One of the biggest challenges to successfully using social media for business is what to post, when to post it, and to find a way to track your efforts to see if you are meeting your goals.
Consider these four steps before you begin your social media marketing strategy and campaign:
1. Make a Plan
Determine what your general intentions are and what the big picture is for using Social Media for your business. Social media is a conversation tool, not a broadcast or push tool, so in developing your plan keep this in mind when determining what you will share or offer. Your strategy should achieve the goals of the organization as a whole, and require participation by all areas of the business. Designate your team of administrators, content providers and resources and keep everyone on the same page. Your social media strategy needs to be done professionally and consistently. Additionally, an important part of your plan should be creating a content calendar. The content calendar should clearly lay out your goals and overall plan including what and when to post. Using a content calendar and having a plan makes the time and effort involved in social media marketing much smoother and less time consuming.
Need a Content Calendar Template? Click here to complete the form and download the Microsoft Excel template I use.
2. Set Goals and Have Clear Objectives
Having clear objectives will help measure your time spent on social media and will help determine what works and what doesn’t. Be sure to set goals that are measurable. Do you want to raise the number of followers and fans you have? Do you want to grow your email list? Are you trying to raise awareness of your brand? Do you want to grow the number of followers on your blog? Keep in mind your social media strategy can also be measured on reputation management, brand advocacy and even research and development.
3. What Is Your Strategy
Your strategy should tell how you will meet those goals and objectives with:
Your strategy should also include the networks you will use such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and YouTube. You can also include publishing tools like HootSuite to your strategy for better marketing management.
4. Measure Your Efforts
Measure your success based on the goals and objectives set above. Use your Content Calendar to track which post topics generate the most response and sharing. Use your website analytics and social media tracking tools like Facebook Insights to measure the results of your strategy.
- Did you gain followers and fans and by how much?
- Did you increase your email subscriber list?
- Did followers visit your website and buy products from your online store?
- Did you get foot traffic in the door because of your social media strategy?
Every business will use social media and their strategy differently. With a clear plan, you can avoid being overwhelmed and not using social media in the right way, or not using social media at all.
Do you have a social media strategy in place? What are some things you have learned while implementing your plan? Any tips on how to achieve your goals? Share your thoughts and comments below!