Let’s face it, social media is an integral part of how people communicate today. Smart businesses and brands are not only integrating social media into their marketing, they are creating marketing plans where social media is the cornerstone. Why? Because they understand that everything revolves around social media. Crafting, implementing and keeping up with social media marketing strategy and plans can be a challenge for many businesses. I have compiled some tips to help you revamp your social media marketing strategy and plans (and for those of you who don’t have a strategy or plan – these tips can help get you started).
7 Tips To Revamp Your Social Media Marketing Strategy and Plans
1. Create a written strategy (if you do not have one)
Many businesses and brands have been limping along for years with a social media “strategy” that consists of a posting a few times a week to Facebook and perhaps promoting a post here or there. This may have been ok in the early days when social media was new and untested. This method is not a strategic plan and it won’t yield results. At SocialNicole we create a basic written strategy, written advertising plan and written social media management guide to make sure we have all the bases covered for our clients. When a client comes to us with a campaign we write out a strategy and plan to ensure we are thinking about all the angles that are necessary to cover which will lead to a well-orchestrated campaign.
2. Make sure social media is considered for every marketing campaign you plan
So often businesses and brands will focus on a marketing strategy or campaign without thinking about social media until the end of the planning (or won’t include it at all). With the way people communicate today, not considering social media at a core part of all your marketing plans is equivalent to not including a phone number when you tell someone to call you. Social media is the internet, everything is social including emails, websites, even the brochure you are printing has a social aspect to it. If you are thinking of incorporating your website into your marketing plans you should also be incorporating a broader social media strategy into your marketing plans as well. Everything is social today. Everything!
3. Assess your target audience
Has it changed since you created your strategy? Or have you been able to narrow it down to a more specific audience? Think about one segment and identify one target customer from that part of your audience. Create a persona, which is a full biography, for this ideal target customer. If you have multiple segments, create a persona for each major segment. Next, assess the social media channels you are on. Which channel makes the most sense to focus on for your target persona? Facebook may be perfect for one audience segment while Twitter or Instagram may be best for another. Creating a clear target audience for each channel will make curating content much simpler. Your content will be more effective because it will be tailored for your target audience.
4. Conduct a quick audit of your channels
Our audit tips may seem like a lot to review, but it is through a careful audit that you will gain insight on where you have been and where you want to go. Do not let the sheer weight of all the things that need to be considered on social media slow you down! Do a quick scan and address the glaring items that you see. Make a list and tackle it. You don’t have to get all the pieces in place today. Use what you have to help shape where you are going. To start your audit, open your browser and create a new tab for each social media channel you are active on, including a tab for your website. Now address the following:
- Messaging – Does the messaging on your channels match the current messaging for your company? Oftentimes, we adjust our goals over time and fail to adjust the approach on our online channels. Make sure that all of your online channels have current profiles that match your company messaging. Also, check that you are using optimized keywords in your profile description. This is how you are found in search!
- Images – Are your images for cover photos, profile photos and any other visuals on the channel consistent? Do they match your overall brand look and feel. It’s important that each channel is unique but that it is consistent with your company. As your brand evolves you need to remember to replace images. This is why an audit is so important. Now is the time to address any design elements that are out of place. Make a list of new images you need to have created to update your channels.
- Metrics – Are you using a spreadsheet to track your goals and key performance indicators (KPI’s) on different channels? If so, what is the data telling you? How is your interaction on each channel and how is the audience growing? Is it the right audience to match your target audience for that channel? Do you feel like your past goals are being reached? Are they the right goals? If you are not tracking KPI’s now is the time to start! This data is valuable over time and without it you will have difficulty assessing what to change in the future. We create custom spreadsheets to track KPI’s for our clients. We track different KPI’s that match the goals of the clients.
- Shared Content – Are you curating and sharing the right content? Does the content you share meet the needs of your target audience? Remember, with social media it is important to be personal and connect with your audience. If your audience is interacting with you, are you replying and working that relationship further? If they are not interacting with you, why is that? It is important to review the content you are sharing to ensure that you are providing your audience with content they find valuable. This is one way you will get more engagement and over time increase your brand recognition and sales.
- Conversions – Do you have lead generation forms set up on your website? Is your website converting? How many people come to your website from social media channels, and has this increased or decreased over time? As part of your KPI tracking, use Google Analytics to assess your conversions. Now is the time to address your website conversions or lack of conversions due to missing forms or other conversion opportunities on your website.
- Competitors – It’s a good idea to take a look at what your competitors are doing and compare this to your own social media presence. Are they growing a presence online? Are they building a following? Does their audience engage with them? What kind of content do they share? Can you take any ideas from them and/or see things that you absolutely don’t want to do? Many times, businesses forget to look at what others are doing to help fuel their own creativity and inform them of things to avoid. Do not copy your competitors, but do seek inspiration to fuel your own approach.
5. Review your written strategy and make adjustments
The first piece of advice on this list of tips was to create a written strategy. Many people may already have that strategy but we like to remind people of the importance of this written document. If you have a strategy written down, you need to adjust it after doing your audit. Many times businesses will go through all the effort of an audit and come up with plans for revamping, but won’t write it down in their central strategy document. Perhaps they have a list of to do tasks and feel that is enough to get it done. It is important that you update your actual strategy document with changes in messaging, target audience, goals and anything else you identify in your audit. This central document is what helps to keep you on track and also keeps you informed in the future.
6. Adjust your management guide
Do you have a management guide that outlines the day-to-day tasks that need to be done to execute your strategy? This is a tactical document that should be referred to every day when you manage your channels. This guide should include channels, times of posting, type of content to share and any additional tasks by day of the week. At SocialNicole we create guides that have daily, weekly and monthly tasks, as well as notes to remember for management. This is a living document that is adjusted ongoingly. Make sure you adjust it when you do your revamp. Without this updated management guide, your strategy is just a nice document without an action plan. If there is one piece of advice I can give, it is to keep an updated management guide and use it every single day!
7. Make a list
Chances are, after all of this you will have plenty of things to work on over the next year to improve your overall social media marketing efforts. Make a list and order the items from most to least important. Now, set due dates and add them to your calendar. Make implementing these changes part of your work flow. Believe me, the SocialNicole list is long and we are busy working to implement everything we need to get in place. It’s not an overnight process, even for a company that does this day in and day out. The only way to get from point A to point B is to identify the tasks and put a plan of action into place.
Finally….Take a deep breath and celebrate.
You made it through the revamp process! The amount of time your revamp will take depends on how organized you are and how structured your original strategy was. Once you get an organized strategy and plan in place future revamps will be much easier. We recommend you go through this revamp process at least once per year.
This time invested may seem like a lot of effort and time you don’t have. However, if you are going to commit to social media marketing (and this is 2017 so it’s time you commit), you need to make the investment in creating a strategy and plan and reviewing it every year.
If you feel overwhelmed and want some help getting through this process, please feel free to contact us. We will be happy to help guide you through this process or do the revamp for you!