#3 Create a Content Plan and Strategy
So now you need to create a social media marketing plan. What is a social media marketing plan? A social media marketing plan is a summary of everything you plan to do and hope to achieve for your business through the means of social networking. Included in this strategy should be an audit of where your social accounts are today, where you want them to be in the near future, and all the tools you want to use to get there.
Optimize your social profiles to meet the needs of your business goals. Optimizing profiles for SEO will help generate more web traffic to your online properties. Take the opportunity to get ahead of the game by outlining your content and posts in advance, using a social media editorial calendar.
Be sure to make your content shareable and engageable. Explore visual ideas to increase your social engagement. This type of content includes images, videos, infographics, contests, and audience polls.
Also, post about current events. A great example of this is Papa John's March Madness post that received 60 comments in under 30 minutes. Do they know their audience or what! By tailoring your social messages to buyer personas, you'll find purchasers who are in the market to buy, but may have not purchased from you yet. The goal here is to find and attract prospects.
A critical aspect of social media marketing is researching your competition. Knowing what works for your competitors not only keeps you aware of their activity, but also gives you insight into what’s working. From there, you can incorporate successful tactics into your marketing strategy. RivalIQ is an indispensable resource for gaining critical insights into your competition.
Lastly, get social media ideas from industry leaders. Use tools to identify your industry influencers. Once identified, engage with these influencers. Susan Gunelius of KeySplash Creative Inc. calls this the "Law of Influencers." Don't forget to "tag" people in your curated content. Ishita Ganguly () writes a compelling piece on giving credit to the source.
#4 Evaluate, Track and Improve Your Social Media Marketing Efforts
Last but not least, you won’t really be able to begin analyzing and improving your marketing efforts until you’ve successfully made steps 1-3 operational. To find out what changes and tweaks need to be made to your social media marketing strategy, you should be continually testing. An important tool to add to your arsenal is the tracking of page visits driven by social media with Google Analytics.
From here, you can analyze and record your successes and failures, and then modify your social media marketing plan in response. Use tools to track progress, such as the Social Media Analytics Tools developed by Sprout Social. The most crucial thing to understand regarding your social media plan is that it should be continually evolving and adjusting, especially as new networks emerge.
Remember that a social media marketing strategy is a plan that is intended to change, so be flexible and welcome these changes. One way to combat "content fatigue" is to reuse content that was successful in the past. Content posting and optimization is also about being smart with your social media marketing. James Scherer of the Content Marketing Institute says, "Rather than devote your entire life to making a single blog article that shines like the sun, my recommendation is to reuse your content intelligently. Work smart, not hard!"
Social Media Advertising Is Set To Explode
Social media advertising has come a long way in a relatively short period of time. In Sonny Ganguly's article, Why Social Media Advertising Is Set To Explode In The Next 3 Years, he discusses why social advertising is more critical today because "Rather than reactively targeting users who search a certain term, social media advertising proactively targets relevant users before they even begin their search.. Social networks are a good option for advertisers because of the advanced targeting options, reliable conversion tracking, and prevalence on mobile devices."
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