There’s no need to emphasize the importance of a social media marketing plan for any business – this has been normative for years now. However, the scene has changed, and it’s no longer enough to just be on social. Competition is tough, audiences expect a lot from brands, and the social media landscape is swarming with competitive noise.
As much as it’s difficult to overcome the numerous challenges of building a business from the ground up, there’s still a sweet advantage a startup can have: a fresh perspective. With the right social media marketing plan, your brand can exude this freshness and draw in audiences, leading the way to growth and exciting opportunities. Follow these steps in order to build a strong foundation and a social media marketing plan bound for success.
Set your goals
As we’ve mentioned, mere presence is not nearly enough. You’re establishing a social media marketing strategy to help you overcome the challenges of growing your businesses, so naturally, the plan you develop will be drawn from the solutions social media can offer. That being said, you need to have a precise idea of the goals you plan to achieve with your social media marketing campaign. Here are a few social media marketing goals you can build upon:
- Raising brand awareness
- Establishing customer loyalty and a trusting relationship with your audience base
- Using social media targeting to reach your core audience
- Using social media as a platform to inform potential customers about your products and promotions
As for any marketing strategy, it’s essential that your goals are measurable and attainable. Keep your objectives simple and clear so that you can track progress and expand as you go.
Research your target audience
This is the basic step of any marketing campaign, but when it comes to social media, you can’t even begin unless you understand your target audience and its social media habits. Long before you set out to create content that will resonate well with your audience and entice viewers to become consumers, you want to know which platform your target demographic hangs out on.
You don’t want to spread too thin across numerous social media channels – for starters, pick one channel that’s most relevant to your target audience and best correlates with your goals, and work diligently on establishing a strong presence there.
Examine the competition
Researching how your biggest competitors fare on social media is not for the purpose of mimicking their strategy, but to give you valuable insight. For one, this can help you choose the appropriate social media channel for your business – your competition will be where your target audience is but only if they’re doing things right, which is why it’s crucial to cross-reference.
Even a simple Google search will help you find the most relevant competitors within your industry. By analyzing the competitive landscape, you can establish the strong and weak points of your competitors’ social media marketing strategy and tailor your plan accordingly.
Check which metrics are meaningful to your goals
It’s good to count likes and followers, but these metrics don’t paint the whole picture of your brand or reflect the majority of your target objectives – after all, there’s a reason they’re called “vanity metrics.” Hence, establishing which metrics are meaningful to the goals you’ve set in step 1 is an essential part of your overall strategy.
If you want to get a headstart, you can use relevant platforms such as Design Rush to help you find reliable digital marketing agencies and employ one which will help you establish the most important metrics and track relevant data consistently. These will be things such as audience engagement, post reach, clicks per campaign, hashtag performance, etc.
Post engaging content
Once you’ve got all the previous steps covered, you can start building your social media content and tracking its performance according to your established metrics. Now, this part is a topic in itself that requires a separate article, but thoroughly dedicating time to the first three steps will help you ensure that you come up with compelling themes and posts that would be engaging to your audience. Always keep your audience in mind (don’t try to spread out to an irrelevant demographic) and create content that will help further strengthen your brand’s identity.
Maintain a helpful and engaging presence
Social media marketing requires work – constant work. It’s not enough to follow the previous steps diligently and to post great content consistently. Interacting with your audience will drive engagement, help create a positive brand persona, and help you reach your objectives effectively.
The best thing about this? Your interactions with the audience can help you gain valuable insight into their preferences and how you can improve your brand. As a startup, you’ll want to use social media as a smart tool for customer service, replying to inquiries and complaints regularly and efficiently.
Using these six steps to develop an effective social media marketing plan will help your startup gain momentum and step on the grounds of social media on the right foot. Once you have that, you’re set to build on your strategy continuously and track your progress. Work with professionals and use tools so that you can always have your finger on your campaigns, tracking and analyzing every last detail that can help you get closer to the objectives of your plan. It’s constant work, but very rewarding.
This guest article has been provided to us by Angelina Harper. She is a content creator who enjoys exploring digital design and social media. When she is not working, she is usually reading futuristic novels, or shopping online.