Social Media Marketing Strategy
Have you seen the TV show, The Biggest Loser? It’s an American competition reality show on NBC. The show features overweight contestants competing to win a cash prize by losing the highest percentage of weight. The show offers radical, inspiring transformation for stories. The brave folks they call contestants have access to the best weight loss and life coaches in the world. Together, they create a plan for success and bare their souls to work the plan.
Yet, they weigh-in multiple times throughout the show. Why?
In order to maximize their results, it’s a check-in to tweak and adjust their personalized fitness strategy. (Helps support dramatic reality TV too, but that’s a different blog post!)
Managing social media without a plan is sorta like The Biggest Loser without a weigh-in. It’s a recipe for a boring and lukewarm experience. Without clear direction, social media managers feel sluggish and discombobulated.
Which got me thinking. How does a paralyzed beginner or a time-constrained veteran without a clear plan create a customer experience that’s worth sharing, tweeting, and commenting? What if you had no-fail steps with concrete examples and questions to consider? That’s what I offer today. Give it a read. Make it to the end and you’ll find two bonuses you won’t find anywhere else.
12-Step Social Media Plan That Works
1) Define your audience.
“People with money” is not a valid answer. Local customers? Men? Women? Both? Married? Single? Students? Age? Behaviors? Occupation? Get a clear picture in your mind. Then write it down and if/when you have a team, share it with them.
2) Where is your audience?
Where do they hang out, virtually? Facebook? Instagram? Twitter? LinkedIn? What time are they active? Who influences them to take action? Not sure? Try this. Your next favorite customer(s), ask them! Tell them you’re trying to grow, they will be excited to give you their input.
3) Improve your business accounts.
Make sure your profile images reflect your brand and your values. Clean-up or delete any posts that don’t align with your business as it is today.
4) Plan to be consistent.
Every business is different. Different hours, different seasons, different staff members. Every social media network is different too. Based on your business, determine what a consistent strategy looks like. Is it daily? Is it every other day? Will it be you posting? Will other staff members post too? Can you meet weekly or monthly to discuss? Do your goals warrant hiring someone? What can you do to stick to the plan?
5) Schedule this ultra-important reminder, like now.
Can I be direct? You may not reach your big goals on the first try. Have you heard of the American TV show Biggest Loser? They have the best weight loss coaches in the world, but contestants weigh-in multiple times throughout the show. Why? It’s so their coach can help tweak and adjust the fitness strategy – to maximize results. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you never have to check-in. Grab your calendar and mark down a date to evaluate and tweak your strategy.
6) Set a SMART goal.
Having a goal recharges our batteries when we get burned out. But “get more business” isn’t a goal. Try using the SMART goal system to create Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time-bound, such as: “We’ll grow our Instagram following by 50 new followers per week/month” is a goal. Do you want to increase website traffic? Foot traffic (or Burger King coupons) on Wednesdays? Fill tables or haircutting booths? How do you know you picked a good goal? Does the goal make you nervous? Then you’re doing it right!
7) Eavesdrop to get inspired.
We call it social listening now, but we should call it eavesdropping for the modern era. Pull up your favorite social media network and read. Read what customers (who are in your target audience) are asking for. Read comments. Discover ways you can provide a solution and set yourself apart. Go “listen” to what the leaders in every industry — not just your own — are doing in social media. See how you can implement similar tactics for your business.
8) Start posting to promote or sell your products.
This is your defining moment. (The moment even the smartest people I know can mess up.) If you want to maximize your return on your investment (ROI), read carefully. Every post cannot be about you. In fact, the majority of posts cannot be about you. Social media by definition is about
9) Incorporate images, videos, and graphics as often as possible.
Want more engagement? Include something for your audience to look at. Increase engagement with images, videos or an infographic. You’ll soon find an image-only gets more actions (clicks/likes/comments). Posts with a video will attract more eyeballs, but not as many actions. Strike a balance based on your business goals.
10) Focus on quality, not quantity.
Another reminder of the 80/20 rule. The majority of your content should be adding value to your audience. Give them a sneak peek behind the scenes, chat up ideas, entertain, give them helpful tips that only your business, your expertise can offer.
11) Monitor and respond to all social media conversations.
Responding directly to your audience allows you to humanize your brand. Tells them, I’m a real person and I’m here! I’m thrilled you gave us feedback, even if we need to work on something. It’s when you fail to engage, that you do the real damage. They may not think you’re invested when the reality is you’ve just missed the message.
12) Schedule (or buy) extra hours.
What? Is there an app for extra time in the day? Yes and no. To save time posting, responding and monitoring your social media accounts, you may want to find a platform that allows you to manage all of your social media in one place. (More on different tools in a future post.)
When your goals get bigger than your 24 hour day can handle, you’ll want to buy some extra hours. Add an experienced team member, hire an agency like SmartCookie Media, or send an existing team member to social media training. To keep your strategy on track, hire someone with experience in marketing and customer service.
Your Modern-Day Penpal & a PDF
So what are the two things I mentioned this plan has that others don’t offer? My Biggest Winner 12-Step Challenge PDF, download it here. For me, there’s something about writing down a plan. Makes it real and makes me commit.
If you’re ready for a transformational, inspiring business story…you need with one more thing. A sounding board.
That’s where I come in! I’m Nicole Schmied. I’m a marketing professional who loves seeing a business meet and exceed their goals. I’d love to connect. We can be digital pen pals! What are you working on? What’s working? Where are you stuck? Maybe you can inspire me and my next post. Send me a comment below or contact me here!