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Build an Effective Social Media Plan in 5 Simple Steps

Social Media

Every company can benefit from social media marketing to increase customer engagement, sales, and brand awareness. However, many organizations maintain a social media presence only because they think they need one – without driving any measurable results. 

But does that mean social media only works for a few businesses? Absolutely not. Social media works for everyone – except those who don’t have a plan because you can’t achieve anything without a clear goal and strategy at the outset. The same holds for social media marketing that requires you to set out clear goals and formulate effective strategies to achieve them.

Still don’t think you need a social media plan?

Well, think about the hundreds of businesses vying for your customers’ attention through messages, posts, and Tweets. Do you think you can cut through this clutter without a well-planned strategy in place? As the number of social media accounts continues to grow, your users’ attention span is also reducing, and connecting with them is getting more difficult than ever before.

Yet, brands like Apple, Amazon, and Nike have millions of highly engaged fans in their social communities. In contrast, several others struggle to see any noticeable impact of social media marketing for their respective firms. The difference lies in social media planning. Yes, top brands don’t randomly post the funniest quote they find each day. They consider what their audience likes and accordingly share content that is bound to resonate with their user base – leading to more likes and shares. In fact, each post shared by them is designed for success on social media using a pre-formulated social media plan. 

As you can see, having a social media strategy is imperative to your brand’s social success. This post will share five tips to help you build your social media strategy from scratch to hack your growth on social media.

1. Analyze Your Current Social Media Performance

Before you get all excited and start creating a new social media plan, take a look at your existing social media presence to figure out what’s working or what had been beneficial for your business in the past. You may feel a little overwhelmed about auditing all your social media posts and engagement, as there’s bound to be plenty of content. However, you must not skip this critical step. Consider the following questions to get most of the information you need: 

  • What type of content is working?
  • Which is the most valuable channel?
  • What are the attributes of your ideal customer?
  • Where do your ideal customers prefer to hang out?
  • Which platforms are not working for you?
  • What are the areas of focus?
  • What are your competitors up to?

By answering these questions systematically, you’ll be able to identify your marketing goals to assess your accounts’ performance in the future. By using analytics data from your social accounts, you can determine the performance of each channel and your content pillars to get a holistic view of what’s working for your audience and not.

2. Research Your Audience

Before you plan a social media strategy, you need to know whom you are strategizing for. Researching your audience is crucial to the success of any marketing campaign, including social media. 

It is always good to collect data regularly through surveys, short forms, and progressive profiling to build customer profiles and know your user base better. Once your audience is defined, you can figure out the social platforms they prefer and make them the focal point of your social media strategy.

Generally, users of all ages, income, and education levels use Facebook. LinkedIn, on the other hand, is more popular with highly educated individuals in the age group of 18-50 years. Instagram and Twitter happen to be immensely popular with college kids and young adults.

So, if you are selling sophisticated software, LinkedIn is probably your best bet. But, if you design cool handbags, Instagram could work well for you. Similarly, you have to deduce your audience and their tastes to determine which platforms and content pillars will work best for you.

Most popular social networks worldwide as of July 2020 by number of active users (in millions)

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3. Set Measurable Goals

There’s not much point in having a social media strategy if you can’t measure your success. Therefore, it is imperative to decide the metrics you will use to determine whether you are meeting your social media goals or not. These metrics or key performance indicators will vary depending on your business, but you can consider these primary KPIs to measure your success at the outset:

  • Conversion rates
  • Overall reach
  • Brand mentions
  • Comments
  • Number of followers
  • Total shares
  • Impressions

4. Create Thoughtful Content

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Knowing your customers and their favorite social platforms is great. The next thing is to start creating and sharing content that they are going to love. But where do you begin?

Here are some insights to get you started:

  • There’s an increasing demand for video content. Think about live videos, behind-the-scenes videos, short animated videos, and influencer videos to increase brand awareness and engagement.
  • Infographics are great to deliver a lot of information in a visual format and enjoyed by most users.
  • Long-form articles tend to get more shares than shorter content pieces. It would help if you also focused on creating positive content, which tends to fare better than content that evokes sadness or anger.
  • Pictures speak a thousand words. That’s why you must include images in your posts to increase engagement.
  • Users want to see genuinely helpful content. Don’t oversell or write promotional posts all the time – it will only turn off your fans. It is best to share content that is relevant to your business and also interesting for your readers.

5. Invest in a Social Media Management Tool

Marketers need reliable tools to manage social media with ease. One of the main benefits of such a tool is that it lets you plan your posts ahead of time – so that you are always aligned with your content calendar. A tool like Hootsuite enables you to manage multiple accounts and post from a single dashboard. You also get key performance metrics and custom analytics to keep your social media strategy under control.

Bonus Tip – Chatbots for Social Media

Besides investing in a social media management tool, it is also a great idea to use a chatbot for social media marketing. Social media chatbots’ efficiency is well-known, as they generate more personal engagement with users without burdening you with the need to hire or train additional staff. In fact, using a chatbot to automate your customer service on social media has several advantages for your brand. These include:

  • Gathering information about your clients
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Proactive marketing
  • Sending push-notifications to keep users updated on latest offers, content, or delivery updates
  • Time and cost-efficiency
  • Increased customer satisfaction
  • Higher engagement

Great Strategies Start with Great Planning

Having a social media plan is crucial to your brand’s success on social platforms. However, every platform and every content pillar is not necessarily going to work for your business. Besides, what’s working for you today may no longer interest your users tomorrow. 

That’s why it is essential to review your social media plan regularly to ensure it performs and fine-tune it according to the changing customer expectations. Learn how Spiralytics, a social media marketing agency can help you plan social media.

Contact the marketing gurus at Spiralytics to learn how we can use the power of social media marketing to grow your business!

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