Hence, it requires intensive planning and establishing a game plan in order for it to become truly successful. The problem with most businesses that jump into the social media bandwagon is that there’s no definite or concrete plan in place. Getting started with a plan or guide may be a lot of work but will prove to be helpful in the long run.
In an interactive infographic released by Simply Business, they have outlined 13 basic steps and guidelines that businesses should consider following prior for a successful social media plan for the business.
1. Social Media 101
Learn the basics of social media for you to have a better idea on which strategy works best for your business. What may be successful for other brands and industries may not be as much effective for yours. Having a better understanding of the underlying principles in social media will help you craft better social media strategy that’s best for your business.
2. Choosing Platforms
Each social media platform is unique so they should be treated differently. Identify as to which platform do your target market frequently visit and focus most of your marketing strategies there. While it’s best to claim your brand on every social media platform before someone else will, it is also best to identify which platform could help you reach out to your target market in a much more effective manner.
3. Setting Up Accounts
When setting up accounts, make sure to review each platforms terms and conditions so you and your business could avoid encountering issues later on. It also helps to cross-promote or let your existing audience know about the new accounts being created. Publishing or informing your company blog readers about how they could follow you on Twitter or Pinterest will help increase the number of people who will connect with you on the newly established account.
4. Goals and Objectives
Having SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely) objectives will help you have a clearer view of what to expect on your social media campaign.
5. Setting Targets
While most people may argue that you cannot measure or quantify the success of social media, it is best to set a target. From there, you may adjust accordingly depending on the results of the the existing campaign. Having figures in mind will help one become more focused and driven to reach what was set.
6. Social Media Policy
Writing a social media policy can be a company’s first line of defense to mitigate risk for both employer and employee. It is best that your company would develop one so that it’s clear for both parties. The company should set the boundary between business and personal use of social media. You may refer to this link for a collection of corporate social media policies.
7. Social Strategies
There had been many strategies published for businesses but not all of them could be effective for your business. Right from the very first step, you need to identify where your targets are and focus your social media strategies and efforts there.
8. Content Strategies
Having content strategies will help you develop thought leadership and become a valuable resource to your audience and target market. There will be nothing shared on your social media accounts unless you develop your own social media plan. Developing content may include but not limited to your corporate blogs, newsletters and curating topics that would be of interest to your target market.
Establishing a social media plan without monitoring and quantifying the success is useless. Identify your best social media metrics and find the right tools that will help you keep track of what you want to be measured.
10. Building a Team
Everyone should hire a social media person to be part of their team. No question about that. But you need to identify what types of social media people and what skills should be included in your team. It’s funny how most companies immediately jump into this step, trying to find an expert or guru without establishing a plan and strategy in place first.
Start your social media process with a pragmatic approach. It’s the kind of process that does not only start but continues to evolve and adjust accordingly. Having setup social accounts and editorial plan are not enough. It needs constant evaluation and analysis to identify which approach and processes needed to be improved and maintained.
12. Social Media Mishaps
Social media is just like any marketing where you may encounter mishaps and blunders. It is therefore important for your company to be ready and establish rules and best practices on how to manage your online reputation when a disaster strikes or even before they do. McDonald’s is one of the best examples of brands that know how to turn disasters into opportunities for them to improve its brand perception.
13. Perfecting Campaigns
Tracking and monitoring the success of every social media campaign is essential so you will easily identify areas to improve on. Just having established profiles in all social media platforms is not enough. One need to constantly improve and generate new ideas to become better and part of perfecting campaigns is to always be on the lookout for more opportunities to provide value to your target market.
Having a concrete plan in place before jumping into the social media bandwagon is important for all businesses as it will determine the effectiveness of the campaign and identify areas to constantly improve on.
What about you, could you share what basic steps and guidelines are you currently following for your social media campaign?
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