I’ve been listening to and learning from a number of social media experts lately, in person and on-line. In doing so, I realized some fundamental tidbits. Many business owners, including me, have a scattershot approach to social media. My social media presence includes a page on Facebook, a profile on Twitter, a LinkedIn profile, and a place on Pinterest where I can share my favorite inspirations and personal interests. However, my links and posts are relatively random and not particularly organized in any meaningful way.
Do you find anything familiar in this? Social media is an important part of your overall marketing strategy. However, like any component of a marketing plan, it’s more powerful when there’s a plan in place.
I think the following 4 steps I’ve learned can help you, as a business owner, learn how to build a social media plan on which you can, and will, follow through.
- Identify a Goal: What do you want to accomplish with social media? Do you want to drive more traffic to your website? Do you want to build your email list? Do you want to sell more products or services? Do you want to reach more prospective clients? There are dozens of potential goals. Choose one goal to focus your attention on. It doesn’t have to be an overwhelming or complicated one. Choose one that makes sense for you and be specific. If you want to reach more potential clients, how many? If you want to drive traffic to your site, how much do you want to increase your traffic by?
- Choose Your Tool: Which sites do you want to use to achieve your goal? Chances are you already have profiles on the big players in social media. You may want to start with the sites you already have a following on. However, take a look at your page or profile. Does it support your goal? Can you improve your page or profile? Take those steps now.
- Plan Your Interaction: This is a big step and it can take some time to complete. You’ll want to identify a time that you interact online each day. For example, maybe you want to spend 30 minutes on social media each day. These 30 minutes will be spent connecting with others, commenting on posts, sharing information, and building your following. This process must include a content plan. What information will you share, how will you share it, and when will you share it? For example, maybe you’ll share infographics once a week and links to your recent blog posts once a week too. Consider types of posts and do each type once every week or two.
- Schedule Your Follow-Through: Finally, you’ll want to schedule time to plan content, create content, interact and assess your progress. If you can, take one day a month and create everything for the next 30 days. And you can use a number of automated tools to help you keep up with all of these steps.
If your business marketing strategy includes social media, make sure to plan it so that it’s easy for you to follow through. This basic review leaves much out of the discussion. There are more components that make a difference in the outcome of your social media strategy, not the least of which is how the various social media platforms perceive and use your content, so it will be helpful to learn more as you work with your strategy.
With all of this in mind, consider the golden threads, the activities, tasks, and functions, which directly and measurably impact your business growth and success. Is social media a golden thread for your business? Whenever you say yes to one activity, you are also saying no to something else. When you implement your plan for social media, you may want help for your non-golden thread activities. Social Media experts abound out there for a reason – many with formal training and certifications. They keep up on what’s important and how to maximize your on-line presence, so you don’t have to.
Feel free to ask me for a referral. I have several trusted specialists in my network who, depending on your needs and their specialties can make you very happy with your social media plan and its results!
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