Do you have a plan? Having a good social media marketing plan is like the difference between driving to your destination and going out for a Sunday drive with no purpose or destination. The Sunday drive might be a relaxing way to spend your personal time, but you won’t grow your business that way.
A good plan leads to better marketing campaign results. Having a good plan will also keep you organized and save you time.
What Social Media Platforms Should You Use?
You can’t, and shouldn’t, be on every social media platform. It seems like there is a new one every week! However, deciding where to put your energy is a great starting point in creating your social media marketing plan. How do you choose? The easy answer: go where your customers are!
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest are the most popular choices for small and medium-sized businesses. These platforms have the largest number of users per month, and they allow you to feature new products, provide customer service, and build a following.
Here is more information about our top 5:
Facebook is the market leader for social networking sites.
- 1.04 Billion Daily Active Users on Facebook
- 934 Million Mobile Daily Active Users on Facebook
Use Facebook to:
- Build brand loyalty and reputation
- Establish your business as an authority by posting informational posts and interesting content
- Reach various audience segments with one post
- Opportunities to drive traffic to your website/blog through ads
- Engagement through comments/shares on posts
- Share your story! Detail out information about your business and share personal stories or testimonials
Is the best platform for PR/publicity purposes when traditional media does not respond & younger audience.
- 320 Million Monthly Active Users on Twitter
- 80% of Active Twitter Users Are on Mobile
Use Twitter to:
- Share breaking news and quick updates
- Promote new products or content
- Collect instant feedback from followers
- Start a conversation with customers
- Provide customer service
- Hashtag (#) functionality
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network on the Internet.
- More than 467 million members in over 200 countries and territories
- Professionals are signing up to join LinkedIn at a rate of more than two new members per second
- More than 40 million students and recent college graduates (this is LinkedIn’s fastest-growing demographic)
Use LinkedIn to:
- Create awareness and improve reputation
- Network as an industry leader
- Sell and generate leads
- Publish your content
- Build traffic
- Listen and gain insights
Instagram is one of the rising stars of social media.
- Instagram has 400 Million Monthly Active Users, 59% use it daily
- 80 Million Instagram Photos Shared Per Day
- 40 Billion Photos Have Been Shared on Instagram
- 55 percent of all online 18- to 29-year olds in the U.S. are using Instagram
Use Instagram to:
- Photo sharing & visual communication with customers
- Build trust and personality with personal touch
- Free advertising
- Create shopable posts
- Hashtag (#) functionality
Pinterest is the platform used for discovery and ideas
- Over 150 million pinners
- Pins have a long lifespan that bring you traffic for months to come
- Pinners are engaged, seeking content and products to interact with and buy
- Over 2 billion monthly searches
Use Pinterest to:
- Get your products discovered
- Display brand story through inspiration boards
- Generate leads and drive traffic to other content or your website
- Visually connect with followers
- Encourage immediate or future Call-to-Action responses
- Micro-target searches by clearly defining your categories
Not sure where to start? If you work with consumers, Facebook would be your best option, while if you work mostly with B2B, LinkedIn would be a better option. If you have a very visual business, Instagram or Pinterest may be best. If your business depends on real-time information, and has a large customer service component, Twitter may be a good start.
There are plenty of other social media channels you can use such as YouTube, Snapchat, Periscope, Google+ and more. Your business needs to have a presence where your customers are – why not ask them?
What Should You Say?
You are already talking to customers and prospects every day. What are you telling them? Tell your story online. Social media is great for promoting your content, but make sure you are providing your most valuable content on your website. That is the platform you own and control. Don’t build your entire presence on rented land. Use social media to promote your content, and drive traffic back to your website.
It helps to plan what you are going to say by looking at the natural cycles and seasons of your business. Is back to school a big deal for your organization? Create your content to tie into what is happening in real life.
Having repeating regular features can make content creation easier for you as well. Here are some ideas:
- Product or service of the month
- Team Spotlight
- Customer Success Story
- Recent Work Example
- Recipe of the Month
- How-to of the Month
You get the idea. For social media, you don’t have to create all the content yourself. Curating content, or sharing other people’s content that your audience would find valuable or entertaining is one way to enhance your brand and following and also saves you time. Make sure you are also repurposing content across your channels – a how to pamphlet can be a blog post, video, email tip, social media post and an in-person promotion as well.
How Often Should You Post?
Consistency, consistency, consistency. Your followers want you to remain consistent about when and how you post, but they also want a variety of content.
Use this suggested schedule as a starting off point of how often you should be posting:
|PLATFORM||MINIMUM POSTING||MAXIMUM POSTING|
|3 X per week||10 X per week|
|5 X per day||None|
|1 X per day||10 X per week|
|5 X per day||10 X per day|
|2 X per week||5 X per week|
How Do You Save Time Doing it?
Creating a plan is not done overnight. To stay sane, use a tool, such as an editorial calendar, to strategically plan by month, week, and day when you deliver content to your followers. Your email, social channels and website should all have scheduling tools built in. You can also use tools such as HootSuite or Buffer to schedule your posts across multiple channels ahead of time.
Build repeatable processes and templates for creating your content as part of your everyday business. Once you have the plan and processes, it will happen automatically.
Finally, don’t forget to evaluate your results. All the platforms have analytics where you can see what is working, what you can improve, and when to throw in the towel.
Creating a social media plan can be an overwhelming task, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, can be a huge waste of your time and energy. We are starting to work on 2017 plans with our customers, can we help you with yours?