Monday, August 13, 2012

Making a Social Media Plan

Creating a social media plan is probably one of the smartest tactics to implement to help your business succeed.  A social media plan will outline your goals for your social media use and will help you achieve them.  Even as a Chicago Internet Marketing Firm we have our own social media plan for ourselves and our clients.  Being successful using social media isn’t all about posting a million times a day (if anything, don’t do that, people will ignore you!) it’s about the quality of what you’re posting and doing it on a rather regular basis.  Here are a few steps you should take when you develop a social media plan for your business: 

Step ONE: Outline Your goals- First, identify what you hope to accomplish with social media. Not all social media sites are created equal, so outlining your goals will help you choose what sites will best help you work towards your goals and eventually, achieve them.

Step TWO: Stay Focused- Establishing your presence on social media takes time, so don’t lose hope and try to stay focused.  Be patient.  Use the goals you outlined in step one to help you stay focused and on the right track.  If you feel unfocused, remind yourself of what you want to achieve and reengage yourself!

Step THREE: Check out your target audience or current fans- Does your business already have fans?  If so, see where they hang out in the realm of social media and start there.  Engage with them by being a strong presence wherever they are.  No fans yet?  That’s okay.  Start by identifying your target audience and check out their social media site use via demographic research.  You and your business need to be in the center of where your fans or target audience are.

Step FOUR: Scheduling- Create a schedule to help you determine how and when (frequency) you’ll engage with your fans or target audience.  Creating a schedule keeps you accountable and when it becomes a habit you’ll be able to keep up with posting more easily and perhaps stay engaged more easily as well.  Start engaging with your target audience and users and you may be surprised by how often they’ll begin engaging with you.

Step FIVE: Content, Content, Content!- Social media isn’t all about selling yourself and your product.  It’s about being social and connecting with people, who may (if you do it right!) at some point, be very interested in what your company is selling.  Don’t provide them with endless amounts of status updates or tweets about your company.  Give them something to talk about at the water cooler.  Give them industry information.  Your posts and tweets should mainly be relevant to the industry your business is in.  Write a blog, explore relevant trends and show your fans and target audience case studies and infographics.  Position yourself as the expert in your industry and you’re likely to succeed. 

Step SIX: Contests and Promotions- Every couple of months run a contest or promotion to keep your fans and target audience coming back for more.  A contest or promotion is an opportunity for you and your business to be seen by a greater number of people on a larger platform.  A contest or promotion encourages fans and followers to keep up with you and your company, so it’s worth the legwork. 

These steps will help keep you and your business on the right track with your social media use.  Looking for more tips on creating a social media plan or have a comment?  We always love to talk social media, so contact us.