0039 – Creating a Social Media Strategy

 “In this episode…”

We’re discussing how to create a winning social media plan. How do you start to wade through the billions of users and hundreds of platforms to find your ideal customer?

Teaser Bullets

  • What is a Social Media Plan
  • What platforms should you include
  • Steps for creating the perfect plan
  • Mistakes to avoid when planning

Describe the problem

I tried to hold off for as long as I could, but I can’t hold back any more…we’re gonna talk about social media marketing. Luckily we’ll begin at the beginning and talk about how to create a strategy that will avoid leaving you like so many former social marketers, out in the dust, with an abandoned profile. By the end of this episode, you’ll know who to plan your course through the treacherous social media jungle.

  • What is a Social Media Plan
    • Elijah R. Young
      • Social Media Strategist vs.Social Media Managers
        • A Social Media Strategist (SMS) is someone who plans or creates the direction of a brands interactions as they relate to reaching a certain goal or benchmark on one or more platforms.
        • In short, your SMS is like your online marketing business planner, or online field general.  They take all of the variables of the social world, along with all of your goals, shake them up in a snow globe and chart a path to profit for your company.
        • Sound good?  Damn right.  Tons of companies want to jump into the social space and just start ‘doin’ stuff’.  A strategist will tell you what stuff to do, why you’re doing it, and how that stuff will get money in your pocket.
  • What platforms should you include
    • Natalie SissionSuitcase Entrepreneur
      • Which Social Media Platforms Should You Be On and Why?
        • If your audience is at all corporate, professional or employee related, LinkedIn is a great place to be, especially if you’re in the services-based industry of coaching, consulting, copywriting, web development, business development, partnerships and recruitment.
    • Brianna SmiithSocial Media Today
      • How to Choose the Most Effective Social Media Platform for Your Brand
        • If your main objective for social media is to reach the largest community, you will definitely want to focus on Facebook. But, don’t forget that a large community does not mean an engaged community or a community of potential customers. Try not to focus only on the size of the community, but also on the potential to convert those community members into customers or brand advocates.  
  • Steps for creating the perfect plan
    • AngelaThe Marketing Zen Group
      • 8 Steps in Developing a Social Media Marketing Strategy
        • Clarify your goals. What is it exactly that you’re trying to accomplish with your presence on social media? To drive awareness? Increase website traffic? Improve conversion rates? You won’t be able to create a useful game plan unless you know what it is you’re trying to do – simply throwing random content up on a blog or Twitter feed without a specific purpose in mind will not lead to results.
        • Define your audience. Who is your ideal customer? Defining your audience is crucial to your online marketing efforts. If you are trying to reach women between the ages of 18 and 29, you’d be smart to focus most of your attention on Facebook. If, on the other hand, you’re aiming your marketing at men with graduate-level education, you’d be better off using LinkedIn. Your audience determines not only where you spend your time marketing, but also the type of content you will be providing, as well.
    • Mouse and Man
      • Creating a Social Media Marketing Strategy that Runs Itself
        • Learn Proper Etiquette – While it’s okay to be a little controversial as well as having a strong opinion, you don’t want to tick people off so much that they avoid your posts and you like the plague – or worse, get you banned from the site you’re marketing on. Make sure you follow the rules set out for each site – especially if it has a specific area where marketing messages are allowed and other areas they aren’t allowed. They might cut you a little slack in the beginning, but if you’re scolded more than once a twice, you’ll be “outta there” in no time.  
    • John BeveridgeSocialMediaToday
      • 7 Hot Tips for Executing Your Social Media Marketing Strategy
        • Use the 10-4-1 Rule – Kipp Bodnar and Jeffrey Cohen, authors of the B2B Social Media Book, have developed a formula to optimize your social media posting called the 10:4:1 rule. For every 15 social media posts, 1 should be a link to one of your landing pages, 4 should be links to your blog posts and 10 should be helpful content from other sources. This is a good mix of content that lets you sell and promote your solution without coming off like a used car salesmen.

 

  • Mistakes to avoid when planning
    • Jason Keathhttps://twitter.com/jasonkeath
      • Top 7 Social Strategy Mistakes According To The Experts
        • No Business Goals – One of the biggest mistakes companies make when they formulate their social media strategy is that they let their social aspirations drive the thought process, not their business aspirations. By contract, businesses have to make money and they have to deliver products and services that drive long-lasting preference and loyalty. Without these, there won’t be a social strategy because there won’t be a business
        • No conversation – Don’t forget the basics. Brands seem to formulate strategy around what content will produce likes or shares. Yes, you can develop creative, beautiful and funny content for your social networks but don’t forget about engaging your audience with a dialogue. Too many brands are now taking their communities for granted and posting content but not participating in the conversation. Listening, responding and engaging should still be the core of any social media strategy.
    • TatianaBusiness 2 Community
      • 15 Ways To Make Your Social Media Strategy A Complete Fail  
        • You’re not Using the Right Platforms – Does your ideal customer spend their free time on Facebook? Are they an early adopter dedicated to Google+, or a busy professional who uses LinkedIn as a news source? All too often, organizations will pour their time and resources into Facebook and Twitter since they have the most members, without really considering whether it’s the right platform for their business. Failing to dedicate your social media strategy to the platforms which align best with your prospects’ interest can cripple your best laid plans for lead generation and content promotion.
        • You’re Not Using Visual Content – Relying solely on text and link-based posts can seem like a simple way to cut back on the time associated with managing social media. However, this tactic is tantamount to social media strategy suicide. Google+, Pinterest, Facebook and LinkedIn are all visually-dominated platforms, and failing to provide images, videos, and infographics can cause your posts to be overlooked entirely. HubSpot’s Dan Zarrella has found that visual content on Facebook can lead to a 65% increase in engagement for brands.
    • Kim GarstDeborah Shane Toolbox
      • 9 Social Media Mistakes Made by Entrepreneurs
        • They do not measure, track and adjust – Social media is thick with data, and for every social media site there are usually dozens of free analytics tools, either built-in or third party, that tell you how you are doing. Stop every now and then to measure your success, not just overall but piece-by-piece. Which types of posts get the most interactions and which are bombs? What sort of feedback is your community giving you? Keep doing the things that work and change the things that do not.
        • They quit too soon – Social media takes time. Why? Because it is about relationship building and there is no shortcut to building a relationships that result in community. However, once you have the relationships built, the momentum you have created starts producing returns. I have heard way too many entrepreneurs say “I tried social media once, but there was no ROI”. There is an ROI, but the investment window is longer than the 30 days you gave it. You need to make a solid 6-month commitment to social media to start getting the significant returns you had hoped for. The revenue is in the relationship!

If you have any comments or questions, or just want to tell me that my face looks funny, you can do so in real time by sending a message on Twitter to @ideatoopen, or you can shoot me an email at info@ideatoopen.com.

In Closing

In closing, on behalf of myself, Elijah R. Young, and everyone involved in bringing this show to your ears, we hope you can move your idea one step closer to being open.

We’ll talk soon.

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