Social Media is evolving all the time, and fast; it’s hard to keep up. That’s why a social media marketing plan is necessary for your business goals to provide a sense of direction.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the reasons why you need to implement a social media marketing plan:
- Provides an overview of your marketing goals (what you want to achieve).
- Indicate your current marketing position.
- Understand what Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you will be tracking.
- Define your target market and what needs lie within.
Now the scope of any marketing plan is going to vary depending on specific business needs, and social media marketing in particular is no exception. I do recommend making space to dive deep into a plan, and we can get into the nitty gritty of that another time. Time is always of the essence, I get that, and so at that very least you should have these five things clearly determined as you move forward.
Define your audience
This is so important! Everything you say and do needs to be targeted at a very specific type of person. Who is your ideal customer? This might sound a bit daft but creating an avatar of your ‘person’ is really going to help you niche down. Give them a name and a personality and every time you create content you will be voicing your message directly to them. Cover as much detail as you can – age, career, income, location, hobbies, diet, relationship status…ev-e-ry-thing.
Now ask yourself, what problems does your person have in relation to what you offer? How do you solve that problem for them? You don’t need to overthink this, simplicity is key. Just remember, if it confuses you then it will confuse your audience.
Instagram vs reality??? This huge trend started to remind followers not to believe everything they see on social media. A few years down the line and authenticity is pulling up the rear. It’s one thing to have a beautifully curated feed but it’s another to glaze over real life in captions and stories. There should be a balance. Let your audience see you and your business for who you really are. When they know you they will like you, which leads to trust. A study by Cohn & Wolfe revealed that 91% of consumers around the globe said they are willing to reward a brand for its authenticity by making a purchase, investment, endorsement or similar. So there you have it, it’s time to get real.
Re-purpose with purpose
Think of all the content you have created; the good, the bad and the ugly. Do you ever find yourself in a content rut? Where you panic to ‘show up’ because if you don’t the algorithm will punish you? **face palm** I have been there more times than I care to admit.
Just a little side note here, you do not need to ‘show up’ every day, but you do need to be consistent. So chose a schedule that is realistic for you and stick to that.
Ok back to re-purposing with purpose. There’s three ways to go about this:
- Optimize your content for each platform that you use. Clicking ‘share to other platform’ is not always that fruitful. Copy and paste the bulk of your content yes, but you should be making a new post within each platform. Make sure your images are the preferred size (Canva is awesome for quick image resizing) and know when to use keywords vs hashtags.
- Use all the tools available in each platform. For example, every post in your Instagram feed there should be a related story, reel, IGTV, boomerang. Use it all! It doesn’t have to be all at once, spread content out over the course of a few days.
- Edit your copy to have a different focus. Audiences are generally looking to be inspired, to learn something or to be entertained. So think about how you can change your language to get the same outcome.
This is where things do get a bit technical, but it’s a super important step. Get into the mindset that your marketing choices aren’t about you; they are about your ‘person’. Researching industry trends and figuring out what and where your audience is spending time is critical to you being discovered.
I like to use Google Trends to research popular topics. All you need is a Gmail account and it’s completely free to use. Here’s a Nicola Insight for you, select “add comparison” to see which synonyms are more popular in searches. As an exercise, look up “motivation” and compare to “inspiration”. Based on the trend, which word would you chose?
If you have a Pinterest Business account (if you don’t, let’s talk!) you will find Pinterest Trends to be equally resourceful. This tool is located in the analytics section of your business hub. What I really like about this tool is that Pinterest shows you other suggested search terms based on what you have entered, and the line graphs are so easy to understand.
These tools will help you with your content and keywords, but there’s one other beast we haven’t addressed yet. Hashtags. Oh boy, we could talk about this all day. But we won’t. Instead, I recommend using Tailwind. Tailwind is a social media planning app for Instagram (and Pinterest). One click hashtag suggestions is a feature in the free version (yay) that eliminates the guesswork and will save you so much time.
You should be familiar with the expression “Jack of all trades, master of none” and that couldn’t be more true when it comes to handling your own social media for your business. Outsourcing is really the best way to go if you want to excel everywhere. But until then, start small. Pick two to three social media platforms for your business and do them well.
I have another Nicola Insight for you here; make sure you use at least one evergreen platform. This means your content can be found indefinitely. You Tube and Pinterest are evergreen platforms because you can post something and reach an audience even years down the line. Your posts on Instagram and Tik Tok on the other hand have 48 hours tops to make an impact (only viral posts succeed longer, but even that is testament to the initial performance).
Choosing the right platform for you (and your audience) may take some time, and you may just gravitate to those that you know already as a user, and that’s perfectly ok. I repeat, pick two to three social media platforms for your business and do them well.
Whether you’re new on social media or have only recently started using it for your business I hope you find comfort and clarity in this post. You’ve got a lot on your plate and I know how overwhelming it can all be in the beginning. Just take it slow, one step at a time. Progress is progress. And when you’re ready to advance with your social media marketing, I’m here for you.
Let me know in the comments if you had an ‘aha’ moment reading this post.
Great article! Lots of useful insights!
Thank you for sharing.
Incredible points. Outstanding arguments. Keep up the great spirit. Lucille Niels Herwig
Some genuinely wonderful posts on this site, thanks for contribution. Malcolm Hort