The world of social media is not the place to be unprepared. Yes, the time may come when you have to publish a post on the fly as a situation unfolds, but for the most part, you should have a solid strategy at your content’s core. Planning is what separates success stories and failures when marketers try to tackle the internet.
In the first part of this series, we emphasized the importance of tweaking your approach and assessing what works for your brand. The same ideas apply when trying to devise a plan, only now we are applying them. Here are the six major steps you need to complete.
- Think of strategizing like a treasure map to your goal. What is the bounty lying under the X that marks the spot? Better customer relations? A wider audience? The ability to promote our company’s events? All of the above? You will need to keep your goals in mind with every step you take.
- Know your target market. Who is your ideal customer? Every product, whether the seller wants to admit it or not, caters to a particular type of person. To take an advantage of this step, you should create buyer profiles. Who is your ideal customer? A female in her mid 30s, middle class, who enjoys cycling? Perhaps it’s a senior male who just retired from a long and lucrative banking career? It might seem unnecessary to add the small details, but trust us, these buyer profiles will help you sharpen your content.
- It’s suggested to have your posts ready to go for the upcoming week. Even if you want to post about subjects that are happening “in the moment”, you can add more in later.
- Study the calendar. Plan out holiday greetings and upcoming events such as Motivational Monday, Wisdom Wednesday, Friday Feeling, and other daily and trending topics. This all should be supplemented with hashtags or keywords. With this in mind, keep an eye out for fads, pop culture happenings, and news events. Be sure to stay relevant!
- O.A.R. What is OAR? Observe, Analyse, and Research! After your posts hit the Wild Wild Web, take time out to see how each post performed. Did people click the link? How many comments did it receive? Was it a total dud? You can use analytic tools such as Hootsuite to figure out what your audience is being more receptive to at this time. Be sure to do this on a regimented schedule, because we often see patterns change.
- There’s nothing wrong with a little spying. Check out what your competitors are doing online. What type of posts is work for them? Obviously, you should never just copy someone’s content, yet you may be struck with inspiration when you see what other professionals share.
Now, it’s time to plan! Gather up your social media team and lay out the groundwork for an effective strategy. Stay goal-oriented, knowledgeable about current events, and study which posts work and which didn’t. There are many accounts at the brink of failing that were able to recover by preparing. Alternatively, there have also been successful social media accounts who plummeted due to poor management. As you can see, preparation is key to reaping social media’s rewards.
How do you plan social media planning? Comment below! Be sure to watch out for the third part in this series about how to effectively succeed at social media marketing and what to avoid!