In this day and age of smartphones, tablets, and virtually omnipresent software, constructing a marketing plan without considering the use of social media appears to be a moot point.
In this regard, the use of a sound social media tactical plan often includes the following objectives when aiming to optimize this platform:
- Increasing inbound leads at low costs
- Expanding the thought leadership content reach
- Engaging and exciting influencers
- Grasping a better understanding, identification, and engagement of potential buyers
- Improvement of customer service and satisfaction
- And, enhancing outbound campaign effectiveness
Centered on these objectives, it makes a plan of attack goal-oriented as opposed to merely launching an online presence because everyone else does so. Three primary goals stand out when discussing a potentially successful social media campaign.
- Building and strengthening the brand
- Driving conversions
- Monitoring and increasing presence
When you talk about brand building and reinforcement, social media can be one of the strongest marketing tools you can utilize. With everyone going online at some point in their day, it provides you the opportunity to find your target audience and eventually engage them in a conversation.
Put the spotlight on what makes your brand different from its competitors, and target a social network strategy centered on that. Find ways to connect with your targeted clientele and design a means to have your clients share your information to their networks, and better yet encourage them to generate their own content about your brand.
There are a myriad of goals why delving into social media is a smart way to try and boost your conversion efforts. Be it driving sales, increasing leads, or driving people into action, conversions are a tangibly traceable goal in the world of social media.
Obviously, having your audience buy your products is the main goal, but in terms of conversion, other valuable actions like subscribing to your feeds or having a post re-posted should also be targeted.
Make a list of your goals and think about the different ways you can use social media to increase conversions for each item. This is an excellent way to begin you social media efforts.
This is the most outright goal associated with social media marketing efforts. Social media is all about driving conversations. It’s the foremost platform where consumers not only talk to each other, but also talk to companies in a portal that can be clearly tracked, sorted and followed-up with.
If you’re aiming to get people buzzing about your new product, or looking to reach out to a whole new audience to share information about one of your best selling service, you can set a baseline of social media monitoring that make all the conversations you drive trackable, hence making your efforts amenable to adjustments and re-adjustments until you find something that clicks.
With the above-mentioned primary objectives, it can make framing a clear-cut goal easier and more straightforward. Understand what you truly want to achieve and scan the social media options you have in your holster. Consider not what these social media sites can do, but what you can do with their features.
Build a Foundation
As with any marketing efforts, and more so with social media, building foundations and communities is a vital key. Engage, promote and follow close associates first, then move on to people like you or your target market.
You must build value first. This will be the foundation of how and why conversations will be driven. When something of value is truly present and established, the engaging conversations will follow.
Secure Your Brand
It’s highly important to grab a hold of your brand everywhere you can. Whether it’s onsite or off, it’s vital that you have control of your identity wherever you go, but most especially online; possessing a unified social media username leads to establishing trust not only with your targeted consumers, but with other members as well that are susceptible to conversion. Securing your brand gives you a universal identity, and avoids confusion.
Know Your Niche
You can think of marketing as a form of storytelling. A good story tends to make your consumers want to share that story with other people, and make those that come across it want to be associated with it. This is why it’s important to know who you are. When you figure out what you are and what your niche is, then you can begin to craft a story that people can relate to.
Knowledge of your essence eventually becomes crucial in determining how you want to talk to people, and how far you want to go with your story. Look your brand in the mirror, stick with the facts, and then create your story.
Set Your Metrics
You don’t enter the realm of social media without setting highly quantifiable objectives. If you can’t define what would be a successful social media campaign, you aren’t ready to dive into it just yet.
Do you want to:
- Build buzz and conversations around a certain product / service?
- Create overall brand awareness?
- Attract more traffic?
- Get more subscribers and / or generate increased leads?
Once you know what you want to get out of your campaign, the next step is figuring out how to measure “success.” It’s been stated time and again that if you can’t measure whether or not you’re meeting your goals, then you’ve been doomed to fail even before you begin.
Listen and Survey
You can begin to listen once you’ve narrowed down your preferred formats. Check out what others are doing, see which things work and learn from the efforts that don’t make it.
Keeping your eyes and ears open allows you to configure your approach to your market. Scoping the targeted area enables you to have the understanding of a consumer before attacking as a producer.
Improve on others’ angles, while designing your own. Understand that many tweaks lay along the way and your first attempt most likely won’t hit the bull’s eye right away. Grasping the concept that a ton of testing and readjusting are part of the process gives you a both an edge and the proper mindset.
Assess Your Success
Similar to “listening,” you will have to look at your hits and misses, as well as your on and off-site metrics to find out both if your efforts have bore fruit, and if it has fallen short of expectations, what you can do to improve them.
This emphasizes the importance of setting your metrics, because it will obviously make your assessments that much easier to quantify. Generally, it’s recommended that you give your social media efforts between two to three months before beginning to check if things are working out for you.
The number of Facebook “Likes” or Twitter followers, while useful to benchmark don’t nearly paint the entire picture. You’re going to want to look at:
- Whether rankings have increased based on traffics and links
- Whether social media users are actually engaging with your content and / or being converted by it
- If you’ve increased brand awareness leading to sales
These should give you a clearer picture if you’re any closer to the line you’ve drawn as “success.” Proper assessment tells you whether you’re efforts have made it, or if you need to fix it.
It is of utmost importance to realize that social media marketing, while enjoying immense popularity, is not something you just jump head first into. There is a ton of self-realization and continuous reassessment entailed when looking to design a successful social media campaign. Understand your brand, pick your spots, know how to measure your success, and you’re on the right track.