Note: This article was published for the Influx blog on 7th February 2018. You can find the original article here: Social Media Marketing Plan
Businesses are now thriving on social media at such levels that Mark Zuckerberg had to update the Newsfeed algorithm to restrict the display of branded and public content on Facebook. Brands now have to hustle harder to gain customers’ attention, especially before they are further bombed with algorithms on other social media channels.
An alarming number of brands are active on social media with ill-formed strategies and getting their reputations butchered. This article is to give such brands a harsh reality-check.
As a brand you just cannot afford to:
- Have an social account with zero posts on them
- Post on social media actively for a while and then “ghost” on your audiences
- Survive solely on piggybacks (retweets, reposts, etc.)
- Borrow tacky photographs and videos of low-res and claim them as your own
Otherwise, your brand will get sucked into the black hole for social media sacrilege. Think of your brand as a model on runway. You can never be underdressed. In fact, you can never be “too glossed up” on social media ever.
Are you a new brand or an old one looking for social media redemption? Here is some “gyan” to attain nirvana:
It is good to have #goals
Derive your company’s short-term and long-term goals from the mission statement. With those, you can gauge if the efforts you have invested have paid off or not.
Work top-down and not bottom-up. Conceive higher level strategies first and then break them down to specifics. An example would be to get more business for your brand. The specific strategies would be showcasing your work folio, case studies, white papers, client testimonials, work philosophy, promoting each of your services, etc.
A smarter thing to do is incorporating the S.M.A.R.T framework. For instance, your brand wants to get more business so it will post videos about five times a week on YouTube and gain at least a 1000 views on each video. This helps because you get to set your key performance indicators and metrics to measure the success or failure of your strategies.
Check yourself out
Audit your brand on social media. Your audience either loves or hates you. You may also be the brand with 10,000 fans and have no interaction on your posts. If you are successfully engaging your audience and responding to their feedback, at least one online publication should have spoken about your work.
If your social media audience is in a catatonic state, optimise your social media pages and engage them with exciting posts. Check if your profile bios are relevant and talk about what you do.
Do you use relevant hashtags on your profile?
Do you use original cover images and profile pictures (that are not cropped to death)?
Do your social media profiles have the company’s website URL instead of 25.0000°N, 71.0000°W?
Find out which channels bring the most value to you. Usually cosmetic products do well on Instagram and some B2B businesses thrive on LinkedIn. But if your brand works well on Snapchat, then start making stories. I mean, hey, you do you!
Test the waters
It is healthy to stalk your competition and benchmark yourself against the big players in your industry. Understand what channel-specific strategies they use to thrive on social media. Try incorporating those strategies and find out what you can do to up your game.
Next comes market analysis. Understand your target audience. Who are the influencers, existing and potential customers and candidates who can work for you versus those who just share your posts. Segment your audience, give them buyer personas. Craft distinctive strategies to cater to each of these personas. For instance, find out their age-range, pain points (in their buyer journey that your business can solve), interests, lifestyle, favourite pizza toppings … you get the drift?
Content is King
Before diving head-first into crafting content, establish your brand first. Identify your brand’s tonality (it could be formal or contemporary) based on your target audience. Position your brand with your unique selling propositions (USPs) like features, benefits, pricing etc. and guidelines (company’s history, values, logos, colours) etc.
“Influx Worldwide — House Of Digital Solutions, Conqueror of Apps and Websites,
Conjuror of Jaw-dropping Designs, Champion in India and the Middle East, Breaker of the Status Quo, and Khaleesi of your Baap in cinema marketing”.
Distribution is Queen
Create channel-specific strategies and then distribute your content tactfully. Else, what you say will reach deaf ears. Learn when to post and how often to post in order to keep your audience engaged.Create a content calendar that is rich with engagement: contests, activities, campaigns, etc.
Manage your social media pages and brand reputation. Respond to your audience and their feedback. Talk more about what your brand represents and the ethics it adheres to — if you believe that pineapple doesn’t go on pizza, take a stand!
If all goes well, go ahead and devise a growth strategy as well. Involve influencers to endorse your brand, tailor unique post strategies such as Insta-stories and Facebook Live videos, use hashtags to market more, run ad campaigns and invest in social media tools to automate posts.
Watch like a hawk
Track the activity on each of your social media channels. Understand the reach of your posts — are they more organic or paid ones? Are your call-to-action buttons harassed enough? Track page visits, comments, messages, website clicks and other activities on your social media pages.
Tweak your social media plan based on the response you receive on your channels. Consider investing in a good social media analytics tool like Hootsuite or Sprout Social, and optimise your strategies accordingly. The key here is to have an agile social media plan otherwise your strategy is as dead as a doornail.
- Set your objectives and goals
- Have brand audits
- Do market research and competition analysis
- Manage your content
- Develop your social media strategy
- Track and optimise your social media plan
If you are at Influx and see a young lady immersed in researching content marketing with a passion, you’ll know it is Deepa Sai from our Content Development team. She has a double Master’s in psychology and social-work and is an avid blogger in her spare time.