There isn’t a one size fits all strategy that applies to all businesses but hopefully these next few steps will aide you in creating a social media plan that exposes you to your target market and then some.
Related: The Importance of Social Media for Growing Your Marketplace
Step 1: Set Your Goals & Objectives
A well thought out plan, whether it’s for a company or washing your car, will help you stay focused and on track to completely your goal in a timely manner. A good rule of thumb would be to follow the SMART goals acronym:
- Specific goal setting would be like obtaining 50 email sign-ups a month for your listing. You know exactly what you want to accomplish without being too general or detailed.
- Measurable is using quantitative targets like reaching a specific percentage of click-throughs or number of sales. Something you can attach a number to.
- Attainable. You want to set a goal that you can see you company reaching. Be realistic! Of course you want to challenge yourself but don’t set yourself up for failure.
- Relevant goals would be directly connected to your general goal. For example perhaps partnering with a digital influencer will benefit your exposure to a new demographic.
- Timely goals are determined to give you enough time to do a job well. Don’t rush yourself to finish something in a week when you know it would take three. Give yourself a deadline to keep you on track and ready to move on to the next phase of your goal.
Of course you don’t have to follow this technique but it’s a great way to outline how you want everything to generally look!
Step 2: Understand Competition and Target Audience
Obviously you want to do some research on your target audience before you push anything out. There can be insights you are missing out on without the proper digging. Find out what your audience likes/dislikes, what they’re average day looks like. Are they working professionals? Students? Retirees? Anything you find can be helpful so you can spend your time wisely devising a great plan.
During this phase you’ll figure out what platforms work best for your and which one best fits the content you want to release. Instagram is good for quick and aesthetically pleasing photos (short videos are also trending now. Facebook is great for building an older fan base, Snapchat is better for a younger audience, and Pinterest is great for visual tutorials and infographics.
As for your competitors and why they’re important? They are working in the same market as you. It’s well advised to observe the tactics of your competitors. Understanding what has worked for them and where is that audience responding most to can cut out some time in your research as well.
Related: 8 Types of Social Media That Should Be In Your Strategy
Step 3: Prioritize Your Goals
After you’ve come up with a slew of goals (I’m sure you’ll have a desk full of post-its and notes) it’s time to organize everything to get a proper timeline going. You’ve done the SMART goals so it’s time to divide them between short-term (1-3 months) and long-term goals (3+ months). This will help you prioritize your goals and visualize what bigger things you’re working towards. All of your goals should be contributing to the growth and expansion of your company, if not then why are you doing it?
Creating a shared calendar further help you stay organized. Put in some alarms and have fun with the colors, well, as much fun as you can with a calendar. The main thing is that you see what you have to do so it’s always in your field of vision keeping you on track.
Step 4: Implement
After you’ve completed the first three steps it’s finally time to implement your plan. Don’t rush through the beginning steps, building a strong foundation will keep you above ground.
Launching will be daunting but with proper goal setting you’ll be fine. Decide what tone and attitude you want to set for your platforms and remain consistent with posting and the looks.
Step 5: Analyze and Change
Most importantly you want to analyze the efforts you’ve put in. A social media strategy isn’t a one-off, it needs constant tweaking to the changes of a market whether it’s internally or externally. Find new insights and determine where you want to have your platforms expand and repeat these steps!