When beginning to prepare a social media marketing plan for your business, consider the 5 tips below for creating an effective marketing plan.
I always encourage clients to take it SLOWLY during this process. It can be overwhelming because it requires you to view your business and your audience in a different perspective (than normal).
Angel Tip: Do 1 piece at a time until you are comfortable with the results. It is better to take some time now, than have to rework all of your online marketing because you change your mind in a couple of weeks.
1. Review Current marketing. Look at your current marketing efforts. Which of those efforts are working well? Which areas of your marketing need improvement? It is important that these areas are identified early on, so you make sure they are addressed before you add social media to your marketing. For example: If you notice that you do not have consistent branding on all your platforms, be sure to update accordingly before you proceed.
2. Who is your Ideal Audience? This is always an important point to consider in any marketing campaign.
Once you know WHO your ideal client is, then determine which social media platforms they engage on. For example: a recent Social Media Today article noted that men and women prefer different social media platforms:
- Men: LinkedIn, Google+ and Youtube
- Women: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest
3. Analyze your Current online presence. Review each of your social media platforms.:
- Facebook Fan Page
- Facebook Personal (if you use that for business)
- Google+ / YouTube
- Google Places
- Website / Blog
✔ Do you have consistent images, tag line, text copy, links, etc on all platforms?
✔ Does your website represent what you are attempting to display on social media also? (In a perfect world they should not only match, your website may be a huge source of information for potential clients)?
Angel Tip: Don’t Rush this process! In my experience, this is one of the most important steps. I always encourage clients to make sure they have a solid foundation on all platforms before they begin truthfully engaging and relating in a new way. After all, we only get one chance to make a first impression.
4. Ensure your source of content and images. This is a very important step. In today’s digital / mobile world – it is imperative that excellent quality images are utilized on most social media platforms.
Angel Tip: If you are working with a social media manager, be sure to have all of your images together (high resolution is important). This will save you lots of time chasing information when you are ready to get started.
✔ Royalty Free Images: Also, be sure that any images utilized the company actually owns. I always recommend having a small budget to purchase images as needed.
Here are some great resources that my team and I utilize for images:
- www.Fotolia.com – you can find pictures royalty free or purchase for as low as $5
- www.Photobucket.com – there are some free royalty free pictures (some are risque…FYI) but there is a paid program $3 per month that is another option to get better royalty free pictures.
- Note: I received a lot of spam on my computer when I used photobucket. I do like the platform though
- Pixmac.com and 123RF.com are excellent resources for royalty free photos. Pixmac allows you to purchase a single photo if necessary.
- US Government Photos and Images: Most federally owned images are free to use.
- Big Stock: allows you to purchase images. This site has a large quantity of images to choose from
- Deposit Photos: Reasonably priced photos for purchase and size options
✔ Content / Copyright Complete? If you are having a copywriter update your content, you may want to have that completed prior to moving onto the next step. It will save you a lot of time gathering the content initially. Also, once the copyrighted content is approved, be sure that each of your platforms have been updated accordingly.
5. Social media trends. Once you have Steps 1 to 4 together, the next important step is to consider what are the latest social media trends on each platform your client wishes to engage on?
- What is new in the marketplace on that platform?
- Which social media tools are most effective to get the desired result and maximum exposure?
Some websites that I frequently review for up to date trends are:
6. Content Marketing Calendar. Once you are able to pull Steps 1 to 5 together and your profiles are set up solid, be sure to set up a content marketing calendar of the best times to post on each social media platform.
- Pull information of value from website or client content
- Add clear, crisp image
- Include link back to most wanted response (ie Website, Phone Call, Contact Page, etc)
7. Test, Test, Test! It will take a little bit of time, but you will be able to test various posts, on various platforms at different times of day and week.
One of the great options with social media, is many platforms allow you to track the analytics of your posts:
Don’t be overwhelmed….the time and effort is always worth it to share your passion and insight on different platforms. It actually can be very exciting and rewarding in the process!
About Angel. Since 2009, Assistant Angel and her team continue to successfully served social media marketing and online media clients around the United States, Raleigh, NC, Philadelphia, PA, the Caribbean, Canada and more!
STAY CONNECTED. Feel free to connect with Angel here. Angel is also on social media: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest and more. If you know of someone who wants to become a Virtual Assistant, have them sign up for Angel’s free Virtual Assistant Training Network.