Develop Your Social Marketing
So, you want to build a massive brand and you think that social media is the way to get there?
Well good news: you’re on the right track! Social media is indeed a highly powerful tool for building a massive audience and connecting with that audience in a way that many brands and companies never will.
But before you can start posting media and content, you first need a plan. What, you thought you could just dive in without any strategy?
Your social marketing plan is essentially the strategy and the series of steps that you plan to follow in order to take your website or business from a small name or tiny blog; into massive, self-sustaining, professional organization.
It sounds impossible for many people but the fact of the matter is that this has worked for countless brands before yours. Take a look at any of the biggest names in your industry, and you can almost guarantee that they started out where you are right now and that they used social media – possibly alongside other tools – in order to grow and to become something bigger.
While many people will fail to emulate that success story, that’s because they followed the wrong trajectory – or because they had no strategy to begin with.
That’s what we’re going to look at here. We’re going to look not only at how you can go about creating a blueprint based on other highly successful sites but also how to make sure that you tailor that strategy to suit your brand, your mission statement and your audience.
The plan is the single most important part of your entire campaign. So, get ready and let’s do this!
Goals and Objectives
The first thing to do is to identify what the goal of your social media plan
- You’d be surprised how many brands will jump into their social marketing without even considering this incredibly fundamental concept! A lot of creators and businesses will look at you blankly if you ask them what their plan is, or answer that it’s ‘to be more successful’.
This isn’t helpful because it doesn’t provide us with a destination, meaning we can’t come up with a road map.
So instead, ask yourself what success means for your business.
Maybe you’re just trying to make lots of sales quickly?
Maybe you want to establish yourself as an authority within a small sphere of influence?
Or maybe you want to reach a massive audience and be considered a thought leader within a specific niche.
Whatever the case, this is going to subtly alter the way you go about things. Likewise, you should also look at your budget, you should look at your timeframe and you should look at the number of hours you can commit to this plan.
If you can build a whole social media department in-house as part of your business then great. But if in reality you’re only likely to be posting one or two status updates a day maximum, then be honest about this fact and build that into your plan. It’s better to have a moderate plan and to stick to it than it is to have a highly ambitious plan but then give up on day one!
The next thing you need to think about is your branding.
And I’m going to be brutal with you now: there’s a very strong chance that your site and business needs a complete rebrand. Sorry!
The fact of the matter is that your social media success is going to hinge massively on your branding. If your branding is bad, then you won’t be able to win over your followers and visitors. The whole point of your social media is to create positive interactions with an audience so that they consider signing up and subscribing and so that you build their trust and they consider buying from you in future.
If you post regularly and with high quality content, but your page has an ugly logo or no real branding to speak of, then you are going to drive away your visitors.
A strong brand will instil trust and authority right away. People should look at your logo and instantly know what your site or channel is all about and whether or not they’re likely to like it. At the same time, they should see your branding and they should instantly feel that yours is a professional outfit and one that they can trust to produce high quality products and content.
That’s why you should hire someone to create a logo for you and then make sure that you use this consistently across all your channels and that this helps to create more synergy between your various accounts.
Your branding should be directly influenced by your target audience.
What do I mean by this?
Essentially, depending on your brand and your business, you are going to have a specific target audience. That might be middle aged businessmen, it might be pizza shop owners, it might be young, stylish women or it might be martial artists.
Whoever your target audience is, knowing and understanding this audience is critical to your success.
Ultimately, if you try and create messages and branding that is appealing to everyone, then it will unintentionally end up being appealing to no one. It will be too generic and brand. What’s always better is to go after a small segment of the web but to have them completely on-board with everything you’re saying and selling.
And to do that, you need to first identify them.
You can do this with market research. Ideally, that means surveying your current audience or customers and finding out how old they are, what their hobbies and interests are, what their beliefs are, what their passions are, where they spend their time…
All this information will help you build up a picture of someone and know precisely who you’re going to be marketing to.
You can also do this by looking at your competition. Who spends time on their social media pages and websites? Who are they targeting? What can you learn from them?
Once you know this, you can decide how best to design your logo and other aspects of your brand in order to best attract that audience. The same goes for writing any copy that is going to go on your page such as your ‘about’.
Now you know who you are appealing to, you can decide how best to appeal to them.