Create Your Social Media Marketing Plan
Let’s face it, social media isn’t as easy as you thought it would be when you started.
Social media can be a great marketing tool, however it’s easier said than done. I know you’ve probably thought that you would create your account and start making posts, your followers would just find you and start liking your posts. In reality, you created your account and started making posts and your followers are slowly starting to trickle in.
What are you doing wrong and how can you manage your account better? That’s what we’re here to help you with.
There are a few things you need to consider before ever throwing some posts up onto social media. First you need to figure out who your target marketing is and then you need to strategize which platform(s) will be most beneficial for your business.
Social Media Platforms
There are many different social media platforms available and they all serve different purposes. Everyone has their own views of each platform and why they decide to use them or not. For this study we’re only going to think about them in regards to your market. Once you know your target market you can begin to understand which platforms will be best for your business.
Twitter for example is great to get news across to many people quickly. The people who use Twitter like the quick, short tweets and if they’re interested and need more info then they’ll click the link but if not they can scroll through and skim the days news.
Instagram on the other hand is a very visual platform and mini stories are very popular there. The crowd on Instagram likes to hear how you work behind the scenes, they like the story to go along with the image and they like to build a relationship with you. This is why engagement, especially on Instagram, is important but we’ll delve into that a little more in a bit.
Pinterest is also very visual but it’s used more like a search engine than a visual platform or news stories. People who use Pinterest use it completely different and tend to seek out specific topics rather than just looking at their wall of posts.
Post Frequency and Times
The age old question seems to be, how often should I post? This is going to depend on the platform as well as your audience. Unfortunately there’s not a simple guide to follow on this, although I’ve seen a lot of different charts (like the one below) I find this is something you need to test. I’ve handled many different social accounts over the past year and the thing that I’ve learned is you need to understand your audience! Each business is different, offers different types of posts and in turn has a different audience.
My personal account on Instagram for example gets the most likes in the evening hours. Where as my business account seems to have a morning crowd. I’ve also tested the amount of posts I would send out and before the last algorithm change I would get the most engagement when I posted about 3 times a day, however, I tried this same technique on an event page that I managed and it didn’t seem to budge their numbers. I received the same engagement if I made just one post a day compared to three.
Even though I said you need to test out each of your platforms to see when your crowd is looking and what they like to read the most, I still have a chart that I use as my starting guide. I use this when I receive a new account to manage to keep things structured. I then wait for interactions and engagement on the platforms and start editing my content and times from there. Below is the chart that I like to use for reference.
What Do I Post?
Ok, so you have figured out your target market, you know which social media platforms you want to send your message out on and you even know when you’re going to post….now WHAT should you post?
You need to keep your content interesting which means you need to mix things up a little. Post anything from news and updates about you and your business, motivational quotes, behind the scenes stories of how you work, new promos or events going on, community news or anyone you have a co-op with or some sponsorship. The topics are endless but keep in mind that you don’t want to keep this all about you. Make sure you keep your viewers engaged, ask questions, have a poll ask them to follow you and give some freebies.
Speaking of freebies, you can download my free Social Media Marketing Guidebook to get a complete list of topics to post and how many times you should be posting them each month. I break it all down to make this an easy transition into the social media world…well as easy as it can be.
Engage, Engage, Engage
Yep, you gotta engage with your audience.
Sounds easy enough but a lot of people take this for granted. People like to build relationships and tend to enjoy the social interaction. This could be as easy as commenting on something your followers post or responding to a question or comment that someone posts on your post.
Never ignore your audience. If they reach out to you make sure you respond, not only does this give you higher rankings in the social media world but it’s just common courtesy. When people get to know you and become comfortable talking to you they’re more likely to share, like and comment on your posts allowing others to see and enjoy your content.
Lastly, let’s not forget about your hashtags. Some platforms like hashtags, others not so much. Platforms such as Instagram and Twitter like hashtags so it’s important to know what is trending so you can jump in on the traffic when people are searching those specific hashtags. But the flip side to this is that you don’t want to use too saturated of hashtags otherwise the odds of your post coming up become slimmer. I tend to use hashtags that have an average of a couple thousand to 10k-20k posts, any hashtag that has a million+ posts connected to it is already very saturated and I tend to steer clear of those.
Platforms such as Facebook and Pinterest don’t really utilize hashtags and if I do use a hashtag there I keep it limited to just one or two.
Know what’s trending, stay timely and have fun!
Now you’re set to start your own social media marketing plan, start strategizing and watch your audience grow!
Don’t forget to check out the Social Media Marketing Guidebook for all of your startup questions!