Brand awareness via social media platforms is of utmost importance, but everyone always wants to see results before they have a solid social media strategy in place. Unfortunately, this is not how the cookie crumbles. Developing a solid social media strategy takes time, skills, effort and need to be adapted according to your consumers’ behaviour and needs.
A social media marketing plan is a summary of what you plan to do on every social media platform. This means planning in advance and using content to get the best engagement and meet your overall business goals.
According to Likeable Media, a social media agency, “Handling a strong social media presence is an efficient way to build your company’s reputation and showcase your business. By regularly updating your prospects on all the brand and social happenings, they subconsciously start to view your company as an authority.”
It’s tempting to look at that data and decide to put your brand over all the available social media platforms, but that’s not a strategic use of your resources. In fact, establishing a social media presence doesn’t need to be a daunting task at all. You need to know your goals when making use of a specific platform. Use our guide to give your business a boost when establishing your brand on social media platforms. It is important to start out by doing the following:
1. Set relevant goals and objectives
Before jumping in the deep end and publishing all your information online, it’s important to set realistic goals and objectives. Your goals need to be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely (SMART). A good example of a SMART goal would be: Increasing your Twitter followers by 10% at the end of quarter one by posting two tweets per day and promoting one tweet each week. Make sure your SMART goals fit in with your business goals to maximise return on investment.
2. Identify your target audience
Who would you like to reach on social media? You need to narrow down your target market and identify and answer the following questions:
- Which social media platforms is your audience most likely to be on?
- When would be the ideal time to publish content so your target market receives your brand message?
- What type of content do you need to publish to engage with your target market?
- What is your brand’s tone and voice on social media platforms?
- What message would you like to convey to your selected audience?
3. Choose your platforms wisely
There are five social media platforms which come out tops and we recommend setting up accounts on:
According to Statistic Brain, an online statistics website, Facebook is currently the largest of any social media network with over 1.3 billion active users. Users are not only using this platform to post about their newborns or to brag about an achievement, but are also searching for images and brands to find exactly what they need, when they need it.
Twitter is a social network with the potential to reach a huge amount of people. Actively tweeting and posting engaging content on your Twitter feed means people will start interacting with your brand and become aware of its presence.
LinkedIn has many professional user profiles which can directly be linked to a company. It gives your brand opportunities to engage in professional conversations with people you are linked to. You shouldn’t be afraid to share your ideas and challenge other ideas while commenting and engaging with your audience.
Since 2014, Google+ has become a game-changer in the online world. Postcron, an online social media scheduling tool, notes: “This social network encourages you to build new relationships based on your passion, interests, profession, or career. It offers a space to find information that’s relevant to you and to share it with people who have the same interests as you, not every single person on your friends list. This helps you widen and build a new network of contacts. G+ also allows you to bring your brand closer to your followers and prospective customers in a new unique way, much different than other social networks do. There are already 500 million people on it and it’s only up to you to connect with them and all the others behind Google. After all, let’s not forget, if you’re part of G+, you’re part of Google.”
According to Hootsuite: “ Instagram is a critically important social network. The photo-sharing app is not only important for retailers, restaurants, or travel companies; as one of the most effective brand-building tools available today, Instagram is increasingly important for every kind of business.”
An important tip: You do not need to set up an account on every single social media platform, but you need to know where your audience is active and which platform best suits your brand tone and personality to establish the best fit for your brand.
4. Build a relationship
It’s very easy to set up a social media profile, but staying active and engaging with your audience means you need to constantly interact with them and continue to solve their problems. Focus on getting followers who will engage with your brand and increase your ROI by replying to comments, creating engaging content and giving your audience something in return i.e. a give-away, an interesting tip, etc.
5. Develop a social media calendar
Each social media platform has its unique character and best practices, but you will need to take an integrated approach when creating content online. A social media calendar will help you with planning what and when you’d want to publish content and optimising it to the best of your ability. If you’re still unsure of how to develop your social media calendar, this HubSpot blog post will give you some useful and relevant advice.
A social media marketing plan:
- Gives your brand increased recognition by syndicating content and increasing your visibility online.
- Improves brand loyalty.
- Gives more opportunities for conversion and higher conversion rates.
Use the following checklist to make sure you’re doing social the right way:
|Social Media presence||Fill in the blank|
|What is your SMART goals and objectives?|
|Who is your target market?|
|What social media platforms will you use?|
|How will you build your relationships online?|
|Have you developed a social media calendar?|
|Have you published your content on the relevant platforms?|
|Are you monitoring your content?|
|Are you maximising profits?|
This blog post is part of the DIGITAL ESSENTIAL series:
If you’d like more insights into social media, download The Rise of a Conscious Audience by our Social Media Manager, Tokiso Molefe here: