Can Be Enough
Any wise businessman would advise you to never start a business without a proper plan in place; Social Media is no different. Given social platform have become extremely user-friendly and the cost of entry for organic posts are free, it’s often enticing to jump right in and start posting.
But without a plan, there is no high-level objective to achieve and no method to measure how close or far away you are from achieving the goal. Our recommendation is to stop and take the time to put together an effective Social Media plan to ensure your efforts support your business objectives.
So, where does one start when making a Social Media plan?
1. Set your Social Media goals:
It can seem redundant at times, however, by starting with S.M.A.R.T goals, real impact on your business is more likely. Each goal set should be an actual business metric you track such as leads in your CRM, increased conversion rates, rather than simple social metrics such as likes and shares.
What are S.M.A.R.T goals?
- S – Specific
- M – Measurable
- A – Attainable
- R – Relevant
- T – Time-bound
Your social media goals should embody all of these qualities.
2. Perform a competitor audit:
Take some time and document what your direct competitors are up to on social media. Although the goal isn’t to duplicate what they do, understanding what others have done can decrease the learning curve you have to go through.
Insights gained my help you to know what works and what doesn’t, thus assisting in your strategy going forward. For instance, you may gain insight into:
- What are expected within your industry
- What goals may need to be measured
- Opportunities that exist such as content ideas or specific channels not targeted
3. Audit your own social media:
For many businesses, their past social media efforts have had a blend of success and lack-luster efforts. Before you implement your initial content, it’s important to take a deeper look into your current social media presence.
- What has worked, and what has not?
- Who is already connecting with your social channels?
- Which social networks do your targeted audience use?
- How does your social media presence compare to your competitor’s presence?
- Do you have ‘impostor accounts’ such as fraudulent accounts that may be impacting your presence or harming your brand?
With this information, you should have a good idea as to where your social presence currently stands.
4. Find inspiration:
A mistake often made by companies within your industry is that they become ‘copycats’ mimicking everyone else trying to piggyback on the success of others. Often, taking a look at what other companies are doing outside of your industry may offer some inspiration on how you can reach your targeted audience in a unique way.
Alternatively, social success stories, award-winning campaigns, and even your own followers can lend a hand inspiring you to create relevant content that’s creative and compelling.
Don't be afraid to just Google it!
Often a quick search online can provide just the starting point you need for your social media posts.
5. Align your plan with a Social Media Calendar:
Although this may seem natural to some, it’s common for this step to be completely skipped. Scheduling posts and maintaining a consistent strategy ensures your posting content on the correct channels at the right time.
A great tip when planning your posting schedule is to ensure your objectives set for each social channel are at the center of everything posted. Keep in mind that you should post content that blends the following:
- A specific percentage of content dedicated to driving traffic to your blog. (Ie: 50%)
- A specific percentage of content curated from other 3rd party sources. (Ie: 25%)
- A specific percentage of content supporting corporate goals: leads, etc. (Ie: 20%)
- A specific percentage of content about HR & corporate culture. (Ie: 5%)
A variety of social posting/calendar platforms also exits to automate this process for you.
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