Social media can be a nice distraction and a considerable time suck. But if you’re doing it for your business, you need it to be much more. So how do you make sure that you’re using your time there efficiently?
This article offers you the steps you need to create a solid social media marketing strategy in actionable items.
1. Know Why You’re There
Before any campaign, whether it’s marketing, social media, or even a military campaign, it’s important to know why you’re there. What are you trying to accomplish? The answer to this will help you create the tactics that will get you there. You can’t forge a path without some idea of where you’re going.
Action item: Create 1-2 SMART goals around what you’d like to accomplish with social media for your business.
2. Understand Who You’re Trying to Reach
Marketing messaging is very personalized these days. But it’s impossible to personalize your messaging without knowing your target audience. You don’t need the world to love you. You just need to focus on those who would have a need for your product or service. And to do that, you must know who they are.
Action item: Create buyer personas so you know who you’re talking to.
3. Do Research on Your Demographic
Now that you know who they are, find out where your customers are on social media. If you’re fortunate enough to have an email list, you might be able to use emails to locate where they are online but if you don’t, take what you know about your buyer personas and match them to the demographics for each social media site.
You have a limited amount of time in your day so don’t try to be everywhere on social. You’ll likely spread yourself too thin. Instead, concentrate your efforts on where your customers and potential customers are.
Action item: Find out where your ideal customers are on social media by doing research on demographics on the most popular social media sites.
4. Create Tactics That Move You Towards Your Goals
Having goals isn’t enough in social media. Let me show you why. Let’s say your goal is to increase blog shares by 50% by the end of October 2017. That’s a nice measurable goal. It has a deadline and a number assigned to it. You can easily figure out how you would assess whether you were successful or not.
But how in the world are you going to do it?
Tactics move you towards that goal. Perhaps you will:
· Post more frequently changing from once a week to every day.
· Share your content to a newly-formed LinkedIn group.
· Ask for the shares.
· Approach 5 industry influencers every Tuesday.
· Start accepting guest blog posts and asking them to share their posts with their network.
There are many ways to get there. You just need to choose a few and get to work.
Action item: Review your goals and map out tactics of how you will get there. Assign them dates, times, and ownership. If no one owns them, they won’t get done.
5. Implement and Analyze
After you have a social media plan constructed from your goal(s) and tactics targeted at your ideal customer, it’s time to take your business’ current pulse and begin tracking your work and its effectiveness towards meeting your goals. Social media is not an exact science. It requires experimentation and adjusting your path according to what you deduce about your audience’s preferences. This type of analysis is ongoing so make sure you budget in both time and money for it.
Action item: Set up Google Analytics and create social media campaigns to be able to watch how your strategy implementation is moving you towards your business goals.
Finally, get a little help from your friends. Social media is always changing. Today’s best practices could make you look like a rookie tomorrow. It’s important to stay on top of social media and assess your strategies periodically not just to ensure they are effective at helping you reach your goals but to make sure they are still best practices in the industry.
Keeping up on all of this while managing your business isn’t easy. Turn to your friends at the chamber for social media curriculum, knowledge, or assistance that can help you stay on top of changes without the time involved in researching them on your own.
Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and Socialfish. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com and the Event Manager Blog.
She’s a bookish writer on a quest to bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.