You’ve heard the saying “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Well, according to research conducted by Constant Contact, over 50% of small businesses need help when it comes to planning social-media marketing. Creating a focused, goal oriented social media strategy is just as important as having a solid business plan.
To attract and engage prospects and convert them into customers, you’ll need to (on purpose) map out a clear, effective social media strategy.
Brilliant Small Businesses Build Their Social Media Marketing Plan Around 6 Questions:
1. What goals should my company aim to achieve with social media?
This will depend on the industry and type of business you’re in. You may want to use social media to:
- build your brand,
- acquire new leads
- directly interact with your customers
- drive traffic to your site
- promote specific products and services
- close more sales from new and existing customers.
Doesn’t matter what your goals, it’s more important to clearly identify them. Also have a clear understanding of your customers’ desire and problems, so you can figure out how your social media marketing efforts will provide value to your customers. Connect those desires and problems with your social-media strategy.
2. Who should set up and maintain my company’s social media accounts?
As a small business with few employees, your first option should be to consider delegating the task to a staff member who has is a champion at implementing and executing effective social media campaigns.
3. Should my company have a presence on all of the major social-media platforms?
Small businesses on average should begin their social media marketing with a blog at the core and a presence on just one social platform so they can build deep relationships. Which network? Find out what by researching (spying) and surveying your customers about which platforms they use the most. Remember you want your customers and prospect attention. That attention creates $$$$.
When your company starts growing– as well as your digital marketing budget — the more social networks you can experiment with.
4. What types of content will I post on which social platforms?
With each social platform being a channel a.k.a. (radio, print, TV, etc.) certain types of content will work better because of the context of the platforms. But your overall strategy should be to think about buyers’ informational needs. Think about what their pain points are and how you’ll create a conversation through social that will not only make an impact on their lives, but also tie into your business.
For example, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and Instagram are inherently visual, so memorable images of your products, company events and perhaps behind-the-scenes snapshots of employees at work can be effective.
On Twitter, aim for a good ratio of tweeting about your company and retweeting others’ content, including that of your business partners and industry influencers. Another popular platform for sharing company news, productivity tips and thought leadership articles is LinkedIn.
Just experiment. It costs you nothing. You get to play again tomorrow.
5. Should I use social media to provide customer service?
Social media has become for certain prospects and customers, the common way for interacting with businesses. You can use Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other platforms to instantly (and publicly, mind you) field and respond to customer questions, order status inquiries, and, yes, even complaints.
This entirely depends on your target customer.
6. How can I measure the success of my social-media marketing efforts?
It’s important to monitor and track your social media marketing metrics in order to determine which tactics and types of content work and which didn’t.
I recommend small businesses use Google Analytics to see how effective your social media campaigns are doing in terms of traffic. The name of the game in any online marketing is to generate visitors to your blog, online store or website. That’s it! If you see LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest or other social platforms you’re active on listed as top referrers to your site, your social media efforts are creating a ROI.
Question: What would be your 7th question for building a social media marketing plan?