Social networks provide a place for individuals to engage with each other and the brands they love. As a business owner, social media provides you a two-way communication channel to talk to your customers and potential customers. Writing a social media marketing plan allows you to better execute and track your success.
As you start, remember the role that social media plays in your overarching marketing plan:
- Social media marketing is a brand awareness tool. Your primary goal is to raise awareness of your business and create strong relationships with your followers.
- Posting regularly, with a good content mix, is the best way to increase your presence. Think about your content in the rule of thirds: a third of the time, your posts should be about your business (announcing a sale, talking about new inventory, etc.), a third of the time your posts should be about things happening in your industry. Think of these as educational posts. The final third of your posts should be giving your audience a behind-the-scenes look at your business (profile staff, share pictures of the office, etc.)
- Social media marketing is not the end all, be all marketing tool. A successful marketing plan combines multiple channels of communication with your target audience.
Get started writing your social media marketing plan:
Step One: Assess and research. Regardless of if you are starting from scratch or starting over, you might find that your business is already being talked about on social media. See where you can find your business and if the information out there is accurate.
Step Two: Research your industry. Listen to trending topics in your industry. Identify your competition and look at how they are managing their social media networks. Do they have a presence? Do they have strong engagement from their fans?
Step Three: Identify your target audience. Knowing your ideal customer, and where they are spending their time, is a crucial part of creating your marketing plan. Each social network attracts a slightly different audience. You want to make sure your business has a presence on the network your ideal customers are using.
Step Four: Set goals. Determine your current challenges (examples: no current content, low website traffic, week audience engagement, minimal brand awareness, etc.) and the steps to take to address them. For example, if your challenge is low website traffic, your goal might be to drive customers to your website. Your plan of action to get there could include: ensure that all social network accounts are linked to company website, produce content that includes links to helpful resources on your website, and creating a blog.
Step Five: Create content. Using the rule of thirds above, how will you share the story of your business? Create a content calendar for the month, this will help you keep track of what you are posting and when.
Step Six: Measure your success. If your goal is to drive traffic to a website, you may be tracking URL shares, clicks, conversation s and site traffic to measure your success.
Step Seven: Monitor and adjust. Keep a test and learn mentality. Are you getting your intended results? If not, what will you change?
A social media marketing plan will help you put your best foot forward, so you can concentrate on the important things – building relationships with your customers.
Sarah Hamlin is the Regional Director for Fremont and Teton counties at the Wyoming SBDC Network. She also works as the networks expert in social media and digital marketing. In that role she covers the whole state helping clients get going online.
The Wyoming SBDC Network provides a wide-range of business advising services from start-up to existing, market research to government contracting, retail, service, and high-tech businesses, and everything in between. Advising is offered at no charge to Wyoming residents. The program is funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, state funds from the Wyoming Business Council, and host responsibilities and additional support provided by the University of Wyoming.