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How to prepare a social media marketing plan | 7 easy steps

Many businesses are investing on social media marketing nowadays with low return on investment. This is bound to happen as many brand are doing it the wrong way without having a social media marketing strategy.

Many brands are posting about their brand or products for just posting sake, while many are posting the wrong content, at the wrong time and on the wrong social media platform.
To avoid this pitfall and help your brand maximize its return on social media; you need a social media marketing plan.
Social media marketing strategy is just how you plan to make use of social media in benefitting your brand. This may include:
  • knowing what you want to achieve with social media
  • Knowing who your target audience is
  • Analyzing your competitors
  • Optimizing your social media pages
  • Creating a content calender
  • Posting of contents
  • Analyzing your result

 

1- What are your social media marketing goals?

Before you can set up a social media marketing strategy, your brand need to have goals in place. Simply put, goal is what you are intending to achieve through social media marketing.  Without goals you won’t be able to measure the effectiveness of your social media marketing plan.
Different brand have different goals, this may depend on the size and the type of products the company offers. Smaller companies or start-ups tend to place higher value on goal like brand awareness, while big companies for effective social customer services.
However, your goals need to be S.M.A.R.T in other to be effective. This means your goal have to be:
  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Timely
Example of a S.M.A.R.T goal will be something like this;
“Increase website traffic to 1500 visitors per day by posting and promoting relevant blog posts four times per week to Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook accounts.”
Below are some of social media marketing goals that can help you maximize your returns on investment from social media.
  • Brand awareness
  • Generate new leads
  • Increase sales
  • Provide social customer service,
  • Build a community around your business
Here’s an example of a brand awareness post by dinnies foodplace for their new restaurant opening:
Brand awareness
Once you have set your social media marketing goals, you are well on your way tors. In creating an effective social media strategy target towards your target aud creating an effective social media plan.

2- Know your audience

Your audience are basically your customers and prospects. Knowing a lot about your audience will help you to create and curate the best content for them and also know which social media channel you can use to reach out to them.
If your business is already running, you should have a good sense of who they are and their online behavior.

In creating an effective social media marketing strategy, you need to answer the following questions about your target audience:

  • Who are they? (that is their age, location, gender, e.t.c)
  • What are their area of interest? (e.g sports, entertainment, business, finance, e.t.c.)
  • Where do they hang out online? (e.g blog, social media, news site, e.t.c.)
  • What type of content do they consume? (e.g pictures, blog post, videos)
Answering these questions will help you in knowing what type of content to create, who to direct it to, and also where to post and share your contents.

3- Analyze your competitors

After researching your audience, the next thing you will have to do is analyze your competitors social media strategy. Check out their social media pages to know the type of content they are posting, who are they targeting, which type of their content is getting the highest engagement and those that aren’t.
Put it at the back of your mind that, your aim in analyzing your competitors is not to copy cat their contents, but to create better contents that will drive higher engagements for your brand.
You can easily know who your competitors are by searching your keywords on google. Let’s say your into selling house equipment, you can search for that term on Google and see those ranking do that keyword in your locality. Once you identify who they are, check their social media pages and see the type of content they are posting. You can also use tools like buffer to know their high performing contents.
Compare your strategy to theirs, optimize and iterate your contents to perform better.

4- Optimize your social media pages

One of the most important thing that can attract new prospects to your brand or let you build a social community is optimizing your social media pages. You should make sure your profile pics, bio and cover photo are up to date, this will signal to your followers and prospects that you’re serious about engaging with them.
These are the few tips to keep in mind when creating and optimizing your social media pages:
  • Completely fill out your profiles
  • Your visuals(e.g Logo, colors) should be consistent across your social media pages
  • Make use of relevant keywords in your bio
  • Your brand color should be consistent in your social media posts
Optimizing your social media pages is a sign of professionalism, and it will further help your branding on the long run.

5- Create a social media content calendar

The purpose of content calendar is to plan in advance the type of content you will be creating, by who and when it will be posted.
It also helps to keep track of which posts are performing to help keep your content consistency.
Content calender when created and being follow prevents missing posting dates and makes it easy to track and balance posting across different social media network.
You can create a social media content calendar on spreadsheet with google docs or Microsoft Excel.
A good content/editorial calender should have the following:
  • Publish date
  • Type of content
  • Social media platform
  • Time
  • Call to action
There’s no formal guidelines in creating social media content calender, each marketer/brand has it owns tailored to their need.
To create a create a good content calender read this guide by social media examiner.

6- Post and curate engaging contents

Your social media marketing strategy is nothing with out content. Content is what your target audience get to see and engage with. Once you have known who your target audiences are and you have created your content calender, the next logical thing is to create and curate your content.
Type of contents to be posted differs across each channel, Facebook and Pinterest is more about pictures, Instagram is for both  pictures and videos (nowadays with the introduction of the IGTV).
You should make sure you post visually compelling and engaging posts. Your brand color also should be consistent across each post and platform.
User-Generated content is another important area you can take advantage of. When your customers posted about them using your products, or mentioned your brand in a post, try to repost this on your pages. This increases trust and can get new prospects to become customers.
Here’s an example of a user generated content posted by Oonihq:
User Generated Content

7- Analyze your results, optimize and iterate

You should once in a while analyze your content results. Know which contents are performing best, which are driving highest or lowest engagement. Which type of contents are your followers cosuming? Analyzing your results will let you know the area where you need to improve and which area you need to optimize.
Social media marketing plan is a matter of trial and error, you need to keep tweaking the area that are not working and comes up with new ideas everytime.
Social media is always evolving, so you need to watch out for what you trends you need to follow, which areas you need to improve on.
There you have them, the steps in preparing an effective social media marketing strategy you can use in getting your brand to a perfect start. Social media strategy is not set and leave thing, you have to constantly analyzing, testing and improving.

 

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