Tips & Resources / How To Create and Execute a Successful Social Media Marketing Plan

Social media marketing is a significant trend for brands these days, and it's crucial to have a reliable approach to reach new and current customers. Getting things right with social media isn't simple and takes knowledge and strategy, something the team at Unite Interactive is here to help you with.

1. Understand your audience

Before you even start with your social media strategy, it's crucial to have a clear understanding of your audience. That means knowing the age range, gender and interests of the users that engage with you whether that's through social media pages or on your website. It's also useful if you know which social media sites those users use.

Once you understand your audience, you should create content specifically for them. After all, if you want your audience to engage with you, it's crucial that the content you produce is interesting and relevant. If you get this right, then you should see your engagement levels increase, remember a targeted approach is more likely to be successful than a random one.

2. Decide which social media sites to use

When you're starting your social media strategy, it's tempting to think you need to be on every site out there. However, that's not the most intelligent idea because each platform suits different brands. Also (going back to the first point), it's crucial that you pick the right platforms based on your audience.

As you start your social media strategy, it's crucial to pay attention to the sites on which you receive the highest level of engagement. If you have one where you perform best, then it's vital to put extensive effort into that site. Overall, think about maximizing your engagement levels rather than being on many social media sites for the sake of it.

It's also important that fully optimize your business profiles on each platform, such as bios and business descriptions, identify your niche (products, services or other), photos and brand elements, video (link to video page or story above), key contact information, website address and more.

3. Measure your results

By monitoring your social media profiles, you can get some idea of your engagement levels. It's necessary to go a bit deeper with things than that though to get a complete picture. Having a clear understanding of which types of content are working is crucial to your ongoing strategy.

In general, you want to attempt to repeat strategies that work and tweak things when they do not. Ensure you get an overall idea though rather than changing your plan based on one post that didn't work. Once you have collected extensive data, it should be clear if your plan is working or not.

4. Focus on content over promotions

When you think about social media, it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that it's all about promoting your business. It's clear that this may be what you are aiming to do but it's crucial to remember that social media success takes time and being too promotional early on can turn people off.

Instead, you want to focus on producing the best content that makes your brand stand out among your competitors. Don't be afraid to link back to your website, but ensure you are providing information rather than marketing. For example, link back to a blog post and users may find your e-commerce page from there. Once customers start to trust you, they will be much more interested in buying products from you.

5. Be smart with your use of paid social media

Many brands turn to paid social media options to support poor performing content. The logic suggests that this type of material benefits by a promotional boost. However, it's necessary first to consider what went wrong with that content that performed poorly. You certainly don't want to use paid social media options to support a strategy that just isn't working.

The other thing is you want to maximize your engagement levels with your paid social media campaigns. That means that you will get better results by supporting social media posts that already have a decent standard of engagement. As sad as it is the smart thing is to focus on what is already working rather than the posts you want to work. The great thing about digital marketing is you can write a new update quickly, so you don't need to obsess about what didn't work.

6. Your social media content needs a plan

The other points in this article all come together for constructing your social media plan. It's crucial your strategy is flexible as well, so you can adapt as things change. The reality of not having a plan means that you won't be as productive as you could be. When browsing social media, it's not hard to see the brands' content is well-thought-out compared to the ones using a haphazard approach.

There should also be a reasonable amount of diversity to what you post. In general, you should keep promotional posts to a minimum; original content is crucial, and you should link back to your website some of the time. Many brands also forget that it's essential to share posts from others and engagement with your audience is crucial.

7. Use social calendars and social media management platforms to schedule, manage, execute and report on results

No matter how strong your social media plan is, if you don't follow it all up with a well-executed plan, it will fail.
Create a social media content calendar to show what you wish to publish when and on what channel. Your calendar should be manageable for your team and take into consideration optimal posting times.

There also are multiple platforms available to help your business with social media scheduling such as Hootsuite, Buffer, Sprout Social and many others.

Social media marketing is crucial for brands but getting it right is not always as simple as some people think. There is undoubtedly a difference between playing around on social media and getting tangible results for a business. Therefore, it's crucial not only to have the right people on the job but also plenty of knowledge on hand. Hopefully, this article has helped with the second part of that. Remember: you need to understand your audience, decide which social media sites to use, measure your results, focus on content over promotions, be smart with paid social media, and have a solid plan.

Interested in how Unite Interactive can help you with your social media marketing plan? Let's connect and "Unite."


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