Social media marketing can be an excellent vehicle for developing online brand awareness, customer engagement, and audience growth. This requires a solid, measurable plan and a commitment to developing consistent and valuable content.
Step 1: Review of the Executive Summary Business Plan
Spelled out in a one-pager:
· Your Business Mission and History
· Your Business or Revenue Model
· Descriptions of your Products & Services
· Details of Your Target Audience
· Review of Your Current Marketing Efforts
Step 2: Define Specific Social Media Goals
It is impossible to reach and attain a goal without defining exact specifics. Too many business owners let social metrics define their goals, such as “More Twitter Followers”, “More Fans on Facebook”, “More YouTube Views.”
As a marketer, I understand that it is really the engagement (conversation) that counts. But, what engagement are we talking about? Positive engagement? Volume of commenting on a controversial piece of content?
We would need to go a step beyond to define specific, actionable, and (most importantly) reasonable Social Media Marketing goals such as:
· Validate a new product or service using social as a research platform.
· Develop buzz and interest around a new product. (Creating and building an almost rabid international audience)
· Engage users in social to generate relevant and targeted traffic to your site.
· Gain market share by leading customer/client service through social.
· Generate registrations to branded events through social.
Step 3: Find Your Social Media Marketing Voice
One of the keys to ensuring success in social is to create and implement a voice that resonates with your specific target audience. For each audience type, break down and research age, income, location, and reasons for possibly buying your products/services.
Step 4: Choosing Social Tools Appropriately
Choosing your social tools appropriately is an essential piece of your online communications plan. Here's a short review of the leading social sites :
· Facebook: More than 1.22 billion users. Majority between 18-34; 60 percent female. Best opportunity for community building with customers with incomes above $75k annually.
· Google Plus+: More than 300 million users. Majority between 26-34; 70 percent male. Platform for driving visibility around a brand.
· LinkedIn: More than 259 million users. Majority between 26-34, directly followed by 35-44. The number one B2B social networking tool skews toward male users.
· Twitter: More than 243 million users. Majority between 26-34; 57 percent female. Best tool for interacting in real-time.
· Instagram: More than 150 Million Users. Majority between 18-34; 68 percent female. A visual mobile/web platform for sharing stories via pictures.
· Pinterest: More than 70 Million Users. Majority between 26-44; 84 percent female in the US. A viral platform for image bookmarking via pictures dominated by tablet users.
· Tumblr: More than 34 Million Users. Forty-six percent between 16-24; equally divided between male and female. A blogging platform for teens and young adults interested in self expression.
Step 5: Plan & Execute Content & Delivery
Now to the hard part – finding, creating, and delivering engaging social media content. Social media execution can be daunting, but with a proper plan it is doable and can drive real (marketing) results.
What is needed to define:
· Frequency of content delivery & response to social engagement.
· Types and specific topics for content creation.
· Ways to increase audience engagement.
· Events that can drive social.
· Social success metrics (number of followers, number of fans, volume of traffic back to site, number of retweets, etc.).
Because it is all about the #OrganicConversation.