A Strategic Social Media Marketing Plan Puts Consumers First

What do brands need to know about consumers to succeed in social media?

By Stephanie Lichtenstein Ramos

Social

Your audience is on social media. They are right there in front of you. Chances are they could already be talking about your brand or looking for your products or services online. You need to be there to educate them, help them with their needs, and guide them back to your brand.

When you’re in charge of a brand’s social media, you’re really in charge of its voice. The consumer doesn’t know or care whether it’s the CMO running the page or an intern you just added to your team. Therefore, before you give one or more people access to your social media pages, it’s crucial that you establish guidelines and a strategic plan for marketing with social media.

Top 5 Components Of A Successful Social Media Plan

Brand Voice

Think about how you would like to be known. Does your brand have a professional, serious tone? Or is it more fun and laid back?

You don’t want it to seem like more than one person is running your company page. You want the brand’s voice to be consistent.

All efforts should go in the same direction as your brand’s goals.

Guidelines

Your team, including those who don’t communicate through the brand’s social media channels, should understand proper etiquette. This can also be related to their personal use of social media.

What is considered appropriate for your brand may not be appropriate for other brands, so you need to define those limits in black and white for your team. Something that one person thinks is funny may offend someone else.

Strategic Plan

Take a look at the rest of your marketing efforts; chances are you can tie some of your existing efforts into your social media marketing plan. Then you need to ask yourself a few more questions:

  • Who are you targeting?
  • What are your social media goals?
  • What are your key performance indicators (KPIs)?

Your Target Market

Social media can be a hyper-targeted tool where you reach your ideal audience, sorted by interests and demographics, at a rapid rate. Define who your ideal consumers are. Once you’ve figured that out, you can pick which social media platforms will be the most effective to spend your time on.

Your brand doesn’t have to be everywhere; just make sure to be in the right places. You can then create custom advertising campaigns to promote your brand directly to your target audience.

Social Media Goals

What do you want to get out of social media? What’s your end result?

It could be many-faceted: getting traffic, collecting email addresses, generating sales, increasing brand awareness, driving brand loyalty, etc. You have to customize a strategy to fit your goals.

If you want to drive traffic, you can set up ads that are focused on traffic, promote your online posts to reach a large target audience, and track your traffic.

No matter what your goals are, it’s important that you consistently track your progress. You need to continually tweak your ads and evolve your strategy.

3 Biggest Obstacles To Social Media Success

There are a three main obstacles when it comes to social media.

1. Tracking Sales Properly

Some platforms are harder to track than others.

For example, Instagram has become a very popular and fast-growing social media app. The app is mobile and does not include clickable links. The only clickable link is in the bio area. Luckily, marketers are clever and have found solutions to that. Some actually change their bio link daily, others include the link in the map check-in area of the post, and the list goes on.

Then there are platforms such as Pinterest, with which you can directly track traffic and sales, making it much easier to show conversions.

2. Not Enough Time Or Content

When you have a shortage of content, try to spend some time creating branded images that do well on mobile.

You can also curate content, but you should still make it a goal to blog periodically, whether it’s weekly or even monthly. It’s always best to drive traffic back to your own website rather than someone else’s.

If you or your team don’t have enough time, hire a professional to help you manage your pages. Not answering a social media message is worse than not answering your emails or a phone call because it’s public and other people can see that you aren’t responding to a loyal fan.

The conversation is going on with or without you, so it’s time to join in.

3. Social Media Changes

Social media is constantly changing. Not only do things change on existing platforms, but new social networks appear often.

Don’t listen to all the buzz. Sit back and look at whether a platform makes sense for you.

  • Who is on it?
  • How many people have joined?
  • What sets it apart?

Wait to see if a social platform is one you want to be a part of. It’s fine to grab your username so you don’t lose it, but don’t waste time on something that isn’t worth it. Pay attention when a platform gets enough users who actually remain active.

Social Media Marketing: Key Piece Of Advice For CMOs

My key piece of advice for CMOs is to look at the big picture. When you focus on the big picture, you will include it in your strategy and see if you’re succeeding in your reporting.

Be sure to consistently run reporting that is social media related, including likes, repins, retweets, comments, growth, etc. Whether you run reporting weekly, monthly, or quarterly, start comparing the previous numbers to the current ones.

You can also look specifically at your successful contests or content and find ways to duplicate that success. If you see that something isn’t working, that is OK. Take it out of your strategy box and replace it with something new.

The great thing about social media: it’s very cost effective as a marketing technique. Don’t be afraid to test things out. It’s the best way to grow.

Does your strategic social media marketing plan resemble this one? What other obstacles does your brand face in social media? Share your insights in the comments.

Stephanie Lichtenstein Ramos

President, Micro Media Marketing

Stephanie Lichtenstein Ramos is the President of Micro Media Marketing, a boutique social media agency. Stephanie’s passion for social media is contagious, it has led her to work with Fortune 500 and Internet Retailer Top 500 companies.

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