Businesses across all industries now use social media as an effective promotional tool. It doesn’t matter if your business is in eCommerce, service providing, or something entirely different, it can always benefit from social media visibility. Social media networks allow you to connect to your audience on a more private level than mass marketing strategies like TV or print.
Still, no matter what marketing coaches say, it’s still very much possible to get social media marketing wrong. In fact, many businesses do. Some businesses invest in social media campaigns that end up being costly and ineffective. In this guide, we’re bringing you precise steps that will help you avoid those kinds of mistakes. Let’s take a look!
Know where you stand
When you decide to develop a marketing plan for social networks, it means that you will decide to follow a certain path. Therefore, to know exactly where to go, it is necessary to know the current position your business is in. In this case, this means analyzing exactly the presence of your business in social networks today.
So, this includes determining the social networking platforms used by your business today. Along with this, it is also necessary to analyze which of them is more optimized. In this way, we will know which social network is providing us with the most input. Start by analyzing and comparing all networks where your business currently has a presence. Also check on your customers. The important result of this customer analysis should be to stop investing time into networks that don’t pan out. Sometimes, business owners are frustrated with the ineffectiveness of a certain social media campaign and make the paradoxical choice of investing additional time in it.
At the same time, it is necessary not to leave aside the marketing plans for the competition. In this way, we can detect and compare the presence of the competition in different social networks and our own. Therefore, this allows you to take advantage of your current situation.
Who is your audience, specifically?
One of the reasons that necessarily lead you to failure is not to detect your specific target audience. Even the mistake of identifying the wrong target audience can bring great losses to a company. That is why the highest level of detail allows you to know the best way to create an excellent strategy.
For example, if you have an online store that sells toddler clothing, we will have good results when we detect and identify that our target audience is mainly mothers. Beyond that, we will be much closer to success if we also identify other aspects. Some of them are:
- the precise age range of customers/visitors
- the location of the audience (usually, your target audience is connected to your business’ geographical location)
- the income level (depending on the price of your products or services)
- the social networks they use, etc.
Additional aspects that may fit perfectly are the level of education of the target audience and their main needs. Also called pain points, these needs will be the ones your business intends to satisfy. So, when you can better identify the target audience, then the marketing plan for your business will be more assertive.
Establishing a primary mission
In the vast majority of cases, it is important to have the same horizon for each of the individual actions you take in your social media campaigning efforts. In this way, it is possible to achieve a high level of precision when deciding which actions to take. To do this, the main mission must be carried out and established for the social media marketing plan.
On the contrary, the results are mostly negative when companies do not declare what the mission of the marketing plan is. After that, each of the actions will be too general, as well as the whole campaign. Without a clear purpose and goal, you’ll stray too far away from success. Far from obtaining good results, a social media strategy signals to customers/visitors whether it is an unprofessional company or expert in a certain topic or area.
To be able to create and establish the main mission, it is necessary to follow some tips. On the one hand, the main mission must cover the actions needed to achieve the final objective.
An example of this is “to improve the presence of the business in social networks, to optimize sales and gain ground on the competition”. After that, we can decide in a better way what specific actions to take to fulfill that mission.
Detecting the real metrics
In every marketing plan, there are several metrics we can take. Each one of these metrics allows us to know the results of our campaign in real-time. However, not all metrics will provide us with the information we are interested in.
Focusing on too many data points that are not aligned with the end-goals is a common marketing mistake of many social media business campaigns.
In the case of social networks, the number of new followers will not be as relevant. On the contrary, it is necessary to get the metrics that tell us that the success of the business is increasing. So, a good metric should tell us how many followers buy some of the company’s products.
So, we can mention some useful metrics for you to get a better orientation. Some of them are mentions of your business name, time spent on the website, and conversion rate. Of course, other metrics are better adapted to the specific characteristics of a business.
Creativity and content
One of the main tools that should not be missing in any marketing plan is the creation of content. The content you decide to publish under your business name will forever have an impact on how it’s perceived on social media. In this sense, we are talking about the importance of delivering really creative and fun content. That is why many marketing plans are destined to fail when they do not take this step into account.
The vast majority of potential customers are not interested in simple and boring advertisements. Also, the creation of high quality and attractive content should be a major aspect of your social media marketing efforts. So, here you can include interviews, eBooks, computer graphics, business news, and various publications with videos and images. All these formats require either expert opinion or the use of some digital solutions. When we talk about textual content, it might be a great idea to collaborate with some content strategists employed by any major thesis writing company. In terms of visual content, businesses can turn to special tools for images and video creation, editing, and publishing.
In the same way, the new content created must be in line with the main mission. Otherwise, the publications created could contradict the whole marketing plan producing bad results. Along with this, it is also necessary to determine the frequency of publications, the platforms to publish, and the specific topics.
Precise and appropriate investment
As in any other aspect of the business, investment is essential to making a profit. A social media marketing plan is no exception. For this, there is a set of digital tools that can help you with this task. Before you start outlining the funds that you want to set aside for SM marketing, research the tools that will earn you back what they cost in the long run.
Specifically, the management tools will allow you to achieve each of your objectives when using social networks. An example of this is the correct publication of the creative content you produce. Besides, it is much easier to comply with the correct frequency of publications.
Here are some other things you should keep in mind when you’re thinking about the financial plan for your social media marketing campaigns:
- staff (people who will work on the tasks)
- hours of work
- content creators
- graphic designers
- influencers, etc.
Adjustments, adjustments, and more adjustments
Once the marketing plan is in place, it does not mean that the goal is already achieved. On the contrary, it is necessary to analyze as much data as possible that you will obtain. So, this is the main way to optimize each of the actions taken in the social media campaign.
On the one hand, you can adapt to the different changes that occur in your business area. On the other hand, you will be able to establish better and more assertive strategies in comparison with the competition. So, if you get good results in the beginning, they can always be improved in the future.
If there’s one thing that we can surely say about social media campaigns for businesses is that things always change, and you need to keep up with the latest trends and your audience’s preferences. When you’re a small business, it doesn’t really make sense to push the limits of social media publishing as big brands do. Still, it’s always advisable to stay ahead of the curve and accept new trends as they come.
An important guideline is to always keep your social media communication light and interesting. Remember that your (potential) customers have many other businesses in their social media feeds. In many cases, these business ads are annoying and intrusive. Always aim to differentiate yourself from that crowd and present content that your followers will actually enjoy.
Daniela McVicker is a passionate digital marketer. Daniela is interested in everything related to SEO and blogging. She collaborates with Essayguard and other websites where she shares her experience and helps marketers make their names in the online world.